Acts 7:17-29

17 “But when the time of the promise drew near which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt

18 till another king arose who did not know Joseph.

19 This man dealt treacherously with our people, and oppressed our forefathers, making them expose their babies, so that they might not live.

20 At this time Moses was born, and was well pleasing to God; and he was brought up in his father’s house for three months.

21 But when he was set out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him away and brought him up as her own son.

22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.

23 “Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.

24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian.

25 For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand.

26 And the next day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren; why do you wrong one another?’

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

28 Do you want to kill me as you did the Egyptian yesterday?’

29 Then, at this saying, Moses fled and became a dweller in the land of Midian, where he had two sons.

Stephen was showing how, throughout their history, the Jews had rejected their deliverers the first time, and suffered as a result, and then accepted them the second time — as they will with Jesus.

Moses spent 40 years learning the wisdom of the Egyptians (not mentioned in the O.T.), 40 years in the land of the Midians and 40 years leading the Israelites through the wilderness.

The king in question [v.18] is thought to be Rameses II, of the 19th dynasty, who was preeminent as a builder. His son and successor, Merenptah, was, most likely, the Pharaoh of the Exodus. There is some ground, however, for regarding Thothmes III, of the 18th dynasty, as the Pharaoh of the captivity, and his son Amenotep III as the Pharaoh of the Exodus. — Walker, page 160

Treacherously (v.19) = with guile and cunning

Pharaoh’s daughter (v.21) — not named. Josephus the historian calls her Thermutis

wisdom of the Egyptians (v.22) — This isn’t noted in the Old Testament, but it is to be expected for one who was raised as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. The Egyptians had much knowledge of astronomy, geometry and medicine.

Literally “it came up on to his heart” [v.23], a non-classical expression adopted from the LXX in which it occurs several times (2 Kings 12:4; Isaiah 65:17). We meet with it again in 1 Corinthians 2:9. It represents a Hebrew idiom. It is as though an idea which had lain dormant in the depths of Moses’ mind suddenly rose up as a distinct plan and purpose, awakened into activity by a divine impulse. — Walker, page 162

visit (v.23) = look kindly on with intent to help and relieve. The same verb is used in James 1:27.

Moses thought the Israelites would understand (v.25) that God sent him to deliver them. (This fact is not mentioned in the O.T.)

at this saying, Moses fled (v.29) — Exodus 2:15 — Moses realized his killing of the Egyptian was known.

Midian (v.29) — on the Gulf of Akabah (an arm of the Red Sea) including the northern part of Arabia

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