Select Page
Read Introduction to Acts

 

23 “Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian. 25 For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand. 26 And the next day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren; why do you wrong one another?’ 27 But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Do you want to kill me as you did the Egyptian yesterday?’ 29 Then, at this saying, Moses fled and became a dweller in the land of Midian, where he had two sons. 

 

Verses 23-29 deal with the second 40-year period of Moses’ life. During this period, Jews rejected their future leader (Ex 2:11-15).

7:23

“Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.

When Moses was forty years of age, he visited his fellow Jews in Egypt probably to discover the exact nature of their plight (He 11:24-26).

7:24

And seeing one of them suffer wrong,

Moses saw a fellow Jew abused by an Egyptian.

he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian.

Moses defended his fellow Jew, killed the Egyptian, and buried him in the sand (Ex 2:12).

7:25

For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand.

Moses assumed that his fellow Jews would understand that God called him to deliver them from their persecution, but they did not know God’s purpose for him.

7:26

And the next day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren; why do you wrong one another?’

A day after Moses killed the Egyptian, Moses tried to intervene between two Jews fighting physically and asked why they were injuring each other as brothers.

7:27

But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?

The Jew who harmed his fellow Jew pushed Moses aside and asked him where he obtained the right to rule over the Jews.

7:28

Stephen quotes Exodus 2:14 directly in the questions of verses 27 and 28.

Do you want to kill me as you did the Egyptian yesterday?’

This verse continues the quote from Exodus 2:14. The offending Jew asked Moses if he would kill him as he did the Egyptian the previous day. This question was a watershed moment in Moses’ life. He knew that when Pharaoh heard of his killing of an Egyptian, it would result in his execution (Ex 2:15). Moses did not find refuge either with the Egyptians or the Israelites.

7:29

Then, at this saying, Moses fled and became a dweller in the land of Midian, where he had two sons.

After it became publicly known that Moses killed an Egyptian, he fled to Midian because Pharaoh heard about it and sought to kill him (Ex 2:15). There, he started a family with two sons, Gershom and Eliezer (Ge 25:1-6). Midian is on the east side of the gulf of Aqabah (Saudi Arabia today). The years in Midian covered most of the middle 40-year period of Moses’ life. Moses was forced to live as a pilgrim in this strange land because both Egypt and Israel rejected him.

PRINCIPLE:

God leads His people in His appointed time.

APPLICATION:

Moses became God’s appointed leader of Israel. He became a mediator between the nation and God, just as he attempted to mediate between the two quarreling Jews. The questions of Acts 7:27, 28 call attention to Israel’s rejection of the Sanhedrin by implication. The answer to those questions is that God appointed Moses even though Jews did not recognize it. As Moses was first rejected by Israel and later embraced him, Jews and Sanhedrin of Stephen’s day rejected Jesus, yet there was a remnant who embraced Christ as the Messiah.  

Share