1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.

12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,

13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:

14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.

15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Acts
Book: Acts
Chapter: 6

The appointment of deacons. (1-7) Stephen falsely accused of
Blasphemy. (8-15)

1-7 Hitherto the disciples had been of one accord; this often
had been noticed to their honour; but now they were multiplied,
they began to murmur. The Word of God was enough to take up all
the thoughts, cares, and time of the apostles. The persons
Chosen to serve Tables must be duly qualified. They must be
filled with Gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, necessary to
rightly managing this trust; men of Truth, and hating
Covetousness. All who are employed in the service of the Church,
ought to be commended to the Divine Grace By the prayers of the
Church. They blessed them in the name of the Lord. The Word and
Grace of God are greatly magnified, when those are wrought upon
By it, who were least likely.

8-15 When they could not answer Stephen's arguments as a
disputant, they prosecuted him as a criminal, and brought false
witnesses against him. And it is next to a Miracle of
Providence, that No greater number of religious persons have
been murdered in the world, By the way of perjury and pretence
of Law, when So many Thousands hate them, who make No Conscience
of false oaths. Wisdom and Holiness make a Man's Face to shine,
yet will not secure men from being treated badly. What shall we
say of Man, a rational being, yet attempting to uphold a
religious system By false Witness and Murder! And this has been
done in numberless instances. But the blame rests not So much
upon the understanding, as upon the Heart of a fallen Creature,
which is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Yet
the servant of the Lord, possessing a clear Conscience, cheerful
Hope, and Divine consolations, may smile in the midst of danger
and Death.

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