|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:30-41 Men deceive themselves, if they think God cannot do what he sees to be good any where; he can bring his people into a wilderness, and there speak comfortably to them. He appeared to Moses in a flame of fire, yet the bush was not consumed; which represented the state of Israel in Egypt, where, though they were in the fire of affliction, yet they were not consumed. 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. The death of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, cannot break the covenant relation between God and them. Our Saviour by this proves the future state, Mt 22:31. Abraham is dead, yet God is still his God, therefore Abraham is still alive. Now, this is that life and immortality which are brought to light by the gospel. Stephen here shows that Moses was an eminent type of Christ, as he was Israel's deliverer. God has compassion for the troubles of his church, and the groans of his persecuted people; and their deliverance takes rise from his pity. And that deliverance was typical of what Christ did, when, for us men, and for our salvation, he came down from heaven. This Jesus, whom they now refused, as their fathers did Moses, even this same has God advanced to be a Prince and Saviour. 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. In asserting that Jesus should change the customs of the ceremonial law. Stephen was so far from blaspheming Moses, that really he honoured him, by showing how the prophecy of Moses was come to pass, which was so clear. God who gave them those customs by his servant Moses, might, no doubt, change the custom by his Son Jesus. 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.
Verse 41. - Brought a sacrifice for offered sacrifice, A.V. (see Exodus 32:6, with which the A.V. agrees best); hands for own hands, A.V.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they made a calf in those days,.... Whilst Moses was in the mount; this was done in imitation of the Egyptian idol Apis or Serapis, which was an ox or a bullock; and it was made of the golden earnings of the people, which were melted down, and cast into the form of a calf, and graved by Aaron with a graving tool, Exodus 32:2 And so the Syriac version here reads in the singular number, "and he made them a calf"; this was a most shameful and scandalous piece of idolatry. The Jews themselves are so sensible of the horribleness of it, and of the guilt of it, and of the reproach that lies on them for it, that it is common for them to say (c),
"there is not a generation, or an age, in which there is not an ounce of the sin of the calf.''
Or, as elsewhere (d) expressed,
"no punishment befalls thee, O Israel, in "which there is not an ounce of the sin of the calf".''
And offered sacrifice unto the idol; an altar was built, and proclamation made, that the next day would be the feast of the Lord; and accordingly early in the morning the people rose, and offered both burnt offerings and peace offerings, Exodus 32:5 and rejoiceth in the works of their own hands; for so the calf was; and which rejoicing they showed by eating, and drinking, and singing, and dancing.
(c) T. Hieros. Taaniot, fol. 68. 3.((d) Vid. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 102. 1.
Acts 7:41 Parallel Commentaries
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