7:1 Then the high priest said, “Are these things true?” 1 7:2 So he replied, 2 “Brothers and fathers, listen to me. The God of glory appeared to our forefather 3 Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he settled in Haran, 7:3 and said to him, ‘Go out from your country and from your relatives, and come to the land I will show you.’ 4 7:4 Then he went out from the country of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After his father died, God 5 made him move 6 to this country where you now live. 7:5 He 7 did not give any of it to him for an inheritance, 8 not even a foot of ground, 9 yet God 10 promised to give it to him as his possession, and to his descendants after him, 11 even though Abraham 12 as yet had no child. 7:6 But God spoke as follows: ‘Your 13 descendants will be foreigners 14 in a foreign country, whose citizens will enslave them and mistreat them for four hundred years. 15 7:7 But I will punish 16 the nation they serve as slaves,’ said God, ‘and after these things they will come out of there 17 and worship 18 me in this place.’ 19 7:8 Then God 20 gave Abraham 21 the covenant 22 of circumcision, and so he became the father of Isaac and circumcised him when he was eight days old, 23 and Isaac became the father of 24 Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs. 25 7:9 The 26 patriarchs, because they were jealous of Joseph, sold 27 him into Egypt. But 28 God was with him, 7:10 and rescued him from all his troubles, and granted him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made 29 him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 7:11 Then a famine occurred throughout 30 Egypt and Canaan, causing 31 great suffering, and our 32 ancestors 33 could not find food. 7:12 So when Jacob heard that there was grain 34 in Egypt, he sent our ancestors 35 there 36 the first time. 7:13 On their second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers again, and Joseph’s family 37 became known to Pharaoh. 7:14 So Joseph sent a message 38 and invited 39 his father Jacob and all his relatives to come, seventy-five people 40 in all. 7:15 So Jacob went down to Egypt and died there, 41 along with our ancestors, 42 7:16 and their bones 43 were later moved to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a certain sum of money 44 from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
7:17 “But as the time drew near for God to fulfill the promise he had declared to Abraham, 45 the people increased greatly in number 46 in Egypt, 7:18 until another king who did not know about 47 Joseph ruled 48 over Egypt. 49 7:19 This was the one who exploited 50 our people 51 and was cruel to our ancestors, 52 forcing them to abandon 53 their infants so they would die. 54 7:20 At that time Moses was born, and he was beautiful 55 to God. For 56 three months he was brought up in his father’s house, 7:21 and when he had been abandoned, 57 Pharaoh’s daughter adopted 58 him and brought him up 59 as her own son. 7:22 So Moses was trained 60 in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful 61 in his words and deeds. 7:23 But when he was about forty years old, it entered his mind 62 to visit his fellow countrymen 63 the Israelites. 64 7:24 When 65 he saw one of them being hurt unfairly, 66 Moses 67 came to his defense 68 and avenged the person who was mistreated by striking down the Egyptian. 7:25 He thought his own people 69 would understand that God was delivering them 70 through him, 71 but they did not understand. 72 7:26 The next day Moses 73 saw two men 74 fighting, and tried to make peace between 75 them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why are you hurting one another?’ 7:27 But the man who was unfairly hurting his neighbor pushed 76 Moses 77 aside, saying, ‘Who made 78 you a ruler and judge over us? 7:28 You don’t want to kill me the way you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?’ 79 7:29 When the man said this, 80 Moses fled and became a foreigner 81 in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.
