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xviii. 3, 4. 1 Exod. iíi. 2.
wisdom of the Egyptians, and was ' mighty in words and (Luke xxiv.10. in deeds. 23 & And when he was full forty years old, it ® 2,00. l. 11, came into his heart to visit his brethren the a children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them] suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian : 25 for he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them : but they understood not. 26 h And the next day h Exod. ii. 13. he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and [ would have] set them at done again, saying, [Sirs,] ye are e brethren ; why do ye wrong one to another? 27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, i Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Wilt i sec Luke xil. thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? 29 k Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in k Exod. 1,15, the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.
30 1 And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel [ of the Lord] in a & render, sons.
b not in the original,
literally, peace. e literally, men brethren. derstood to mean learnéd, i. e. erudite, ac- 26.] unto them, two of them, taken as recomplished. It should therefore be altered presenting his brethren the children of into “instructed.” That Moses was in- Israel. Not, "he would have set them at structed in the wisdom of the Egyptians, is peace,” as our A. V.: this explanation is not found in the Old Testament, but derived not needed :—the act, on Moses' part, was from tradition, and following as a matter complete; but, he set them at peace. of course from his adopted station as the 27.] The further progress of resistance to son of Pharaoh's daughter. This wisdom the Spirit on the part of Israel. 29. of the Egyptians, celebrated by so many Madian (or -am)] Winer supposes this ancient writers, consisted mainly in natural Madian to have been a nomad detachment philosophy, medicine, and mathematics,- of the more settled Midianites,, which at and its teachers were the priests.
that time was encamped in the neighbourmighty in words] So Josephus calls Moses hood of Sinai and Horeb. For Jethro, admirably persuasive in haranguing multi- Moses' father-in-law, is not found there tudes, but late in his course, during the in Exod. xviii. 1 ff., but comes to visit journey through the wilderness :- when the Moses from a distance. See also Num. x. divine Spirit, as the book of Deuteronomy 29 ff. two sons] Exod. č. 22; iv. 20; abundantly testifies, had turned his “slow. xviii. 3. 30. when forty years were ness of speech’into the most fervid elo. expired] This follows from the tradi. quence. That he was so thus early, during tion of ver. 23, combined with Exod. vii. his Egyptian course, was probably reported 7. The Rabbinical books said that “ Moses by tradition, but hardly seems to agree lived in Pharaoh's palace forty years, and with Exod. iv. 10–16. 23. full forty in Midian forty years, and then ministered years old] The text of Exod. ii. 11 has to Israel forty years." mount Sina] only “when Moses was grown.” The exact Horeb, Exod. ii. 1. But both were points age was traditional.
24.] the Egyptian, of the same mountain range, and the from the history being so universally known, names were convertibly used. In Exod., that the agent of the wrong would be Levit., and Num., the law is said to have readily supplied. 25.] Here we have been given from Sinai ; in Deut. from again the resistance to the Holy Spirit Horeb. The desert of Mount Sina' is the hinted: see ver. 51, and note on ver. 2. desert in which Mt. S. is situated. So
flame of fire in a bush. 31 When Moses saw it, he wondered
at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the m Mattioli. Lord came unto him, 32 saying, m I am the God of thy fathers,
the God of Abraham, and [o the God of] Isaac, and (e the
God of] Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold. n Exod. 111,5. 33 . Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy
feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground. o Exod. iii.7. 34 • I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people
which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt. 35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge ? f the same
8 did God send (h to be] a ruler and a deliverer P by the hand 9 Exod. xii. 41: of the angel which appeared to him in the bush. 36 9 f He
brought them out, i after that he had 'shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, s and in the Red Sea, ' and in
the wilderness forty years. 37 This is that Moses, which u bor. xviii. said unto the k children of Israel, " A prophet shall the
Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like y Exod. xix. 3, unto me[; • 1 him shall ye hear]. 38 y This is he, that
1 better, This Moses. & read, hath God sent.
be not in the original. i render, shewing.
render, sons. 1 omitted by many ancient authorities,
p Exod. xiv.
19. Num. XX. 16.
xxxiii. 1. r Exod. vii.
viii. ix. x. xi. xiv. Ps. cv.
