Acts 7:6
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible

King James Bible
And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years.

Darby Bible Translation
And God spoke thus: His seed shall be a sojourner in a strange land, and they shall enslave them and evil entreat them four hundred years;

World English Bible
God spoke in this way: that his seed would live as aliens in a strange land, and that they would be enslaved and mistreated for four hundred years.

Young's Literal Translation
'And God spake thus, That his seed shall be sojourning in a strange land, and they shall cause it to serve, and shall do it evil four hundred years,

Acts 7:6 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And God spake on this wise - In this manner, Genesis 15:13-14.

His seed - His posterity; his descendants.

Should sojourn - This means that they would have a "temporary residence there." The word is used in opposition to a fixed, permanent home, and is applied to travelers, or foreigners.

In a strange land - In the Hebrew Gen 15:13, "Shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs." The land of Canaan and the land of Egypt were strange lands to them, though the obvious reference here is to the latter.

Should bring them into bondage - Or, would make them slaves, Exodus 1:11.

And entreat them evil - Would oppress or afflict them.

Four hundred years - This is the precise time which is mentioned by Moses, Genesis 15:13. Great perplexity has been experienced in explaining this passage, or reconciling it with other statements. In Exodus 12:40, it is said that their sojourning in Egypt was 430 years. Josephus (Antiq., book 2, chapter 9, section 1) also says that the time in which they were in Egypt was 400 years; though in another place (Antiq., book 2, chapter 15, section 2) he says that they left Egypt f 430 years after their forefather, Abraham, came to Canaan, but 215 years after Jacob removed to Egypt. Paul also Galatians 3:17 says that it was 430 years from the time when the promise was given to Abraham to the time when the Law was given on Mount Sinai. The Samaritan Pentateuch also says Exodus 12:40 that the "dwelling of the sons of Israel, and of their fathers, which they dwelt "in the land of Canaan," and in the land of Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years."

The same is the version of the Septuagint. "A part" of this perplexity is removed by the fact that Stephen and Moses use, in accordance with a very common custom, "round numbers" in speaking of it, and thus speak of 400 years when the literal time was 430. The other perplexities are not so easily removed. From the account which Moses has given of the lives of certain persons, it would seem clear that the time which they spent in "Egypt" was not 400 years. From Genesis 46:8, Genesis 46:11, it appears that "Kohath" was born when Jacob went into Egypt. He lived 133 years, Exodus 6:18. Amram, his son, and the father of Moses lived 137 years, Exodus 6:20. Moses was 80 years old when he was sent to Pharaoh, Exodus 7:7. The whole time thus mentioned, including the time in which the father lived after his son was born, was only 350 years. Exclusive of that, it is reasonable to suppose that the actual time of their being in Egypt could not have been but about 200 years, according to one account of Josephus. The question then is, how can these accounts be reconciled? The only satisfactory way is by supposing that the 430 years includes the whole time from the calling of Abraham to the departure from Egypt. And that this was the fact is probable from the following circumstances:

(1) The purpose of all the narratives on this subject is to trace the period before they became finally settled in the land of Canaan. During all this period from the calling of Abraham, they were in a wandering, unfixed situation. This constituted substantially one period, including all their oppressions, hardships, and dangers; and it was natural to have reference to this "entire" period in any account which was given.

(2) all this period was properly the period of "promise," not of "possession." In this respect the wanderings of Abraham and the oppressions of Egypt came under the same general description.

(3) Abraham was himself occasionally in Egypt. He was unsettled; and since Egypt was so pre-eminent in all their troubles, it was natural to speak of all their oppressions as having occurred in that country. The phrase "residence in Egypt," or "in a strange land," would come to be synonymous, and would denote all their oppressions and trials. They would speak of their sufferings as having been endured in Egypt, because their afflictions there were so much more prominent than before.

(4) all this receives countenance from the version of the Septuagint, and from the Samaritan text, showing the manner in which the ancient Jews were accustomed to understand it.

(5) it should be added, that difficulties of chronology are more likely to occur than any others; and it should not be deemed strange if there are perplexities of this kind found in ancient writings which we cannot explain. It is so in all ancient records; and all that is usually expected in relation to such difficulties is that we should be able to present a "probable" explanation.

Acts 7:6 Parallel Commentaries

The Death of the Master and the Death of the Servant
'And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And, when he had said this, he fell asleep.'--ACTS vii. 59, 60. This is the only narrative in the New Testament of a Christian martyrdom or death. As a rule, Scripture is supremely indifferent to what becomes of the people with whom it is for a time concerned. As long as the man is the organ of the divine Spirit he is
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Letter iv. You Reply to the Conclusion of My Letter: "What have we to do with Routiniers?...
My dear friend, You reply to the conclusion of my Letter: "What have we to do with routiniers? Quid mihi cum homunculis putata putide reputantibus? Let nothings count for nothing, and the dead bury the dead! Who but such ever understood the tenet in this sense?" In what sense then, I rejoin, do others understand it? If, with exception of the passages already excepted, namely, the recorded words of God--concerning which no Christian can have doubt or scruple,--the tenet in this sense be inapplicable
Samuel Taylor Coleridge—Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit etc

And Jacob, when He Went into Mesopotamia, Saw Him in a Dream...
And Jacob, when he went into Mesopotamia, saw Him in a dream, standing upon the ladder , that is the tree which was set up from earth to heaven; [172] for thereby they that believe on Him go up to the heavens. For His sufferings are our ascension on high. And all such visions point to the Son of God, speaking with men and being in their midst. For it was not the Father of all, who is not seen by the world, the Maker of all who has said: Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will
Irenæus—The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching

The Law Given, not to Retain a People for Itself, but to Keep Alive the Hope of Salvation in Christ Until his Advent.
1. The whole system of religion delivered by the hand of Moses, in many ways pointed to Christ. This exemplified in the case of sacrifices, ablutions, and an endless series of ceremonies. This proved, 1. By the declared purpose of God; 2. By the nature of the ceremonies themselves; 3. From the nature of God; 4. From the grace offered to the Jews; 5. From the consecration of the priests. 2. Proof continued. 6. From a consideration of the kingdom erected in the family of David. 7. From the end of the
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Cross References
Genesis 15:13
God said to Abram, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.

Exodus 3:10
"Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt."

Exodus 12:40
Now the time that the sons of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.

Galatians 3:17
What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise.

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