7:30 “After 82 forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the desert 83 of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. 84 7:31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and when he approached to investigate, there came the voice of the Lord, 7:32 ‘I am the God of your forefathers, 85 the God of Abraham, Isaac, 86 and Jacob.’ 87 Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look more closely. 88 7:33 But the Lord said to him, ‘Take the sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 89 7:34 I have certainly seen the suffering 90 of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them. 91 Now 92 come, I will send you to Egypt.’ 93 7:35 This same 94 Moses they had rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge?’ 95 God sent as both ruler and deliverer 96 through the hand of the angel 97 who appeared to him in the bush. 7:36 This man led them out, performing wonders and miraculous signs 98 in the land of Egypt, 99 at 100 the Red Sea, and in the wilderness 101 for forty years. 7:37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, 102 ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers.’ 103 7:38 This is the man who was in the congregation 104 in the wilderness 105 with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors, 106 and he 107 received living oracles 108 to give to you. 109 7:39 Our 110 ancestors 111 were unwilling to obey 112 him, but pushed him aside 113 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 114 – we do not know what has happened to him!’ 115 7:41 At 116 that time 117 they made an idol in the form of a calf, 118 brought 119 a sacrifice to the idol, and began rejoicing 120 in the works of their hands. 121 7:42 But God turned away from them and gave them over 122 to worship the host 123 of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: ‘It was not to me that you offered slain animals and sacrifices 124 forty years in the wilderness, was it, 125 house of Israel? 7:43 But you took along the tabernacle 126 of Moloch 127 and the star of the 128 god Rephan, 129 the images you made to worship, but I will deport 130 you beyond Babylon.’ 131 7:44 Our ancestors 132 had the tabernacle 133 of testimony in the wilderness, 134 just as God 135 who spoke to Moses ordered him 136 to make it according to the design he had seen. 7:45 Our 137 ancestors 138 received possession of it and brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors, 139 until the time 140 of David. 7:46 He 141 found favor 142 with 143 God and asked that he could 144 find a dwelling place 145 for the house 146 of Jacob. 7:47 But Solomon built a house 147 for him. 7:48 Yet the Most High 148 does not live in houses made by human hands, 149 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? 150
7:51 “You stubborn 153 people, with uncircumcised 154 hearts and ears! 155 You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, like your ancestors 156 did! 7:52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors 157 not persecute? 158 They 159 killed those who foretold long ago the coming of the Righteous One, 160 whose betrayers and murderers you have now become! 161 7:53 You 162 received the law by decrees given by angels, 163 but you did not obey 164 it.” 165
7:54 When they heard these things, they became furious 166 and ground their teeth 167 at him. 7:55 But Stephen, 168 full 169 of the Holy Spirit, looked intently 170 toward heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing 171 at the right hand of God. 7:56 “Look!” he said. 172 “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
1 tn Grk “If it is so concerning these things” (see BDAG 422 s.v. ἔχω 10.a for this use).
2 tn Grk “said.”
3 tn Or “ancestor”; Grk “father.”
5 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
7 tn Grk “And he.” 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.
8 tn Grk “He did not give him an inheritance in it.” This could be understood to mean that God did not give something else to Abraham as an inheritance while he was living there. The point of the text is that God did not give any of the land to him as an inheritance, and the translation makes this clear.
10 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
12 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
13 tn Grk “that his”; the discourse switches from indirect to direct with the following verbs. For consistency the entire quotation is treated as second person direct discourse in the translation.
14 tn Or “will be strangers,” that is, one who lives as a noncitizen of a foreign country.
16 tn BDAG 568 s.v. κρίνω 5.b.α states, “Oft. the emphasis is unmistakably laid upon that which follows the Divine Judge’s verdict, upon the condemnation or punishment: condemn, punish …Ac 7:7 (Gen 15:14).”
17 tn The words “of there” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.
sn A quotation from Gen 15:14.
18 tn Or “and serve,” but with religious/cultic overtones (BDAG 587 s.v. λατρεύω).
20 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
21 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
22 sn God gave…the covenant. Note how the covenant of promise came before Abraham’s entry into the land and before the building of the temple.
23 tn Grk “circumcised him on the eighth day,” but many modern readers will not understand that this procedure was done on the eighth day after birth. The temporal clause “when he was eight days old” conveys this idea more clearly. See Gen 17:11-12.
24 tn The words “became the father of” are not in the Greek text due to an ellipsis, but must be supplied for the English translation. The ellipsis picks up the verb from the previous clause describing how Abraham fathered Isaac.
26 tn Grk “And the.” 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.
28 tn Though the Greek term here is καί (kai), in context this remark is clearly contrastive: Despite the malicious act, God was present and protected Joseph.
30 tn Grk “came upon all Egypt.”