27. 8 Exod. xiv. 21,
27, 28, 29. t Exod. xvi. I,
15, 18. ch.
iii. 22. * Matt. xvii 5:
*the Peak of Derbyshire,' originally no This is the emphatic way of expression in doubt some single hill, has come to mean the Hebrew. 35.] The words, this the whole district in which that hill is Moses, are repeated emphatically again and situated. an angel] Here, as continu. again, to impress on them God's choice of ally in the Old Testament, the angel bears one whom they rejected. whom they the authority and presence of God Himself: refused, ver 27. The rejecter of Moses which angei, since God giveth not His there is regarded as the representatire of glory to another, must have been the great the nation : see note on ver. 26. In this Angel of the covenant, the “ Angel of the express mention of the rejection of Moses Face" of Isa. Ixiii. 9, " the Angel of His by the Jews, and his election and mission Presence,"—the Son of God. See below by God, the parallel of Jesus Christ is no
ver. 53.-Stier remarks, that this doubt in Stephen's mind, and the inference second appearance of God, to Moses (see intended to be drawn, that it does not ver. 2), introduces the legal dispensation, follow that GOD REJECTS those whom THEY as the first, to Abraham, the patriarchal. REJECTED.—The difficulty of bath God
32.] The order of Exod. iii. 6, is sent has caused it to be altered into the here somewhat varied. The command to historic tense,“ did God send.” But the put off the shoe was given on the approach perfect tense sets forth not only the fact of Moses, and before these words were of God's sending Moses then, but the enspoken. 33.] See Josh. v. 15. Put. durance of his mission till now- v-him hath ting off the sandals was a mark of reverence. God sent: with a closer reference than The priests performed all their ministra. before, to Him whom God had now exalted tions barefooted. The Arabs to this day as the true Ruler and Deliverer, see ch. continue the practice: they always enter v. 31.
37.] See ch. iii. 22, notes. their mosques barefooted. 34. I have Our text has probably been altered to agree seen, I have seen (literally, seeing I saw)] verbally with the former citation.
z Isa, Ixiii. 9.
Gal. iii. 19.
Deut. v. 27,
was in the mchurch in the wilderness with ? the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers : a who received the n lively boracles to give unto a Exod. xxi, 1.
39 to whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again 5 Rom. ii. 2. into Egypt, 40 saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go o Exod. xxxii. before us : for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 41 d And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacri- d Peut, 1.2.6. fice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. 42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven ; as it is written in the book of (Deut. iv. 19; the prophets, % 0 ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices [° by the space of ] forty years in 8 Aposv. 25, m literally, assembly.
n render, living. o not in the original.
e Ps. lxxxi. 12
Ezek, XX. 25 39. Rom. i. 24. 2 Thess. ii. 11.
38.] That Moses conversed vith both the suggests, who was the strong opponent Angel of the covenant and our fathers, of idolatry.' 41. they made a calf] implies that he was the mediator between apparently in imitation of Apis, a bull them, as indeed the words, who received worshipped at Memphis as the living the living oracles, more plainly declare. symbol of Osiris. The ox was a common
the word rendered the church symbolic form of idols in the East; it was means, probably, the assembly held (Exod. one of the cherubic forms, Ezek. i. 10; and xix.) for the promulgation of the law at the most recent discoveries at Nineveh Mt. Sinai, not the Church' generally. have brought to light colossal bulls. Sir Dr. Wordsworth observes on the meaning Gardiner Wilkinson thinks the golden which the words “the Church in the wilder- calves of Israel to have been imitations of ness” carry for the student of Christian Mnevis, a bull kept at Heliopolis as a prophecy, Rev. xii. 1-6. living living symbol of the sun, Jeroboam afteroracles, see reff. not • life-giving: still less wards set up golden calves at Bethel and to be understood given viva voce.' Dan, and with the same proclamation : see 39.] Another instance, brought home 1 Kings xii. 28. 42. God turned] i.e. again by the words our fathers, of rejection God, who had hitherto watched over them of God's appointed messenger and servant. for good, now provoked by their rebellion,
they turned back in their hearts to changed, and delivered them up to their Egypt: not they wished to return to
gave them up—not Egypt,' of which in Exod. xxxii. there is no suffered them:' all these explainings away trace (but later, in Num. xiv. 4), and which of the strong expressions of Scripture bewould hardly suit the term to go before long to the rationalistic school of interpreus; but they apostatized in heart ters (which is not modern merely; even to the Egyptian idolatries.' The very Chrysostom has here “He permitted title by which Aaron proclaims his idol, is, them”): it was a judicial delivering up, • These be thy gods, ( Israel, which not a mere letting alone, see Rom. i. 24, brought thee up out of the land of Egypt,' 26, 28. to worship the host of Exod. xxxii. 4. See also Neh, ix. 18. heaven] This fact is not mentioned in the 40. gods to go before us] As God had done Pentateuch, but may refer to the worship in the pillar of the cloud and fire. The of Baal. In after-times we have frequent plural is not put for the singular, but is traces of star worship: see 2 Kings xvii. used categorically: not perhaps without 16; xxi. 3, 5; xxiii. 4, 5; Jer. xix. 13; implying also, that the only two religions Zeph. i. 5. See also Deut. iv. 19; xvii. 3; were, the worship of Jehovah, and that of Job xxxi. 26. The book of the proidols, a multitude. The plural is used by phets, regarded as a whole, contained this Aaron, see above.-In the opprobrious prophecy. The citation is from the LXX. term, this Moses, may be implied, as Meyer I should take the question here as a re
Heb. viii. 5. i Josh. iii. 14. k Neh. ix. 24.
