In Acts 8:2, we read: “Devout men buried Stephen, and made great lamentation over him.” Initially we note that the Greek word εὐλαβεῖς for devout and the Greek word κοπετὸ for lamentation are both Lucan hapax appearing only in Acts. It may be that verses 2:5 which states “Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven” and 8:2 form an inclusio with “devout men” as the bookends. These Jews had respect for Stephen and his views and saw him as a noble and righteous man, a man like Simeon.
This Greek word εὐλαβεῖς for devout appear in the Septuagint in two places of interest. In Lev. 15:31, the LXX states: “You shall make the sons of
The Greek phrase κοπετὸν μέγαν only appears in Acts 8:2 and Genesis LXX 50:10 which is part of the narrative of Joseph burying his father in the
There are four separate mentions in Genesis of the purchase of this burial site that Abraham had purchased (Genesis 23; 25:9-10; 49:29-32; 50:13). Joseph made his brothers promise that he will be buried at this site where Jacob his father had been buried. However, when the people of the Exodus transported his casket to its final resting place, the bones of Joseph were buried at Shechem in the burial site that Jacob had purchased (Joshua 24:32). Stephen in his last sermon stated: “and Jacob went down into
Luke, in alluding to Genesis 50:10 in Acts 8:2, with his use of the Greek phrase κοπετὸν μέγαν is telling us he is aware of the two burial site traditions and that Stephen had used a burial tradition offensive to the temple establishment. At the same time Luke is disclosing that Stephen has employed hidden polemics in his speech in his use of the place name, Shechem, associated with the Samaritans.