31 tn Grk “and,” but logically causal.
32 sn Our. Stephen spoke of “our” ancestors (Grk “fathers”) in an inclusive sense throughout the speech until his rebuke in v. 51, where the nation does what “your” ancestors did, at which point an exclusive pronoun is used. This serves to emphasize the rebuke.
33 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
34 tn Or possibly “food,” since in a number of extrabiblical contexts the phrase σιτία καὶ ποτά (sitia kai pota) means “food and drink,” where solid food is contrasted with liquid nourishment (L&N 3.42).
35 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
36 tn The word “there” is not in the Greek text. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.
38 tn The words “a message” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.
39 tn Or “Joseph had his father summoned” (BDAG 121 s.v. ἀποστέλλω 2.b).
40 tn Grk “souls” (here an idiom for the whole person).
41 tn The word “there” is not in the Greek text. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.
42 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
43 tn “and they.”
46 tn Grk “the people increased and multiplied.”
47 tn Or simply “did not know.” However, in this context the point is that the new king knew nothing about Joseph, not whether he had known him personally (which is the way “did not know Joseph” could be understood).
48 tn Grk “arose,” but in this context it clearly refers to a king assuming power.
50 tn According to L&N 88.147 it is also possible to translate κατασοφισάμενος (katasofisameno") as “took advantage by clever words” or “persuaded by sweet talk.”
51 tn Or “race.”
52 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
53 tn Or “expose” (BDAG 303 s.v. ἔκθετος).
54 tn Grk “so that they could not be kept alive,” but in this context the phrase may be translated either “so that they would not continue to live,” or “so that they would die” (L&N 23.89).
56 tn Grk “who was brought up for three months.” The continuation of the sentence as a relative clause is awkward in English, so a new sentence was started in the translation by changing the relative pronoun to a regular pronoun (“he”).
58 tn Grk “Pharaoh’s daughter took him up for herself.” According to BDAG 64 s.v. ἀναιρέω, “The pap. exx. involve exposed children taken up and reared as slaves…The rendering ‘adopt’ lacks philological precision and can be used only in a loose sense (as NRSV), esp. when Gr-Rom. terminology relating to adoption procedures is taken into account.” In this instance both the immediate context and the OT account (Exod 2:3-10) do support the normal sense of the English word “adopt,” although it should not be understood to refer to a technical, legal event.
59 tn Or “and reared him” (BDAG 74 s.v. ἀνατρέφω b).
60 tn Or “instructed.”
61 tn Or “was able” (BDAG 264 s.v. δυνατός 1.b.α).
62 tn Grk “heart.”
63 tn Grk “brothers.” The translation “compatriot” is given by BDAG 18-19 s.v. ἀδελφός 2.b.
64 tn Grk “the sons of Israel.”
65 tn Grk “And when.” 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.
66 tn “Hurt unfairly” conveys a better sense of the seriousness of the offense against the Israelite than “treated unfairly,” which can sometimes refer to slight offenses, or “wronged,” which can refer to offenses that do not involve personal violence, as this one probably did.
67 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
68 tn Or “he defended,” “he retaliated” (BDAG 55 s.v. ἀμύνομαι).
69 tn Grk “his brothers.”
70 tn Grk “was granting them deliverance.” The narrator explains that this act pictured what Moses could do for his people.
71 tn Grk “by his hand,” where the hand is a metaphor for the entire person.
72 sn They did not understand. Here is the theme of the speech. The people did not understand what God was doing through those he chose. They made the same mistake with Joseph at first. See Acts 3:17; 13:27. There is good precedent for this kind of challenging review of history in the ancient scriptures: Ps 106:6-46; Ezek 20; and Neh 9:6-38.
73 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
75 tn Or “tried to reconcile” (BDAG 964-65 s.v. συναλλάσσω).
76 tn Or “repudiated Moses,” “rejected Moses” (BDAG 126-27 s.v. ἀπωθέω 2).
77 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
78 tn Or “appointed.”
