Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 7:11-15

Chapter 7:11 Now a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction with it, and our fathers could find no food.

Chapter 7:12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he send our fathers there the first time.

Chapter 7:13 On the second visit, Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family was disclosed to Pharaoh.

Chapter 7:14 Then Joseph sent word and invited Jacob his father and all his relatives to come to him, seventy-five persons in all.

Chapter 7:15 And Jacob went down to Egypt and there he and our fathers died.

Stephen continues with the history of the Israelites by telling the people of Joseph, his brothers and Jacob. We see in verse 13, that Joseph revealed himself to his brothers and made the situation known to Pharaoh. We also see in verse 14, seventy five people went to Egypt, which compared to Gen. 46:27, is a different number. The number of seventy five is because the son and grandson of Manasseh and two sons and a grandson of Ephraim were added. We will see in the following verses, Stephen making his case to the people and showing the unbelieving Jews how wrong they were.

Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 7:8-10

Chapter 7:8 And He gave him the covenant of circumcision; and so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs.

Chapter 7:9 The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him,

Chapter 7:10 and rescued him from all the afflictions, and granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made him governor over Egypt and all his household.

Stephen continues with the history of the Israelites and gives the genealogy from Abraham down to Joseph in these three verses. We see how God used Joseph and was with him and used Joseph for His glory. Stephen wants to make it plain to the people of Israel that they were doing just as their fathers did as is stated in verse 51 of this chapter and as we move along in this chapter, Stephen will make it even more clear.

Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 7:4-7

Chapter 7:4 Then he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. From there, after his father died, God had him move to this country in which you are now living.

Chapter 7:5 But He gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot of ground, and yet, even when he had no child, He promised that He would give it to him as a possession, and to his descendants after him.

Chapter 7:6 But God spoke to this effect, that his descendants would be aliens in a foreign land, and that they would be enslaved and mistreated for four hundred years. 

Chapter 7:7 ‘And whatever nation to which they will be in bondage I Myself will judge,’ said God, ‘and after that they will come out and serve Me in this place.’

Stephen, beginning in verse 2, gives the history of God’s call to Abraham, which first came when he, Abraham, was in Mesopotamia (Gen.15:7, Neh.9:7). Abraham later went to Haran and then on to Palestine. The above verses gives the beginning of God’s relationship with Abraham and shows that in verse 5 that his life would not be easy, but that God promised him the possession of the land and He kept His promise. With the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins, past, present, and future, God has made a promise to us if we will repent of our sins and come to Him, He will give us eternal life. I believe with my heart that Abraham believed this promise and I also believe in the promise that God made when He sent His son to die on the cross for each of us.

Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 7:1-3

Chapter 7:1 The high priests said, “Are these things so?”

Chapter 7:2 And he said, “Hear me, brethren and fathers! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,

Chapter 7:3 and said to him, ‘Leave your country and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.’

The high priest at the time was Caiaphas, who we have spoken of earlier and he is asking Stephen to explain himself. In verse 2, we begin the longest sermon recorded in the book of Acts and the theme of the sermon is found in verse 51 in which Stephen states to the people, “you are doing just as your fathers did”. In this sermon, Stephen reminds the people of all the privileges of the nation of Israel and their rejection of God’s messengers and then, finally, in verse 52, Stephen puts the blame for the death of Jesus on the hearers of his sermon.

Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 6:11-15

Chapter 6:11 Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.”

Chapter 6:12 And they stirred up the people, the elders and the scribes, and they came up to him and dragged him away and brought him before the Council.”

Chapter 6:13 They put forward false witnesses who said, “This man incessantly speaks against the holy place and the Law;

Chapter 6:14 for we have heard him say that this Nazarene , Jesus, will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us.”

Chapter 6:15 And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel.

These men from the Synagogue of the Freedman were asking men to say that Stephen was making false statements about Moses and God. Stephen, because of these lies, was then led to the Council, or the Sanhedrin, which consisted of 70 or 72 elders and teachers of the nation, where these enemies of Christ twisted his words from most likely John 2:19 in which Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” We see in verse 15 how God used Stephen by giving him the face of an angel. Isn’t it amazing how God works!!!

Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 6:8-10

Chapter 6:8 And Stephen, full of grace and power was performing great wonders and signs among the people.

Chapter 6:9 But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia rose up and argued with Stephen.

Chapter 6:10 But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.

Stephen, with the power of the Holy Spirit, was stirring the people which was allowing more people to be converted. The Freedmen in verse 8 refers to Jewish freedman or descendants of free slaves from the various places mentioned. They had their own synagogue in Jerusalem. In verse 10, Stephen by using the power of the Holy Spirit had them baffled. The lesson here for me is that if I get in situations that are difficult and I do not quite know what to say, I need to rely on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can handle any situation in which I need to speak if I will get out of the way and allow Him to speak through me.

Commentary On The Book Of Acts Chapter 6:5-7

Chapter 6:5 The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicholas, a proselyte from Antioch.

Chapter 6:6 And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them.

Chapter 6:7 The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

The two of these men we know about are Stephen and Philip, who became known for their boldness in the spreading of the word. All these men were not Jews but had Greek names. Nicholas was a proselyte from Antioch which meant he was a resident of Antioch. By laying on of hands, the seven were given a formal sign of this service. The laying on of hands was sometimes related to healing as in Mark 5:23 or to the impartation of the Spirit (Mark 8:17, Mark 9:17 and Mark 19:6) or as a sign of ordination (Mark 13:3, I Tim 4:14). In verse 7, we see the spreading of the Gospel and the numbers increasing in the faith. The tearing of the veil in the Temple at the time of Christ’s death, probably aided in the conversion of the priests in the Temple. Isn’t it awesome to see people serving the Lord? I had this written in my notes on these verses and wanted to share: These men were changing people’s lives by their servanthood. The question is: Who am I having a direct or indirect impact on life changing?