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Acts 7:45-46

7:45 Our 1  ancestors 2  received possession of it and brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors, 3  until the time 4  of David. 7:46 He 5  found favor 6  with 7  God and asked that he could 8  find a dwelling place 9  for the house 10  of Jacob.

1 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.

2 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”

3 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.

4 tn Grk “In those days.”

5 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.

6 tn Or “grace.”

7 tn Grk “before,” “in the presence of.”

8 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”).

9 tn On this term see BDAG 929 s.v. σκήνωμα a (Ps 132:5).

10 tc Some mss read θεῷ (qew, “God”) here, a variant much easier to understand in the context. The reading “God” is supported by א2 A C E Ψ 33 1739 Ï lat sy co. The more difficult οἴκῳ (oikw, “house”) is supported by Ì74 א* B D H 049 pc. Thus the second reading is preferred both externally because of better ms evidence and internally because it is hard to see how a copyist finding the reading “God” would change it to “house,” while it is easy to see how (given the LXX of Ps 132:5) a copyist might assimilate the reading and change “house” to “God.” However, some scholars think the reading “house” is so difficult as to be unacceptable. Others (like Lachmann and Hort) resorted to conjectural emendation at this point. Others (Ropes) sought an answer in an underlying Aramaic expression. Not everyone thinks the reading “house” is too difficult to be accepted as original (see Lake and Cadbury). A. F. J. Klijn, “Stephen’s Speech – Acts vii.2-53,” NTS 4 (1957): 25-31, compared the idea of a “house within the house of Israel” with the Manual of Discipline from Qumran, a possible parallel that seems to support the reading “house” as authentic. (For the more detailed discussion from which this note was derived, see TCGNT 308-9.)

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