Seven Chosen to Serve
1Now in those days, #Acts 2:41; 4:4when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the #Acts 9:29; 11:20Hellenists, because their widows were neglected #Acts 4:35; 11:29in the daily distribution. 2Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, #Ex. 18:17“It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. 3Therefore, brethren, #Deut. 1:13; 1 Tim. 3:7seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this #Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:8–13business; 4but we #Acts 2:42will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
5And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, #Acts 6:3; 11:24a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and #Acts 8:5, 26; 21:8Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and #Rev. 2:6, 15Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, 6whom they set before the apostles; and #Acts 1:24when they had prayed, #Num. 8:10; 27:18; Deut. 34:9; (Mark 5:23; Acts 8:17; 9:17; 13:3; 19:6; 1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6); Heb. 6:2they laid hands on them.
7Then #Acts 12:24; Col. 1:6the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many #John 12:42of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Stephen Accused of Blasphemy
8And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great #Acts 2:43; 5:12; 8:15; 14:3wonders and signs among the people. 9Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen. 10And #Ex. 4:12; Is. 54:17; Luke 21:15they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke. 11#1 Kin. 21:10, 13; Matt. 26:59, 60Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12And they stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes; and they came upon him, seized him, and brought him to the council. 13They also set up false witnesses who said, “This man does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law; 14#Acts 10:38; 25:8for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses delivered to us.” 15And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel.