Acts 7:25
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)
(25) 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.

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.For he supposed - This is not mentioned by Moses; but it is not at all improbable. When they saw him "alone" contending with the Egyptian; when it was understood that he had come and taken vengeance on one of their oppressors, it might have been presumed that he regarded himself as directed by God to interpose, and save the people. 25. For he supposed his brethren would have understood, &c.—and perhaps imagined this a suitable occasion for rousing and rallying them under him as their leader; thus anticipating his work, and so running unsent.

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.

This they might have inferred,

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. For he supposed his brethren would have understood him,.... From his being an Hebrew in such high life; from his wonderful birth, and miraculous preservation in his infancy, and education in Pharaoh's court; and from the promise of God that he would visit them and save them:

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:

but they understood not; or "him not", as the Ethiopic version reads; they did not understand that he was to be their deliverer, or that this action of his was a token of it.

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. Understood (συνιέναι)

See on understanding, Mark 12:33.

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