6:1 And 1 in those days, when the number of the disciples was
multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the a Grecians
against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in
the b daily ministration.
(1) When Satan has assailed the Church on the outside, and with
little result and in vain, he assails it on the inside,
with civil dissension and strife between themselves: but
the apostles take occasion by this to set order in the
(a) From among their own members, who became religious Jews
from among the Greeks.
(b) In the bestowing of alms according to their need.
6:22 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples
[unto them], and said, It is not c reason that we should
leave the word of God, and serve d tables.
(2) The office of preaching the word, and dispensing the goods
of the Church, are different from one another, and not
rashly to be joined together, as the apostles institute
here. And the deacons must seek the consent of the Church
more than the apostles.
(c) It is such a matter that we may in no way accept it.
(d) Banquets: though by the name of tables other offices
are also meant, which are added to it, such as those
which pertain to the care of the poor.
6:33 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of
honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we
may appoint over this business.
(3) In choosing deacons (and much more in choosing ministers)
there must be an examination of both their learning and
their manners of life.
6:64 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had
prayed, they e laid [their] hands on them.
(4) The ancient Church, with the laying on of hands, as it were
consecrated to the Lord those who were lawfully elected.
(e) This ceremony of the laying on of hands came from the
Jews, who used this ceremony both in public affairs,
and in the offering of sacrifices, and also in private
prayers and blessings, as appears in (Ge 48:13-22);
and the Church also observed this ceremony, as is evident
from (1Ti 5:22; Ac 8:17). However, there is no
mention made here either of cream, or shaving, or
razing, or crossing, etc.
6:75 And the word of God increased; and the number of the
disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great
company of the priests were obedient to the f faith.
(5) A happy result of temptation.
(f) This is the figure of speech metonymy, meaning by
"faith" the doctrine of the Gospel which brings about
6:86 And Stephen, full of faith and g power, did great
wonders and miracles among the people.
(6) God trains his Church first with evil words and slanders,
then with imprisonments, afterwards with scourgings, and
by these means prepares it in such a way that at length he
causes it to meet in combat with Satan and the world, even
to bloodshed and death.
(g) Excellent and singular gifts.
6:97 Then there arose certain of the h synagogue, which is
called [the synagogue] of the Libertines, and Cyrenians,
and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia,
disputing with Stephen.
(7) Schools and universities in ancient times were addicted to
false pastors, and were the instruments of Satan to spread
abroad and defend false doctrines.
(h) Of the people and the school, as it were.
6:108 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the
spirit by which he spake.
(8) False teachers, because they will not be overcome, flee
from disputations and resort to manifest and open
slandering and false accusations.
6:129 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the
scribes, and came upon [him], and caught him, and brought
[him] to the council,
(9) The first bloody persecution of the Church of Christ, began
and sprang from a council of priests, by the suggestion of
the university teachers.
6:1310 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man
ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy
place, and the law:
(10) An example of frivolous objectors or false accusers, who
gather false conclusions from things that are well uttered
6:15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him,
i saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.
(i) By this it appears that Steven had an excellent and
wholesome countenance, having a quiet and settled
mind, a good conscience, and certain conviction that
his cause was just: for seeing as he was to speak
before the people, God beautified his countenance, so
that by the very beholding of him the Jews' minds
might be penetrated and amazed.