Acts 7:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 7:22, NIV: Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.

Acts 7:22, ESV: And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds.

Acts 7:22, KJV: And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.

Acts 7:22, NASB: Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was proficient in speaking and action.

Acts 7:22, NLT: Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was powerful in both speech and action.

Acts 7:22, CSB: So Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in his speech and actions.

What does Acts 7:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Traditional Jews have accused the Jewish Jesus-follower Stephen of speaking against Moses (Acts 6:11). Stephen's defense on this count is three-fold:

First, he shows how all the advantages Moses received growing up were because of God's providence, not anything Moses did or deserved (Exodus 2:1–10). Moses had nothing to do with his looks or his personality at birth. He had no conscious effect on his parents to save him from Pharaoh's edict to kill the baby Hebrew boys (Acts 7:17–22).

Next, Stephen will remind his audience that when their great hero acted on his own initiative under his own wisdom, he murdered an Egyptian and then ran away in fear, hiding for forty years (Acts 7:23–29). The man God called "beautiful" (Acts 7:20), who was blessed with wisdom and might, returned with no confidence, "slow of speech and of tongue" (Exodus 4:10).

Finally, Stephen will acknowledge Moses was a great, God-fearing man, but argue that his accusers' ancestors were not always so reverent. In fact, the very people Moses rescued continually rebelled against him (Acts 7:35), up to and including denying Moses' God and worshiping a statue of a calf (Acts 7:39–40; Exodus 32).

Stephen's accusers follow in their footsteps. Moses promised that God would "raise up for you a prophet like" him (Acts 7:37), and He did, in Jesus. But like the Israelites rejected Moses, Joseph (Acts 7:9–16), and the long list of prophets after, "God's people" rejected His Prophet—the Messiah (Acts 7:52). Stephen doesn't speak against Moses. He holds Moses in proper perspective, with respect, but not on a level with the Messiah Moses promised.