New International Version
Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.
King James Bible
And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Darby Bible Translation
And kneeling down, he cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And having said this, he fell asleep.
World English Bible
He kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, "Lord, don't hold this sin against them!" When he had said this, he fell asleep.
Young's Literal Translation
and having bowed the knees, he cried with a loud voice, 'Lord, mayest thou not lay to them this sin;' and this having said, he fell asleep.
Acts 7:60 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
He kneeled down - That he might die as the subject of his heavenly Master - acting and suffering in the deepest submission to his Divine will and permissive providence; and, at the same time, showing the genuine nature of the religion of his Lord, in pouring out his prayers with his blood in behalf of his murderers!
Lay not this sin to their charge - That is, do not impute it to them so as to exact punishment. How much did the servant resemble his Lord, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do! This was the cry of our Lord in behalf of his murderers; and the disciple, closely copying his Master, in the same spirit, and with the same meaning, varies the expression, crying with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge! What an extent of benevolence! And in what a beautiful light does this place the spirit of the Christian religion! Christ had given what some have supposed to be an impossible command; Love your enemies; pray for them that despitefully use and persecute you. And Stephen shows here, in his own person, how practicable the grace of his Master had made this sublime precept.
He fell asleep - This was a common expression among the Jews to signify death, and especially the death of good men. But this sleep is, properly speaking, not attributable to the soul, but to the body; for he had commended his spirit to the Lord Jesus, while his body was overwhelmed with the shower of stones cast on him by the mob.
After the word εκοιμηθη, fell asleep, one MS. adds, εν ειρηνῃ, in peace; and the Vulgate has, in Domino, in the Lord. Both these readings are true, as to the state of St. Stephen; but I believe neither of them was written by St. Luke.
The first clause of the next chapter should come in here, And Saul was consenting unto his death: never was there a worse division than that which separated it from the end of this chapter: this should be immediately altered, and the amputated member restored to the body to which it belongs.
1. Though I have spoken pretty much at large on the punishment of stoning among the Jews, in the note on Leviticus 24:23, yet, as the following extracts will serve to bring the subject more fully into view, in reference to the case of St. Stephen, the reader will not be displeased to find them here. Dr. Lightfoot sums up the evidence he has collected on this subject, in the following particulars: -
"I. The place of stoning was without the sanhedrin, according as it is said, bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp, Leviticus 24:14. It is a tradition, the place of stoning was without three camps. The gloss tells us that the court was the camp of the Divine Presence; the mountain of the temple, the camp of the Levites; and Jerusalem, the camp of Israel. Now, in every sanhedrin, in whatever city, the place of stoning was without the city, as it was at Jerusalem.
We are told the reason by the Gemarists, why the place of stoning was without the sanhedrin, and again without three camps: viz. If the Sanhedrin go forth and sit without the three camps, they make the place for stoning also distant from the sanhedrin, partly lest the sanhedrin should seem to kill the man; partly, that by the distance of the place there may be a little stop and space of time before the criminal come to the place of execution, if peradventure any one might offer some testimony that might make for him; for in the expectation of some such thing: -
"II. There stood one at the door of the sanhedrin having a handkerchief in his hand, and a horse at such a distance as it was only within sight. If any one therefore say, I have something to offer in behalf of the condemned person, he waves the handkerchief, and the horseman rides and calls back the people. Nay, if the man himself say, I have something to offer in my own defense, they bring him back four or five times one after another, if it be any thing of moment that he hath to say." I doubt they hardly dealt so gently with the innocent Stephen.
"III. If no testimony arise that makes any thing for him, then they go on to stoning him: the crier proclaiming before him, 'N. the son of N. comes forth to be stoned for such or such a crime. N. and N. are the witnesses against him; if any one have any thing to testify in his behalf, let him come forth and give his evidence.'
"IV. When they come within ten cubits of the place where he must be stoned, they exhort him to confess, for so it is the custom for the malefactor to confess, because every one that confesseth hath his part in the world to come, as we find in the instance of Achan, etc.
"V. When they come within four cubits of the place, they strip off his clothes, and make him naked.
"VI. The place of execution was twice a man's height. One of the witnesses throws him down upon his loins; if he roll on his breast, they turn him on his loins again. If he die so, well. If not, then the other witness takes up a stone, and lays it upon his heart. If he die so, well. If not, he is stoned by all Israel.
"VII. All that are stoned, are handed also, etc." These things I thought fit to transcribe the more largely, that the reader may compare this present action with this rule and common usage of doing it.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
'Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God'--ACTS vii. 56. I. The vision of the Son of Man, or the abiding manhood of Jesus. Stephen's Greek name, and his belonging to the Hellenistic part of the Church, make it probable that he had never seen Jesus during His earthly life. If so, how beautiful that he should thus see and recognise Him! How significant, in any case, is it he should instinctively have taken on his lips that name, 'the Son of Man,' to designate …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts
The Prayer of Stephen.
Whether Christ's Birth Should have Been Manifested by Means of the Angels and the Star?
Whether it is Fitting that Christ Should Sit at the Right Hand of God the Father?
Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
After he had said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up."
Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, "Tabitha, get up." She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.
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