Chapter 7

Stephen’s Defense

1 The high priest said, “Are these things so?”

2 And he said, “Hear me, abrethren and fathers! bThe God of glory cappeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in 1Haran,

3 and said to him, ‘aLeave your country and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.’

4 “aThen he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in 1Haran. bFrom there, after his father died, God had him move to this country in which you are now living.

5 “But He gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot of ground, and yet, even when he had no child, aHe promised that He would give it to him as a possession, and to his descendants after him.

6 “But aGod spoke to this effect, that his descendants would be aliens in a foreign land, and that they would 1be enslaved and mistreated for four hundred years.

7 “ ‘And whatever nation to which they will be in bondage I Myself will judge,’ said God, ‘and aafter that they will come out and 1serve Me in this place.’

8 “And He agave him 1the covenant of circumcision; and so bAbraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and cIsaac became the father of Jacob, and dJacob of the twelve epatriarchs.

9 “The patriarchs abecame jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him,

10 and rescued him from all his afflictions, and agranted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made him governor over Egypt and all his household.

11 “Now aa famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction with it, and our fathers 1could find no food.

12 “But awhen Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers there the first time.

13 “On the second visit aJoseph 1made himself known to his brothers, and bJoseph’s family was disclosed to Pharaoh.

14 “Then aJoseph sent word and invited Jacob his father and all his relatives to come to him, bseventy-five 1cpersons in all.

15 “And aJacob went down to Egypt and there he and our fathers died.

16 “From there they were removed to 1aShechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of 2Hamor in 1Shechem.

17 “But as the atime of the promise was approaching which God had assured to Abraham, bthe people increased and multiplied in Egypt,

18 until athere arose another king over Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph.

19 “It was he who took ashrewd advantage of our race and mistreated our fathers so that they would 1bexpose their infants and they would not survive.

20 “It was at this time that aMoses was born; and he was lovely 1in the sight of God, and he was nurtured three months in his father’s home.

21 “And after he had been set outside, aPharaoh’s daughter 1took him away and nurtured him as her own son.

22 “Moses was educated in all athe learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds.

23 “But when he was approaching the age of forty, ait entered his 1mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel.

24 “And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian.

25 “And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them 1deliverance 2through him, but they did not understand.

26 “aOn the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting together, and he tried to reconcile them in peace, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one another?’

27 “But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying, ‘aWho made you a ruler and judge over us?

28 ‘aYou do not mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?’

29 “At this remark, aMoses fled and became an alien in the land of 1Midian, where he bbecame the father of two sons.

30 “After forty years had passed, aan angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning thorn bush.

31 “When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, there came the voice of the Lord:

32 ‘aI am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.’ Moses shook with fear and would not venture to look.

33 “aBut the Lord said to him, ‘bTake off the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.

34 ‘aI have certainly seen the oppression of My people in Egypt and have heard their groans, and I have come down to rescue them; 1bcome now, and I will send you to Egypt.’

35 “This Moses whom they adisowned, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one whom God 1sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the 2help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush.

36 “aThis man led them out, performing bwonders and 1signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the cwilderness for forty years.

37 “This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘aGod will raise up for you a prophet 1like me from your brethren.’

38 “This is the one who was in athe 1congregation in the wilderness together with bthe angel who was speaking to him on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received cliving doracles to pass on to you.

39 “Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but arepudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt,

40 asaying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us; for this Moses who led us out of the land of Egyptwe do not know what happened to him.’

41 “1At that time athey made a 2calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in bthe works of their hands.

42 “But God aturned away and delivered them up to 1serve the 2host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, ‘bIt was not to Me that you offered victims and sacrifices cforty years in the wilderness, was it, O house of Israel?

43 ‘aYou also took along the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of the god 1Rompha, the images which you made to worship. I also will remove you beyond Babylon.’

44 “Our fathers had athe tabernacle of testimony in the wilderness, just as He who spoke to Moses directed him to make it baccording to the pattern which he had seen.

45 “And having received it in their turn, our fathers abrought it in with 1Joshua upon dispossessing the 2nations whom God drove out before our fathers, until the time of David.

46 “aDavid found favor in God’s sight, and basked that he might find a dwelling place for the 1God of Jacob.

47 “But it was aSolomon who built a house for Him.

48 “However, athe Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says:

49 ‘aHeaven is My throne,

And earth is the footstool of My feet;

What kind of house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord,

Or what place is there for My repose?

50 ‘aWas it not My hand which made all these things?’

51 “You men who are astiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.

52 “aWhich one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of bthe Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers cyou have now become;

53 you who received the law as aordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”

Stephen Put to Death

54 Now when they heard this, they were acut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him.

55 But being afull of the Holy Spirit, he bgazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing cat the right hand of God;

56 and he said, “Behold, I see the aheavens opened up and bthe Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse.

58 When they had adriven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and bthe witnesses claid aside their robes at the feet of da young man named Saul.

59 They went on stoning Stephen as he acalled on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”

60 Then afalling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, bdo not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he 1cfell asleep.


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