And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed
Stephen was a martyr for Christ, both by confession with his mouth, and by the effusion of his blood; he was the proto-martyr, or "the first martyr" that suffered for Christ; and there are copies, as one of Stephens's, and the Complutensian edition, which so read in this place; his blood was shed by stoning:
I also was standing by;
to see the inhuman action performed; nor was he an idle and indifferent spectator:
and consenting unto his death;
being pleased and delighted with it, and rejoicing at it; see ( Acts 8:1 ) .
and kept the raiment
of them that slew him; the accusers of him, and witnesses against him, whose hands were first on him, and cast the first stones at him, and continued to stone him, until they killed him: these laid their garments at the feet of Saul, who looked after them, that nobody stole them, and run away with them, whilst they were stoning Stephen; which shows how disposed he was to that fact, and how much he approved of it: and these things he mentions to suggest that surely the Jews would receive his testimony, since they knew what a bitter enemy he had been to this way: and therefore might conclude, that he must have some very good and strong reasons, which had prevailed upon him to embrace this religion against all his prejudices, and so might be willing to hear them; and it also shows what an affection the apostle had for the Jews, and how much he desired their spiritual welfare, for which reason he chose to have stayed, and preached among them.