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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 8 - Verse 28

Verse 28. And sitting in his chariot. His carriage; his vehicle. The form of the carriage is not known. In some instances the carriages of the ancients were placed on wheels; in others, were borne on poles in the form of a litter or palanquin, by men, or mules, or horses. (See Calmet, art. Chariot.)

Read Esaias, etc. Isaiah. Reading doubtless the translation of Isaiah called the Septuagint. This translation was made in Egypt, for the special use of the Jews in Alexandria and throughout Egypt, and was that which was commonly used. Why he was reading the Scriptures, and especially this prophet, is not certainly known. It is morally certain, however, that he was in Judea at the time of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus; that he had heard much of him; that this would be a subject of discussion; and it was natural for him, in returning, to look at the prophecies respecting the Messiah, perhaps either to meditate on them as a suitable subject of inquiry and thought, or perhaps to examine the claims of Jesus of Nazareth to this office. The prophecy in Isa 53 was so striking, and coincided so clearly with the character of Jesus, that it was natural for a candid mind to examine whether he might not be the person intended by the prophet. On this narrative we may remark:

(1.) It is a proper and profitable employment on returning from worship to examine the sacred Scriptures.

(2.) It is well to be in the habit of reading the Scriptures when we are on a journey. It may serve to keep the heart from worldly objects, and secure the affections for God.

(3.) It is well at all times to read the Bible. It is one of the means of grace. And it is when we are searching his will that we obtain light and comfort. The sinner should examine with a candid mind the sacred volume. It may be the means of conducting him in the true path of salvation.

(4.) God often gives us light in regard to the meaning of the Bible in unexpected modes. How little did this eunuch expect to be enlightened in the manner in which he actually was. Yet God, who intended to instruct and save him, sent the living teacher, and opened to him the sacred Scriptures, and led him to the Saviour. It is probable Ac 8:30 that he was reading it aloud.

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