7:35 This same 1 Moses they had rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge?’ 2 God sent as both ruler and deliverer 3 through the hand of the angel 4 who appeared to him in the bush. 7:36 This man led them out, performing wonders and miraculous signs 5 in the land of Egypt, 6 at 7 the Red Sea, and in the wilderness 8 for forty years. 7:37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, 9 ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers.’ 10 7:38 This is the man who was in the congregation 11 in the wilderness 12 with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors, 13 and he 14 received living oracles 15 to give to you. 16 7:39 Our 17 ancestors 18 were unwilling to obey 19 him, but pushed him aside 20 and turned back to Egypt in their hearts, 7:40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go in front of us, for this Moses, who led us out of the land of Egypt 21 – we do not know what has happened to him!’ 22 7:41 At 23 that time 24 they made an idol in the form of a calf, 25 brought 26 a sacrifice to the idol, and began rejoicing 27 in the works of their hands. 28 7:42 But God turned away from them and gave them over 29 to worship the host 30 of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: ‘It was not to me that you offered slain animals and sacrifices 31 forty years in the wilderness, was it, 32 house of Israel? 7:43 But you took along the tabernacle 33 of Moloch 34 and the star of the 35 god Rephan, 36 the images you made to worship, but I will deport 37 you beyond Babylon.’ 38 7:44 Our ancestors 39 had the tabernacle 40 of testimony in the wilderness, 41 just as God 42 who spoke to Moses ordered him 43 to make it according to the design he had seen. 7:45 Our 44 ancestors 45 received possession of it and brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors, 46 until the time 47 of David. 7:46 He 48 found favor 49 with 50 God and asked that he could 51 find a dwelling place 52 for the house 53 of Jacob. 7:47 But Solomon built a house 54 for him. 7:48 Yet the Most High 55 does not live in houses made by human hands, 56 as the prophet says,
7:49 ‘Heaven is my throne,
and earth is the footstool for my feet.
What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,
or what is my resting place? 57
7:51 “You stubborn 60 people, with uncircumcised 61 hearts and ears! 62 You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, like your ancestors 63 did! 7:52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors 64 not persecute? 65 They 66 killed those who foretold long ago the coming of the Righteous One, 67 whose betrayers and murderers you have now become! 68 7:53 You 69 received the law by decrees given by angels, 70 but you did not obey 71 it.” 72
7:54 When they heard these things, they became furious 73 and ground their teeth 74 at him. 7:55 But Stephen, 75 full 76 of the Holy Spirit, looked intently 77 toward heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing 78 at the right hand of God. 7:56 “Look!” he said. 79 “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 7:57 But they covered their ears, 80 shouting out with a loud voice, and rushed at him with one intent. 7:58 When 81 they had driven him out of the city, they began to stone him, 82 and the witnesses laid their cloaks 83 at the feet of a young man named Saul. 7:59 They 84 continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 7:60 Then he fell 85 to his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” 86 When 87 he had said this, he died. 88
2 sn A quotation from Exod 2:14 (see Acts 7:27). God saw Moses very differently than the people of the nation did. The reference to a ruler and a judge suggests that Stephen set up a comparison between Moses and Jesus, but he never finished his speech to make the point. The reader of Acts, however, knowing the other sermons in the book, recognizes that the rejection of Jesus is the counterpoint.
3 tn Or “liberator.” The meaning “liberator” for λυτρωτήν (lutrwthn) is given in L&N 37.129: “a person who liberates or releases others.”
4 tn Or simply “through the angel.” Here the “hand” could be understood as a figure for the person or the power of the angel himself. The remark about the angel appearing fits the first century Jewish view that God appears to no one (John 1:14-18; Gal 3:19; Deut 33:2 LXX).
5 tn Here the context indicates the miraculous nature of the signs mentioned.
sn Performing wonders and miraculous signs. Again Moses acted like Jesus. The phrase appears 9 times in Acts (2:19, 22, 43; 4:30; 5:12; 6:8; 7:36; 14:3; 15:12).
6 tn Or simply “in Egypt.” The phrase “the land of” could be omitted as unnecessary or redundant.
7 tn Grk “and at,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.
8 tn Or “desert.”
9 tn Grk “to the sons of Israel.”
11 tn This term, ἐκκλησία (ekklhsia), is a secular use of the term that came to mean “church” in the epistles. Here a reference to an assembly is all that is intended.
12 tn Or “desert.”
13 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
14 tn Grk “fathers, who.” The relative pronoun was replaced by the pronoun “he” and a new clause introduced by “and” was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style.
15 tn Or “messages.” This is an allusion to the law given to Moses.
16 tc ‡ The first person pronoun ἡμῖν (Jhmin, “to us”) is read by A C D E Ψ 33 1739 Ï lat sy, while the second person pronoun ὑμῖν (Jumin, “to you”) is read by Ì74 א B 36 453 al co. The second person pronoun thus has significantly better external support. As well, ὑμῖν is a harder reading in this context, both because it is surrounded by first person pronouns and because Stephen perhaps “does not wish to disassociate himself from those who received God’s revelation in the past, but only from those who misinterpreted and disobeyed that revelation” (TCGNT 307). At the same time, Stephen does associate himself to some degree with his disobedient ancestors in v. 39, suggesting that the decisive break does not really come until v. 51 (where both his present audience and their ancestors are viewed as rebellious). Thus, both externally and internally ὑμῖν is the preferred reading.
17 tn Grk “whom our.” The continuation of the sentence as a relative clause is awkward in English, so a new sentence was started in the translation at this point.
18 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
19 sn To obey. Again the theme of the speech is noted. The nation disobeyed the way of God and opted for Egypt over the promised land.
