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Acts 7:48-50

7:48 Yet the Most High 1  does not live in houses made by human hands, 2  as the prophet says,

7:49Heaven 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? 3 

7:50 Did my hand 4  not make all these things? 5 

1 sn The title the Most High points to God’s majesty (Heb 7:1; Luke 1:32, 35; Acts 16:7).

2 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).

3 sn What kind…resting place? The rhetorical questions suggest mere human beings cannot build a house to contain God.

4 tn Or “Did I.” The phrase “my hand” is ultimately a metaphor for God himself.

5 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?

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