|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:42-50 Stephen upbraids the Jews with the idolatry of their fathers, to which God gave them up as a punishment for their early forsaking him. 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. The whole world is God's temple, in which he is every where present, and fills it with his glory; what occasion has he then for a temple to manifest himself in? And these things show his eternal power and Godhead. But as heaven is his throne, and the earth his footstool, so none of our services can profit Him who made all things. Next to the human nature of Christ, the broken and spiritual heart is his most valued temple.
Verse 45. - In their turn for that come after, (διαδεξάμενοι), A.V.; Joshua (the Hebrew form) for Jesus (the Greek form of the name), A.V.; when they entered on the possession of the nations for into the possession of the Gentiles, A.V.; which God thrust for whom God drave, A.V. In their turn; more literally, having received it in succession. It only occurs here in the New Testament. Meyer quotes 4 Macc. 4:15, "On the death of Seleucus, his son Antiochus received the kingdom in succession ;" and classical writers. When they entered, etc. There are three ways of construing the words ἐν τῇ κατασχέσει τῶν ἐθνῶν -
(1) as the A.V., taking ἐν in the sense of εἰς, and making the phrase synonymous with the laud of Canaan, the land which the Gentiles then possessed;
(2) in (their) taking possession (of the land) of the Gentiles, i.e. when they took, taking κατάσχεσις in a transitive sense, which seems to be the sense of the R.V.:
(3) with Meyer, during the holdings or possession by the Gentiles of the land, that, viz. into which their fathers brought the tabernacle. The first seems the most simple and in accordance with the Greek of the New Testament, and with what follows of the expulsion of the nations before the Israelites.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Which also our fathers that came after,.... Who came after those that died in the wilderness, and never saw nor entered into the land of Canaan; the children of that generation whose carcasses fell in the wilderness, who sprung from them, came up in their room, and succeeded them:
brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles; that is, they having received the tabernacle from their fathers, brought it into the land of Canaan, which was possessed by the Gentiles, when they entered into it with Joshua their leader, and captain, at the head of them; who is here called Jesus, as he is in Hebrews 4:8 for Joshua and Jesus are the same name, and signify a saviour; for such an one Joshua was to the people of Israel; and was an eminent type of Jesus Christ, the captain of our salvation, in his bringing many sons to glory:
whom God drove out before the face of our fathers; the Gentiles, who before possessed the land of Canaan, were drove out by God before the Israelites, to make way for their settlement there; for to whom can the success of those victories over the Canaanites be ascribed, which the Israelites under Joshua obtained, but to God? The language on the "Tingitane", or Hercules's pillars, said to be set up by some of these Canaanites, agrees with this, on which they inscribed these words;
"we are they who fled from the face of Joshua the robber, the son of Nave,''
unto the days of David; this clause must not be read in connection with the words immediately preceding, as if the sense was, that the inhabitants of Canaan were drove out of their land unto the times of David, and then returned and resettled, as in the Ethiopic version; but with the beginning of the verse, and the meaning is, that the tabernacle which the Israelites received from their fathers, and brought into the land of Canaan with them, was there unto the times of David.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
45. which … our fathers that came after—rather, "having received it by succession" (Margin), that is, the custody of the tabernacle from their ancestors.
brought in with Jesus—or Joshua.
into the possession—rather, "at the taking possession of [the territory of] the Gentiles."
unto the days of David—for till then Jerusalem continued in the hands of the Jebusites. But Stephen's object in mentioning David is to hasten from the tabernacle which he set up, to the temple which his son built, in Jerusalem; and this only to show, from their own Scripture (Isa 66:1, 2), that even that temple, magnificent though it was, was not the proper resting-place of Jehovah upon earth; as his audience and the nations had all along been prone to imagine. (What that resting-place was, even "the contrite heart, that trembleth at God's word," he leaves to be gathered from the prophet referred to).
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