7:23 But when he was about forty years old, it entered his mind 1 to visit his fellow countrymen 2 the Israelites. 3 7:24 When 4 he saw one of them being hurt unfairly, 5 Moses 6 came to his defense 7 and avenged the person who was mistreated by striking down the Egyptian. 7:25 He thought his own people 8 would understand that God was delivering them 9 through him, 10 but they did not understand. 11
7:35 This same 12 Moses they had rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge?’ 13 God sent as both ruler and deliverer 14 through the hand of the angel 15 who appeared to him in the bush.
1 tn Grk “heart.”
2 tn Grk “brothers.” The translation “compatriot” is given by BDAG 18-19 s.v. ἀδελφός 2.b.
3 tn Grk “the sons of Israel.”
4 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.
5 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.
6 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
7 tn Or “he defended,” “he retaliated” (BDAG 55 s.v. ἀμύνομαι).
8 tn Grk “his brothers.”
9 tn Grk “was granting them deliverance.” The narrator explains that this act pictured what Moses could do for his people.
10 tn Grk “by his hand,” where the hand is a metaphor for the entire person.
11 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.
13 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.
14 tn Or “liberator.” The meaning “liberator” for λυτρωτήν (lutrwthn) is given in L&N 37.129: “a person who liberates or releases others.”
15 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).