7:1 Then 1 said the high priest, Are these things so?
(1) Steven is allowed to plead his cause, but for this
reason and purpose, that under a disguise and pretence
of the Law he might be condemned.
7:22 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The
God of a glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he
was in b Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,
(2) Steven witnesses to the Jews that he acknowledges the true
fathers, and the only true God, and more than this shows
this that these are more ancient than the temple and all
the temple service appointed by the Law, and therefore they
ought to lay another foundation of true religion, that is
to say, the free covenant that God made with the fathers.
(a) The mighty God full of glory and majesty.
(b) When he says afterwards in (Ac 7:4) that Abraham
came out of Chaldea, it is evident that Mesopotamia
contained Chaldea which was near to it, and bordered
upon it; and so writes Plinius, book 6, chap. 27.
7:5 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not [so much as]
to c set his foot on: yet he d promised that he would
give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him,
when [as yet] he had no child.
(c) Not enough ground to even set his foot upon.
(d) The promise of the possession was certain, and belonged
to Abraham, though it was his posterity that enjoyed it
a great while after his death: and this is the figure
of speech synecdoche.
7:6 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in
a strange land; and that they should bring them into
bondage, and entreat [them] evil e four hundred years.
(e) Four hundred years are counted from the beginning of
Abraham's progeny, which was at the birth of Isaac: and
four hundred and thirty years which are spoken of by
Paul in (Ga 3:17), from the time that Abraham and
his father departed together out of Ur of the
7:93 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into
Egypt: but God was f with him,
(3) Steven diligently recounts the horrible misdeeds of some of
the fathers, to teach the Jews that they ought not rashly
to rest in the authority or examples of the fathers.
(f) By these words are meant the peculiar favour that God
shows men: for he seems to be away from those whom he
does not help: and on the other hand, he is with those
whom he delivers out of troubles, no matter how great
the troubles may be.
7:10 And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him
g favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of
Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his
(g) Gave him favour in Pharaoh's sight because of his
7:16 And were h carried over into Sychem, and laid in the
sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the
sons of Emmor [the father] of Sychem.
(h) The patriarchs who were the sons of Jacob, though only
Joseph is mentioned; (Jos 24:32).
7:19 The same i dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil
entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young
children, to the end they might not live.
(i) He devised a subtle plan against our stock, in that he
commanded all the males to be cast out.
7:20 In which time Moses was born, and was k exceeding fair,
and nourished up in his father's house three months:
(k) This child was born through God's merciful goodness
and favour, to be of a lovely and fair countenance.
7:30 And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in
the wilderness of mount Sina an l angel of the Lord in a
flame of fire in a bush.
(l) Now, he calls the Son of God an angel, for he is the
angel of great counsel, and therefore immediately
after he describes him as saying to Moses, "I am the
God of thy fathers, etc."
7:35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler
and a judge? the same did God send [to be] a ruler and a
deliverer by the m hand of the angel which appeared to
him in the bush.
(m) By the power.
7:374 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of
Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you
of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.
(4) He acknowledges Moses as the Lawgiver, but in such a way
that he proves by his own witness that the Law had respect
to a more perfect thing, that is to say, to the prophetical
office which accompanied Christ, the head of all Prophets.
7:41 And they made a n calf in those days, and offered
sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their
(n) This was the superstition of the Egyptian's idolatry:
for they worshipped Apis, a strange and marvellous
looking calf, and made beautiful images of cows.
7:42 Then God turned, and o gave them up to worship the p
host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the
prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain
beasts and sacrifices [by the space of] forty years in the
(o) Being destitute and void of his Spirit, he gave them
up to Satan, and wicked lusts, to worship stars.
(p) By "the host of heaven" here he does not mean the
angels, but the moon, and sun, and other stars.
7:43 Yea, ye q took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star
of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them:
and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.
(q) You took it upon your shoulders and carried it.
7:445 Our fathers had the tabernacle of r witness in the
wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that
he should make it according to the fashion that he had
(5) Moses indeed erected a tabernacle, but that was to call
them back to the one whom he had seen on the mountain.
(r) That is, of the covenant.
7:45 Which also our fathers that came after s brought in with
Jesus into the t possession of the Gentiles, whom God
drave out u before the face of our fathers, unto the days
(s) Delivered from hand to hand.
(t) This is said using the figure of speech metonymy, and
refers to the countries which the Gentiles possessed.
(u) God drove them out that they should yield up the
possession of those countries to our fathers when they
entered into the land.
7:476 But Solomon built him an house.
(6) Solomon built a temple according to God's commandment, but
not under any condition that the majesty of God should be
enclosed within it.
7:517 Ye stiffnecked and x uncircumcised in heart and ears,
ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers [did],
so [do] ye.
(7) Steven, moved with the zeal of God, at length judges his
(x) They are of uncircumcised hearts who still lie drowned
in the sins of nature, and are stuck fast in them: for
otherwise all the Jews were circumcised with regard to
the flesh, and therefore there are two kinds of
circumcision; (Ro 2:28-29).
7:53 Who have received the law by the y disposition of angels,
and have not kept [it].
(y) By the ministry of angels.
7:548 When they heard these things, they were cut to the
heart, and they gnashed on him with [their] teeth.
(8) The more Satan is pressed, the more he breaks out into an
7:559 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up
stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus
z standing on the right hand of God,
(9) The nearer that martyrs approach to death, the nearer that
they rise up, even into heaven, as they behold Christ.
(z) Ready to affirm him in the confession of the truth,
and to receive him unto himself.
7:5710 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped
their ears, and a ran upon him with one accord,
(10) The zeal of hypocrites and superstitious people eventually
breaks out into a most open madness.
(a) This was done in a rage and fury, for at that time the
Jews could put no man to death by law, as they
confessed before Pilate saying that it was no lawful
for them to put any man to death, and therefore it is
reported by Josephus that Ananus, a Sadducee, slew
James the brother of the Lord, and for so doing was
accused before Albinus, the president of the country;
7:58 And cast [him] out of the city, and stoned [him]: and the
b witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's
feet, whose name was Saul.
(b) It was appointed by the Law that the witnesses should
cast the first stones; (De 17:7).
7:6011 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice,
Lord, c lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had
said this, he d fell asleep.
(11) Faith and charity never forsake the true servants of God,
even to the last breath.
(c) The word which he uses here refers to a type of
imputing or laying to one's charge that remains firm
and steady forever, never to be remitted.
(d) See (1Th 4:13).