1: Then said the high priest, “Are these things so?” (= "If these things are so")
2: And he said, “Men (Gr. anêr = an adult male person. Lat. vir, an honorable title [as distinct from a mere "man"]), brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God (Gr. Theos, is used of the Father, as the revealed God) of glory (cp. Ps.29:3, and note the 7 other similar expressions, "The God of comfort" [Rom.15:5. 2 Cor.1:3], "hope" [Rom.15:13], "love" [2 Cor.13:11], "patience" [Rom.15:5], "peace" [Rom.15:33, &c.], "all grace" [1 Pet.5:10], and "truth" [Deut.34:2, &c.]) was seen by our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he settled in Haran (= a mountaineer. Babylonian city of music. Present day Iraq),
3: And said to him, ‘Get you out of your land, and out of your kindred, and to this place into the land which I shall show you.’
4: Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Haran: and from that place, after that his father was dead (It was Abraham, not Terah, who had been called [Gen.12:1], and therefore Terah could get no further than Haran. There was a long sojourn in Haran of 25 years.), He removed him (Gr. metoikizô = to cause to change one's abode) into this land, into which you all came and now dwell there (i.e. Israel).
5: And He gave him not any inheritance in it, not even so much as a place for a foot (see John 19:13): yet He promised (refers to Gen.13:15. The covenant) that He would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had not any child.
6: And God spoke on this wise (quoted from Gen.15:13,14), ‘That his seed should be a stranger in a foreign land; and that they should enslave them, and wrong them (Gr. kakos = depraved, bad in nature) four hundred years (This speaks of the captivity, see note on Ex. 12:40.).
7: ‘And the nation (Gr. ethnos) to whom they shall serve (Gr. douleuô = to serve as a bondman) will I judge,’ said God: and after these things shall they come forth, and worship (Gr. latreuô = to serve in official service [for hire, or reward]. Cp. Ex.3:12. Used of serving God in the externals of His worship) Me in this place.’
8: And He gave him the covenant of circumcision (Gr. diathêkê. It is an Old Testament word, and must always conform to the O.T. usage and translation. It has nothing to do with the later Greek usage. See Heb. 9:15-52. See also Appendix 95 of the CB): and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs (see 2:29).
9: And the patriarchs, being jealous, sold Joseph into Egypt: but Elohim was with him, (Because he was the youngest by Abrahams favorite wife, and because of his [Joseph's] dreams)
10: And delivered him out of all his tribulations (cp. Ps.105:17-19), and gave him grace (Gr. charis= free, undeserving favor) and wisdom before Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.
11: Now there came a dearth over all Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. (They were about to starve to death)
12: But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out (Gr. exapostellô = to send off, or away out of [the place were one is]; implying the same mission and authority) our fathers the first time (i.e. the 11 that remained).
13: And in the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren (= became manifest. Joseph identified himself. See Gen.45:16); and Joseph's race became manifest to Pharaoh.
14: Then sent Joseph (Gr. apostellô = to send forth, or off, or away from [as a mesenger, or with a commission], the sender remaining behind; implying authority on the part of the sender. Hence used of prophets; and the noun "apostle", denotes one thus sent), and called his father Jacob to him (Gr. metakaleomai. Meta in composition expresses the idea of change), and all his race, threescore and fifteen (this included Jacob's race. See Gen.46:26. They were saved at Egypt's expense) souls (Gr. psuchê, used of man as an individual [just as we speak of a ship going down with every soul on board, or of so many lives being lost in a railway accident]).
15: So Jacob went down into Egypt, and came to his end, he, and our fathers (Buried in Hebron, i.e. the patriarchs)),
16: And were removed into Shechem (Heb.= back or shoulder), and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a sum of money from the sons of Emmor (Heb. = an ass) the father of Sychem.
17: But as soon as the time of the promise drew near, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,
18: Till another (Gr. heteros = another of a different kind [usually denoting generic distinction) king arose, which knew (Gr. oida = to know [intuitively] without effort, to understand) not Joseph.
