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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 7 - Verse 30

Verse 30. And when forty years, etc. At the age of eighty years. This, however, was known by tradition. It is not expressly mentioned by Moses. It is said, however, to have been after the king of Egypt had died, (Ex 2:23;) and the tradition is not improbable.

In the wilderness of mount Sina. In the desert adjacent to, or that surrounded Mount Sinai. In Ex 3:1, it is said that this occurred at Mount Horeb. But there is no contradiction; Horeb and Sinai are different peaks or elevations of the same mountain. They are represented as springing from the same base, and branching out in different elevations. The mountains, according to Burckhardt, are a prodigious pile, comprehending many peaks, and about thirty miles in diameter. From one part of this mountain, Sinai, the law was given to the children of Israel.

An angel of the Lord. The word angel means, properly, a messenger, (See Barnes "Mt 1:20,) and is applied to the invisible spirits in heaven, to men, to the winds, or pestilence, or to whatever is appointed as a messenger to make known the will of God. The mere name, therefore, can determine nothing about the nature of the messenger. That name might be applied to any messenger, even an inanimate object. The nature and character of this messenger are to be determined by other considerations. The word may denote that the bush on fire was the messenger. But a comparison with the other places where this occurs will show that it was a celestial messenger, and perhaps that it was the Messiah who was yet to come, appearing to take the people of Israel under his own charge and direction. Comp. Joh 1:11, where the Jews are called "his own." In Ex 3:2, it is said that the angel of the Lord appeared IN a flame of fire; in Ex 3:4, it is said that Jehovah spake to him out of the midst of the bush; language which implies that God was there, and which is strongly expressive of the doctrine that the angel was Jehovah. In Ex 23:20,21, God says, "I send an angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice," Ex 23:23; 32:34; 33:2.

In all these places this angel is mentioned as an extraordinary messenger to conduct them to the land of Canaan. He was to guide them, defend them, and drive out the nations before them. All these circumstances seem to point to the conclusion that this was no other than the future Deliverer of the world, who came then to take his people under his own guidance, as emblematic of the future redemption of mankind.

In a flame of fire. That is, in what appeared to be a flame of fire. The bush or clump of trees seemed to be on fire, or to be illuminated with a peculiar splendour. God is often represented as encompassed with this splendour, or glory, Lu 2:9; Mt 17:1-6; Ac 9:3; 12:7.

 

In a bush. In a grove, or clump of trees. Probably the light was seen issuing from the midst of such a grove.

{b} "And when forty years" Ex 3:2

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