Acts 7:53

53 You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.”

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 stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you!
52 Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered.
53 You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.”
54 The Jewish leaders were infuriated by Stephen’s accusation, and they shook their fists at him in rage.
55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.