Ps. xliv. 2: lxxviii. 55. ch. xiii. 19.
the wilderness? 43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of p your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you
away beyond Babylon. 44 Our fathers had the tabernacle Brodavn.3o
. of witness in the wilderness, as he [9 had] appointed,
I speaking unto Moses, h that he should make it according
to the fashion that he had seen. 45 i Which also our 11 Sam. xv 1 fathers & that came after brought in with t Jesus u into the
Po. Schlii. possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before m 1 Kings viii. the face of our fathers, unto the days of David;
46 1 who xx1.7 Ps found favour before God, and mx desired to find a taber
P Many ancient authorities read, the god.
r render, who spake.
render, Joshua. render, at their taking possession.
render, asked permission. proach, implying that God does not receive have nothing but conjecture to inform us. as offered to Him, sacrifices in which He The most likely opinion has been that of has been made to share with idols :- it is Kircher, who maintains it to be a Coptic not true that ye offered to Me (but no word, signifying the planet Saturn, and stress on Me) sacrifices, &c., 'I regard it answering to the Arabic • Kewan.' as never having happened.' 43.] The The prophecy, both in the LXX and answer by God himself: Yea, ye took up, Hebrew, has Damascus. But the fulfilment i.e.carried about with you, (not My taber- of the prophecy would make it very natural nacle as your sole or chief holy place, but) the to substitute that name which had become tabernacle (literally the portable tent for the inseparably associated with the captivity. image. We read of the sacred tent in the 44. the tabernacle of witness] In Carthaginian camp) of Moloch &c. Stephen opposition to the tabernacle just mentioned: was not the sole dishonourer, if a disho- but also in pursuance of one of the great nourer, of the holy place—their fathers had aims of the speech, to shew that holiness is done it before. Moloch] So the LXX: not confined to locality or building. This the Heb. has Malchem, of your king.' part of his subject Stephen now enters on Moloch was the Phænician Saturn : his more particularly.—The words,“the taberimage was of brass with the head of an ox, nacle of witness," are the LXX rendering of and outstretched arms of a man,
the word in Num. xvi. 18, 19 &c., which the and human sacrifices (of children) were
A.V. renders the tabernacle of the as. offered, by laying them in these arms and sembly,' or 'congregation.'
the heating the image by fire kindled within. fashion] This is another contrast: it is the The rigid prohibitions of the worship of same word as that rendered " figures” in Moloch (Lev. xviii. 21; xx. 2—5) were
45.] inheriting, succeeding openly transgressed by Ahaz, 2 Kings xvi. to its custody and privileges. 3; by Manasseh, ib. xxi. 6; see also xxiii. 'in') their taking possession] The term is 10; Jer. vii. 31; xxxii. 35. In the king- used of that final and settled possession dom of Israel this abomination had been which Israel took of the land, not of that long practised, see 2 Kings xvii. 17; Ezek. transitory possession from which the Genxxiii. 37. We find traces of it at Carthage tiles or nations were driven out. The martyr among the Phænicians, among the Cretans combines rapidly a considerable period, and Rhodians, and the Assyrian colonists during which this taking possession and this at Sepharvaim, 2 Kings xvii. 31. expulsion was taking place (for it was not the star of your god Remphan] For this complete till the time of David) in order to word, Rephan or Remphan the Hebrew arrive at the next great event of his history, has “ Chiun :" but what the meaning of the substitution of thetemple of Solomon for either this or Remphan (the word is very the tabernacle. 46. asked permission] variously read in our MSS. Rempham, See 2 Sam. vii. 2 ff., in which this resquest Rompha, Rofa, Reffa, Rephan, &c.) is, we is made through Nathan the Prophet, and
85: xxiii. 22.
r Lev. xxvi. 41.
