World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
24. When he saw a certain man. Moses came not to this spectacle by chance, but forasmuch as God had appointed him to be the deliverer of his people, he would have him show forth this token, and, as it were, make this beginning. For Stephen doth plainly express that he did attempt nothing unadvisedly, but did that which became him that was appointed to be a deliverer of the people, knowing that he was thereunto called. For unless God had armed him, (and made him puissant,) it had been a thing altogether unlawful for him to kill any man, how wicked soever he had been. It is a godly deed, and praiseworthy, for a man to set himself against the wicked, to defend the good against the injuries of the wicked, to bridle their violence; but it is not for a private person to punish, (or take vengeance.) Therefore, it was unlawful for Moses to slay the Egyptian, save only inasmuch as the Lord had put the sword in his hand according to the right of his calling. But this heroical courage and nobleness of heart 413413 “Haec heroica animi magnitudo,” this heroic magnanimity. was a work of the Holy Ghost; because God doth mightily show forth his power in those whom he appointeth unto great matters, that they may be able to fulfill their function. In sum, Stephen meaneth that Moses was even then offered to be the minister of deliverance when the day was at hand, according to the covenant made with Abraham, yet did the people hope for nothing less.