79 tn The Greek construction anticipates a negative reply which is indicated in the translation by the ‘tag’ at the end, “do you?”
sn A quotation from Exod 2:14. Even though a negative reply was expected, the question still frightened Moses enough to flee, because he knew his deed had become known. This understanding is based on the Greek text, not the Hebrew of the original setting. Yet the negative here expresses the fact that Moses did not want to kill the other man. Once again the people have badly misunderstood the situation.
80 tn Grk “At this word,” which could be translated either “when the man said this” or “when Moses heard this.” Since λόγος (logos) refers to the remark made by the Israelite, this translation has followed the first option.
81 tn Or “resident alien.” Traditionally πάροικος (paroiko") has been translated “stranger” or “alien,” but the level of specificity employed with “foreigner” or “resident alien” is now necessary in contemporary English because a “stranger” is a person not acquainted with someone, while an “alien” can suggest science fiction imagery.
82 tn Grk “And after.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and contemporary English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
83 tn Or “wilderness.”
85 tn Or “ancestors”; Grk “fathers.”
86 tn Grk “and Isaac,” 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.
88 tn Or “to investigate,” “to contemplate” (BDAG 522 s.v. κατανοέω 2).
90 tn Or “mistreatment.”
91 tn Or “to set them free.”
92 tn Grk “And now.” 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.
95 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.
96 tn Or “liberator.” The meaning “liberator” for λυτρωτήν (lutrwthn) is given in L&N 37.129: “a person who liberates or releases others.”
97 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).
98 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).
99 tn Or simply “in Egypt.” The phrase “the land of” could be omitted as unnecessary or redundant.
100 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.
101 tn Or “desert.”
102 tn Grk “to the sons of Israel.”
104 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.
105 tn Or “desert.”
106 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
107 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.
108 tn Or “messages.” This is an allusion to the law given to Moses.
109 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.
110 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.
111 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
112 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.
114 tn Or simply “of Egypt.” The phrase “the land of” could be omitted as unnecessary or redundant.
116 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.
117 tn Grk “In those days.”
119 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.
120 tn The imperfect verb εὐφραίνοντο (eufrainonto) has been translated ingressively. See BDAG 414-15 s.v. εὐφραίνω 2.
121 tn Or “in what they had done.”
123 tn Or “stars.”
124 tn The two terms for sacrifices “semantically reinforce one another and are here combined essentially for emphasis” (L&N 53.20).
125 tn The Greek construction anticipates a negative reply which is indicated in the translation by the ‘tag’ question, “was it?”
126 tn Or “tent.”
sn A tabernacle was a tent used to house religious objects or a shrine (i.e., a portable sanctuary).
127 sn Moloch was a Canaanite deity who was believed to be the god of the sky and the sun.
128 tc ‡ Most
129 sn Rephan (῾Ραιφάν, RJaifan) was a pagan deity. The term was a name for Saturn. It was variously spelled in the
130 tn Or “I will make you move.”
132 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
133 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.
134 tn Or “desert.”
135 tn Grk “the one”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
136 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.
137 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.
138 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
139 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.
140 tn Grk “In those days.”
141 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.
142 tn Or “grace.”
143 tn Grk “before,” “in the presence of.”
144 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”).
146 tc Some
149 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).
150 sn What kind…resting place? The rhetorical questions suggest mere human beings cannot build a house to contain God.
151 tn Or “Did I.” The phrase “my hand” is ultimately a metaphor for God himself.
152 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?
153 sn Traditionally, “stiff-necked people.” Now the critique begins in earnest.
155 tn Or “You stubborn and obstinate people!” (The phrase “uncircumcised hearts and ears” is another figure for stubbornness.)
156 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
157 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
158 sn Which…persecute. The rhetorical question suggests they persecuted them all.
159 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.
160 sn The Righteous One is a reference to Jesus Christ.
162 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.
163 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.
164 tn The Greek word φυλάσσω (fulassw, traditionally translated “keep”) in this context connotes preservation of and devotion to an object as well as obedience.
165 tn Or “did not obey it.”
168 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Stephen) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
169 tn Grk “being full,” but the participle ὑπάρχων (Juparcwn) has not been translated since it would be redundant in English.
170 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.
171 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.
172 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.