The new king (Acts 7:19)

“This new king

Dealt craftily

With our people.

He mistreated

Our ancestors.

He forced them

To abandon

Their infants,

So that they would die.”

οὗτος κατασοφισάμενος τὸ γένος ἡμῶν ἐκάκωσεν τοὺς πατέρας τοῦ ποιεῖν τὰ βρέφη ἔκθετα αὐτῶν εἰς τὸ μὴ ζωογονεῖσθαι.

The author of Acts indicated that Stephen said that this new king dealt craftily (οὗτος κατασοφισάμενος) with their people (τὸ γένος ἡμῶν).  He mistreated (ἐκάκωσεν) their ancestors (τοὺς πατέρας τοῦ).  He forced (ποιεῖν) them to abandon (ἔκθετα) their infants (τὰ βρέφη αὐτῶν), so that they would die, not live (εἰς τὸ μὴ ζωογονεῖσθαι).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word κατασοφισάμενος, that means to deal craftily with or outwit, and the word ἔκθετα, that means to cast out, expose, or abandon.  Once again, Stephen seemed to be relying on Exodus, chapter 1, about the evil Pharaoh in Egypt who had not remembered Joseph.  He was having the midwives kill off the young male Hebrew babies.  Have you ever been mistreated?

The new king (Jer 37:1-37:1)

“King Zedekiah,

The son of King Josiah,

Whom King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon

Made king

In the land of Judah,

Succeeded King Coniah,

The son of King Jehoiakim.”          

This is a clear statement that the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar (605-562 BCE) put King Zedekiah on the throne of David in Judah in 598 BCE. The Babylonian king got rid of King Coniah or King Jehoiachin, who was the son of King Jehoiakim (609-598 BCE), who had just died. There is no doubt that King Zedekiah or King Mattaniah (598-587 BCE), the son of King Josiah (640-609 BCE) and brother of King Jehoiakim, was the favorite of the Babylonian king. Like the preceding chapter, this is a different numbered chapter in the Greek translation of the Septuagint, chapter 44, not chapter 37 as here.