1Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?” 2To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. 3‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’#7:3 Gen. 12:1 4“So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living. 5He gave him no inheritance here, not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child. 6God spoke to him in this way: ‘For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated. 7But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,’ God said, ‘and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’#7:7 Gen. 15:13,14 8Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs. 9“Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him 10and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace. 11“Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food. 12When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit. 13On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family. 14After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. 15Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died. 16Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money. 17“As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased. 18Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’#7:18 Exodus 1:8 19He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die. 20“At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child.#7:20 Or was fair in the sight of God For three months he was cared for by his family. 21When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. 22Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. 23“When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. 24He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. 25Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. 26The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?’ 27“But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? 28Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’#7:28 Exodus 2:14 29When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons. 30“After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. 31When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say: 32‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’#7:32 Exodus 3:6 Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look. 33“Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.’#7:34 Exodus 3:5,7,8,10 35“This is the same Moses they had rejected with the words, ‘Who made you ruler and judge?’ He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36He led them out of Egypt and performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the wilderness.