Acts 7:14
Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls.
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(14) Threescore and fifteen souls.—Seventy is given as the number, including Jacob, Joseph, and his sons, in Genesis 46:27; Exodus 1:5; Deuteronomy 10:22. Here, however, Stephen had the authority of the LXX. of Genesis 46:27, which gives the number at seventy-five, and makes it up by inserting the son and grandson of Manasseh, two sons and a grandson of Ephraim. With them it was probably an editorial correction based upon Numbers 26:26-37. Stephen, as a Hellenistic Jew, naturally accepted, without caring to investigate, the number which he found in the Greek version.

7:1-16 Stephen was charged as a blasphemer of God, and an apostate from the church; therefore he shows that he is a son of Abraham, and values himself on it. 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. God owned Joseph in his troubles, and was with him by the power of his Spirit, both on his own mind by giving him comfort, and on those he was concerned with, by giving him favour in their eyes. Stephen reminds the Jews of their mean beginning as a check to priding themselves in the glories of that nation. 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. The faith of the patriarchs, in desiring to be buried in the land of Canaan, plainly showed they had regard to the heavenly country. It is well to recur to the first rise of usages, or sentiments, which have been perverted. Would we know the nature and effects of justifying faith, we should study the character of the father of the faithful. His calling shows the power and freeness of Divine grace, and the nature of conversion. Here also we see that outward forms and distinctions are as nothing, compared with separation from the world, and devotedness to God.All his kindred - His father and family, Genesis 45:17-28; Genesis 46:1-26.

Threescore and fifteen souls - Seventy-five persons. There has been much perplexity felt in the explanation of this passage. In Genesis 46:26, Exodus 1:5, and Deuteronomy 10:22, it is expressly said that the number which went down to Egypt consisted of 70 persons. The question is, in what way these accounts can be reconciled? It is evident that Stephen has followed the account which is given by the Septuagint. In Genesis 46:27, that version reads, "But the sons of Joseph who were with him in Egypt were nine souls; all the souls of the house of Jacob which came with Jacob into Egypt were seventy-five souls." This number is made out by adding these nine souls to the 66 mentioned in Genesis 46:26. The difference between the Septuagint and Moses is, that the former mentions five descendants of Joseph who are not recorded by the latter. The "names" of the sons of Ephraim and Manasseh are recorded in 1 Chronicles 7:14-21. Their names were Ashriel, Machir, Zelophehad, Peresh, sons of Manasseh; and Shuthelah, son of Ephraim. Why the Septuagint inserted these, it may not be easy to see. But such was evidently the fact; and the fact accords accurately with the historic record, though Moses did not insert their names. The solution of difficulties in regard to chronology is always difficult; and what might be entirely apparent to a Jew in the time of Stephen, may be wholly inexplicable to us.

14. threescore and fifteen souls—according to the Septuagint version of Ge 46:27, which Stephen follows, including the five children and grandchildren of Joseph's two sons. All his kindred; his affinity, and not consanguinity only, which may be the reason why, though in Genesis 46:26 it is said, that all

the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt were threescore and six, ( it being then added, they were all such as came out of his loins), yet it is said they were seventy persons, Genesis 46:27, Jacob, Joseph, and Joseph’s two sons (who were also of the promised seed) being added unto the number. In this account of St. Stephen, his sons’ wives might be added, which make up seventy-five. There are other accounts of this difference; but it is not of any consequence as to faith and holy living, which are only necessary unto salvation: the wonderful increase to so many hundred thousands of men, besides children, spoken of, Exodus 12:37, notwithstanding the barbarous cruelty of the Egyptians, is to be admired.

Souls; the nobler and better part, by which they are numbered, and according unto which they are esteemed by God.

