Acts 7:35
This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made you a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(35) The same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer.—Literally, a ruler and redeemer. The word is not found elsewhere in the New Testament, but is formed from the noun for “ransom” in Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45, and appears to have been chosen to emphasise the parallelism which the speech indicates between Moses and the Christ. In a yet higher sense than Moses, the latter also had been made “a ruler and a redeemer.”

Acts 7:35-36. This Moses, whom they refused — Namely, forty years before: probably not they, but their fathers did it, and God imputes it to them. So God frequently imputes the sins of parents to those of their children who are of the same spirit. The same did God send to be a ruler and deliverer — Which is much more than a judge. By the hand — That is, by the means; of the angel — See on Acts 7:30. He brought them out — Though for a while he hesitated, he afterward complied, and at length led them forth in triumph, a willing people listed under his banner; after he had showed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt — Which were afterward continued for the completing their deliverance, according as the case called for it; in the Red sea, and in the wilderness, forty years — During which space they were every day miraculously fed with manna from heaven, and conducted by a pillar of fire and cloud, and had a variety of other astonishing miracles wrought in their behalf continually. Thus Stephen is so far from blaspheming Moses, that he extols him as a glorious instrument in the hand of God in the forming of the Old Testament Church. But it does not at all derogate from his just honour, to say that he was but an instrument, and was excelled by Jesus, whom he encourages these Jews yet to receive and obey; not fearing, if they did so, but that they should be accepted, and obtain salvation by him, as the people of Israel were delivered by Moses, though they had once refused him.7:30-41 Men deceive themselves, if they think God cannot do what he sees to be good any where; he can bring his people into a wilderness, and there speak comfortably to them. He appeared to Moses in a flame of fire, yet the bush was not consumed; which represented the state of Israel in Egypt, where, though they were in the fire of affliction, yet they were not consumed. It may also be looked upon as a type of Christ's taking upon him the nature of man, and the union between the Divine and human nature. The death of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, cannot break the covenant relation between God and them. Our Saviour by this proves the future state, Mt 22:31. Abraham is dead, yet God is still his God, therefore Abraham is still alive. Now, this is that life and immortality which are brought to light by the gospel. Stephen here shows that Moses was an eminent type of Christ, as he was Israel's deliverer. God has compassion for the troubles of his church, and the groans of his persecuted people; and their deliverance takes rise from his pity. And that deliverance was typical of what Christ did, when, for us men, and for our salvation, he came down from heaven. This Jesus, whom they now refused, as their fathers did Moses, even this same has God advanced to be a Prince and Saviour. It does not at all take from the just honour of Moses to say, that he was but an instrument, and that he is infinitely outshone by Jesus. In asserting that Jesus should change the customs of the ceremonial law. Stephen was so far from blaspheming Moses, that really he honoured him, by showing how the prophecy of Moses was come to pass, which was so clear. God who gave them those customs by his servant Moses, might, no doubt, change the custom by his Son Jesus. But Israel thrust Moses from them, and would have returned to their bondage; so men in general will not obey Jesus, because they love this present evil world, and rejoice in their own works and devices.Whom they refused - That is, when he first presented himself to them, Exodus 2:13-14. Stephen introduces and dwells upon this refusal in order, perhaps, to remind them that this had been the character of their nation, and to prepare the way for the charge which he intended to bring against those whom he addressed, as being stiff-necked and rebellious. See Acts 7:51-52, etc.

A ruler - A military leader, or a governor in civil matters.

A deliverer - A Redeemer - λυτρωτὴν lutrōtēn. It properly means one who redeems a captive or a prisoner by paying a "price" or "ransom." It is applied thus to the Lord Jesus, as having redeemed or purchased sinners by his blood as a price, Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:18; Hebrews 9:12. It is used here, however, in a more "general" sense to denote "the deliverance," without specifying the manner. Compare Exodus 6:6; Luke 24:21; Luke 1:68; Luke 2:38.

By the hand of the angel - Under the direction and by the "help" of the angel, Numbers 20:16. See on Acts 7:30.

35-41. This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge, &c.—Here, again, "the stone which the builders refused is made the head of the corner" (Ps 118:22). A deliverer; or, a redeemer; but only as a type of Christ, in whom alone we have redemption through his blood, Ephesians 1:7; as Moses by the blood of the paschal lamb brought forth and saved the people of Israel.

