The Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:27)

“Philip got up.

He went to Gaza.

On the way,

He saw a man,

An Ethiopian eunuch,

A court official

Of Candace,

Queen of the Ethiopians.

He was in charge

Of her entire treasury.

He had come

To Jerusalem

To worship.”

καὶ ἀναστὰς ἐπορεύθη. καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ Αἰθίοψ εὐνοῦχος δυνάστης Κανδάκης βασιλίσσης Αἰθιόπων, ὃς ἦν ἐπὶ πάσης τῆς γάζης αὐτῆς, ὃς ἐληλύθει προσκυνήσων εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ,

The author of Acts indicated that Philip got up (καὶ ἀναστὰς) to go (ἐπορεύθη.) to Gaza.  However, he saw (καὶ ἰδοὺ) a man (ἀνὴρ), an Ethiopian eunuch (Αἰθίοψ εὐνοῦχος), a court official (δυνάστης) of Candace (Κανδάκης), the Queen of the Ethiopians (βασιλίσσης Αἰθιόπων).  He was in charge (ὃς ἦν ἐπὶ) of her entire treasury (πάσης τῆς γάζης αὐτῆς).  He had come (ὃς ἐληλύθει) to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ) to worship (προσκυνήσων).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word γάζης that means treasure or treasury.  Philip got up and was on his way to Gaza on the southwestern wilderness road, when he saw this Ethiopian eunuch.  It is not clear how he figured out who this person was.  A eunuch was a castrated emasculated court official, so that he could be trusted in the court scene.  Thus, he could have been a person in charge of the treasury.  However, eunuchs could not go to worship publicly in the Jerusalem Temple, since they could not be circumcised.  The country of Ethiopia implied a distant land in Africa, south of Egypt.  Candace was either a royal title or a personal name of this queen.  There were a lot of gentiles who were interested in Jewish worship in Acts, so that many came to the Jerusalem Temple to worship, because of its celebrity.  This may be an allusion to Psalm 68:31, where the psalmist said “Let Ethiopia hasten to stretch out its hands to God.”  Isaiah, chapter 56:3-5, seemed very favorable to eunuchs.  For some reason, eunuchs, who had their testicles removed, were looked down upon.  However, Yahweh, in Third Isaiah, seemed to honor them as if they are faithful to Yahweh.  This was a very strong statement on eunuchs in Isaiah.  Perhaps, the author of Acts was also pointing out the good things about eunuchs.  Have you ever met a eunuch?