Acts 7:4

4 Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein* ye now dwell.

Acts 7:4 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 7:4

Then came he out of the land of the Chaldeans
The same with Mesopotamia; so Pliny says F2, that

``because of Babylon the head of the Chaldean nation---the other part of Mesopotamia and Assyria is called Babylonia.''

And he places Babylon in Mesopotamia; it was out of Ur, in the land of the Chaldeans particularly, that Abraham came, upon his first call:

and dwelt in Charan:
according to the Jewish writers F3, he dwelt here five years:

and from thence, when his father was dead;
who died in Haran, as is said in ( Genesis 11:32 ) and that it was after the death of Terah his father, that Abraham went from thence, is manifest from ( Genesis 11:31 Genesis 11:32 ) ( Genesis 12:4 Genesis 12:5 ) and yet a Jew F4 has the impudence to charge Stephen with a mistake, and to affirm, that Abraham went from Haran, whilst his father was yet living; proceeding upon a false hypothesis, that Terah begat Abraham when he was seventy years of age: but Philo the Jew is expressly with Stephen in this circumstance; he says F5,

``I think no man versed in the laws can be ignorant, that Abraham, when he first went out of the land of Chaldea, dwelt in Charan; (teleuthsantov te autw tou patrov ekenyi) "but his father dying there", he removed from thence:''

and so says Stephen:

he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell;
the land of Canaan; see ( Genesis 12:5 ) or "he removed himself", as the Ethiopic version renders it; or rather "God removed him", as the Syriac version reads, and so one copy in the Bodleian library; for it was by the order and assistance, and under the direction and protection of God, that he came into that land: after the words

wherein ye now dwell,
Beza's ancient copy adds, "and our fathers that were before us".


FOOTNOTES:

F2 De Urbibus, l. 6. c. 26.
F3 Seder Olam Rabba, c. 1. p. 2. Ganz Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 5. 2.
F4 R. Isaac Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 61. p. 448.
F5 De Migratione Abrahami, p. 415.

Acts 7:4 In-Context

2 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,
3 And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.
4 Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.
5 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.
6 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.