on Acts 7 :42
Then God turned, and gave them up, etc. - He left them to themselves, and then they deified and worshipped the sun, moon, planets, and principal stars.
In the book of the prophets - As this quotation is found in Amos, Amos 5:25, by the book of the prophets is meant the twelve minor prophets, which, in the ancient Jewish division of the sacred writings, formed only one book.
Have ye offered to me slain beasts - It is certain that the Israelites did offer various sacrifices to God, while in the wilderness; and it is as certain that they scarcely ever did it with an upright heart. They were idolatrous, either in heart or act, in almost all their religious services; these were therefore so very imperfect that they were counted for nothing in the sight of God; for this seems to be strongly implied in the question here asked, Have ye offered to Me (exclusively and with an upright heart) slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years? On the contrary, these forty years were little else than a tissue of rebellion and idolatry.
on Acts 7 :42
Then God turned - That is, turned away from them; abandoned them to their own desires.
The host of heaven - The stars, or heavenly bodies. The word "host" means "armies." It is applied to the heavenly bodies because they are very numerous, and appear to be "marshalled" or arrayed in military order. It is from this that God is called Yahweh "of hosts," as being the ruler of these well-arranged heavenly bodies. See the notes on Isaiah 1:9. The proof that they did this Stephen proceeds to allege by a question from the prophets.
In the book of the prophets - Amos 5:25-26. The twelve minor prophets were commonly written in one volume, and were called the Book of the Prophets; that is, the book containing these several prophecies, Daniel, Hosea, Micah, etc. They were small "tracts" separately, and were bound up together to preserve them from being lost. This passage is not quoted literally; it is evidently made from memory; and though in its main spirit it coincides with the passage in Amos, yet in some important respects it varies from it.
O ye house of Israel - Ye people of Israel.
Have ye offered ... - That is, ye have not offered. The interrogative form is often an emphatic way of saying that the thing had "not" been done. But it is certain that the Jews did offer sacrifices to God in the wilderness, though it is also certain that they did not do it with a pure and upright heart. They kept up the form of worship generally, but they frequently forsook God, and offered worship to idols. through the continuous space of forty years they did "not" honor God, but often departed from him, and worshipped idols.
on Acts 7 :42
7:42 God turned - From them in anger; and gave them up - Frequently from the time of the golden calf, to the time of Amos, and afterward. The host of heaven - The stars are called an army or host, because of their number, order, and powerful influence. In the book of the prophets - Of the twelve prophets, which the Jews always wrote together in one book. Have ye offered - The passage of Amos referred to, chap. v, 25, and c, Amos 5:25 consists of two parts; of which the former confirms ver. 41, Ac 7:41,42 of the sin of the people; the latter the beginning of ver. 42, concerning their punishment. Have ye offered to me - They had offered many sacrifices; but God did not accept them as offered to him, because they sacrificed to idols also; and did not sacrifice to him with an upright heart. Amos 5:25.