Then sent Joseph,.... Gifts and presents to his father, and wagons, to fetch down him and his family into Egypt, Genesis 45:21.

and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls; which seems to disagree with the account of Moses, who says, that "all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten", Genesis 46:27. But there is no contradiction; Moses and Stephen are speaking of different things; Moses speaks of the seed of Jacob, which came out of his loins, who came into Egypt, and so excludes his sons' wives; Stephen speaks of Jacob and all his kindred, among whom his sons' wives must be reckoned, whom Joseph called to him: according to Moses's account, the persons that came with Jacob into Egypt, who came out of his loins, and so exclusive of his sons' wives, were threescore and six; to which if we add Jacob himself, and Joseph who was before in Egypt, and who might be truly said to come into it, and his two sons that were born there, who came thither in his loins, as others in the account may be said to do, who were not yet born, when Jacob went down, the total number is threescore and ten, Genesis 46:26 out of which take the six following persons, Jacob, who was called by Joseph into Egypt, besides the threescore and fifteen souls, and Joseph and his two sons then in Egypt, who could not be said to be called by him, and Hezron and Hamul, the sons of Pharez not yet born, and this will reduce Moses's number to sixty four; to which sixty four, if you add the eleven wives of Jacob's sons, who were certainly part of the kindred called and invited into Egypt, Genesis 45:10 it will make up completely threescore and fifteen persons: or the persons called by Joseph maybe reckoned thus; his eleven brethren and sister Dinah, fifty two brother's children, to which add his brethren's eleven wives, and the amount is threescore and fifteen: so that the Jew (w) has no reason to charge Stephen with an error, as he does; nor was there any need to alter and corrupt the Septuagint version of Genesis 45:27 to make it agree with Stephen's account; or to add five names in it, in Acts 7:20 as Machir, Galaad, Sutalaam, Taam, and Edom, to make up the number seventy five: and it may be observed, that the number is not altered in the version of Deuteronomy 10:22 which agrees with the Hebrew for seventy persons.

(w) R. Isaac Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 63. p. 450.

Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls.
Acts 7:14-15. Ἐν ψ. ἑβδομήκ. πέντε] in 75 souls (persons, Acts 2:41, Acts 27:37), he called his father and (in general) the whole family, i.e. he called them in a personal number of 75, which was the sum containing them. The expression is a Hebraism (בְּ), after the LXX. Deuteronomy 10:22. In the number Stephen, however, follows the LXX. Genesis 46:27, Exodus 1:5,[200] where likewise 75 souls are specified, whereas the original text (which Josephus follows, Antt. ii. 7. 4, vi. 5. 6) reckons only 70.[201]

ΑὐΤῸς Κ. ΟἹ ΠΑΤ. ἩΜῶΝ] he and our patriarchs (generally). A very common epanorthosis. See on John 2:12.

[200] At Deut. l.c. also Codex A has the reading 75, which is, however, evidently a mere alteration by a later hand in accordance with the two other passages. Already Philo (see Loesner, p. 185) mentions the two discrepant statements of number (75 according to Gen. l.c. and Ex. l.c., and 70 according to Deut. l.c.) and allegorizes upon them.

[201] According to the Hebrew, the number 70 is thus made up: all the descendants of Jacob who came down with him to Egypt are fixed at 66, Genesis 46:26, and then, ver. 27, Joseph and his two sons and Jacob himself (that is, four persons more) are included. In the reckoning of the LXX., influenced by a discrepant tradition, there are added to those 66 persons (ver. 26) in ver. 27 (contrary to the original text), υἱοὶ δὲ Ἰωσὴφ οἱ γενόμενοι αὐτῇ ἐν γῇ Αἰγύπτῳ ψυχαὶ ἐννέα, so that 75 persons are made out. It is thus evidently contrary to this express mode of reckoning of the LXX., when it is commonly assumed (also by Wetstein, Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Kuinoel, Olshausen) that the LXX. had added to the 70 persons of the original text 5 grandchildren and great-grand-children of Joseph (who are named in the LXX Genesis 46:20). But in the greatest contradiction to the above notice of the LXX. stands the view of Seb. Schmid, with whom Wolf agrees, that the LXX. had added to the 66 persons (ver. 26) the wives of the sons of Jacob, and from the sum of 78 thereby made up had again deducted 3 persons, namely, the wife of Judah who had died in Canaan, the wife of Joseph and Joseph himself, so that the number 75 is left. Entirely unhistorical is the hypothesis of Krebs and Loesner. “Stephanum apud Luc. (et LXX.) de iis loqui, qui in Aegyptum invitati fuerint, Mosen de his, qui eo venerint, quorum non nisi 70 fuerunt.” Beza conjectured, instead of πέντε in our passage: πάντες (!); and Massonius, instead of the numeral signs OE (75), the numeral signs C Ξ (66). For yet other views, see Wolf.

