Acts 8:38-40 reads:

38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

Was Philip teleported to Azotus by the Holy Spirit?

  • Scripture only says Philip was 'found' or 'appeared' at Azotus. Scripture does not comment on how he got there. (Or, when he got there.) Scripture does not treat of such things as if they were some sort of magic show to entertain the populace. Some things are necessary for the spread of the gospel. But they are not drawn attention to. What matters is the gospel.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Oct 3, 2020 at 22:07
  • @NigelJ nobody claimed it to be a magic show. Teleportation is the fastest way of transportation, and as such it inherits all the useful properties of transportation, namely, arriving at an intended destination with an intended purpose. I see nothing wrong with the Holy Spirit teleporting someone from one place to another to fulfill kingdom purposes.
    – user38524
    Commented Oct 3, 2020 at 23:05
  • . . .. but it is a sheer supposition.The scripture does not state that. What is the period of time between Philip speaking to the Eunuch and Philip being found elsewhere ? Without that piece of information you cannot be sure he did not walk the journey.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Oct 3, 2020 at 23:51
  • Spirit (hence respiration) means breath, a form of air movement, similar to wind. In the ancient languages, in which the sacred scriptures were written (such as Hebrew of Greek), identical or nearly-identical words are used to express all these related concepts (e.g., John 3:8, Acts 2:2-4, etc). So the quoted text appears to say that Philip was taken away by a sudden and mighty rush of wind, eventually landing in or near the ancient city of Azotus.
    – Lucian
    Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 10:45

4 Answers 4


NET Bible Acts 8:39

Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any more, but went on his way rejoicing.

ἥρπασεν (hērpasen)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 726: To seize, snatch, obtain by robbery. From a derivative of haireomai; to seize.

There is a kind of this transport prototype in the OT with Elijah and Elisha in 2 Kings

2:11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more.

Five verses later, the action is described as a pick up by the Spirit.

16 "Look," they said, "we your servants have fifty able men. Let them go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the LORD has picked him up and set him down on some mountain or in some valley."

In both cases, they never saw each other again. Yes, I would say that Philip was transported by the Spirit in a supernatural way.


No one can determine how the Holy Spirit should operate on earth. What I see in this scripture is that the eunuch did not see Philip again. Assuming you are having a conversation with a person and you left without saying goodbye, this will seem you have no courtesy, but Philip been taken away by the Holy Spirit will further depict to this man that he just had an extraordinary encounter

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    – Community Bot
    Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 14:36

The real question here is "Is God capable of miracles which defy circumstance?" The answer is "yes". One night I was asleep in my bed, I heard a noise outside which I perceived as an intruder. I specifically remember sitting up in my bed and the next moment I was outside on top of our awning.I knocked on the window to wake my wife. She had to go outside and bring a ladder around to allow me to come down. After careful research, we found it was IMPOSSIBLE for me to get out to the awning (especially in my sleep) in any conventional physical manner. The sad thing here is that very few people, even in the church, will have the ability to consider this to be even possibly true. The truth is that really really far out things happen even today, so why can they not be believable in the Bible? Unfortunately it is not Gods intent to "prove Himself". It is our job to seek Him and also to seek and expect His miracles.


Imagine what must be happening here in 2023. People coming and going in the same circumstances as Phillip or Elijah.


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