Acts 8:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 8:28, NIV: and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet.

Acts 8:28, ESV: and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah.

Acts 8:28, KJV: Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.

Acts 8:28, NASB: and he was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading Isaiah the prophet.

Acts 8:28, NLT: and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah.

Acts 8:28, CSB: and was sitting in his chariot on his way home, reading the prophet Isaiah aloud.

What does Acts 8:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

A eunuch, a court official of the Ethiopian queen, is on the first leg home after worshiping in Jerusalem. Ethiopians have been familiar with the Jewish God since at least the time of Solomon, when the Queen of Sheba came to visit the man she had heard was so wise (1 Kings 10:1–13).

It makes sense that the official would be reading the book of Isaiah. God gives eunuchs—particularly foreign eunuchs—a great blessing in Isaiah 56:3–5, promising that if they join with Him, He will bless them with "an everlasting name that shall not be cut off." But the official is reading Isaiah 53:7–8, the prophecy that compares Jesus with a silent lamb being led to slaughter (Acts 8:32–33). This prophecy confuses some people, as Jesus did interact with His accusers (John 18:19–23, 33–38). But He did not open His mouth when He was called to defend Himself (Mark 14:60–61; 15:4–5).

The official is in a chariot, inferring the road is a good one—probably built by the Romans. This is an example of God's perfect timing. He sent Jesus when the Roman empire held a large territory in relative peace. The Pax Romana meant that the empire had the money and political stability to build public works, such as good roads. Those roads and the stable cities and towns meant the Christian evangelists could travel easily. They still dealt with jealous Jews and pagan idol-makers (Acts 14:2–7; 19:23–41) and indifferent city officials (Acts 18:12–17)—and later with violent emperors—but considering the chaos of other eras, the church started at the perfect time to spread the gospel.