Acts 7:14. μετεκαλέσατο: four times in Acts, and nowhere else in N.T., cf. Acts 10:32, Acts 20:17, Acts 24:25, only once in LXX, H. and R., cf. Hosea 11:2, A; so εἰσκαλέομαι, only once in N.T., cf. Acts 10:23; not in LXX or Apocrypha. Both compounds are peculiar to St. Luke in N.T., and are frequent in medical writers, to “send for” or to “call in” (although Polyb. in middle voice, Acts 22:5; Acts 22:2, in same sense) a physician, Hobart, Medical Language, etc., p. 219. In Attic Greek we should have μεταπέμπεσθαι.—ἐν ψυχαῖς ἑβδομήκοντα πέντε: ἐν = Hebrew בְּ, cf. Deuteronomy 10:22, in (consisting in) so many souls, cf. Luke 16:31. Here in Deut., LXX, as also in Hebrew, we have the number given as seventy (although in A, seventy-five, which seems to have been introduced to make the passage similar to the two others quoted below) who went down into Egypt. But in Genesis 46:27, and in Exodus 1:5, LXX, the number is given as seventy-five (the Hebrew in both passages however giving seventy as the number, although in Genesis 46:26 giving sixty-six, making up the seventy by adding Jacob, Joseph, and his two sons). For the curious Rabbinical traditions current on the subject, see Lumby, Acts, p. 163. In Genesis 46:27 the LXX make up the number to seventy-five by adding nine sons as born to Joseph while in Egypt, so that from this interpolation it seems that they did not obtain their number by simply adding the sons and grandsons, five in all, of Ephraim and Manasseh from Genesis 46:20 (LXX) to the seventy mentioned in the Hebrew text, as Wetstein and others have maintained. But there is nothing strange in the fact that Stephen, as a Hellenist, should follow the tradition which he found in the LXX. Josephus in Ant., ii., 7, 4; vi., 5, 6, follows the Hebrew seventy, and Philo gives the two numbers, and allegorises about them. See Meyer-Wendt, p. 174, note, Hackett, Lumby, in loco, and Wetstein. Nothing in the argument is touched by these variations in the numbers.

14. threescore and fifteen souls] This number is taken from the LXX. In the Hebrew (Genesis 46:8-27) the number is but seventy including Jacob himself. The five additional names given in the LXX. are Machir the son and Galaad the grandson of Manasseh, and the two sons of Ephraim, Taam and Soutalaam, with Soutalaam’s son, Edom. So in Exodus 1:5 the Hebrew has 70, and the LXX. 75. There were many traditions current on this subject, and the Rabbis notice too that 69 persons (they exclude Jacob) are reckoned for 70 in the account given Genesis 46. In the Midrash Shemuel, c. 32, there are various suggestions thrown out First it is said the one wanting was Jochebed, who became wife of Amram and mother of Moses, for it is mentioned (Numbers 26:59) that she was a daughter of Levi born in Egypt, and the tradition is that she was born “between the walls,” i.e. just as the people were entering Egypt, and so she is to be counted in the number. Another tradition is attached to Genesis 46:23, “The sons of Dan, Hushim.” As the last word is a plural form, and sons are spoken of in the verse, therefore it is thought that there were two Hushim, an elder and a younger. Also (T. B. Baba Bathra 123 a ad fin.) there is mentioned the tradition that there was a twin with Dinah. We may thus see that there were traditions current which probably were well known to the translators of the LXX., and gave rise to their number. They however are not consistent, for in Deuteronomy (Acts 10:22) they give 70 as the number which went down into Egypt. Stephen, as was to be expected from the other quotations in this book, and also because he was a Grecian Jew, follows the LXX.

Acts 7:14. Ἑβδομήκοντα πέντε, seventy-five) Stephen, or Luke, follows the Septuagint translation, as being then the best known; which in Genesis 46:27, or even in Deuteronomy 10:22, has given the number Seventy-five; whereas in the Hebrew and Samaritan Pentateuch, and in Josephus, the number is Seventy. So also Philo, adding one son and one grandson of Manasses, and the two sons of Ephraim and his one grandson: Gen. the ch. already quoted, Acts 7:20.

