For he supposed his brothers would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)For he supposed his brethren would have understood . . .—Better, and he supposed. The Greek conjunction never has the meaning of “for,” and the insertion of that word gives to the act of slaying the Egyptian a deliberate character which, in the narrative of Exodus 2:11-12, does not belong to it.
Would deliver them.—Literally, was giving them salvation, or deliverance; the act being itself one of championship and the first step to deliverance.
but they understood not—Reckoning on a spirit in them congenial with his own, he had the mortification to find it far otherwise. This furnishes to Stephen another example of Israel's slowness to apprehend and fall in with the divine purposes of love.
1. From his extraordinary deliverance out of the Egyptians’ hands, and out of the river, when young.
2. From his readiness to defend them: it was wonderful, that such a one as he was, and might have been, should mind them.
3. From the drawing near of the time of their deliverance, which they could not, without negligence, be wholly ignorant of.
By his hand; by his means and ministry.
But they understood not: stupidity is frequently charged upon this people: they then did not receive Moses, as these now would not receive Christ.
how that God by his hand would deliver them: wherefore he was the more emboldened to kill the Egyptian, believing that his brethren would make no advantage of it against him; but look upon it as a beginning and pledge of their deliverance by him:For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Acts 7:25. ἐνόμιζε δὲ: a comment by St. Stephen, but we are not told upon what grounds Moses based his expectation (see however Lumby’s note, in loco). The verb is found in Luke 2:44; Luke 3:23, and seven times in Acts, but elsewhere in the Gospels only three times in St. Matthew; it is used three times by St. Paul. It is frequently found in ii. and iv. Macc., twice in Wisdom and once in Ecclesiasticus.—διὰ χειρὸς αὐτοῦ, Acts 2:23. δίδωσι, “was giving them,” R.V. (not “would give,” A.V.), as if the first step in their deliverance was already taken by this act, so συνιέναι, “understood,” R.V. (not “would understand,” A.V.). In Jos., Ant., ii., 9, 2, 3, reference is made to the intimation which was said to have been vouchsafed by God to Amram the father of Moses that his son should be the divine agent who was expected to arise for the deliverance of the Hebrews, and whose glory should be remembered through all ages. It has been sometimes thought that St. Stephen had this tradition in mind.—οἱ δὲ οὐ συνῆκαν: Mr. Page notes the rhetorical power in these words, cf. Acts 7:53 καὶ οὐκ ἐφυλάξατε.25. for he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them] Better, and he supposed that his brethren understood how that God by his hand was giving them deliverance. There is no condition in the sentence. The traditions, in the atmosphere of which Stephen moved, represent the death of the Egyptian as no mere ordinary killing by superior strength, but as brought about by mysterious Divine power, which Moses feeling within himself expected his kindred to recognize.Acts 7:25. Ἐνόμιζε, he supposed) Therefore Moses knew the reason why he had done it.—συνιέναι, would understand) Often from one proof a judgment may be formed as to many cases [instances. Here, as to the general character of Moses].—οὐ συνῆκαν, they understood not) By sloth and forgetfulness often great matters are neglected. It was this resistance (perverse opposition) of the people that seems afterwards to have induced Moses to refuse the undertaking.Verse 25. - And he supposed that his brethren understood for for he supposed that his brethren would have understood, A.V.; was giving them deliverance for would deliver them, A.V.
See on understanding, Mark 12:33.
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