21 tn Or simply “of Egypt.” The phrase “the land of” could be omitted as unnecessary or redundant.
23 tn Grk “And.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
24 tn Grk “In those days.”
26 tn Grk “and brought,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.
27 tn The imperfect verb εὐφραίνοντο (eufrainonto) has been translated ingressively. See BDAG 414-15 s.v. εὐφραίνω 2.
28 tn Or “in what they had done.”
30 tn Or “stars.”
31 tn The two terms for sacrifices “semantically reinforce one another and are here combined essentially for emphasis” (L&N 53.20).
32 tn The Greek construction anticipates a negative reply which is indicated in the translation by the ‘tag’ question, “was it?”
33 tn Or “tent.”
sn A tabernacle was a tent used to house religious objects or a shrine (i.e., a portable sanctuary).
34 sn Moloch was a Canaanite deity who was believed to be the god of the sky and the sun.
35 tc ‡ Most
36 sn Rephan (῾Ραιφάν, RJaifan) was a pagan deity. The term was a name for Saturn. It was variously spelled in the
37 tn Or “I will make you move.”
39 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
40 tn Or “tent.”
sn The tabernacle was the tent used to house the ark of the covenant before the construction of Solomon’s temple. This is where God was believed to reside, yet the people were still unfaithful.
41 tn Or “desert.”
42 tn Grk “the one”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
43 tn The word “him” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.
44 tn Grk “And.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
45 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
46 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
sn Before our ancestors. Stephen has backtracked here to point out how faithful God had been before the constant move to idolatry just noted.
47 tn Grk “In those days.”
48 tn Grk “David, who” The relative pronoun was replaced by the pronoun “he” and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point to improve the English style.
49 tn Or “grace.”
50 tn Grk “before,” “in the presence of.”
51 tn The words “that he could” are not in the Greek text, but are implied as the (understood) subject of the infinitive εὑρεῖν (Jeurein). This understands David’s request as asking that he might find the dwelling place. The other possibility would be to supply “that God” as the subject of the infinitive: “and asked that God find a dwelling place.” Unfortunately this problem is complicated by the extremely difficult problem with the Greek text in the following phrase (“house of Jacob” vs. “God of Jacob”).
53 tc Some
56 sn The phrase made by human hands is negative in the NT: Mark 14:58; Acts 17:24; Eph 2:11; Heb 9:11, 24. It suggests “man-made” or “impermanent.” The rebuke is like parts of the Hebrew scripture where the rebuke is not of the temple, but for making too much of it (1 Kgs 8:27; Isa 57:15; 1 Chr 6:8; Jer 7:1-34).
57 sn What kind…resting place? The rhetorical questions suggest mere human beings cannot build a house to contain God.
58 tn Or “Did I.” The phrase “my hand” is ultimately a metaphor for God himself.
59 tn The question in Greek introduced with οὐχί (ouci) expects a positive reply.
sn A quotation from Isa 66:1-2. If God made the heavens, how can a human building contain him?
60 sn Traditionally, “stiff-necked people.” Now the critique begins in earnest.
62 tn Or “You stubborn and obstinate people!” (The phrase “uncircumcised hearts and ears” is another figure for stubbornness.)
63 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
64 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
65 sn Which…persecute. The rhetorical question suggests they persecuted them all.
66 tn Grk “And they.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
67 sn The Righteous One is a reference to Jesus Christ.
69 tn Grk “whose betrayers and murderers you have now become, who received the law” The two consecutive relative clauses make for awkward English style, so the second was begun as a new sentence with the pronoun “You” supplied in place of the Greek relative pronoun to make a complete sentence in English.
70 tn Traditionally, “as ordained by angels,” but εἰς (eis) with the accusative here should be understood as instrumental (a substitute for ἐν [en]); so BDAG 291 s.v. εἰς 9, BDF §206. Thus the phrase literally means “received the law by the decrees [orders] of angels” with the genitive understood as a subjective genitive, that is, the angels gave the decrees.
sn Decrees given by angels. According to Jewish traditions in the first century, the law of Moses was mediated through angels. See also the note on “angel” in 7:35.
71 tn The Greek word φυλάσσω (fulassw, traditionally translated “keep”) in this context connotes preservation of and devotion to an object as well as obedience.
72 tn Or “did not obey it.”
75 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Stephen) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
76 tn Grk “being full,” but the participle ὑπάρχων (Juparcwn) has not been translated since it would be redundant in English.
77 tn Grk “looking intently toward heaven, saw.” The participle ἀτενίσας (atenisa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
78 sn The picture of Jesus standing (rather than seated) probably indicates his rising to receive his child. By announcing his vision, Stephen thoroughly offended his audience, who believed no one could share God’s place in heaven. The phrase is a variation on Ps 110:1.
79 tn Grk “And he said, ‘Look!’” Because of the length of the Greek sentence and the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences, καί (kai) has not been translated here; a new sentence is begun instead.
80 sn They covered their ears to avoid hearing what they considered to be blasphemy.
81 tn Grk “And when.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence and the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences, καί (kai) has not been translated here; a new sentence is begun instead.
83 tn Or “outer garments.”
sn Laid their cloaks. The outer garment, or cloak, was taken off and laid aside to leave the arms free (in this case for throwing stones).
84 tn Grk “And they.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence and the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences, καί (kai) has not been translated here; a new sentence is begun instead.
85 tn Grk “Then falling to his knees he cried out.” The participle θείς (qeis) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
87 tn Grk “And when.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence and the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences, καί (kai) has not been translated here; a new sentence is begun instead.
88 tn The verb κοιμάω (koimaw) literally means “sleep,” but it is often used in the Bible as a euphemism for the death of a believer.