Verse 14. - And Joseph sent for then sent Joseph, A.V.; called to him Jacob his father for called his father Jacob to him, A.V. Three score and fifteen souls. In Genesis 46:26, 27, the statement is very precise that "all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were three score and ten," including Joseph and his two sons. Moreover, the accuracy of the number is tested in two ways. First, the names of the sons and daughters of each patriarch are given, and they are found, on counting them, to amount to exactly seventy. And then the totals of the descendants of each of Jacob's four wives is given separately, and again the total is exactly seventy (33 + 16 + 14 + 7 = 70). It is true that the computation in ver. 26 does not agree with the above, for it makes the number of Jacob's descendants, exclusive of Joseph and his two sons, sixty-six instead of sixty-seven, which is the number according to the two above computations, and consequently the total number (when Joseph and his two sons are added) sixty-nine instead of seventy. But this is such a manifest contradiction that it seems almost a necessity to suppose a clerical error, שֵׁשׁ for שֶׁבַע, caused perhaps by the preceding שִׁשִׁים. It is also a singular anomaly that, in the enumeration of Leah's descendants, as well as in the general enumeration, Er and Onan are distinctly reckoned as well as mentioned. Jacob himself is nowhere reckoned in the Bible, though he is in the commentaries. But when we turn to the LXX., we find that in Genesis 46:20 there are added to Manasseh and Ephraim Machir the son and Gilead the grandson of Manasseh; and Suthelah and Taam the sons, and Edom (meaning Eran, LXX. Eden, Numbers 26:36) the grandson, of Ephraim, making the descendants of Rachel eighteen (it should be nineteen if Huppim, Genesis 46:21, is added) instead of fourteen; the number sixty-six of ver. 26 is preserved; the number of Joseph's descendants is given as nine (Huppim apparently being now reckoned), which, added to sixty-six, makes seventy-five; and accordingly in ver. 27 the LXX. read ψυχαὶ ἑβδομηκονταπέντε ("seventy-five souls"), instead of "three score and ten." But except in the addition of these five names of Joseph's grand and great-grand-children, the LXX. support the Hebrew text, even in the strange sixty-six of ver. 26. Stephen, as a Hellenist, naturally follows the LXX. But the question arises - How are we to understand the lists? Genesis 46:8 says, "These are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt;" and one naturally expects to find the names only of those who are described in vers. 5-7 as the migratory party from Canaan to Egypt. This expectation is somewhat disturbed by Er and Onan being included in the enumeration. This may, however, be accounted for by Pharez and Zerah being reckoned as their seed. But is it likely that Hezron and Hamul the sons of Pharez, and the other great-grandsons of Jacob, were born before the descent into Egypt? The answer to this is that, as Jacob was a hundred and thirty years old when he came down to Egypt (Genesis 47:28), there is no improbability in his having great-grandchildren (allowing forty years for a generation); on the contrary, every likelihood that he should. But on the other hand, as Joseph could not have been above fifty when Jacob came down to Egypt (30 + 14 + X.), Genesis 41:46, 29, 30, it does not seem likely or possible that Joseph should have had grown-up grandsons and a great-grandson, as the LXX. make him have. Indeed, to all appearance Manasseh and Ephraim were unmarried young men at the time that Jacob blessed them (Genesis 48:11, 16; Genesis 50:23). Therefore we may conclude certainly that the additional numbers of the LXX. are incorrect, if understood literally, of these who came down with Jacob from Canaan to Egypt. But there is nothing improbable in Benjamin having ten children. Judah, to whom grandchildren are attributed, was Jacob's fourth son, and might be forty or fifty years older than Joseph and Benjamin. Asher, to whom also grandsons are attributed, was the eighth son, and might be twenty years older than Joseph and Benjamin. Still, considering that Er and Onan are reckoned among those who came down to Egypt, it would not be surprising to find that some of those mentioned in the list were born after Jacob's arrival, but included on some principle which we do not understand. In other words, a literal interpretation of the statement of the Hebrew Bible involves no impossibilities, but a literal interpretation of the statement of the LXX. does. Acts 7:14Threescore and fifteen

Lit., "in (ἐν) threescore and fifteen;" the idiom expressing the sum in which all the individuals were included.

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