Deut. x. 10.
Ezek. xliv. 9. s 2 Chron.
87. 1 Thess. t ch. iii. 14.
nacle for the God of Jacob. 47 n But Solomon built him n 1 Kings vi. 1: an house.
48 Howbeit ° the most High dwelleth not in y temples made with hands ; as saith the prophet, i Kings voli. 49 p Heaven is my throne, and earth is ? my footstool : evi: 18. what house will ye build me? saith the Lord : or what is P Matlxv.3.1, . the place of my rest ? 50 a Hath not my hand made all these things ? 51 Ye 9 stiffnecked and runcircumcised in 0: Xxxiii. 3.
Isa. xlviii. 4. heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. 52 . Which of the prophets or in 26. b have not your fathers persecuted ? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just 85 xxill.34, One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and mur-2015 y read, things.
2 literally, the footstool of my feet. a render, Did not my hand make.
b render, did not your fathers persecute. C render, slew. at first conceded by Nathan, though after- Prof. Hackett, in his commentary on the wards, on a revelation made from God, Acts : and I cannot but think it far the denied :—not •desired,' as A. V. The vow most probable. “Henceforward he is borne (a species of prayer) here referred to, is de- along by vehemence in his discourse. His fined by the expression “ find a tabernacle," approaching death gave him great boldness to be that mentioned Ps. cxxxii.
of speech : for of this I believe him to have 48.] But, though Solomon built Him an been fully aware.” Chrysostom. house, we are not to suppose, for all that, stiffnecked and uncircumcised] Words and that He is confined to earthly spots. figures familiar to the prophets in speaking as saith the prophet] We have in substance of the rebellious Israel : see besides the the same declaration by Solomon himself references, Deut. ix. 6, 13; Neh. ix. 16:at the dedication of his temple, 1 Kings Deut. x. 16; xxx. 6. See also Rom. ii. viii. 27 : see also the beautiful prayer of 29.
and ears] I should hardly David, 1 Chron. xxix. 10–19. The cita- think of any allusion to Ps. xl. 6,-because tion is freely from the LXX.—The student the LXX have rendered 'mine ears hast will not fail to be interested in observing thou opened' by“ a body hast thou prethe apparent reference to this declaration pared me.' ye do always resist the in Stephen's apology, by St. Paul, ch. xvii. Holy Ghost] Apparently a reference to Isa. 24. 51.] I do not think there is any lxiii. 10. The instances as yet bad been occasion to suppose an interruption from confined to their fathers : now he has the audience to have occasioned this out- arrived at their own times. The two are break of holy indignation. At each sepa- taken up again in the next verse. rate recital (vv. 9, 25, 35, 39 ff.) he has 52. Which of the prophets] See Matt. xxiii. dwelt, with continually increasing fervour, 34 ff.: 2 Chron. xxxvi. 16 : where the same on the rebellions against and rejections of general expressions are used of their perseGod by His people. He has now brought cuting the prophets. Such sayings are not down the history to the establishment of to be pressed to the letter, but represent the temple worship. From Solomon's time the uniform attitude of disobedience and to his own, he saw but a succession of hostility which they assumed to the mes. apostasies, idolatries, rejection of God's
sengers of God.
See also the parable, prophets :-a dark and loathsome cata. Matt. xxi, 35. them which shewed logue, terminated by the betrayal and before of the coming of the Just One] The murder of the Just One Himself. It is office of all the prophets, see ch. iii. 18. not at all beyond probability, to believe The assertion is repeated, to connect them, that the zeal of his fervent spirit was, by by this title, with Him, whom they anthe view of this, the filling up of the mea- nounced. the Just One] This name sure of their iniquities, kindled into a flame was used by the Jews to designate the of inspired invective. I find that this is Messiah. See note on James v. 6. also Neander's view, in opposition to the betrayers] by Judas's treachery, of which generality of Commentators, as also that of the Sanhedrists had been the accomplices ;