Proud member The gospel was offered now, not by angels, but from the Holy Ghost; yet they did not embrace it, for they were resolved not to comply with God, either in his law or in his gospel. He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. 6-8. four hundred years--using round numbers, as in Genesis 15:13 Genesis 15:16. for Christ, amidst all the darkness of its perpetrators; and how many have been cheered by it to like faithfulness even unto death! lay not this sin to their charge--Comparing this with nearly the same prayer of his dying Lord, it will be seen how very richly this martyr of Jesus had drunk into his Master's spirit, in its divinest form. It is well to recur to the first rise of usages, or sentiments, which have been perverted. Stephen's defence. Let us not be discouraged at the slowness of the fulfilling of God's promises. Study the bible online using commentary on Acts 7 and more! and the witnesses--whose hands were to be first upon the criminal ( Deuteronomy 17:7 ). 26. next day he showed himself unto them as they strove--Here, not an Israelite and an Egyptian, but two parties in Israel itself, are in collision with each other; Moses, grieved at the spectacle, interposes as a mediator; but his interference, as unauthorized, is resented by the party in the wrong, whom Stephen identifies with the mass of the nation ( Acts 7:35 ), just as Messiah's own interposition had been spurned. In Acts 7:23 Acts 7:30 Acts 7:36 , the life of Moses is represented as embracing three periods, of forty years each; the Jewish writers say the same; and though this is not expressly stated in the Old Testament, his age at death, one hundred twenty years ( Deuteronomy 34:7 ), agrees with it. In asserting that Jesus should change the customs of the ceremonial law. 53. Who have received the law by the disposition--"at the appointment" or "ordination," that is, by the ministry. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God--You who can transfer to canvas such scenes as these, in which the rage of hell grins horribly from men, as they sit condemned by a frail prisoner of their own, and see heaven beaming from his countenance and opening full upon his view--I envy you, for I find no words to paint what, in the majesty of the divine text, is here so simply told. . And when he had said this, he fell asleep. Our Lord Jesus is God, to whom we are to seek, and in whom we are to trust and comfort ourselves, living and dying. 54-56. His calling shows the power and freeness of Divine grace, and the nature of conversion. Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise), Matthew Henry Bible Commentary (complete), California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Chapter 7. Suffering times often are growing times with the church. have ye offered to me . Read Acts 7 commentary using Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete). . And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. 25, &c, 39, &c; Acts 7:25,39 have despised the land, ver. DEFENSE AND MARTYRDOM OF STEPHEN. and so--that is, according to the terms of this covenant, on which Paul reasons ( Galatians 3:1-26 ). It does not at all take from the just honour of Moses to say, that he was but an instrument, and that he is infinitely outshone by Jesus. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. Though the sin was very great, yet if they would lay it to their hearts, God would not lay it to their charge. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. Therefore he broke off, and by the Spirit of wisdom, courage, and power, sharply rebuked his persecutors. Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. All rights reserved. our fathers that came after--rather, "having received it by succession" (Margin), that is, the custody of the tabernacle from their ancestors. The slow steps by which the promise made to Abraham advanced toward performance, plainly show that it had a spiritual meaning, and that the land intended was the heavenly. It was no dishonour, but an honour to God, that the tabernacle gave way to the temple; so it is now, that the earthly temple gives way to the spiritual one; and so it will be when, at last, the spiritual shall give way to the eternal one. It is the glory of absolutely free grace. Likewise of the wickedness of the patriarchs of their tribes, in envying their brother Joseph; and the same spirit was still working in them toward Christ and his ministers. It may also be looked upon as a type of Christ's taking upon him the nature of man, and the union between the Divine and human nature. 28, 29. Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices. . "But how could Stephen, in the council-chamber, see heaven at all? . the time of the promise--that is, for its fulfilment. The gospel was offered now, not by angels, but from the Holy Ghost; yet they did not embrace it, for they were resolved not to comply with God, either in his law or in his gospel. Stephen, full of the Holy Ghost, speaking now not of himself at all ( Acts 7:55 ), but entirely by the Spirit, is led to repeat the very words in which Jesus Himself, before this same council, had foretold His glorification ( Matthew 26:64 ), assuring them that that exaltation of the SON OF MAN which they should hereafter witness to their dismay, was already begun and actual [ALFORD]. But Israel thrust Moses from them, and would have returned to their bondage; so men in general will not obey Jesus, because they love this present evil world, and rejoice in their own works and devices. Our Saviour by this proves the future state, Mt 22:31. God who gave them those customs by his servant Moses, might, no doubt, change the custom by his Son Jesus. . Acts 7:1-60 . Who made thee a ruler and a judge, &c.--Here, again, "the stone which the builders refused is made the head of the corner" ( Psalms 118:22 ). Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Molech, &c.--Two kinds of idolatry are charged upon the Israelites: that of the golden calf and that of the heavenly bodies; Molech and Remphan being deities, representing apparently the divine powers ascribed to nature, under different aspects. Here is a prayer for his persecutors. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and, To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust, Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for. 37. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. Stephen here shows that Moses was an eminent type of Christ, as he was Israel's deliverer. Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. They persecuted Stephen for disputing in defence of Christ and his gospel: in opposition to these they set up Moses and his law.