Acts 7:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 7:20, NIV: At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family.

Acts 7:20, ESV: At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house,

Acts 7:20, KJV: In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months:

Acts 7:20, NASB: At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful to God. He was nurtured for three months in his father’s home.

Acts 7:20, NLT: 'At that time Moses was born--a beautiful child in God's eyes. His parents cared for him at home for three months.

Acts 7:20, CSB: At this time Moses was born, and he was beautiful in God's sight. He was cared for in his father's home for three months.

What does Acts 7:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jews from Egypt, Libya, and modern-day Asia Minor have accused the Jewish Jesus-follower Stephen of disrespecting Moses, among other things (Acts 6:11–14). Using the story of Israel's history, Stephen is putting each of these things in proper perspective. In the Jews' minds, Moses is almost synonymous with the law he received from God on Mount Sinai. To blaspheme Moses is to reject his law, and to reject his law invites the threat of exile. In Acts 7:20–22, Stephen shows how little Moses had to do with his own qualifications.

The word translated "beautiful" means well-bred and refined. God chose Moses at his birth, when the baby certainly had nothing to do with how the world perceived him. At the time, by law of the pharaoh, his parents should have surrendered him to be thrown into the Nile. Instead, they hid him from their Egyptian oppressors (Exodus 2:1–2).

In the following verses, Stephen will remind his audience how the pharaoh's daughter rescued and raised Moses, and had him trained by Egyptian scholars. Then, Stephen will point out how Moses murdered an Egyptian and ran away to Midian to hide in fear (Acts 7:29). It is true that God chose Moses, and Moses became one of the greatest Jews in history. But it is because of God's work, not Moses'. And anyone who reveres Moses more than God misses the point of Moses' life.