Acts 6:10
And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spoke.
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(10) They were not able.—Better, had no strength; the verb being somewhat more forcible than that commonly translated “to be able.”

To resist the wisdom and the spirit with which he spake.—It is remarkable that Stephen is the first Christian teacher of whom “wisdom” is thus specially predicted. In the Gospels it is ascribed to our Lord (Matthew 13:54; Luke 2:40; Luke 2:52); and we read of “the wisdom of Solomon” (Matthew 12:42). In a writer like St. Luke, it implies something higher even than the “consolation” or “prophecy” from which Barnabas took his name—wider thoughts, a clearer vision of the truth, the development of what had been before latent in hints and parables and dark sayings. The speech that follows in the next chapter, may be accepted as an example, as far as circumstances allowed, of the method and power of his general teaching.

6:8-15 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.To resist - That is, they were not able to "answer" his arguments.

The wisdom - This properly refers to his knowledge of the Scriptures; his skill in what "the Jews" esteemed to be wisdom - acquaintance with their sacred writings, opinions, etc.

And the spirit - This has been commonly understood of the Holy Spirit, by which he was aided; but it rather means the "energy, power," or "ardor" of Stephen. He "evinced" a spirit of zeal and sincerity which they could not withstand; which served, more than mere argument could have done, to convince them that he was right. The evidence of sincerity, honesty, and zeal in a public speaker will often go further to convince the great mass of mankind, than the most able argument if delivered in a cold and indifferent manner.

10. not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake—What he said, and the power with which he spake it, were alike resistless. Not able to resist; they did oppose it, but ineffectually.

The wisdom: The foolishness of God is wiser than men, 1 Corinthians 1:25. What then is his wisdom, through which this holy man spake?

The spirit; the Holy Ghost directing him, and putting a Divine power upon what he spake, according to the promise, Matthew 10:20. And they were not able to resist the wisdom,.... In Beza's most ancient copy, and in another manuscript it is added, "which was in him"; that divine wisdom, which the Spirit of wisdom gave him; they were not a match for him with respect to the knowledge of divine things; they could not answer the wise arguments he made use of, fetched out of the Scriptures of truth, in which he was well versed, and had a large knowledge of:

and the Spirit by which he spake; that is, the Holy Spirit, as the above exemplars of Beza, and the Ethiopic version read; the meaning is, they could not resist the Holy Spirit, by which Stephen spake, so as to overcome him, or put Stephen to silence, or confute him; otherwise they did resist him, or oppose themselves to him, but in vain, and without success; for they always resisted the Holy Ghost in Christ and in his apostles, as their fathers before them resisted him in the prophets, as Stephen observes to them, Acts 7:51 hereby was fulfilled what our Lord promised to his disciples, Matthew 10:19.

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

(8) False teachers, because they will not be overcome, flee from disputations and resort to manifest and open slandering and false accusations.

Acts 6:10-11. The σοΦία is to be explained, not of the Jewish learning, but of the Christian wisdom (Luke 21:15; and see on Ephesians 1:8; Ephesians 1:17), to which the Jewish learning of the opponents could not make any resistance. Comp. 1 Corinthians 1:17 ff; 1 Corinthians 2:6 ff. The πνεῦμα was the πν. ἅγιον,[186] with which he was filled, Acts 6:3; Acts 6:5.

] Dative of the instrument. It refers, as respects sense, to both preceding nouns, but is grammatically determined according to the latter, Matthiae, p. 991.

τότε] then, namely, after they had availed nothing in open disputation against him. “Hic agnosce morem improborum; ubi veritate discedunt impares, ad mendacia confugiunt,” Erasmus, Paraphr.

ὑπέβαλον] they instigated, secretly instructed. Comp. Appian. i. 74, ὑπεβλήθησαν κατήγοροι. The Latin subornarunt, or, as the Vulg. has it, submiserunt (Suet. Ner. 28).

ἀκηκόαμεν κ.τ.λ.] provisional summary statement of what these men asserted that they had heard as the essential contents of the utterances of Stephen in question. For their more precisely formulated literal statement, see Acts 6:13-14.

[186] But τῷ ἁγίῳ is not added; for “adversarii sentiebant Spiritum esse in Stephano; Spiritum sanctum in eo esse non sciebant,” Bengel.Acts 6:10. καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυον ἀντιστῆναι: the whole phrase is an exact fulfilment of Luke 21:15, cf. 1 Corinthians 1:17; 1 Corinthians 2:6. πνεῦμα, as Wendt points out, was the Holy Spirit with which Stephen was filled, cf. 3, 5. Vulgate renders “Spiritui Sancto qui loquebatur,” as if it read ; see critical notes.Acts 6:10. Τῇ σοφίᾳ, the wisdom) Wisdom is a most powerful thing (Acts 6:8).—καὶ τῷ Πνεύματι, and the Spirit) The epithet Holy is not added, as in Acts 6:3; Acts 6:5. His adversaries felt that there was a spirit in Stephen: they did not know that it was the Holy Spirit who was in him.Verse 10. - Withstand for resist, A.V. This was a part of the "power" mentioned in ver. 8. They were not able (οὐκ ἴσχυον)

See on Luke 14:30; and Luke 16:3.

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