Acts 7:24
And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:
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(24) And avenged him.—The Greek phrase is noticeable as identical with that used by St. Luke (Luke 18:7) in reporting the lesson drawn by our Lord from the parable of the Unjust Judge.

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.Suffer wrong - The wrong or injury was, that the Egyptian was smiting the Hebrew, Exodus 2:11-12.

Smote the Egyptian - He slew him, and buried him in the sand,

24. avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian—going farther in the heat of his indignation than he probably intended. This fact of Moses some defend by the law of nature, which allows us to protect the innocent; but many things we know were done by an extraordinary warrant, which we are not to imitate; nor by our own authority to avenge ourselves or others.

And seeing one of them suffer wrong,.... Beza's Cambridge copy, and one of Stephens's, and one in the Bodleian library add, "of his own kindred": and so Exodus 2:11 he is said to be "one of his brethren"; which Aben Ezra explains, "of his family", one of the tribe of Levi; and so another Jewish writer (m) is very particular, and says,

"Moses went out to the camp of the Israelites, and saw an Egyptian smite one of the sons of Kohath, who was of his brethren of the tribe of Levi, as it is said, Exodus 2:11.''

This man, according to some of the Jewish writers (n), was the husband of Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, Leviticus 24:11 but, according to others, it was Dathan (o): the cause and manner of his suffering wrong was this, as they report (p); one of the taskmasters having set his eyes upon his wife, who was a beautiful woman, came early one morning, and got him out of his house to work, and then went into his wife, and lay with her; which when the man understood, he made some disturbance about it, for which he caused him to serve in very hard bondage, and beat him severely; who flying to Moses for protection,

he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed; he took his part, and screened him from the insults and blows of the officer, and avenged his cause:

and smote the Egyptian; and killed him: it is commonly said by the Jews (q), that he killed him by the sword of his mouth, by making use of the word Jehovah; though others (r) say, he smote him with his fist, which is more likely; or rather with his sword; the Ethiopic version adds, "and buried him in the sand". Beza's ancient copy, and one of Stephens's, add, "and he hid him in the sand", as it is in Exodus 2:12 and which the Jews understand not literally of any sand pit, into which he might cast him, and cover him; or of the sand of the sea, near which he was, and which does not appear; but mystically of the people of Israel, comparable to the sand of the sea, among whom he hid him. So in one of their Midrashes (s) it is observed on these words,

"and "he hid him in the sand"; though there were none there but the Israelites---who are like to sand: he said unto them, ye are like the sand; take this man here and put him there, and his voice is not heard; so this thing will be hid among you, and not heard. And so you find that the thing was not heard but by the means of the Hebrews, as it is said, "and he went out on the second day, and two men of the Hebrews", &c.''

And another of their (t) writers, says, that when Moses saw the Egyptian smiting the Hebrew,

"he began to curse him, and took the sword of his lips, and killed him, and hid him in the camp of the Israelites, as it is said, Exodus 2:12 not in the sand, but among the Israelites: hence it is said, "the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea", Hosea 1:10.''

To which may be added what one of their chronologers (u) affirms, that

"Moses slew the Egyptian with the ineffable name of God, and hid him among the children of Israel, who are like to sand.''

This Egyptian is said, by Jarchi, to be one of the taskmasters who was appointed over the officers of Israel, who, from the cockcrowing, kept them to their work, which is very probable.

(m) Pirke Eliezer, c. 48. (n) Jarchi in Exod. ii. 12. (o) Shemot Rabba, sect. 1. fol. 91. 4. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 5. 2.((p) Shemot Rabba, & Shalshalet, ib. & Chronicon Mosis, fol. 5. 2. & Jarchi in Exod. ii. 12. (q) Pirke Eliezer, c. 48. Shalshalet, ib. Clement. Alex. Strom. l. 1. p. 344. (r) Shemot Rabba, ib. (s) Shemot Rabba, sect. 1. fol. 9l. 4. (t) Pirke Eliezer, c. 48. (u) R. Gedaliah, Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 5. 2.

