Acts 7:26
And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?
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(26) Would have set them at one again.—Literally, brought them to peace. The better MSS. give “was bringing them.”

Sirs.—Literally, Ye are brethren, without any word of address. The phrase is the same as “we be brethren” in Genesis 13:8.

Acts 7:26-29. The next day he showed himself unto them — Of his own accord, unexpectedly; as they strove — As they were quarrelling with each other; and would have set them at one — That is, by interposing between them, he would have put an end to their quarrel, and have persuaded them to live in peace and friendship; saying, Sirs, ye are brethren — Descended from Jacob, our common ancestor, and now also joined in affliction as well as in religion; which things ought doubly to cement your affections to each other; why then do you injure one another? But he that did his neighbour wrong — Unable to bear with his plain and faithful reproof; insolently thrust him away — As a person that had nothing to do in their controversy; saying, Who made thee a ruler, &c., over us? — Thus, under the pretence of the want of a call by man, the instruments of God are often rejected. The speech of this single person is represented (Acts 7:35) as expressing the sentiments of the whole body of the people, as their slowness afterward to believe the mission of Moses, when attested by miracle, (Exodus 5:20-21,) seems evidently to show that it was. Wilt thou kill me, as thou didst the Egyptian, &c. — His blood may cost thee dear enough, without adding mine to it. Then fled Moses — Finding the matter was discovered, and being apprehensive that, in consequence of it, the Egyptian power would soon be armed against him, while the Israelites were not inclined to use any efforts for his protection, nor to put themselves under his guidance. See the note on Exodus 2:15. And was a stranger in the land of Madian — Where he became shepherd to Jethro, the prince of the country, and marrying Zipporah his daughter, he begat two sons, Gershom and Eliezer.

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.And the next day - Exodus 2:13.

He showed himself - He appeared in a sudden and unexpected manner to them.

Unto them - That is, to "two" of the Hebrews, Exodus 2:13.

As they strove - As they were engaged in a quarrel.

Have set them at one - Greek: "would have urged them to peace." This he did by remonstrating with the man that did the wrong.

Saying - What follows is not quoted literally from the account which Moses gives, but it is substantially the same.

Sirs - Greek: "Men."

Ye are brethren - You belong not only to the same nation, but you are brethren and companions in affliction, and should not, therefore, contend with each other. One of the most melancholy scenes in the world is that, where those who are poor, and afflicted, and oppressed, add to all their other calamities altercations and strifes among themselves. Yet it is from this class that contentions and lawsuits usually arise. The address which Moses here makes to the contending Jews might be applied to the whole human family in view of the contentions and wars of nations: "Ye are "brethren," members of the same great family, and why do you contend with each other?"

26. next day he showed himself unto them as they strove—Here, not an Israelite and an Egyptian, but two parties in Israel itself, are in collision with each other; Moses, grieved at the spectacle, interposes as a mediator; but his interference, as unauthorized, is resented by the party in the wrong, whom Stephen identifies with the mass of the nation (Ac 7:35), just as Messiah's own interposition had been spurned. He showed himself; as one appointed by God to deliver them, which he had evidenced before.

Would have set them at one again; with great earnestness, and as far as words could do, he compelled them.

Saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; these words are not mentioned, Exodus 2:13, but something otherwise than here; but the sense is here and there the same.

Brethren, not so much being all descended from Abraham and the patriarchs; but in that they all worshipped one and the same God, which is the greatest obligation to concord and agreement that can be; and if any offence to be given, or trespass committed, it obliges us as much to pass it by and pardon it: Forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father, Genesis 1:17.

And the next day he showed himself to them, as they strove,.... To two men of the Hebrews, who were quarrelling and contending with one another: these are said by the Jews (w) to be Dathan and Abiram; who were disputing and litigating the point, and were very warm, and at high words. The occasion of their contention is (x) said to be this,

"the Hebrew man (that had been abused) went to his house to divorce his wife, who was defiled, but she fled and told the affair to Abiram her brother: and on the morrow, Moses returned a second time to the Hebrew camp, and found Dathan and Abiram contending about the divorce.''

Though some think this is prophetically said, because they afterwards contended and divided in the business of Korah (y) Moses came up to them, and let them know who he was; and this was the day after he had killed the Egyptian. So Stephen explains the "second day" in Exodus 2:13 and to this agrees what a Jewish writer (z) says, that in the morning, Moses returned a second time to the camp of the Hebrews:

and would have set them at one again; persuaded them to peace and concord, composed their difference, reconciled them, and made them good friends:

saying, sirs, ye are brethren; as Abraham said to Lot, when there was a strife between their herdsmen, Genesis 13:8 and if these two were Dathan and Abiram, they were brethren in the strictest sense, Numbers 16:1

why do ye wrong one to another? by abusing each other, calling ill names, or striking one another; or by lifting up the hand to strike, as Jonathan the Targumist says Dathan did against Abiram.

