v2: Stephen speaking
· ‘Our father Abraham’ – Stephen points out that this is not the establishment of a different religion, and neither is he speaking out against the OT. This is Stephen’s confession of faith.
· Abraham was not where G-d wanted him to be so G-d redirected him to the land of Canaan – the land of promise.
v3: G-d wanted to bring about a change in Abraham’s life but this change would only happen based on Abraham’s response.
v4: When we become Christians G-d calls us to come out of the situation we are in (sinful behavior, mentalities, sometimes even the locations and jobs we are in need to change etc)
v5: G-d made promises to Abraham that were not a reality when he entered into Canaan. They were promises that had future fulfilment attached to them. Abraham lived with a future expectation of the fulfilment of these promises.
v6: (see Gen 15:13) When we violate G-d’s truth there is going to be discipline. We are created with free will and if we want to be pleasing to G-d we need to make G-dly decisions.
v7: Everything the children of Israel went through in Egypt (and in all the exiles) was to bring about a transformation so that they could be able to worship G-d.
· ‘This place ‘ – Stephen is talking about Jerusalem (2 Chron 6:6) – this verse shows that the statements made about Stephen in Acts 6:13 were untrue.
v8:Covenant of circumcision – Gen 17
· Covenant = relationship + expectation of promises. Circumcision reminded Abraham daily that he lived a life set apart for the purposes of G-d – death of the flesh/carnal nature (Deut 10:12-22)
· Eight in the Bible speaks of new beginnings, redemption.
v9: There was a uniqueness about Joseph. He received dreams and revelations from G-d, but his brothers rejected these things that were from G-d.
· ‘G-d was with him’ – everything Joseph went through (evil was not caused by G-d, but) G-d used for good and to prepare Joseph for what G-d had called him to do.
v10: Wisdom is discernment in action – something is discerned and followed up by proper behavior.
v11: G-d was displeased with both Egypt and with Jacob’s family because of a lack of faithfulness, rebellion etc
· Great suffering/tribulation – it is a word used in regard to the last days
v12: When we “hear” (faith comes by hearing…) good (ie in the will of G-d) things begin to happen.
· Jacob sent forth the fathers – the same word that we get ‘apostles’ from is used here. Joseph (A typology of Messiah) wasn’t revealed to his brothers on their first visit (Yeshua wasn’t recognized either on His first visit to earth… )
v13: The brothers (vast majority of the Jewish people) will only recognize Yeshua on His second “visit” when HE reveals Himself to them – Joseph can be seen as a type of Christ/Messiah.
· Pharaoh (the world) only learns about the brothers (and their role and calling) on this second visit as well.
v14: Jacob thought Joseph was dead. This is a picture/type of resurrection.
· Gen 46:27 tells us only 70 souls went to Egypt so why the seeming contradiction?
There are two traditions, or primary textual manuscripts, of the Torah. The Old Testament (as we know it today) is based on the Masoretic text and our New Testament is based on the Septuagint (LXX).
1. The Masoretic text was completed in +- 700AD. In the Masoretic text it speaks of 70 souls – 66 + Joseph + Jacob+ Ephraim + Manasseh = 70
2. The Dead Sea Scrolls (written in Hebrew) were written around the time of Messiah’s birth (completed much earlier than the Masoretic text). These are in closer agreement with the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the Bible, and it is a better manuscript than the Masoretic one. This is the translation that the New Testament writers based their writings and quotes on. In the Dead Sea Scrolls the number of people who went to Egypt agrees with Stephen – 75 in all.
66 souls + Jacob +Joseph +Ephraim+ Manasseh + 5 of Joseph’s grandsons (born in Egypt, as per the LXX) = 75 in total.
PS You can reference the OT Septuagint (LXX) translation at biblestudytools.com