The Choosing of the Seven
1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jewsa among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
“Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom…”
5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
“They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip…”
7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.
11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.”
12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.”
“his face was like the face of an angel”
15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
1249 diákonos (from 1223 /diá, “thoroughly” and konis, “dust”) – properly, “thoroughly raise up dust by moving in a hurry, and so to minister” (WP, 1, 162); ministry (sacred service).
1249 /diákonos (“ministry”) in the NT usually refers to the Lord inspiring His servants to carry out His plan for His people – i.e. as His “minister” (like a deacon serving Him in a local church).
[A. T. Robertson, “1249 (diákonos) properly means ‘to kick up dust,’ as one running an errand.” 1249 (diákonos) is the root of the English terms, “diaconate, deacon.”
This root (diakon-) is “probably connected with the verb di?k?, ‘to hasten after, pursue‘ (perhaps originally said of a runner)” (Vine, Unger, White, NT, 147).]
STRONGS NT 1249: διάκονος
διάκονος, διακονου, ὁ, ἡ (of uncertain origin, but by no means, as was formerly thought, compounded of διά and κόνις, so as to mean, properly, ‘raising dust by hastening’; cf. ἐγκόνειν; for the alpha in the preposition διά is short, in διάκονος, long. Alexander Buttmann (1873) Lexil. i., p. 218ff (English translation, p. 231f) thinks it is derived from the obsolete διάκω equivalent to διήκω (allied with διώκω; cf. Vanicek, p. 363)); one who executes the commands of another, especially of a master; a sergeant, attendant, minister;
1. universally: of the servant of a king, Matthew 22:13; with the genitive of the person served, Matthew 20:26; Matthew 23:11; Mark 9:35; Mark 10:43 (in which passage it is used figuratively of those who advance others’ interests even at the sacrifice of their own); τῆς ἐκκλησίας, of one who does what promotes the welfare and prosperity of the church,Colossians 1:25; διάκονοι τοῦ Θεοῦ, those through whom God carries on his administration on earth, as magistrates, Romans 13:4; teachers of the Christian religion, 1 Corinthians 3:5; 2 Corinthians 6:4; 1 Thessalonians 3:2 R T Tr WH text L marginal reading; the same are called διάκονοι (τοῦ) Χριστοῦ, 2 Corinthians 11:23; Colossians 1:7;1 Timothy 4:6; ἐν κυρίῳ, in the cause of the Lord, Colossians 4:7; (Ephesians 6:21); ὁ διάκονος μου, my follower, John 12:26; τοῦΣατανᾶ, whom Satan uses as a servant, 2 Corinthians 11:15; (ἁμαρτίας, Galatians 2:17); διάκονος περιτομῆς (abstract for concrete), of Christ, who labored for the salvation of the circumcised, i. e. the Jews, Romans 15:8; with the genitive of the thing to which service is rendered, i. e. to which one is devoted: καινῆς διαθήκης, 2 Corinthians 3:6; τοῦ εὐαγγελίου, Ephesians 3:7; Colossians 1:23;δικαιοσύνης, 2 Corinthians 11:15.
2. a deacon, one who, by virtue of the office assigned him by the congregation, cares for the poor and has charge of and distributes the money collected for their use (cf. BB. DD., Dict. of Christ. Antiq., Schaff-Herzog under the word ; Lightfoot‘s Commentary on Philippians, dissert. i. § i.; Julius Muller, Dogmatische Abhandlungen, p. 560ff): Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8, 12, cf. Acts 6:3ff; ἡ διάκονος, a deaconess (ministra, Pliny, epistles 10, 97), a woman to whom the care of either poor or sick women was entrusted, Romans 16:1.
3. a waiter, one who serves food and drink: John 2:5, 9, as inXenophon, mem. 1, 5, 2; Hier. 3, 11 (4, 2); Polybius 31, 4, 5; Lucian, de merced. cond. § 26; Athen. 7, p. 291 a.; 10, 420 e.; see διακονέω, 2 and διακονία, 5; (also Wetstein (1752) on Matthew 4:11).[SYNONYMS: διάκονος, δοῦλος, θεράπων, ὑπηρέτης: “διάκονος represents the servant in his activity for the work; not in his relation, either servile, as that of the δοῦλος, or more voluntary, as in the case of the θεράπων, to a person” Trench; yet cf. e. g. Romans 13:4; 2 Corinthians 6:4 etc.). δοῦλος opposed to ἐλεύθερος, and correlate to δεσπότης or κύριος, denotes a bondman, one who sustains a permanent servile relation to another. θεράπων is the voluntary performer of services, whether as a freeman or a slave; it is a nobler, tenderer word than δοῦλος. ὑπηρέτης according to its etymol. suggests subordination. Cf. Trench, § ix.; B. D. under the word <reference_work:smith’s bible=”” dictionary=””>; Meyer onEphesians 3:7; Schmidt, chapter 164.]