The hands of the angel; the power of the angel; it was not Moses, but God, that wrought so great salvation. This Moses, whom they refused,.... That is, the Israelites; the Ethiopic version reads, "his kinsmen denied"; those of his own nation, and even of his family: "saying, who made thee a ruler and a judge?" as Dathan, or whoever said the words in Acts 7:27.

the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer; or "a redeemer"; so the Jews often call Moses, saying (z).

"as was the first redeemer, so shall be the last Redeemer.''

He was an eminent type of the Messiah; and the redemption of the people of Israel out of the Egyptian bondage, by him, was emblematical of redemption from the bondage of sin, Satan, and the law by Jesus Christ; and as Moses had his mission and commission from God, so had Jesus Christ, as Mediator; and as Moses was despised by his brethren, and yet made the ruler and deliverer of them, so, though Jesus was set at nought by the Jews, yet he was made both Lord and Christ, and exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour. Moses was sent "by the hands of the angel, which appeared to him in the bush"; and who was the second person in the Godhead; the Father sent him by the Son, not as an instrument, but as having the power and authority over him, to govern, direct, and assist him. The Alexandrian copy, and the Vulgate Latin version read, "with the hand of the angel"; he sent Moses along with him to be used by him as an instrument in his hand, to deliver the people of Israel; nor does this at all contradict what the Jews say (a) at the time of the passover:

"and the Lord hath brought us out of Egypt, , "not by the hands of an angel", nor by the hands of a seraph, nor by the hands of a messenger, but the holy blessed God, by his own glory, by himself;''

for he did not deliver them by a created angel, but by an uncreated one.

(z) Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 11. fol. 202. 2. Midrash Ruth, fol. 33. 2. & Midrash Kohelet, fol. 63. 2.((a) Haggada Shel Pesach. p. 13. Ed. Rittangel.

This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the {m} hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.

(m) By the power.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 7:35-37. The recurring τοῦτον is emphatic: this and none other. See Bornemann in the Sächs. Stud. 1842, p. 66. Also in the following Acts 7:36-38, οὗτοςοὗτοςοὗτος are always emphatically prefixed.

ὃν ἠρνήσαντο] whom they (at that time, Acts 7:27) denied, namely, as ἄρχοντα καὶ δικαστήν. The plural is purposely chosen, because there is meant the whole category of those thinking alike with that one (Acts 7:27). This one is conceived collectively (Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. i. 4. 8). Comp. Roth, Exc. Agr. 3.

ἄρχ. κ. λυτρωτήν] observe the climax introduced by λυτρωτ. in relation to the preceding δικαστ. It is introduced because the obstinacy of the people against Moses is type of the antagonism to Christ and His work (Acts 7:51); consequently, Moses in his work of deliverance is a type of Christ, who has effected the λύτρωσις of the people in the highest sense (Luke 1:64; Luke 2:38; Hebrews 9:12; Titus 2:14).

According to the reading σὺν χειρί (see the critical remarks), the meaning is to be taken as: standing in association with the hand, i.e. with the protecting and helping power, of the angel. Comp. the classical expression σὺν θεοῖς. This power of the angel was that of God Himself (Acts 7:34), in virtue of which he wrought also the miracles, Acts 7:36.

As to the gender of βάτος, see on Mark 12:26.

After the work of Moses (Acts 7:36), Acts 7:37 now brings into prominence his great Messianic prophecy, which designates himself as a type of the Messiah, Deuteronomy 18:15 (comp. above, Acts 3:22); whereupon in Acts 7:38 his exalted position as the receiver and giver of the law is described, in order that this light, in which he stands, may be followed up in Acts 7:39 by the shadow—the contrast of disobedience towards him.Acts 7:35. τοῦτον: followed by the triple οὗτος, a significant and oratorical repetition—anaphora or repetition of the pronoun, cf. Acts 2:23, Acts 5:31 (so Bengel, Blass, Viteau, see also Simcox, Language of the N. T., pp. 65, 66). It plainly appears to be one of the purposes, although we cannot positively say the chief purpose, of the speech to place Moses in typical comparison to Jesus and the behaviour of the Jews towards Him, Acts 7:25.—(καὶ) ἄρχοντα καὶ λυτρωτὴν: Moses was made by God a ruler and even more than a judge—not δικαστής but λυτρωτής. But just as the denial of the Christ is compared with the denial of Moses, cf. ἠρνήσαντο and ἠρνήσασθε in Acts 3:13, so in the same way the λὑτρωσις wrought by Christ is compared with that wrought by Moses, cf. Luke 1:68; Luke 2:38, Hebrews 9:12, Titus 2:14 (so Wendt, in loco) “omnia quæ negaverant Judæi Deus attribuit Moysi” (Blass). λυτρωτής in LXX and in Philo, but not in classical Greek. In the Sept. the word is used of God Himself, Psalm 19:14; Psalm 78:35 (cf. Deuteronomy 13:5, and Psalms of Solomon, Acts 9:1).—ἐν χειρὶ, cf. Acts 11:21, but σύν is closer to the classical σὺν θεοῖς with the helping and protecting hand, ἐν χειρὶ = בְּיָד, cf. Galatians 3:19.—τῇ βάτῳ: Attic, Hellenistic, but in N.T. it varies, in Luke 20:37 feminine, in Mark 12:26 (and in LXX) masculine (W.H[207]); Blass, Gram., p. 26; Grimm-Thayer, sub v.

