Acts 7:1–8 (NA28)

1Εἶπεν δὲ ὁ ἀρχιερεύς εἰ ταῦτα οὕτως ἔχει;

And the high priest said, concerning these things is the situation so?

  • Concerning the things of the previously mentioned false witness – are the accusations true?
  • Is it true that the customs – the temple, the altar, the customs of Moses – are you(Stephen) advocating the destruction of the
  • Two charges had been made against Stephen (1) speaking against the holy temple, (2) changing the customs which Moses had delivered. Stephen could not give a yes or no answer to these two charges.[1]
  • As presiding officer in the Sanhedrin, the high priest followed the proper protocol and allowed the accused to respond to the charges—“Are these charges true?” “How do you plead, guilty or innocent?” (author’s translation).[2]


2ὁ δὲ ἔφη· Ἄνδρες ἀδελφοὶ καὶ πατέρες, ἀκούσατε. Ὁ θεὸς τῆς δόξης ὤφθη τῷ πατρὶ ἡμῶν Ἀβραὰμ ὄντι ἐν τῇ Μεσοποταμίᾳ πρὶν ἢ κατοικῆσαι αὐτὸν ἐν Χαρρὰν

And/so he said, ” men, brothers, and fathers, listen the God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was in Mesopotamia before he settled in Haran.

  • Stephen starts tracing the history of Israel

3καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν· ἔξελθε ἐκ τῆς γῆς σου καὶ [ἐκ] τῆς συγγενείας σου, καὶ δεῦρο εἰς τὴν γῆν ἣν ἄν σοι δείξω.

And said to him, “go out from the your land and from your relatives and come to the land that I will show you.

  • Starting with the call of Abram(Abraham)


4τότε ἐξελθὼν ἐκ γῆς Χαλδαίων κατῴκησεν ἐν Χαρράν. κἀκεῖθεν μετὰ τὸ ἀποθανεῖν τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ μετῴκισεν αὐτὸν εἰς τὴν γῆν ταύτην εἰς ἣν ὑμεῖς νῦν κατοικεῖτε,

Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Charran. And from there after his father died he caused him to move to the this land in which you now live.

  • Abraham responds to God, listens and follows

5καὶ οὐκ ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ κληρονομίαν ἐν αὐτῇ οὐδὲ βῆμα ποδὸς καὶ ἐπηγγείλατο δοῦναι αὐτῷ εἰς κατάσχεσιν αὐτὴν καὶ τῷ σπέρματι αὐτοῦ μετʼ αὐτόν, οὐκ ὄντος αὐτῷ τέκνου.

And he did not give him an inheritance in it not even a step of a foot and he promised to give to him for his possession and his descendants after him, although there was not a child to him

  • Abraham believed the promise of and inheritance even though he had no children
  • Abraham trusted in God

6ἐλάλησεν δὲ οὕτως ὁ θεὸς ὅτι ἔσται τὸ σπέρμα αὐτοῦ πάροικον ἐν γῇ ἀλλοτρίᾳ καὶ δουλώσουσιν αὐτὸ καὶ κακώσουσιν ἔτη τετρακόσια·

But God spoke like this – his descendants will be foreigners in a foreign land and they will enslave them and mistreat them (for) four hundred years

  • The foreshadowing of the Exodus – all part of the promise

7καὶ τὸ ἔθνος ᾧ ἐὰν δουλεύσουσιν κρινῶ ἐγώ, ὁ θεὸς εἶπεν, καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα ἐξελεύσονται καὶ λατρεaύσουσίν μοι ἐν τῷ τόπῳ τούτῳ.

And the nation to which they will serve as slaves God said I will judge, and after these things they will come out and will worship me in this place

8καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ διαθήκην περιτομῆς· καὶ οὕτως ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰσαὰκ καὶ περιέτεμεν αὐτὸν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ ὀγδόῃ, καὶ Ἰσαὰκ τὸν Ἰακώβ, καὶ Ἰακὼβ τοὺς δώδεκα πατριάρχας.

And he gave him the covenant of circumcision and so he became the father of Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day and Isaac did so with Jacob and Jacob did so with the twelve patriarchs.

  • The ratification of the Siniatic or Mosaic Covenant as laid forth by God to Israel

[1] Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Ac 7:1). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.

[2] Polhill, J. B. (1992). Acts (Vol. 26, p. 187). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.