C³ Z 1. Disciples multiplied. A g 2. Apostle's Work. Negative. h 3. Appointment proposed. A g 4. Apostle's Work. Positive. h 5,6. Appointment made. Z 7. Disciples multiplied.
1:And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring (Gr. gongusmos. An onomatropœic word, i.e. an imitation of natural sounds in word formation or rhetoric) of the Grecians (= Greek-speaking Jews, Helenists. The difference in languages seems to have brought about neglect to the Helenist over the families of the Israelites) against the Hebrews, because their widows were being neglected in the daily ministering (= service. It was the relief of 2:44,45).
2: Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples to them, and said, “It is not pleasing that we should leave the Word (Logos) of God, and serve tables (i.e. the business of distribution. They didn't have time to pastor on an individual basis. It was more important to get the Word of God out).
3: Wherefore, brethren, look you all out (Gr.blepo = to have the power of seeing, to use the eyes, to look at; used of the act of looking, even though nothing be seen. Hence, to observe accurately and with desire; used of mental vision, and implying more contemplation perception) among you seven (= spiritual completeness or perfection) men of honest report (Lit. witnessed to, or attested), full of the Holy Spirit (the text omits "Holy") and wisdom (you have to know what the future brings, i.e. a working knowledge of God's Word), whom we may appoint over this need. (A deacon should be a scholar)
4: But we will give ourselves continually to prayer (Gr. proseuchê = to speak out, utter aloud. Hence, to wish or vow. The word is quite common in the Papyri, though in the N.T. it is restricted to prayer afforded to God, having regard to the power of Him Who is invoked and giving prominence to personal devotion), and to the ministry of the Word.”
5: And the saying (Gr. Logos, as in v.2) pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen (Gr. Stephanos = a crown. All the names are Greek. These are called the 7 deacons, but the word diakonos is not used in the Acts. Besides Stephen, Philip is the only one of whom anything is recorded [8:5; 21:8]), a man full of faith (Gr. pistis = the living, Divinely implanted principle) and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip (= lovers of horses), and Prochorus (= leader of the chorous), and Nicanor (= conqueror), and Timon (= valuable), and Parmenas (= abiding), and Nicolas (= victor of the people) a proselyte (= a stranger, a new comer. See Matt.23:15) of Antioch (= an opponent. The Antioch in Syria):
6: Whom they set in the presence of the apostles: and when they had prayed (see v.4), they laid their hands on them (they were blessing them. Cp. Num.27:18-23).
7: And the Word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great crowd of the priests were obedient to the faith (i.e. in the Name of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah (Christ). See 2:38).
D³ B¹ 6:8. Stephen's Miracles. C¹ 6:9. Opposition. B² 6:10. Stephen's Wisdom. C² 6:11. False Witnesses. B³ 6:12. Stephen's Arrest. C³ 6:13,14. False Witnesses. B4 6:15–8:1. Stephen's Testimony and Martyrdom.
8: And Stephen, full of faith (the text reads "grace", Gr. charis = free, undeserved favor) and power (Gr. dunamis = inherent power; the power of reproducing itself: from which we have Eng. dynamics, dynamo, &c. See 1:8. This was the power of the Holy Spirit, not Stephen's), did great wonders (Gr. teras. This word has regard to the effect produced on those who witnessed the mighty work. The word "miracle" should be confined to this word, teras) and signs (Gr. sêmeion. This word has regard to the significance of the work wrought, whether in itself, or in the reason, object, design, and teaching intended to be conveyed by it) among the people.
9: Then there arose a certain one out of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines (during the Civil Wars many Jews had been enslaved, and afterwards set free by their masters. A manumitted [liberated] slave was called libertinus. These were probably the descendants of such freedmen who had returned to Jersalem, after the decree of Tiberius expelling the Jews from Rome about 20 A.D.), and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them from Cilicia (a providence of Asia Minor, of which Tarsus was the capital. See 21:39. Probably Saul [Paul] was one of these disputers) and of Asia, disputing (Gr. suzêteô = to investigate jointly, i.e. discuss, controvert, cavil. Generally translated "question") with Stephen.
10: And they were not strong enough (see 15:10) to resist the wisdom and the Holy Spirit by which he spoke. (Cp. Luke 21:12-19)
11: Then they suborned men (Gr. hupoballô = to throw in stealthily, i.e. introduce by collusion. Here we have the False Witnesses), which said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses (here meaning the Law), and against God.” (used in relation to His creation. "God" [Yehovah is used in His "covenant relationship])
12: And they stirred up the people (Gr. sugkineô = to move together, i.e. to excite as a mass [to sedition]), and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and violently seized him, and brought him unto the council (= Sanhedrin. This would be the "Higher Critics" of today. They cast doubts among lay people. Never let a non-Christian do translation for you!),
13: And set up false witnesses, which said, “This man ceases not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:
14: For we have heard him say, that this Jesus the Nazarene will destroy this place (i.e. the temple, in one of the courts which the Sanhedrin was sitting), and shall change the customs (Gr. ethos, where Eng. "ethics" comes from) which Moses delivered us.” (This is a lie. Same as when Yahshua was delivered up.)
B4 D 6:15–7:1. Stephen and the High Priest. E i 7:2-8. Abraham. The Land promised. j 7:9-16. Joseph. Persecuted. Delivered. k 7:17-31. Moses. Type of the Prophet. l 7:32-34. The Wilderness a Holy Place. m 7:25-39. Rejection. F 7:40-43. Tabernacles of Idols. F 7:44. Yahaveh's Tabernacle. E i 7:45-. Joshua. The Land possessed. j 7:-45,46. David. Persecuted. Delivered. k 7:47. Solomon. Type of the King. l 7:48-50. All places Holy. m 7:51-53. Resistance. D 7:54–8:1-. Death of Stephen.
15: And all that sat in the Sanhedrin, fastening their eyes on him, saw his face as if the face of an angel.