Acts 7:46
Who found favor before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(46) Who found favour before God.—Again we trace, though still in the form of a narrative, an indirect answer to the accusation brought against Stephen. He was ready to acknowledge without reserve that the Temple was planned by the man after God’s own heart, and built by the wisest of the sons of men. But the question still remained whether it was therefore the symbol of a final and perfect worship, whether it did not bear witness to its own incompleteness.

7:42-50 Stephen upbraids the Jews with the idolatry of their fathers, to which God gave them up as a punishment for their early forsaking him. It was no dishonour, but an honour to God, that the tabernacle gave way to the temple; so it is now, that the earthly temple gives way to the spiritual one; and so it will be when, at last, the spiritual shall give way to the eternal one. The whole world is God's temple, in which he is every where present, and fills it with his glory; what occasion has he then for a temple to manifest himself in? And these things show his eternal power and Godhead. But as heaven is his throne, and the earth his footstool, so none of our services can profit Him who made all things. Next to the human nature of Christ, the broken and spiritual heart is his most valued temple.Who found favour ... - That is, God granted him great prosperity, and delivered him from his enemies.

To find a tabernacle - To prepare a permanent dwelling-place for the "ark," and for the visible symbols of the divine presence. Hitherto the ark had been kept in the tabernacle, and had been borne about from place to place. David sought to build a house that would be permanent, where the ark might be deposited, 2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 22:7.

45. which … our fathers that came after—rather, "having received it by succession" (Margin), that is, the custody of the tabernacle from their ancestors.

brought in with Jesus—or Joshua.

into the possession—rather, "at the taking possession of [the territory of] the Gentiles."

unto the days of David—for till then Jerusalem continued in the hands of the Jebusites. But Stephen's object in mentioning David is to hasten from the tabernacle which he set up, to the temple which his son built, in Jerusalem; and this only to show, from their own Scripture (Isa 66:1, 2), that even that temple, magnificent though it was, was not the proper resting-place of Jehovah upon earth; as his audience and the nations had all along been prone to imagine. (What that resting-place was, even "the contrite heart, that trembleth at God's word," he leaves to be gathered from the prophet referred to).

Found favour before God; as Luke 1:30.

Desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob; it was David’s earnest request, that he might any ways glorify God, especially in his worship, and that he might know where the ark should rest, and where the temple was to be built, its Psalm 132:1-18 declares throughout. Who found favour before God,.... That is, David, who had an interest in the free favour and love of God, was chosen of God, a man after his own heart, and raised up to do his will; and who had the grace of God implanted in him, and was acceptable, and well pleasing to God through Christ; the same is said of Noah, Genesis 6:8

and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob; from whom the Israelites descended: David having a deep sense of the love of God to him, and the grace of God wrought in his heart, was exceeding desirous of finding a place for the building of an house, or fixed habitation for God; for there was a tabernacle already, which had been from the time of Moses, and which the children of Israel brought with them into Canaan, and was moved from place to place; sometimes it was at Gilgal, sometimes at Shiloh, and then it was at Nob, and Gibeah, and at length it was brought by David into his own city; but he wanted to build a settled and stable house for the Lord, of which there was a hint given that the Lord would choose a place to put his name in, Deuteronomy 16:2 but it seems, where that was to be was not known; and therefore David very anxiously sought after it; the reference is had to Psalm 132:3 where David determines not to go to his house, nor up to his bed, nor give sleep, to his eyes, nor slumber to his eyelids, till he had found out a place for the habitation of the God of Jacob.

Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 7:46-47. Καὶ ᾐτήσατο] and asked, namely, confiding in the grace of God, which he experienced (Luke 1:30). The channel of this request, only indirectly expressed by David (2 Samuel 7:2), and of the answer of God to it, was Nathan. See 2 Samuel 7:2; 1 Chronicles 18:1. What is expressed in Psalm 132:2 ff. is a later retrospective reference to it. See Ewald on the Psalm. This probably floated before the mind of Stephen (hence σκήνωμα and εὑρεῖν). The usual interpretation of ᾐτήσατο: optabat, desiderabat, is incorrect; for the fact, that the LXX. Deuteronomy 14:16 expresses שׁאל by ἐπιθυμεῖν, has nothing at all to do with the linguistic use of αἰτοῦμαι.

εὑρεῖν σκήνωμα τῷ Θεῷ Ἰακ.] i.e. to obtain the establishment of a dwelling-place destined for the peculiar god of Jacob. In the old theocratic designation τῷ Θεῷ Ἰακῶβ (instead of the bare αὐτῷ) lies the holy national motive for the request of David; on σκήνωμα applied to the temple at Jerusalem, comp. 3 Esdr. 1:50, and to a heathen temple, Pausan. iii. 17. 6, where it is even the name. Observe how David, in the humility of his request, designates the temple, which he has in view, only generally as σκήνωμα, whereas the continuation of the narrative, Acts 7:47, has the definite οἶκον.

Stephen could not but continue the historical thread of his discourse precisely down to the building of Solomon’s temple, because he was accused of blasphemy against the temple.Acts 7:46. ὃς εὗρε χάριν, cf. Luke 1:30, Hebraistic, cf. Genesis 6:8; it may be tacitly implied that had the temple been so important as the Jew maintained, God would have allowed the man who found favour before him to build it; on the phrase ἐνώπ. Κ. or Θεοῦ see above on Acts 4:10.—ἠτήσατο εὗρειν, i.e., σκήνωμα, cf. Acts 3:3; ἠρώτα λαβεῖν, and instances in Wetstein, “asked to find,” not only “desired,” LXX, 2 Samuel 7:2 ff., 1 Chronicles 22:7, Psalm 81:5.—σκήνωμα: perhaps used by David (as in the Psalm quoted) in his humility (Meyer); used of the temple in 1Es 1:50. David of course desired to build not a σκηνή, which already existed.—τῷ Θεῷ Ἰακώβ, see critical notes.46. to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob] referring to Psalm 132:5, “Until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.” A reading which is largely accepted gives, “for the house of Jacob,” but in spite of the ancient authority for it, it is so unsuitable to the drift of the argument, that it seems better to conclude that it is an error of the earliest scribes, rather than to accept it in the text.Acts 7:46. Εὗρε χάριν, found favour) Happy is he who finds favour. Nothing is better.—ᾐτήσατο εὑρεῖν, sought to find) ardently: Psalm 132:2-5.—(σκήνωμα) Psalm 132:5, משכן, LXX., σκήνωμα. This is more than σκηνή.[52]

[52] i.e. Σκήνωμα implies a more permanent dwelling, though any earthly house of God must still be but a tabernacle, σκήνωμα.—E. and T.Verse 46. - In the sight of for before, A.V. (ἐνώπιον); asked for desired, A.V.; habitation for tabernacle, A.V. (σκήνωμα). Habitation. In Deuteronomy 33:18 σκήνωμα stands in the LXX. for אִהֶל, and in 2 Peter 1:13, 5:14, for the human body as the tabernacle or temporary dwelling of the soul or spirit. And the idea of a temporary or movable dwelling seems to suit Stephen's argument better than that of a fixed one. The מִשְׁכָנות of Psalm 132:5 (to which perhaps, as well as 2 Samuel 7:1-6, Stephen refers) is equally applicable to a tent. Desired (ᾐτήσατο)

More correctly, asked: through Nathan. See 2 Samuel 7:2.

Tabernacle (σκήνωμα)

It was not a tabernacle or tent which David proposed to build, but a house. See 2 Samuel 7:2. Rev., rightly, habitation. Compare οἶκον, a house, Acts 7:47, and 2 Chronicles 6:18.

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