Acts chapter 7

Stephen sums up Israel’s past history and makes the case for Jesus Christ. He insults and provokes the Council, and they stone him to death.

 


 

STEPHEN ADDRESSES THE COUNCIL

VERSE 1. The high priest said, “Are these things so?”

The high priest. This might be Caiaphas, the high priest who presided over the trial of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

VERSE 2. He said, “Brothers and fathers, listen. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,

 

VERSE 3. and said to him, ‘Get out of your land and away from your relatives, and come into a land which I will show you.’

 

VERSE 4. Then he came out of the land of the Chaldaeans and lived in Haran. From there, when his father was dead, God moved him into this land, where you are now living.

 

VERSE 5. He gave him no inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on. He promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his offspring after him, when he still had no child.

 

VERSE 6. God spoke in this way: that his offspring would live as aliens in a strange land, and that they would be enslaved and mistreated for four hundred years.

Genesis 15:13. He said to Abram, “Know for sure that your offspring will live as foreigners in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them. They will afflict them four hundred years.

Exodus 12:40. Now the time that the children of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred thirty years.

Acts 7:6. God spoke in this way: that his offspring would live as aliens in a strange land, and that they would be enslaved and mistreated for four hundred years.

Galatians 3:17. Now I say this: A covenant confirmed beforehand by God in Christ, the law, which came four hundred thirty years after, does not annul, so as to make the promise of no effect.

The difference between the 400 years and 430 years can easily be accounted for:

  • Stephen is speaking to an angry crowd
  • Stephen is speaking in round numbers.
  • Stephen is not an historian

 

VERSE 7. ‘I will judge the nation to which they will be in bondage,’ said God, ‘and after that they will come out, and serve me in this place.’

 

VERSE 8. He gave him the covenant of circumcision. So Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day. Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.

 

VERSE 9. “The patriarchs, moved with jealousy against Joseph, sold him into Egypt. God was with him,

 

VERSE 10. and delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. He made him governor over Egypt and all his house.

 

VERSE 11. Now a famine came over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction. Our fathers found no food.

 

VERSE 12. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers the first time.

 

VERSE 13. On the second time Joseph was made known to his brothers, and Joseph’s race was revealed to Pharaoh.

 

VERSE 14. Joseph sent and summoned Jacob, his father, and all his relatives, seventy-five souls.

 

VERSE 15. Jacob went down into Egypt and he died, himself and our fathers,

 

VERSE 16. and they were brought back to Shechem, and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price in silver from the children of Hamor of Shechem.

 

VERSE 17. “But as the time of the promise came close which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,

 

VERSE 18. until there arose a different king, who didn’t know Joseph.

 

VERSE 19. The same took advantage of our race, and mistreated our fathers, and forced them to throw out their babies, so that they wouldn’t stay alive.

 

VERSE 20. At that time Moses was born, and was exceedingly handsome. He was nourished three months in his father’s house.

 

VERSE 21. When he was thrown out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up and reared him as her own son.

 

VERSE 22. Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. He was mighty in his words and works.

 

VERSE 23. But when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel.

 

VERSE 24. Seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him who was oppressed, striking the Egyptian.

 

VERSE 25. He supposed that his brothers understood that God, by his hand, was giving them deliverance; but they didn’t understand.

 

VERSE 26. “The day following, he appeared to them as they fought, and urged them to be at peace again, saying, ‘Sirs, you are brothers. Why do you wrong one another?’

 

VERSE 27. But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?

 

VERSE 28. Do you want to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’

 

VERSE 29. Moses fled at this saying, and became a stranger in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.

 

VERSE 30. “When forty years were fulfilled, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush.

 

VERSE 31. When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight. As he came close to see, a voice of the Lord came to him,

 

VERSE 32. ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Moses trembled, and dared not look.

 

VERSE 33. The Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you stand is holy ground.

 

VERSE 34. I have surely seen the affliction of my people that is in Egypt, and have heard their groaning. I have come down to deliver them. Now come, I will send you into Egypt.’

 

VERSE 35. “This Moses, whom they refused, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’—God has sent him as both a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.

 

VERSE 36. This man led them out, having worked wonders and signs in Egypt, in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years.

 

VERSE 37. This is that Moses, who said to the children of Israel, ‘The Lord our God will raise up a prophet for you from among your brothers, like me.’

 

VERSE 38. This is he who was in the assembly in the wilderness with the angel that spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received living revelations to give to us,

 

VERSE 39. to whom our fathers wouldn’t be obedient, but rejected him, and turned back in their hearts to Egypt,

 

VERSE 40. saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods that will go before us, for as for this Moses, who led us out of the land of Egypt, we don’t know what has become of him.’

 

VERSE 41. They made a calf in those days, and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their hands.

 

VERSE 42. But God turned, and gave them up to serve the army of the sky, as it is written in the book of the prophets, ‘Did you offer to me slain animals and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?

 

VERSE 43. You took up the tabernacle of Moloch, the star of your god Rephan, the figures which you made to worship. I will carry you away beyond Babylon.’

 

VERSE 44. “Our fathers had the tabernacle of the testimony in the wilderness, even as he who spoke to Moses commanded him to make it according to the pattern that he had seen;

 

VERSE 45. which also our fathers, in their turn, brought in with Joshua when they entered into the possession of the nations, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, to the days of David,

 

VERSE 46. who found favor in the sight of God, and asked to find a habitation for the God of Jacob.

 

VERSE 47. But Solomon built him a house.

 

VERSE 48. However, the Most High doesn’t dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says,

 

VERSE 49. ‘heaven is my throne, and the earth a footstool for my feet. What kind of house will you build me?’ says the Lord. ‘Or what is the place of my rest?

 

VERSE 50. Didn’t my hand make all these things?’

 

VERSE 51. “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers did, so you do.

You stiff-necked and uncircumcised. Stephen is not evangelizing. He is not attracting them to the Lord Jesus Christ. Rather, he is antagonizing. He is provoking them to a severe response.

 

VERSE 52. Which of the prophets didn’t your fathers persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, of whom you have now become betrayers and murderers.

Acts 3:14. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,

Acts 7:52. Which of the prophets didn’t your fathers persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, of whom you have now become betrayers and murderers.

James 5:6. You have condemned and you have murdered the righteous one. He doesn’t resist you.

1 Peter 3:18. Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit,

1 John 2:1. My little children, I write these things to you so that you may not sin. If anyone sins, we have a Counselor with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous.

 

VERSE 53. You received the law as it was ordained by angels, and didn’t keep it!”

 

THEY STONE STEPHEN TO DEATH

 

VERSE 54. Now when they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.

they gnashed at him with their teeth. This is not surprising. Stephen had insulted and provoked them.

 

VERSE 55. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

right hand. The Bible often mentions “the right hand” of God. That is a position of power and honor. We believe it refers to Jesus Christ. More verses about the right hand.

 

VERSE 56. and said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

the Son of Man. This is the last time this term is used in the New Testament.

right hand. The Bible often mentions “the right hand” of God. That is a position of power and honor. We believe it refers to Jesus Christ. More verses about the right hand.

 

VERSE 57. But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears, then rushed at him with one accord.

 

VERSE 58. They threw him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.

a young man named Saul. This introduces us to Saul of Tarsus. He will later be known as the Apostle Paul.

 

VERSE 59. They stoned Stephen as he called out, saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”

 

VERSE 60. He kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, don’t hold this sin against them!” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

 


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ACTS

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

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