Acts 7:24 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 7:24, NIV: He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian.

Acts 7:24, ESV: And seeing one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian.

Acts 7:24, KJV: And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian:

Acts 7:24, NASB: And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended and took vengeance for the oppressed man by fatally striking the Egyptian.

Acts 7:24, NLT: He saw an Egyptian mistreating an Israelite. So Moses came to the man's defense and avenged him, killing the Egyptian.

Acts 7:24, CSB: When he saw one of them being mistreated, he came to his rescue and avenged the oppressed man by striking down the Egyptian.

What does Acts 7:24 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After Moses had been weaned, he grew up in the home of the pharaoh's daughter with all the privileges afforded a royal child, including a formal Egyptian education (Acts 7:22). He never forgot who his people were, however. It's unclear if he knew the harsh slavery conditions Pharaoh had put them under—as a nursing child, he wouldn't have been able to understand the full extent of their suffering. And as an adult in Pharaoh's palace, he may or may not have fully realized the brutality of what was happening, as the Israelites lived in a separate area, Goshen (Genesis 45:10; Exodus 8:20–22).

When he was forty, Moses went to visit his people and saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite. Moses immediately identified with the victim. Thinking they were alone, he killed the Egyptian, then buried the body in the sand (Exodus 2:11–12).

Contemporary culture tends to glamorize vengeful killings done in the name of justice. Moses' murder of the Egyptian is a full forty years before God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments, but the prohibition of murder is one of the oldest laws in creation. After Noah left the ark, God told him that not only humans but even animals needed to be executed if they killed a person: "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image" (Genesis 9:6).

Moses knew it was wrong, and not just because the law would have favored a free Egyptian over a foreign slave. He had some understanding that God had chosen him to rescue the people (Acts 7:25), but he didn't wait for God's timing. God had told Abraham his descendants would be in slavery for four hundred years (Genesis 15:13) and they had forty more years to go.