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Acts 7:20-25

Context
7:20 At that time Moses was born, and he was beautiful 1  to God. For 2  three months he was brought up in his father’s house, 7:21 and when he had been abandoned, 3  Pharaoh’s daughter adopted 4  him and brought him up 5  as her own son. 7:22 So Moses was trained 6  in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful 7  in his words and deeds. 7:23 But when he was about forty years old, it entered his mind 8  to visit his fellow countrymen 9  the Israelites. 10  7:24 When 11  he saw one of them being hurt unfairly, 12  Moses 13  came to his defense 14  and avenged the person who was mistreated by striking down the Egyptian. 7:25 He thought his own people 15  would understand that God was delivering them 16  through him, 17  but they did not understand. 18 

1 tn Or “was well-formed before God,” or “was well-pleasing to God” (BDAG 145 s.v. ἀστεῖος suggests the meaning is more like “well-bred” as far as God was concerned; see Exod 2:2).

2 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”).

3 tn Or “exposed” (see v. 19).

4 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.

5 tn Or “and reared him” (BDAG 74 s.v. ἀνατρέφω b).

6 tn Or “instructed.”

7 tn Or “was able” (BDAG 264 s.v. δυνατός 1.b.α).

8 tn Grk “heart.”

9 tn Grk “brothers.” The translation “compatriot” is given by BDAG 18-19 s.v. ἀδελφός 2.b.

10 tn Grk “the sons of Israel.”

11 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.

12 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.

13 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

14 tn Or “he defended,” “he retaliated” (BDAG 55 s.v. ἀμύνομαι).

15 tn Grk “his brothers.”

16 tn Grk “was granting them deliverance.” The narrator explains that this act pictured what Moses could do for his people.

17 tn Grk “by his hand,” where the hand is a metaphor for the entire person.

18 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.



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