Acts 7:53

53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”

Acts 7:53 in Other Translations

53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it."
53 You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.”
53 You had God's Law handed to you by angels - gift-wrapped! - and you squandered it!"
53 You received the law under the direction of angels and yet have not kept it."

Acts 7:53 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 7:53

Who have received the law, by the disposition of angels,
&c.] Who attended the angel that spake to Moses on Mount Sinai, ( Acts 7:38 ) who is the head of all principality and power, and whom he might make use of in giving the law to Moses: hence the law is said to be ordained by angels, in the hand of a Mediator, and is called the word spoken by angels, ( Galatians 3:19 ) ( Hebrews 2:2 ) and certain it is, that there were great numbers of angels on Mount Sinai, when the law was given, ( Deuteronomy 33:2 ) ( Psalms 68:17 ) And so the Jews say F13, that

``when the holy blessed God descended on Mount Sinai, there came down with him many companies of angels, Michael and his company, and Gabriel and his company''

Indeed they often say F14,

``the law was not given to the ministering angels:''

their meaning is, it was not given to them to observe and keep, because there are some things in it, which do not concern angels; but then it might be given to them to deliver to Moses, who gave it to the Israelites, and so may be said to receive it by the ministration of angels, through the hands of Moses. And now the law being given and received in so grand a manner, was an aggravation of the sin of the Jews in violating it, as it follows:

and have not kept it;
but broke it in innumerable instances, and scarce kept it in any; for no man can keep it perfectly.


F13 Debarim Rabba, sect. 2. fol. 237. 3.
F14 T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 25. 2. Yoma. fol. 30. 1. Kiddushin, fol. 54. 1.

Acts 7:53 In-Context

51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!
52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him—
53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”
54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.
55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

Cross References 1

  • 1. ver 38; Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 2:2