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Stephen’s Defense

7 And the high priest said, “Is it so concerning these things?” So he said, “Men—brothers and fathers—listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he* was in Mesopotamia, before he settled in Haran, and said to him, ‘Go out from your land and from your relatives and come to the land that I will show you.’ Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and* settled in Haran. And from there, after his father died, he caused him to move to this land in which you now live. And he did not give him an inheritance in it—not even a footstepa—and he promised to give it* to him for his possession, and to his descendants after him, although he did not haveb* a child. But God spoke like this: ‘His descendants will be foreigners in a foreign land, and they will enslave them and mistreat them* four hundred years, and the nation thatc they will serve as slaves, I will judge,’ God said, ‘and after these things they will come outd and will worship me in this place.’e And he gave him the covenant of circumcision, and so he became the father of Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac did so with* Jacob, and Jacob did so with* the twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs, because they* were jealous of Joseph, sold him* into Egypt. And God was with him, 10 and rescued him from all his afflictions and granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And he appointed him ruler over Egypt and allf his household. 11 And a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan and great affliction, and our fathers could not find food. 12 So when* Jacob heard there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first. 13 And on the second visit* Joseph was made known to his brothers, and the family of Joseph became known to Pharaoh. 14 So Joseph sent and* summoned his father Jacob and all his* relatives, seventy-five persons in all. 15 And Jacob went down to Egypt and died, he and our fathers. 16 And they were brought back to Shechem and buried in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

17 “But as the time of the promise that God had made to Abraham was drawing near, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt 18 until another king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph. 19 This man deceitfully took advantage of our* people and* mistreated our ancestors, causing them to abandon their infantsg so that they would not be kept alive. 20 At this time Moses was born, and he was beautiful to God. Heh was brought up for three months in his* father’s house, 21 and when* he was abandoned, the daughter of Pharaoh took him up and brought him up as her own son.i 22 And Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was powerful in his words and deeds.

23 “But when he was forty years old,j it entered in his heart to visit his brothers, the sons of Israel. 24 And when he* saw one of them being unjustly harmed, he defended him* and avengedk the one who had been oppressed by* striking down the Egyptian. 25 And he thought his* brothers would understand that God was granting deliverance to them by his hand, but they did not understand. 26 And on the following day, he made an appearance to them while they* were fighting and was attempting to reconcile* them in peace, saying, ‘Men and brothers, why are you doing wrong to one another?’ 27 But the one who was doing wrong to his* neighbor pushed him aside, saying, ‘Who appointed you a ruler and a judge over us? 28 You do not want to do away with me the same wayl you did away with the Egyptian yesterday, do you?’m 29 And at this statement, Moses fled and became a foreigner in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.

30 “And when* forty years had been completed, an angel appeared to him in the desert of Mount Sinai in the flame of a burning bush. 31 And when* Moses saw it,* he was astonished at the sight, and when* he approached to look at it,* the voice of the Lord came: 32 ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob!’n So Moses began trembling and* did not dare to look at it.* 33 And the Lord said to him, ‘Untie the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. 34 I have certainly seeno the mistreatment of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt.’p 35 This Moses whom they had repudiated, saying, ‘Who appointed you a ruler and a judge?’q—this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer with the helpr of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and at the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years.

37 “This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers.’s 38 This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and who with our fathers received living oracles to give to us, 39 to whom our fathers were not willing to become obedient, but rejected him* and turned back in their hearts to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go on before us! For this Moses, who led us out from the land of Egypt—we do not know what has happened to him!’t 41 And they manufactured a calf in those days, and offered up a sacrifice to the idol, and began rejoicing* in the works of their hands. 42 But God turned away and gave them over to worship the host of heaven, just as it is written in the book of the prophets:

‘You did not bring offerings and sacrifices to me

for forty years in the wilderness, did you,* house of Israel?

43 And you took along the tabernacleu of Moloch

and the star of the godv Rephan,

the images that you made, to worship them,

and I will deport you beyond Babylon!’w

44 The tabernacle of the testimony belongedx to our fathers in the wilderness, just as the one who spoke to Moses directed him* to make it according to the design that he had seen, 45 and which, after* receiving it* in turn, our fathers brought in with Joshua when they dispossessed they nations that God drove out from the presence of our fathers, until the days of David, 46 who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a habitation for the God of Jacob.z 47 But Solomon built a house for him. 48 But the Most High does not live in housesa made by human hands, just as the prophet says,

49 ‘Heaven is my throne

and earth is the footstool for my feet.

What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,

or what is the place of my rest?

50 Did not my hand make all these things?’b

51 You stiff-necked people and uncircumcised in hearts and in your* ears! You constantly resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers did, so also do you! 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand about the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become, 53 you who received the law by directions of angels and have not observed it!”

Stephen’s Martyrdom

54 Now when they* heard these things, they were infuriated in their hearts and gnashed their* teeth at him. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently into heaven and* saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57 But crying out with a loud voice, they stopped their ears and rushed at him with one purpose. 58 And after they* had driven him* out of the city, they began to stone* him,* and the witnesses laid aside their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they kept on stoning Stephen as he* was calling out and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60 And falling to his* knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” And after he* said this, he fell asleep.c


About The Lexham English Bible

The Lexham English Bible contains a translation of the original languages into smooth, readable English. It also contains copious footnotes which address translation issues, instances of Old Testament quotations in the New Testament, and various textual-critical issues. This translation also indicates the use of idioms in the Greek and Hebrew text. In cases where a literal rendering of Greek or Hebrew would prevent a smooth English translation, footnotes indicate the literal English translation, accompanied by explanatory notes as necessary.


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