Acts 7:50

ESV Did not my hand make all these things?’
NIV Has not my hand made all these things?'
CSB Did not my hand make all these things?
NLT Didn’t my hands make both heaven and earth?’
KJV Hath not my hand made all these things?

What does Acts 7:50 mean?

Stephen is defending himself against charges that he blasphemed God, Moses, the Mosaic law, and the temple (Acts 6:8–15). He is continuing a quote from Isaiah 66:1–2, which points out that God gave the Jews the temple as the location to worship, not the object of worship.

The temple itself had started as the building Zerubbabel and Ezra had built after the Jews returned from exile in Babylon (Ezra 1). Around 20 BC, Herod the Great started a massive renovation that lasted until AD 63. Even the top of the temple mount was enlarged. But the mount and the temple were still made of things—stone, dirt, bronze, gold, wood, and cloth—which were all God-made.

In fact, God made everything Stephen's accusers are "defending." He made Moses and called him to lead His people (Exodus 2—4). He made the Law and gave it to Moses. And it is His presence, not the stone and gold and linen, that makes the temple a place of worship.

This verse quotes the first line of Isaiah 66:2, but the last half of the verse is important for Stephen's defense, and it's possible he stopped where he did to challenge his audience. Heaven is God's throne, and the earth is His footstool—the house is not significant (Isaiah 66:1). "But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word" (Isaiah 66:2). Stephen will finish his defense by reminding his accusers just how much their forebearers failed in being humble and contrite.
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