19: The one dealt subtlety with our race, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they caused to be exposed their babes (Gr. brephos = an embryo, or newly-born babe), to the end they might not be born alive (or preserved alive.). (They were left in the field)
20: In which time Moses was born (= drawn from water, or saved by water), and was fair to God, and nourished up (Gr. anatrephô, a medical term, providing more proof acts writing by Luke, the physician) in his father's house three months:
21: And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for a son for herself. (God has a way to provide)
22: And Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians (this included all the mysteries of the Egyptian religion, as all education was in the hands of the priests), and was mighty in words (Gr. logos) and in works. (He was a great orator)
23: And when he was full forty years old (Lit. a period of 40 years was fulfilled), it came upon his heart to visit (Gr. episkeptomai = to look upon, as though to select; to look out, so as to select) his brethren the sons of Israel.
24: And seeing (Gr. eidon, implying not the mere at of looking, but the actual perception of the object) one of them being wronged, he defended him (Notice this was an act of self defense, defending a brother who was being mistreated. This is not murder as some teach), and took vengeance for the oppressed one, having smitten the Egyptian:
25: For he supposed his brethren understood how that God by his hand would give them salvation: but they understood not.
26: And the following day he showed himself to them as they fought, and was driving them together (the text reads, "was reconciling them") into again, saying, ‘Men (see v.2), you all are brethren; why wrong you all another?’
27: But he that did his neighbor wrong thrust him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? (They were afraid of Moses. They didn't trust him. They should not have said this)
28: You do not wish to kill me (question is asked, where a negative answer is expected), as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’
29: Then fled Moses at this saying (Gr. logos, as in v.22), and was a stranger in the land of Midian (Heb. = strife. Jethro was a Medianite priest. Not a Kenite. Son of Abraham by Keturah. Moses was led to him. God's plan NOT an accident!), where he begat two sons.
30: And when forty years were fulfilled, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an Angel of the Lord (the text omits) in a flame of a burning bush.
31: When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight (Gr. horama = something gazed at, i.e. a spectacle; from horaô = to stare at, i.e. discern clearly; by extension to attend to; by Hebraism. to experience; passive; to appear): and as he drew near to inspect (or consider) it, the voice of the lord came to him (the text omits. Quotation are from Ex. 3),
32: Saying, ‘I am the God (the text omits 3rd and 4th occ. of the word in this verse) of your fathers, the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob.’ Then Moses became trembling, and durst not behold.
33: Then said the Lord to him, ‘Put off the sandals of your feet: for the place in which you stand is holy ground.
34: I have seen, I have seen (a Hebraism. Lit. Seeing, I saw) the wrong of My People which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you into Egypt.’ (Moses a type of savior)
35: This Moses whom they refused, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ the same did God send to be a ruler and a redeemer in the hand of the Angel Which appeared to him in the bush.
36: This one brought them out, after that he had showed (Lit. done. See Ex.31:2; 34:7) wonders (Gr. teras. This word has regard to the effect produced on those who witnessed the mighty work. The rendering "miracle" should be confined to this word) and signs (Gr. sêmeion. This word has regard to the significance of the work wrought, whether in itself, or in reason, object, design, and teaching intended to be conveyed by it) in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. (God took care of them)
37: This is the Moses, which said to the sons of Israel, ‘A Prophet (quoted from Deut.18:15. Cp. 3:22) shall the Lord your God raise up to you of your brethren, as me; Him shall you all hear.’
38: This is he, that was in the church (the Greek word ekklêsia, means assembly, or a gathering of called-out ones. See Appendix 186 in the CB) in the wilderness with the Angel Which spoke to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the living utterances to give to us: (Any Book in Fathers Word will give the promise of the coming of Messiah)
39: To whom our fathers would (Gr. thelô, means to wish or desire, and is the emotional element which leads to the consequent action. The natural impulse is stronger than the reasoned resolve) not be obedient, but thrust him away, and in their hearts (= minds) turned back again into Egypt, (Why would they turn so soon?)
40: Saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods (used of false gods) something they can see. This is why God is so pleased with you when you don't have to see to believe!): for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what has become of him.’
41: And they were calf-making in those days, and offered sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their own hands.
42: Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the army of the heaven; even as it has been written in a book of the prophets, ‘O house of Israel, did you all offer (this question is introduced in v.28) to Me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?
