on Acts 8 :2
Devout men carried Stephen to his burial - The Greek word, συνεκομισαν, signifies not only to carry, or rather to gather up, but also to do every thing necessary for the interment of the dead. Among the Jews, and indeed among most nations of the earth, it was esteemed a work of piety, charity, and mercy, to bury the dead. The Jews did not bury those who were condemned by the Sanhedrin in the burying place of the fathers, as they would not bury the guilty with the innocent; and they had a separate place for those who were stoned, and for those that were burnt. According to the Tract Sanh. fol. 45, 46, the stone wherewith any one was stoned, the post on which he was hanged, the sword by which he was beheaded, and the cord by which he was strangled, were buried in the same place with the bodies of the executed persons. As these persons died under the curse of the law, the instruments by which they were put to death were considered as unclean and accursed, and therefore buried with their bodies. Among the ancients, whatever was grateful or useful to a person in life was ordinarily buried with him; thus the sword, spear, shield, etc., of the soldier were put in the same grave; the faithful dog of the hunter, etc., etc. And on this principle the wife of a Brahman burns with the body of her deceased husband.
Made great lamentation over him - This was never done over any condemned by the Sanhedrin - they only bemoaned such privately; this great lamentation over Stephen, if the same custom then prevailed as afterwards, is a proof that Stephen was not condemned by the Sanhedrin; he probably fell a sacrifice to the fury of the bigoted incensed mob, the Sanhedrin not interfering to prevent the illegal execution.
on Acts 8 :2
And devout men - Religious men. The word used here does not imply of necessity that they were Christians. There might have been Jews who did not approve of the popular tumult, and the murder of Stephen, who gave him a decent burial. Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus, both Jews, thus gave to the Lord Jesus a decent burial, John 19:38-39.
Carried Stephen - The word translated "carried" means properly to "collect," as fruits, etc. Then it is applied to all the preparations necessary for fitting a dead body for burial, as "collecting," or confining it by bandages, with spices, etc.
And made great lamentation - This was usual among the Jews at a funeral. See the notes on Matthew 9:23.
on Acts 8 :2
8:2 Devout men - Who feared God more than persecution. And yet were they not of little faith? Else they would not have made so great lamentation.