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Bible Commentaries
Acts 7

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

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Verse 1

Acts 7:1

Stephen’s Speech Before the Sanhedrin

Difficulty #1 Acts 7:4

Difficulty #2 Acts 7:6

Difficulty #3 Acts 7:14

Difficulty #4 Acts 7:16

Difficulty #5 Acts 7:16

Verse 4

Acts 7:4

Difficulty #1

Terah was 205 yrs old when he died in Haran Genesis 11:32; - And Genesis 12:4 says that Abraham was 75 yrs old when he left Haran. Genesis 11:26; Genesis 11:31; Terah 70 yrs when his first son was born, but Abraham was not his firstborn but apparently Haran. (Remember that Lot was the son of Haran who had died Genesis 11:27-28 and Abraham took him under his wing.)

Verse 6

Acts 7:6

Difficulty #2

Four hundred years -- . Stephen is quoting Genesis 15:13-14; We read of 430 years in Galatians 3:17; Exodus 12:40. [Read Gen 11 ]

This seems in conflict with the evidence that the actual captivity in Egypt was 215 years. Josephus says the Israelites left Egypt 430 years after the time the promise was given to Abraham when he came into the land of Canaan to the Exodus, but 215 years after Jacob moved to Egypt. See Reese p. 307

Verse 14

Acts 7:14

Difficulty #3

The LXX reads 75 years which Stephen is quoting. Whereas Genesis 46:26-27 lists 66 and 70 repectively.

Genesis 46:20 give also the names of 2 sons of Manassah 2 sons of Ephraim and 1 grandson.

Verse 16

Acts 7:16

Difficulty #4

It appears all the patriarchs were buried in Canaan. See Reese, page 311.

Jacob was buried at Machpelah, Genesis 50:13

Difficultly #5

Who bought which tomb?

Genesis 33:19 and Joshua 24:32 Shechem tomb bought by Jacob.

Genesis 12:6 Abraham lived their first.

And [they] were carried -- They = our fathers.

Laid -- i.e. Jacob

Sychem --

Verse 38

oracles . . the utterances. Same word as Acts 7:38; Romans 3:2; Hebrews 5:12; 1 Peter 4:11. The Gr. word is occasionally used in the LXX. for ordinary human utterances; e.g. Psalms 19:14 (LXX. 18:14) “the words of my mouth.”

Verse 41

Acts 7:41

WORKS - James 2:24, James 2:26, John 12:42, Galatians 5:6, Acts 10:34-35, Matthew 7:21, Hebrews 5:9.

Kinds of Works

1. Works of the flesh- Galatians 5:19-21

2. Our own works- Acts 7:41, 2 Timothy 1:9

3. Works of the law of Moses Galatians 2:16

4. Works of obedience- Acts 10:34-35, Luke 6:46, John 6:29.

Verse 45

Acts 7:45

Jesus -- Joshua / Savior

Verse 51

Acts 7:51

Resist the Holy Spirit -- How? By resisting the preaching! cf. Acts 6:11-13; Acts 7:54-55; Luke 10:16

Verse 54

Acts 7:54

on -- "at," ground their teeth in anger. Matthew 24:9 fulfilled.

Verse 55

Acts 7:55

Saw the glory -- Usually this denotes a visible symbol.

Jesus standing -- We have scripture of Jesus being seated at the right hand of God Mark 16:19; 1 Peter 3:22 (a figurative expression for the sharing of power and glory) and here standing as if in intense interest in what was happening.

Verse 56

Acts 7:56

Son of man -- A Messianic title that Stephen is applying to Jesus.

Standing -- As out of great interest in the first martyr, Jesus stood cheering and giving encouragement and hope.

Verse 57

Acts 7:57

Ran -- A picture of a riot, or mob action, "rushed."

Verse 58

Acts 7:58

Witnesses -- False witnesses Acts 6:13.

Leviticus 24:14; Leviticus 24:16; John 10:31; Deuteronomy 17:7

Young man -- Saul -- Saul’s part in this murder must have lingered on his conscience and regretted it for years Acts 22:20; 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:9. The Jews often called one "young" between the ages of 25 and 40 years. Consider Paul’s address to Timothy, 1 Timothy 4:12.

Verse 59

Acts 7:59

Lord Jesus -- In the NT, formal or liturgical prayer is usually offered through Christ to the Father in the power of the Spirit (Ephesians 2:18), but on occasion to the Lord Jesus (Acts 7:59-60; Acts 9:10-17; Acts 22:16, Acts 22:19) cf. (1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Acts 1:24; Acts 9:21; Revelation 22:20)

Verse 60

Acts 7:60

Kneeled down -- This seems voluntary, that Stephen chose to die in that position.

Fell asleep -- Customary terminology for death Acts 13:36; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14. This is not teaching "soul sleeping" Luke 16:19 ff; Revelation 6:9-10; Hebrews 12:1

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Acts 7". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/acts-7.html. 2021.
 
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