And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:
Acts 7:24-25. See Exodus 2:11-12.

ἀδικεῖσθαι] to be unjustly treated. Erroneously Kuinoel holds that it here signifies verberari. That was the maltreatment.

ἠμύνατο] he exercised retaliation. Only here in the N. T., often in classic Greek. Similarly ἀμείβεσθαι; see Poppo, ad Thuc. i. 42; Herm. ad Soph. Ant. 639.

κ. ἐποίησ. ἐκδίκ.] and procured revenge (Jdg 11:36). He became his ἔκδικος, vindex.

τῷ καταπονουμ.] for him who was on the point of being overcome (present participle). Comp. Polyb. xxix. 11. 11, xl. 7. 3; Diod. xi. 6, xiii. 56.

πατάξας] mode of the ἠμύνατο κ. ἐποίησ. κ.τ.λ. Wolf aptly says: “Percussionem violentam caedis causa factam hic innui indubium est.” Comp. Matthew 26:31, and see Acts 7:28.

The inaccuracy, that τὸν Αἰγύπτιον has no definite reference in the words that precede it, but only an indirect indication (Winer, p. 587 [E. T. 788]) in ἀδικούμενον (which presupposes a maltreater), is explained from the circumstances of the event being so universally known.

Acts 7:25. But he thought that his brethren would observe that God by his hand (intervention) was giving them deliverance.

δίδωσιν] the giving is conceived as even now beginning; the first step toward effecting the liberation from bondage had already taken place by the killing of the Egyptian, which was to be to them the signal of deliverance.

Acts 7:24. ἀδικούμενον, “wronged,” i.e., by blows, Exodus 2:11.—ἠμύνατο: only here in N.T. (sc., τὸν ἀδικοῦντα); in active the verb means to defend, “debebat scribere ἤμυνε,” says Blass, but in the middle it means defence of oneself, or of a friend, with the collateral notion of requital or retaliation on an enemy (see Rendall). In the middle it has also the meaning of avenging, and therefore might mean here “he took vengeance on” or “he repulsed” (cf. Joshua 10:13, 2Ma 10:17, Wis 11:3, and Jos., Ant., ix., 1, 2), although this is expressed in the next words.—ἐποίησεν ἐκδίκησιν, cf. Luke 18:7-8; Luke 21:22; lit[205], “wrought an avenging,” Romans 12:19 (cf. Hebrews 10:30), 2 Corinthians 7:11, 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 1 Peter 2:14. This and similar expressions are common in LXX, Jdg 11:36, Psalm 149:7, Ezekiel 25:17, 1Ma 3:15; 1Ma 7:9; 1Ma 7:24; 1Ma 7:38; ἐκδ. in Polybius with ποιεῖσθαι, Acts 3:8; Acts 3:10.—καταπονουμένῳ: only here and in 2 Peter 2:7; cf. 2Ma 8:2 (R has καταπ α τ ούμ., of the Jews oppressed, trodden down, in the days of Judas Maccabæus), 3Ma 2:2; 3Ma 2:13; used in Polyb. and Josephus, etc. The exact word is found in Didache 1, v., 2.—πατάξας: lit[206], to strike, hence to kill, in Biblical language only, cf. Exodus 2:12; Exodus 2:14, and Acts 7:28 below: so also in Matthew 26:31, Mark 14:27 (Zechariah 13:7, LXX). The verb is very frequent in LXX. “Smiting the Egyptian,” R.V.—τὸν Αἰγ.: not previously mentioned, but implied in ἀδικ., which involves an oppressor; as in Acts 7:26 the facts are regarded by St. Stephen as known to his audience.

[205] literal, literally.

[206] literal, literally.

24. and smote the Egyptian] i.e. killed him. See Exodus 2:12.

Acts 7:24. Πατάξας τὸν Αἰγύπτιον, having smitten the Egyptian) So the LXX. in Exodus 2:12, where the Hebrew has “he slew the Egyptian.”

Acts 7:24Defended (ἠμύνατο)

Only here in New Testament. The word means originally to ward off from one's self, with a collateral notion of requital or revenge.

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