on Acts 7 :16
And were carried over to Sychem - "It is said, Genesis 50:13, that Jacob was buried in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre. And in Joshua 24:32, and Exodus 13:19, it is said that the bones of Joseph were carried out of Egypt by the Israelites, and buried in Shechem, which Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem. As for the eleven brethren of Joseph, we are told by Josephus, Ant. lib. ii. cap. 8. sect. 2, that they were buried in Hebron, where their father had been buried. But, since the books of the Old Testament say nothing about this, the authority of Stephen (or of Luke here) for their being buried in Sychem is at least as good as that of Josephus for their being buried in Hebron." - Bp. Pearce.
We have the uniform consent of the Jewish writers that all the patriarchs were brought out of Egypt, and buried in Canaan, but none, except Stephen, mentions their being buried in Sychem. As Sychem belonged to the Samaritans, probably the Jews thought it too great an honor for that people to possess the bones of the patriarchs; and therefore have carefully avoided making any mention of it. This is Dr. Lightfoot's conjecture; and it is as probable as any other.
That Abraham bought for a sum of money - Two accounts seem here to be confounded:
1. The purchase made by Abraham of the cave and field of Ephron, which was in the field of Machpelah: this purchase was made from the children of Heth, Genesis 23:3, Genesis 23:10, Genesis 23:17.
2. The purchase made by Jacob, from the sons of Hamor or Emmor, of a sepulchre in which the bones of Joseph were laid: this was in Sychem or Shechem, Genesis 33:19; Joshua 24:32.
The word Abraham, therefore, in this place, is certainly a mistake; and the word Jacob, which some have supplied, is doubtless more proper. Bp. Pearce supposes that Luke originally wrote, ὁ ωνησατο τιμης αργυριου, which he bought for a sum of money: i.e. which Jacob bought, who is the last person, of the singular number, spoken of in the preceding verse. Those who saw that the word ωνησατο, bought, had no nominative case joined to it, and did not know where to find the proper one, seem to have inserted Αβρααμ, Abraham, in the text, for that purpose, without sufficiently attending to the different circumstances of his purchase from that of Jacob's.
on Acts 7 :16
on Acts 7 :16
7:16 And were carried over to Shechem - It seems that St. Stephen, rapidly running over so many circumstances of history, has not leisure (nor was it needful where they were so well known) to recite them all distinctly. Therefore he here contracts into one, two different sepulchres, places, and purchases, so as in the former history, to name the buyer, omitting the seller, in the latter, to name the seller, omitting the buyer. Abraham bought a burying place of the children of Heth, Gen. xxiii. Gen 23:1 - 20 There Jacob was buried. Jacob bought a field of the children of Hamor. There Joseph was buried. You see here, how St. Stephen contracts these two purchases into one. This concise manner of speaking, strange as it seems to us, was common among the Hebrews; particularly, when in a case notoriously known, the speaker mentioned but part of the story, and left the rest, which would have interrupted the current of his discourse, to be supplied in the mind of the hearer. And laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought - The first land which these strangers bought was for a sepulchre. They sought for a country in heaven. Perhaps the whole sentence might be rendered thus: So Jacob went down into Egypt and died, he and our fathers, and were carried over to Shechem, and laid by the sons (that is, decendants) of Hamor, the father of Shechem, in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money.