Acts 8:28

Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.

Was returning,.... From Jerusalem, having finished the parts of divine worship he came to perform; and it is remarkable, that though he must doubtless have heard of Jesus of Nazareth, and what had passed in Jerusalem lately, and of his apostles, yet heard them not; or however, was not converted by them, nor believed in Jesus; his conversion being ordered to be at another time, in another place, and by another instrument:

and sitting in his chariot: as was the manner of princes and great persons:

read Esaias the prophet; the Book of the Prophecies of Isaiah the Prophet; and in Luke 4:17 it is called the "Book of the Prophet Esaias"; and in the note there, See Gill on "Luke 4:17, I have observed, that the prophets, especially the larger ones, were sometimes in separate and distinct books, and so might be the prophecy of Isaiah; and such an one was delivered to Christ, in the synagogue of Nazareth; and such an one the eunuch might have, and be reading in it: hence we read {s}, that Daniel should say to the Israelites, who came to discourse with him about the prophecies of Jeremiah, bring me, says he,

hyevy dpo, "the Book of Isaiah"; he began to read, and went on till he came to this verse, "the burden of the desert of the sea", &c.

Isaiah 21:1 and both the Arabic and Ethiopic versions here read, "the Book of the Prophet Isaiah." See Gill on "Luke 4:17". Some think the eunuch might be reading over some passages of Scripture in this prophet, which he had heard expounded at Jerusalem, to refresh his memory with what he had heard. This prophet is a very evangelical one, and very delightful and profitable to read: many things are prophesied by him concerning the Messiah, and particularly in the chapter in which the eunuch was reading; and this being a time when there was great expectation of the Messiah, such passages might be read and expounded in their synagogues, which concerned him: however, the eunuch improved his time, as he was travelling in a religious way, which was very commendable; and as this was the occasion and opportunity which the Holy Ghost took to bring on his conversion, it may serve greatly to recommend the reading of the Scriptures.

{s} Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 33. 1.