43: You all even took up the tent of Moloch (Heb. = king [small "k"]), and the star of your god Remphan (See Amos 5:25-27, from which the quotation is taken), figures (Gr. tupos = type) which you all made to worship them(Gr. proskuneô = to prostrate ones self [in reverence], do homage): and I will carry you away beyond Babylon’ (Heb. = confusion. Amos say "Damascus". See note there. The stages of captivity were: Syrian [same as Amram = an exalted people], to Damascus [?]; Assyrian [from Asshur = successful], beyond Damascus to Mesopotamia [= between the rivers]; Babylonian [= confusion], to Babylon and beyond, and now they are to be carried to the uttermost part of the earth, like right here in the USA. They went from an exalted People to a People of confusion. Do you know which tribe you come from?).
44: Our fathers had the tent of testimony in the wilderness (See Ex.25:16; 26:33; 30:6. Rev. 15:5), as He arranged, speaking to Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen (Cp. Ex.26:30; 27:8. Heb.8:5).
45: Which our fathers that came after brought in also with Joshua (He was a type of savior. Cp. Heb.4:8. The Hebrew means "Yehovah the Savior". See note on title, Josh. 1) into the possession of the nations, whom Elohim thrust out from the face of our fathers,
until the days of David (like Joseph, David was rejected, and tested by affliction before God gave him deliverance);
46: Who found favor in the eyes of God, and asked (Gr. aiteô = to ask for something to be given [not done]. Commonly used of an inferior addressing a superior. See 2 Sam.7:2,3) to find a tabernacle (not the same as v.43. Cp. P.132:5) for the God of Jacob.
47: But Solomon built Him a house (Stephen does not enlarge upon the history of either David or Solomon, probably because he saw the gathering storm on the faces of his audience).
48: But not the most High (cp. Luke 1:32) in hand-made Temples dwells (the text omits); as says the prophet,
49: ‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is the footstool of My feet: what kind of house will you all build Me?’ says the Lord: ‘or what is the place of My rest?
50: Has not My hand made all these things?’ (freely quoted from Isa.66:1,2,3. Stephen ends teaching here)
51: All you stiff-necked (cp. Deut.31:27. 2 Chron.30:8. Prov.29:1) and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you all do always fall against the Holy Spirit (this verse is quoted in support of the idea that men can successfully withstand the Spirit, instead of stumbling at His Words): as your fathers did, so do you all. (He is speaking directly to them, i.e. the Kenites)
52: Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? (Stephen nails the Kenites here. See Matt.23:31-35) and they slew them which showed before of the coming of the Just One (or Righteous. Cp. 3:14; 22:14. 1 John 2:1); of whom you all became now betrayers and murderers:
53: Who received the law unto the disposition (the Syriac reads, "by the prophet". Cp.v.38 and Gal.3:19) of angels, and guarded it not.
54: When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashing their teeth on him (cp. with Matt.8:12. Both medical words).
55: But he, being full of the Holy Spirit (no article here), looked up steadfastly into heaven (he was probably in one of the Temple courts, open to the sky), and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56: And said, “Behold, I behold the heavens opened (text reads, "thrown open"), and the Son of man (see Appendix 98.XVI of the CB. Here in Acts, the only place where He is so named by man. In John 12:34, the Lord's own words are repeated in a question) standing on the right hand of God.” (Stephen here in effect is calling them, i.e. the Kenites, a bunch of liars)
57: Then they cried out with a great voice (i.e. the shout of the crowd in indignation), and held tight their ears, and rushed upon him with one accord (see 1:14), (They could not handle the truth. It drove them nuts)
58: And cast him outside the city (cp. Lev.24:14. The charge was blasphemy, as in the case of his Master. Cp. Heb.13:13), and kept casting stones at him (cp. Mark 12:4): and the witnesses (see 1:8. In accordance with the law they had to cast the first stone [Deut.17:7]) laid down their clothes at a young man's feet (he [Paul] was probably about 33 years of age), whose name was Saul (Heb. = desired. Paul didn't cast a stone. He knew Stephen was telling the truth).
59: And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God (Stephen called upon and invoked the Lord), and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Gr. pneuma = living soul [without article, here being imparted to man from God])
60: And he knelt down(Lit. "placed the knee". In Epistles we read "bow the knee". Eph.3:14), and cried with a great voice, "Lord, lay not this sin (Gr. hamartia = a failing to hit the mark; aberration from prescribed law, a sin, whether by omission or commission, in thought, word, or deed) to them.” (would you be this loving?) And when he had said this, he fell asleep (Gr. koimaomai = to fall asleep [unintentionally]. Hence, this latter is used of death, as it is involuntary).