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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 7 - Verse 2

Verse 2. Men, brethren, and fathers. These were the usual titles by which the sanhedrim was addressed. In all this Stephen was perfectly respectful, and showed that he was disposed to render due honour to the institutions of the nation.

The God of glory. This is a Hebrew form of expression denoting the glorious God. It properly denotes his majesty, or splendour, or magnificence; and the word glory is often applied to the splendid appearances in which God has manifested himself to men, De 5:24; Ex 33:18; 16:7,10; Le 9:23; Nu 14:10.

Perhaps Stephen meant to affirm that God appeared to Abraham in some such glorious or splendid manifestation, by which he would know that he was addressed by God. Stephen, moreover, evidently uses the word glory to repel the charge of blasphemy against God, and to show that he regarded him as worthy of honour and praise.

Appeared, etc. In what manner he appeared is not said. In Ge 12:1, it is simply recorded that God had said unto Abraham, etc.

Unto our father. The Jews valued themselves much on being the children of Abraham, See Barnes "Mt 3:9".

This expression was therefore well calculated to conciliate their minds.

When he was in Mesopotamia. In Ge 11:31, it is said that Abraham dwelt in Ur of the Chaldees. The word Mesopotamia properly denotes the region between the two rivers, the Euphrates and the Tigris. See Barnes "Ac 2:9".

The name is Greek, and the region had also other names before the Greek name was given to it. In Ge 11:31; 15:7, it is called Ur of the Chaldees. Mesopotamia and Chaldea might not exactly coincide; but it is evident that Stephen meant to say that Ur was in the country afterwards called Mesopotamia. Its precise situation is unknown. A Persian fortress of this name is mentioned by Ammianus, (xxv. 8,) between Nesibis and the Tigris.

Before he dwelt in Charran. From Ge 11:31, it would seem that Terah took his son Abraham of his own accord, and removed to Haran. But, from Ge 12:1; 15:7, it appears that God had commanded Abraham to remove, and he so ordered it in his providence that Terah was disposed to remove his family with an intention of going into the land of Canaan, (Charran.) This is the Greek form of the Hebrew word Haran, Ge 11:31. This place was also in Mesopotamia, in 36 52' N. lat. and 39 5' E. lon. Here Terah died, (Ge 11:32;) and to this place Jacob retired when he fled from his brother Esau, Ge 27:43. It is situated "in a flat and sandy plain, and is inhabited by a few wandering Arabs, who select it for the delicious water which it contains."—Robinson' s Calmet.

{a} "brethren" Ac 22:1 {*} "Charran" "Haran"

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