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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 7 - Verse 43
Verse 43. Yea, ye took up. That is, you bore, or you carried with you, for purposes of idolatrous worship.
The tabernacle. This word properly means a tent; but it is also applied to the small tent or house in which was contained the image of the god; the house, box, or tent, in which the idol was placed. It is customary for idolatrous nations to bear their idols about with them, enclosed in cases or boxes of various sizes, usually very small, as their idols are commonly small. Probably they were made in the shape of small temples or tabernacles; and such appear to have been the silver shrines for Diana, made at Ephesus, Ac 19:24. These shrines, or images, were borne with them as a species of amulet, or charm, or talisman, to defend them from evil. Such images the Jews seem to have borne with them.
Moloch. This word comes from the Hebrew word signifying king. This was a god of the Ammonites, to whom human sacrifices were offered. Moses in several places forbids the Israelites, under penalty of death, to dedicate their children to Moloch, by making them pass through the fire, Le 18:21; 20:2-5. There is great probability that the Hebrews were addicted to the worship of this deity after they entered the land of Canaan. Solomon built a temple to Moloch on the Mount of Olives, 1 Ki 11:7; and Manasseh made his son pass through the fire in honour of this idol, 2 Ki 21:3,6. The image of this idol was made of brass, and his arms extended so as to embrace any one; and when they offered children to him, they heated the statue, and when it was burning hot, they placed the child in his arms, where it was soon destroyed by heat. It is not certain what this god was supposed to represent. Some suppose it was in honour of the planet Saturn, others the sun, others Mercury, Venus, etc. What particular god it was, is not material. It was the most cutting reproof that could be made to the Jews, that their fathers had been guilty of worshipping this idol.
And the star. The Hebrew in this place, is "Chiun your images, the star of your god." The expression here used leads us to suppose that this was a star which was worshipped, but what star it is not easy to ascertain; nor is it easy to determine why it is called both Chiun and Remphan. Stephen quotes from the LXX. They have rendered the word Chiun by the word Raiphan, or Rephan, easily changed into Remphan. Why the LXX. adopted this is not known. It was probably, however, from one of two causes.
(1.) Either because the word Chiun in Hebrew meant the same as Remphan in the language of Egypt, where the translation was made; or,
(2.) because the object of worship called Chiun in Hebrew, was called Remphan in the language of Egypt. It is generally agreed that the object of their worship was the planet Saturn, or Mars, both of which planets were worshipped as gods of evil influence. In Arabic, the word Chevan denotes the planet Saturn. Probably Rephan, or Remphan, is the Coptic name for the same planet, and the Septuagint adopted this because their translation was made in Egypt, where the Coptic language was spoken.
Figures which ye made. Images of the god which they made. See the article Chuin in Robinson's Calmet.
And I will carry you away, etc. This is simply expressing in few words what is stated at greater length in Am 5:27. In Hebrew it is Damascus; but this evidently denotes the eastern region, in which also Babylon was situated.
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