(w) Shalshalet, ib. (x) Targum Jon. Jarchi, & Baal Hattuim in Exod. ii. 13. Shemot Rabba, Shalshalet & Pirke Eliezer, ut supra. (y) Shemot Rabba, ib. & Yade Mose & Mattanot Cehunah in ib. (z) Shelsheleth, ib.

And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?
Acts 7:26-27 f. See Exodus 2:13 f.

ὤφθη] he showed himself to them,—when, namely, he arrived among them “rursus invisurus suos” (Erasmus). Comp. 1 Kings 3:16. Well does Bengel find in the expression the reference ultro, ex improviso. Comp. Acts 2:3, Acts 7:2, Acts 9:17, al.; Hebrews 9:28.

αὐτοῖς] refers back to ἀδελφούς. It is presumed in this case as well known, that there were two who strove.

συνήλασεν αὐτ. εἰς εἰρ.] he drove them together (by representations) to (εἰς denoting the end aimed at) peace. The opposite: ἔριδι ξυνελάσσαι, Hom. Il. xx. 134. The aorist does not stand de conatu (Grotius, Wolf, Kuinoel), but the act actually took place on Moses’ part; the fact that it was resisted on the part of those who strove, alters not the action. Grotius, moreover, correctly remarks: “vox quasi vim significans agentis instantiam significat.”

ὁ δὲ ἀδικῶν τ. πλησ.] but he who treated his neighbour (one by nationality his brother) unjustly (was still in the act of maltreating him).

ἀπώσατο] thrust him from him. On κατέστησεν, has appointed, comp. Bremi, ad. Dem. Ol. p. 171; and on δικαστής, who judges according to the laws, as distinguished from the more general κριτής, Wyttenbach, Ep. crit. p. 219.

μὴ ἀνελεῖν κ.τ.λ.] thou wilt not surely despatch (Acts 2:23, Acts 5:33) me? To the pertness of the question belongs also the σύ.

Acts 7:26. ὥφθη: Wendt commends Bengel, who sees in the word the thought that he appeared ultro, ex improviso, cf. Acts 2:3, Acts 7:2, Hebrews 9:28.—συνήλασεν: but if we read συνήλλασσεν, see critical note = imperfect, de conatu, cf. Matthew 3:14, Luke 1:59; Luke 15:14, Acts 26:11, see Burton, N. T. Moods and Tenses, p. 12, from συναλλάσσω, only found here in N.T., not in LXX or Apocrypha, but in classical Greek, cf. Thuc., i., 24.—ἱνατί = ἵνα τί γένηται; cf. Acts 4:25, and Luke 13:7 (Matthew 9:4; Matthew 27:46, 1 Corinthians 10:29), and with the words ἱνατί ἀδικεῖτε ἀλλήλους; Exodus 2:13 (Moulton and Geden); used several times in LXX, also by Aristoph, and Plato. Like the Latin ut quid? see Grimm, sub v., and for spelling; and comp. also Blass, Gram., p. 14, and Winer-Schmiedel, p. 36.—ἄνδρες, ἀδελφοί ἐστε: the fact of their brotherhood aggravated their offence; it was no longer a matter between an Egyptian and a Hebrew as on the previous day, but between brother and brother—community of suffering should have cemented and not destroyed their sense of brotherhood. Hackett and Alford take ἄνδρες as belonging to ἀδελφοί (not as = κύριοι, ‘Sirs’ in A. and R.V.), men related as brethren are ye, cf. Genesis 13:8.

26. And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove] i.e. to “two men of the Hebrews” (Exodus 2:13). This quotation from Exodus is but a forcible way of representing what up to this point had been left unexplained, that the persons contending in this second case were Israelites.

Acts 7:26. Ὤφθη, he appeared, showed himself) of his own accord, unexpectedly.—συνήλασεν, he brought them together) by the force of kindness.[47]—εἰπὼν, saying) An example of fraternal correction.

[47] BCDe Vulg. Theb. read συνήλλασσεν, he reconciled; but AE and Rec. Text, συνήλασεν.—E. and T.

Verse 26. - The day following for the next day, A.V.; he appeared for be showed himself, A.V. Acts 7:26Appeared (ῶφθη)

With the suggestion of a sudden appearance as in a vision; possibly with the underlying notion of a messenger of God. See on Luke 22:43.

Would have set them at one (συνήλασεν αὐτοὺς εἰς εἰρήνην)

Lit., drove them together to peace; urged them.

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