Acts 7:18
Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph.
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(18) Which knew not Joseph.—The idiom was originally a Hebrew one, for “not remembering, not caring for;” but as the words are quoted from the LXX. they do not affect the question as to the language in which the speech was delivered.

7:17-29 Let us not be discouraged at the slowness of the fulfilling of God's promises. Suffering times often are growing times with the church. God is preparing for his people's deliverance, when their day is darkest, and their distress deepest. Moses was exceeding fair, fair toward God; it is the beauty of holiness which is in God's sight of great price. He was wonderfully preserved in his infancy; for God will take special care of those of whom he designs to make special use. And did he thus protect the child Moses? Much more will he secure the interests of his holy child Jesus, from the enemies who are gathered together against him. They persecuted Stephen for disputing in defence of Christ and his gospel: in opposition to these they set up Moses and his law. They may understand, if they do not wilfully shut their eyes against the light, that God will, by this Jesus, deliver them out of a worse slavery than that of Egypt. Although men prolong their own miseries, yet the Lord will take care of his servants, and effect his own designs of mercy.Till another king arose - This is quoted from Exodus 1:8. What was the "name" of this king is not certainly known. The "common" name of all the kings of Egypt was "Pharaoh," as "Caesar" became the common name of the emperors of Rome after the time of Julius Caesar: thus we say, Augustus Caesar, Tiberius Caesar, etc. It has commonly been supposed to have been the celebrated Rameses, the sixth king of the eighteenth dynasty, and the event is supposed to have occurred about 1559 years before the Christian era. M. Champollion supposes that his name was Mandonei, whose reign commenced in 1585 b.c., and ended 1565 years before Christ (Essay on the Hieroglyphic System, p. 94, 95). Sir Jas. G. Wilkinson supposes that it was Amosis, or Ames, the "first" king of the eighteenth dynasty (Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, vol. 1, pp. 42, 2nd ed.). "The present knowledge of Egyptian history is too imperfect to enable us to determine this point" (Prof. Hackett).

Which knew not Joseph - It can hardly be supposed that he would be ignorant of the name and deeds of Joseph; and this expression, therefore, probably means that he did not favour the designs of Joseph; he did not remember the benefits which he had conferred on the nation; or furnish the patronage for the kindred of Joseph which had been secured for them by Joseph under a former reign. National ingratitude has not been uncommon in the world, and a change of dynasty has often obliterated all memory of former obligations and compacts.

17. But when—rather, "as."

the time of the promise—that is, for its fulfilment.

the people grew and multiplied in Egypt—For more than two hundred years they amounted to no more than seventy-five souls; how prodigious, then, must have been their multiplication during the latter two centuries, when six hundred thousand men, fit for war, besides women and children, left Egypt!

These words are taken from the Septuagint, Exodus 1:8.

Till another king arose,.... In, or over Egypt, as the Alexandrian copy, and others, and the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions read; in Exodus 1:8 it is a new king; the Jewish writers are divided about him, whether he was a different king from the former; or only so called, because he made new edicts (d):

"Rab and Samuel, one says a new one absolutely: and the other says, because his decrees were renewed; he that says a new one absolutely, (thinks so) because it is written a new one; and he who says, because his decrees are renewed (or he makes new decrees, he thinks so) from hence, because it is not written, and he died, and there reigned; and (it makes) for him that says, because his decrees are renewed, what is written, "who knew not Joseph"; what is the meaning of that, "who knew not Joseph?" that he was like one who knew not Joseph at all.''

The Septuagint version of Exodus 1:8 renders it "another" king, as does Stephen here; another king from the Pharaoh of Joseph: the name of this was Ramesses Miamun; and one of the treasure cities built for him seems to be called after his name, Raamses, Exodus 1:11. The Jews call him Talma (e) and by Theophilus of Antioch (f) he is called Tethmosis; and by Artapanus (g), Palmanotha: "which knew not Joseph"; nor what great things he had done, to the advantage of the Egyptian nation; he was acquainted with the history of him, and of his worthy deeds, and therefore had no regard to his people, as the other Pharaoh had Josephus (h) says, the kingdom was translated to another family; which might be the reason why he was not known, nor his friends taken notice of: Aben Ezra says, he was not of the seed royal; wherefore it is written, "and there arose"; he the kingdom, and had not a just right and title so that being a stranger, it is no wonder that he should not know Joseph; Jarchi's note is,

"he made himself as if he did not know him''

he dissembled, he pretended ignorance of him, because he would show no respect unto his people. Beza's ancient copy, and another in the Bodleian library, read, "which remembered not Joseph".

(d) T. Bab. Erubin, fol. 53. 1. & Sota, fol. 11. 1.((e) Juchasin, fol. 135. 2.((f) Ad Autolycum, l. 3. p. 130. (g) Apud Euseb. de prep. Evangel. l. 9. c. 27. (h) Antiqu. l. 2. c. 9. sect. 1.

Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph.
Acts 7:18. Cf. Exodus 1:8, and Jos., Ant., ii., 9, 1. After ἕτερος add ἐπʼ Αἰγ., see above. ἕτερος not ἄλλος, probably meaning the native sovereign after the expulsion of the Shepherd Kings, “Joseph,” B.D.2; “Egypt,” B.D.2, pp. 886, 887; Hamburger, Real-Encyclopädie des Judentums, i., 5, pp. 759, 760; Sayce, Higher Criticism and the Monuments, p. 237.—ἄχρις οὗ: only in Luke amongst the Evangelists, Luke 21:24, Acts 7:18; Acts 27:33. Sayce, following Dr. Naville, argues in favour of Ramses II. as the Pharaoh of the Oppression, see u. s. and Expository Times, January and April, 1899, but see on the other hand the number of February, p. 210 (Prof. Hamond), and Expositor, March, 1897, Prof. Orr on the Exodus. Joseph settled under the Hyksos or Shepherd Kings, but the words “who knew not Joseph” should apparently refer, according to Dr. Sayce, not to the immediately succeeding dynasty, i.e., the eighteenth, in which a Canaanite might still have occupied a place of honour, but rather to the nineteenth, which led to the overthrow of the stranger, and to a day of reckoning against the Hebrews. But it becomes difficult to speak with absolute confidence in the present state of Egyptological research, see Expositor, u. s., p. 177. οὐκ ᾔδει: in Robinson’s Gesenius, p. 380, the word is taken literally, or it may mean “who does not know Joseph’s history or services”; others take it “who had no regard for his memory or services”. Hamburger understands by it that Joseph was quite forgotten under the new national dynasty, whilst Nösgen refers to the use of οἶδα in Matthew 25:12.

18. till another king arose, which knew not Joseph] The oldest authorities have, till there arose another king over Egypt, &c.

Verse 18. - Over Egypt, R.T.; there arose another king for another king arose, A.V. Acts 7:18Another (ἕτερος)

Not merely a successor, but a monarch of a different character.

Knew not

As sixty years had elapsed since Joseph's death, and a new dynasty was coming to the throne, this may be taken literally: did not know his history and services. Some explain, did not recognize his merits.

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