Acts 7:57

Stopped their ears (sunescon ta wta autwn). Second aorist active of sunecw, to hold together. They held their ears together with their hands and affected to believe Stephen guilty of blasphemy (cf. Matthew 26:65 ). Rushed upon him with one accord (wrmhsan omoqumadon ep auton). Ingressive aorist active indicative of ormaw, to rush impetuously as the hogs did down the cliff when the demons entered them ( Luke 8:33 ). No vote was taken by the Sanhedrin. No scruple was raised about not having the right to put him to death ( John 8:31 ). It may have taken place after Pilate's recall and before his successor came or Pilate, if there, just connived at such an incident that did not concern Rome. At any rate it was mob violence like modern lynching that took the law into the hands of the Sanhedrin without further formalities. Out of the city (ek th polew). To keep from defiling the place with blood. But they sought to kill Paul as soon as they got him out of the temple area ( Acts 21:30 ). Stoned (eliqoboloun). Imperfect active indicative of liqobolew, began to stone, from liqobolo (liqo, stone, ballw, to throw), late Greek verb, several times in the N.T. as Luke 13:34 . Stoning was the Jewish punishment for blasphemy ( Leviticus 24:14-16 ). The witnesses (oi marture). The false testifiers against Stephen suborned by the Pharisees ( Acts 6:11 Acts 6:13 ). These witnesses had the privilege of casting the first stones ( Deuteronomy 13:10 ; Deuteronomy 17:7 ) against the first witness for Christ with death (martyr in our modern sense of the word). At the feet of a young man named Saul (para tou poda neaniou kaloumenou Saulou). Beside (para) the feet. Our first introduction to the man who became the greatest of all followers of Jesus Christ. Evidently he was not one of the "witnesses" against Stephen, for he was throwing no stones at him. But evidently he was already a leader in the group of Pharisees. We know from later hints from Saul (Paul) himself that he had been a pupil of Gamaliel ( Acts 22:3 ). Gamaliel, as the Pharisaic leader in the Sanhedrin, was probably on hand to hear the accusations against Stephen by the Pharisees. But, if so, he does not raise his voice against this mob violence. Saul does not seem to be aware that he is going contrary to the views of his master, though pupils often go further than their teachers.