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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 6 - Verse 11

Verse 11. Then they suborned men. To suborn in law, means to procure a person to take such a false oath as constitutes perjury.— Webster. It has substantially this sense here. It means that they induced them to declare that which was false, or to bring a false accusation against him. This was done not by declaring a palpable and open falsehood, but by perverting his doctrines, and by stating their own inferences as what he had actually maintained—the common way in which men oppose doctrines from which they differ. The Syriac reads this place, "Then they sent certain men, and instructed them that they should say," etc. This was repeating an artifice which they practised so successfully in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ. See Mt 26:60,61.

We have heard, etc. When they alleged that they had heard this, is not said. Probably, however, in some of his discourses with the people, when he wrought miracles and wonders among them, Ac 6:8. Blasphemous words. See Barnes "Mt 9:3".

Moses was regarded with profound reverence. His laws they regarded as unchangeable. Any intimation, therefore, that there was a greater lawgiver than he, or that his institutions were mere shadows and types, and were no longer binding, would be regarded as blasphemy, even though it should be spoken with the highest respect for Moses. That the Mosaic institutions were to be changed, and give place to another and better dispensation, all the Christian teachers would affirm; but this was not said with a design to blaspheme or revile Moses. In the view of the Jews, to say that was to speak blasphemy; and hence, instead of reporting what he actually did say, they accused him of saying what they regarded as blasphemy. If reports are made of what men say, their very words should be reported; and we should not report our inferences or impressions as what they actually said.

And against God. God was justly regarded by the Jews as the Giver of their law, and the Author of their institutions. But the Jews, either wilfully or involuntarily, not knowing that they were a shadow of good things to come, and were therefore to pass away, regarded all intimations of such a change as blasphemy against God. God had a right to change or abolish those ceremonial observances; and it was not blasphemy in Stephen to declare it.

{b} "suborned men" 1 Ki 21:10,13; Mt 26:59,60

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