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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Acts 7:54-60

We have here the death of the first martyr of the Christian church, and there is in this story a lively instance of the outrage and fury of the persecutors (such as we may expect to meet with if we are called out to suffer for Christ), and of the courage and comfort of the persecuted, that are thus called out. Here is hell in its fire and darkness, and heaven in its light and brightness; and these serve as foils to set off each other. It is not here said that the votes of the council were... read more

William Barclay

William Barclay's Daily Study Bible - Acts 7:54-60

7:54-60 As they listened to this their very hearts were torn with vexation and they gnashed their teeth at him. But he was full of the Holy Spirit and he gazed steadfastly into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at God's right hand. So he said, "Look now, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at God's right hand." They shouted with a great shout and held their ears and launched themselves at him in a body. They flung him outside the city and began to stone him.... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Acts 7:57

Then they cried out with a loud voice ,.... These were not the sanhedrim, but the common people; the Ethiopic version reads, "the Jews cried out"; which, they did, in a very clamorous way, either through rage and madness, or in a show of zeal against blasphemy; and cried out, either to God to avenge the blasphemy, or rather to the sanhedrim to pass a sentence on him, or, it may be, to excite one another to rise up at once, and kill him, as they did: and stopped their ears ; with their... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Acts 7:57

They - stopped their ears - As a proof that he had uttered blasphemy, because he said, He saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. This was a fearful proof against them; for if Jesus was at the right hand of God, then they had murdered an innocent person; and they must infer that God's justice must speedily avenge his death. They were determined not to suffer a man to live any longer who could say he saw the heavens opened and Jesus Christ standing at the right hand of God. read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Acts 7:57

Verse 57 57.Crying with a loud voice. This was either a vain show of zeal, as hypocrites are almost always pricked forward with ambition to break out into immoderate heat; as Caiaphas when he heard Christ say thus, After this ye shall see the Son of man, etc., did rent his clothes in token of indignation, as if it were intolerable blasphemy; or else certainly the preaching of the glory of Christ was unto them such a torment, that they must needs burst through madness. And I am rather of this... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Acts 7:1-60

The first martyrdom. When we look at the Lord Jesus as our Exemplar, though we are conscious that all his excellences of life and character were strictly human, and within the range of those human faculties which we possess in common with our Lord, yet are we also conscious that the transcendent perfection of his human life is what we can never reach. Our Lord's goodness was the goodness of man, and yet it is a goodness that we never can attain to. Where his feet stood firm, our feet will... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Acts 7:51-60

Illustrations. We have some of the best and one of the worst things illustrated in this passage. I. FAITHFULNESS FINDING UTTERANCE IN VEHEMENT REPROACH . ( Acts 7:51-53 .) Stirred (as we suppose) by the impatient interruptions of the senators, who at this point showed themselves unwilling to listen, Stephen rebuked them in the strong and stringent language of the text. They who imagined themselves to be "the cream of the cream," the very best specimens of the holiest... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Acts 7:54-60

The martyrdom of Stephen. I. THE RAGE OF CONVICTED CONSCIENCES . Pierced to the heart with the pain of the sense of guilt, though judges, they gnashed with their teeth upon Stephen, "like chained dogs who would bite those who would set them free. " "Contempt pierces through the shell of the tortoise, says the Indian proverb. On their high seat they were reached by the stinging words of the servant of Jesus; their obstinacy exposed, the contradiction between the part they... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Acts 7:54-60

The proto-martyr. I. An EXAMPLE . 1. Distinguished faith overcoming the world, the flesh, the wicked one. 2. Spiritual vision. Heaven opened. New world under the government of Christ. 3. Patience and love, after the example of Jesus. The influence of Christ's martyrdom on all other martyrs. The sermon on the mount exemplified. II. A new Divine SEAL upon the truth. 1. Sufferings and death in their relation to testimony. Necessity of martyrdom in a world like... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Acts 7:55-60

The glory of the martyr. It is not impossible that the foregoing defense of Stephen may own to some slight ellipses; if so, to be accounted for partly by the fact of his immediate martyrdom, which prevented his rehearsal of it to any penman. But if it be not so, and if we have here in due connection all that Stephen said that is material to a right apprehension of the exact position of things, then his outburst recorded in Acts 7:51-53 is indeed full of suggestion, hints at much that lay... read more

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