Acts 7:32 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 7:32, NIV: I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.' Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look.

Acts 7:32, ESV: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.’ And Moses trembled and did not dare to look.

Acts 7:32, KJV: Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold.

Acts 7:32, NASB: ‘I AM THE GOD OF YOUR FATHERS, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND ISAAC, AND JACOB.’ Moses shook with fear and did not dare to look closely.

Acts 7:32, NLT: 'I am the God of your ancestors--the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.' Moses shook with terror and did not dare to look.

Acts 7:32, CSB: I am the God of your ancestors--the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look.

What does Acts 7:32 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Stephen is a Jewish Jesus-follower from somewhere outside of Judea. He is one of the first deacons and a Spirit-filled apologist for the fact that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. He had been debating other foreign-born Jews who found his arguments so water-tight, they resorted to falsely accusing him of blasphemy against Moses, the Law, and the temple (Acts 6:8–15). Stephen is now giving his defense before the Sanhedrin (Acts 7:1–53). His main points are that Abraham and his descendants followed God before they received the Law or the temple. And that even though the Israelites claimed to respect the Law and God's prophets, historically they had a pattern of breaking the Law and disrespecting the prophets God sent them.

Stephen has already explained that God called Abraham from Ur and took the Israelites to Egypt (Acts 7:2–16). He now reminds them how God introduced Himself to Moses in the midst of the burning bush in the foreign country of Midian. God didn't tell Moses He was the God of the nation of Israel or of the temple or of the Law. None of those things existed yet. But He is the God of the three primary patriarchs of the Israelite people, and thus the people, themselves.

God gave Moses the Law as a way to solidify the nation and teach them how to worship Him. He gave Moses the plans for the tabernacle and allowed Solomon to later build a temple (1 Kings 6). Stephen's audience has made idols of the Law and the temple. They would rather follow the strict regulations and sacrifices than look for the promised blessing—the Messiah. Like the servant whose master gave him one talent to invest, they choose to bury the blessing for fear their master will punish them if they misuse the freedom (Matthew 25:14–30). Like them, when we concentrate more on our responsibilities than God's words, we will miss out on what He has for us.