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Stephen, preacher and servant of Christ, has been arrested for heretical blasphemy. In the face of hateful, false witnesses and malicious judges, Stephen’s appearance radically changes in the eyes of all at the trial, and he begins his defense.
“Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, – Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.” Acts 7:2-3 (ESV)
What was “your land” and how did it become their land?
MESOPOTAMIA: mesopotamia (Mesopotamia, region between the Euphrates and the Tigris); from mesos (middle) and potamos (a current, brook or freshet: running water that is drinkable)
The Old Testament account described Abraham’s country as “Ur of the Chaldeans”.
UR: ur (a place in Chald’a); from ur (flame, figurative for the East, the region of light); from or (to be luminous)
The inhabitants of “the land that I will show you” probably referred to Abraham’s country of origin as “the land to the east”, using a name that literally meant “land of the light”. The first hint of light following the dark of night would come from the horizon to the eastward.
The Bible describes a world-wide flood that destroyed all human life except the family of Noah. From Noah’s three sons came every tribe and nation that now lives on Earth.
One of Noah’s son’s was named Shem. Shem’s great-grandson was Eber.
EBER: eber (a region across, or opposite, usually meaning the east); from abar (to cross over)
“Eber” became Ibri, the general name of all of Eber’s descendents, including Abraham:
“The enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. They also took Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way. Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre” Genesis 14:11-13 (ESV)
HEBREW: ibri (an Eberite); from eber (Eber, the great-grandson of Shem)………..
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