VINCENT'S WORD STUDIES
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Robertson's Word Pictures in the NT - Greek NT
Fathers. Addressing the members of the Sanhedrim.
Of glory. Outward, visible glory, as in the shekinah and the pillar of fire.
Appeared (wfqh). See on Luke xxii. 43.
Not so much as to set his foot on (oude bhma podov). Lit., not even the stepping of a foot. From the original meaning, a pace or step, which occurs only here in the New Testament, comes the sense of a step considered as a raised place or seat, and hence a tribune or judgment-seat, which is its meaning in every other passage of the New Testament.
Possession (katascesin). Only here and ver. 45. See on keep, Luke viii. 15. It denotes a permanent possession.
Knew not. As sixty years had elapsed since Joseph's death, and a new dynasty was coming to the throne, this may be taken literally: did not know his history and services. Some explain, did not recognize his merits.
So that they cast out (tou poiein ekqeta). Lit., make exposed. The verb ejktiqhmi, to set out, or place outside, is not uncommon in classical Greek for the exposure of a new-born child. Thus Herodotus, of Cyrus, exposed in infancy: "The herdsman's wife entreated him not to expose (ekqeinai) the babe" (1, 112). The rendering of the A.V., "so that they cast out," is correct, expressing the result, and not Pharaoh's design.
Young children (brefh). Incorrect. See on 1 Pet. ii. 2. Rev., rightly babes.
Live (zwogoneisqai) Or, be preserved alive. See on Luke xvii. 33.
Exceeding air (asteiov tw qew). Lit., fair unto God: a Hebrew superlative. Compare Jon. iii. 3: great unto God; A.V., exceeding great. Gen. x. 9, of Nimrod: a mighty hunter before the Lord. 2 Corinthians x. 4: mighty unto God; i.e., in God's sight. 'Asteiov, fair (only here and Heb. xi. 23), is from astu, a town, and means originally town-bred; hence refined, elegant, comely. The word is used in the Septuagint of Moses (Exod. ii. 2), and rendered goodly. The Jewish traditions extol Moses' beauty. Josephus says that those who met him, as he was carried along the streets, forgot their business and stood still to gaze at him.
Would have set them at one (sunhlasen autouv eiv eirhnhn). Lit., drove them together to peace; urged them.
To behold (katanohsai). See on Matt. vii. 3. Compare Luke xii. 24, 27.
By the hand (en ceiri) The best texts read sun ceiri, "with the hand;" i.e., in association with the protecting and helping power of the angel.
Another sacred bull was maintained at Heliopolis, in the great Temple of the Sun, under the name of Mnevis, and was honored with a reverence next to Apis. Wilkinson thinks that it was from this, and not from Apis, that the Israelites borrowed their notions of the golden calf. "The offerings, dancing, and rejoicings practiced on the occasion, were doubtless in imitation of a ceremony they had witnessed in honor of Mnevis during their sojourn in Egypt" ("Ancient Egyptians," 2 ser., vol. ii., p. 197). A third sacred bull, called Bacis, was maintained at Hermonthis, near Thebes. It was a huge, black animal, and its hairs were said to grow the wrong way. Other bulls and cows did not hold the rank of gods, but were only sacred. Offered (agnhgagon). Lit., led up. See on Jas. ii. 21.
The host of heaven. Star-worship, or Sabaeanism, the remnant of the ancient heathenism of Western Asia, which consisted in the worship of the stars, and spread into Syria, though the Chaldaean religion was far from being the simple worship of the host of heaven; the heavenly bodies being regarded as real persons, and not mere metaphorical representations of astronomical phenomena. It is to the Sabaean worship that Job alludes when, in asserting the purity of his life (xxxi. 26, 27), he says: "If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness, and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hands: this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above." Though not a part of the religion of the Egyptians, Rawlinson thinks it may have been connected with their earlier belief, since prayer is represented in hieroglyphics by a man holding up his hands, accompanied by a star (Herodotus, vol. ii., p. 291).
