Ancient Sources

Mountain of Judah and Shephelah

77. The (church) of Saint Philip, where
they say that the eunuch Candaces was baptized -
('Ayn al-Dhirwah)


Iuxta quem fons ad radices montis ebulliens ab eadem, in qua gignitur, sorbetur humo. Et apostolorum Acta referunt eunuchum Candacis reginae in hoc esse a Filippo baptizatum.
(Jerome 53:2-5)


Eusebius, Onomasticon 52:1-4 (ca. 295 A.D.); Jerome 53:2-5 (ca. 390 A.D.)
There is a spring, welling out from the foot of the mountain, being absorbed by the same ground in which it comes forth; and the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 8:26-27) report that the eunuch of Queen Candace was baptized here by Philip.


Acts 8: 26-40 Philip baptizes the eunuch of Queen Candace
Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." (This is a wilderness road.) 27 So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go over to this chariot and join it." 30 So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" 31 He replied, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. 32 Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this: "Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth." 34 The eunuch asked Philip, "About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?" 35 Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?" 38 He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, 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 snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.


Itinerarium Burdigalense 599 (333 A.D.)
Fourteen miles away is Bethsur, at which is the spring where Philip baptized the eunuch.

Petrus Diaconus, de Locis Sanctis (Appendix to: Egeria, Itinerarium) N1 (12th cent. A.D.)
Twenty-four miles from Jerusalem, near Hebron, is the spring in which Philip, the apostle and evangelist, baptised the eunuch of Queen Candace.

Hieronymus, Ep.108 (Peregrinatio Paulae) 11,1
(385 A.D.)
Without delay she pressed on along the old road which leads to Gaza (meaning the 'strength' or 'riches' of God) and considering within herself how the Ethiopian eunuch had changed his skin, foreshadowing the peoples of the Gentiles: and how, as he re-read the Old Testament, discovered the spring of the Gospel.

Anonimus Placentinus, Itinerarium 32 (ca. 570 A.D.)
From there we went to the place where Habakkuk took food to the harvesters, and the spring rises there at which Philip baptised the eunuch. This is the area where the wells were dug by Abraham and Jacob, the Well of the Oath and the Well of Calumny.

Map Section 6 Place Discussion

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Created Saturday, December 16, 2000 at 13:14:37
by Eugenio Alliata ofm in collaboration with Stefano de Luca ofm
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copyright - Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem 2000