[207] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.35. Stephen here begins to point out how in old time the people had rejected Moses, though he had the witness of God that his commission was Divine, that he may shew his hearers how they are acting in the same manner toward Jesus.

This Moses … the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel] The best MSS. read, him hath God sent … with the hand, &c. The verb is in the perfect tense in the original, and constitutes the form of Stephen’s appeal to history. God, says he, hath sent back the rejected Moses to be a ruler and deliverer, and he leaves them to draw the conclusion that what God had done in the case of Moses, he would also do in the case of the prophet whom Moses had foretold as to be like himself. Cp. Galatians 4:23; 1 Timothy 2:14; Hebrews 7:6.

by the hand of the angel] i.e. with the power. Cp. Acts 11:21, “The hand of the Lord was with them.” And of the angel it is said (Exodus 3:4) “When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him,” so that the whole expression means, “with the power of God, who appeared to him,” &c.Acts 7:35. Τοῦτον, this) So οὗτος is used thrice in the three following verses, by a grand Anaphora [See Append. The repetition of the same word in beginnings].—ἠρνήσαντο, they refused or denied) Forty years before, they had denied him. In the book of GOD there is accurate note made of what mortals speak against GOD; and the words and deeds of one man are ascribed also to those who are of the same mind: Romans 1:32. Something may be denied (it is possible in some cases to deny) even by the mere will or wish.—ἄρχοντα καὶ δικαστην, ἄρχηγον καὶ λυτρωτὴν) A gradation: ἄρχων, a prince; ἀρχηγὸς, a chief leader; δικαστὴς, a judge, one who delivers or rescues a private individual from a private individual; λυτρωτὴς, a redeemer or deliverer, who rescues a nation from a nation. So too GOD made Jesus, whom the Jews had denied, Lord.—ἐν χειρὶ) ביד is the expression in Hebrew.—ἀγγέλου, of the angel) viz. the Lord, the Son of God: see Acts 7:30-31. See L. de Dieu on this passage.Verse 35. - Him hath God sent for the same did God send, A.V.; both a ruler for a ruler, A.V. and T.R.; with the hand for by the hand, A.V. and T.R. (σὺν for ἐν), but giving no clear sense in English. The meaning seems to be that Moses was to rule and save with the strength given him by the angel But it is much simpler to take ἐν χειρὶ as equivalent to the common Hebrew phrase בְיָד, meaning instrumentality, "by means of," "through," and to join it with "did send." The angel who spake to Moses in the bush in the Name of God was God's instrument in sending Moses. When an angel gives a message from God, the words are always given as spoken by God himself (see e.g. Joshua 2:1-3). In this verse Stephen, having with great oratorical skill entranced their attention by his recital of God's marvelous revelation of himself to Moses, now takes them off their guard, and shews how their fathers treated Moses just as they had treated Jesus Christ; and how God in the case of Moses had chosen and magnified the very man whom they had scornfully rejected; just as now he had exalted Jesus Christ to be a Prince and a Savior, whom they had crucified. Deliverer (λυτρωτὴν)

Strictly, a ransomer or redeemer. Only here in New Testament. See on ransom, Matthew 20:28; and redeemed, 1 Peter 1:18.

By the hand (ἐν χειρὶ)

The best texts read σύν χειρὶ, "with the hand;" i.e., in association with the protecting and helping power of the angel.

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