Jesus. Joshua. The names are the same, both signifying Savior. See on Matt. i. 21.
Into the possession (en th katascesei). Rev., when they entered on the possession. 15 Before the face (apo proswpou). More strictly, "away from the face." The same expression occurs in the Septuagint, Deut. xi. 23.
Tabernacle (skhnwma). It was not a tabernacle or tent which David proposed to build, but a house. See 2 Sam. vii. 2. Rev., rightly, habitation. Compare oikon, a house, ver. 47 and 2 Chron. vi. 18.
Temples made with hands (ceiropoihtoiv naoiv). The best texts omit naoiv, temples. The meaning is more general: in things made with hands. The expression is, however, used of a sanctuary in Isa. xvi. 12: "Moab shall come to his sanctuary (ta ceiropoihta)." The phrase work, or works of men's hands, is common in the Old Testament of idols. See Deut. iv. 28; 2 Kings xix. 18; 2 Chron. xxxii. 19; Ps. cxv. 4. Compare Mark xiv. 58; Eph. ii. 11; Heb. ix. 11, 24; 2 Corinthians v. 1.
Resist (antipiptete). It is a very strong expression, implying active resistance. Lit., to fall against or upon. Used of falling upon an enemy. Only here in New Testament.
Ye have been (gegenhsqe). More correctly, as Rev., ye have become.
By the disposition of angels (eiv diatagav aggelwn). Lit., unto ordinances of angels. Eijv means with reference to. Disposition (diatagh) is used by A.V. in the sense of arrangement, as we say a general disposed his troops. The word occurs only here and Rom. xiii. 2, where it is rendered ordinance. The kindred verb diatassw occurs often, mostly in the sense of command or appoint. See Matt. xi. 1; Luke iii. 13. In 1 Corinthians xi. 34, it is translated set in order. The reference is most probably to the Jewish tradition that the law was given through the agency of angels. See Deut. xxxii. 2. Compare Ps. lxviii. 17. Paul expressly says that the law was administered by the medium of angels (Galatians iii. 19). Compare the word spoken by angels (Heb. ii. 2). Render, therefore, as Rev., as it was ordained by angels.
Gnashed (ebrucon). Originally to eat greedily, with a noise, as wild beasts: hence to gnash or grind the teeth.
Looked up steadfastly. Compare ch. i. 10; iii. 4,12; vi. 15; and see on Luke iv. 20.
Standing. Rising from the throne to protect and receive his servant. Usually Jesus is represented in the New Testament as seated at the Father's right hand. See Eph. i. 20; Col. iii. 1; Heb. i. 3.
The Son of man. A title never applied to Christ by any of the apostles or evangelists, except here by Stephen. See on Luke vi. 22.
A young man (neaniou). Which, however, gives no indication of his age, since it is applied up to the age of forty-five. Thirty years after Stephen's martyrdom, Paul speaks of himself as the aged (Philemon 9).
Saul. The first mention of the apostle to the Gentiles.
Jesus. An unquestionable prayer to Christ.
He fell asleep (ekoimhqh). Marking his calm and peaceful death. Though the pagan authors sometimes used sleep to signify death, it was only as a poetic figure. When Christ, on the other hand, said, "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth (kekoimhtai)," he used the word, not as a figure, but as the expression of a fact. In that mystery of death, in which the pagan saw only nothingness, Jesus saw continued life, rest, waking - the elements which enter into sleep. And thus, in Christian speech and thought, as the doctrine of the resurrection struck its roots deeper, the word dead, with its hopeless finality, gave place to the more gracious and hopeful word sleep. The pagan burying place carried in its name no suggestion of hope or comfort. It was a burying-place, a hiding-place, a monumentum, a mere memorial of something gone; a columbarium, or dove-cot, with its little pigeon-holes for cinerary urns; but the Christian thought of death as sleep, brought with it into Christian speech the kindred thought of a chamber of rest, and embodied it in the word cemetery (koimhthrion) - the place to lie down to sleep.