Acts 7:1-60

Acts of the Apostles 7:1-60 New Living Translation (NLT)

Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these accusations true?” This was Stephen’s reply: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me. Our glorious God appeared to our ancestor Abraham in Mesopotamia before he settled in Haran. God told him, ‘Leave your native land and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.’ So Abraham left the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran until his father died. Then God brought him here to the land where you now live. “But God gave him no inheritance here, not even one square foot of land. God did promise, however, that eventually the whole land would belong to Abraham and his descendants—even though he had no children yet. God also told him that his descendants would live in a foreign land, where they would be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. ‘But I will punish the nation that enslaves them,’ God said, ‘and in the end they will come out and worship me here in this place.’ “God also gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision at that time. So when Abraham became the father of Isaac, he circumcised him on the eighth day. And the practice was continued when Isaac became the father of Jacob, and when Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs of the Israelite nation. “These patriarchs were jealous of their brother Joseph, and they sold him to be a slave in Egypt. But God was with him and rescued him from all his troubles. And God gave him favor before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. God also gave Joseph unusual wisdom, so that Pharaoh appointed him governor over all of Egypt and put him in charge of the palace. “But a famine came upon Egypt and Canaan. There was great misery, and our ancestors ran out of food. Jacob heard that there was still grain in Egypt, so he sent his sons—our ancestors—to buy some. The second time they went, Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers, and they were introduced to Pharaoh. Then Joseph sent for his father, Jacob, and all his relatives to come to Egypt, seventy-five persons in all. So Jacob went to Egypt. He died there, as did our ancestors. Their bodies were taken to Shechem and buried in the tomb Abraham had bought for a certain price from Hamor’s sons in Shechem. “As the time drew near when God would fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt greatly increased. But then a new king came to the throne of Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph. This king exploited our people and oppressed them, forcing parents to abandon their newborn babies so they would die. “At that time Moses was born—a beautiful child in God’s eyes. His parents cared for him at home for three months. When they had to abandon him, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and raised him as her own son. Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was powerful in both speech and action. “One day when Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his relatives, the people of Israel. He saw an Egyptian mistreating an Israelite. So Moses came to the man’s defense and avenged him, killing the Egyptian. Moses assumed his fellow Israelites would realize that God had sent him to rescue them, but they didn’t. “The next day he visited them again and saw two men of Israel fighting. He tried to be a peacemaker. ‘Men,’ he said, ‘you are brothers. Why are you fighting each other?’ “But the man in the wrong pushed Moses aside. ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us?’ he asked. ‘Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?’ When Moses heard that, he fled the country and lived as a foreigner in the land of Midian. There his two sons were born. “Forty years later, in the desert near Mount Sinai, an angel appeared to Moses in the flame of a burning bush. When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight. As he went to take a closer look, the voice of the LORD called out to him, ‘I am the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ Moses shook with terror and did not dare to look. “Then the LORD said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groans and have come down to rescue them. Now go, for I am sending you back to Egypt.’ “So God sent back the same man his people had previously rejected when they demanded, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us?’ Through the angel who appeared to him in the burning bush, God sent Moses to be their ruler and savior. And by means of many wonders and miraculous signs, he led them out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and through the wilderness for forty years. “Moses himself told the people of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people.’ Moses was with our ancestors, the assembly of God’s people in the wilderness, when the angel spoke to him at Mount Sinai. And there Moses received life-giving words to pass on to us. “But our ancestors refused to listen to Moses. They rejected him and wanted to return to Egypt. They told Aaron, ‘Make us some gods who can lead us, for we don’t know what has become of this Moses, who brought us out of Egypt.’ So they made an idol shaped like a calf, and they sacrificed to it and celebrated over this thing they had made. Then God turned away from them and abandoned them to serve the stars of heaven as their gods! In the book of the prophets it is written, ‘Was it to me you were bringing sacrifices and offerings during those forty years in the wilderness, Israel? No, you carried your pagan gods— the shrine of Molech, the star of your god Rephan, and the images you made to worship them. So I will send you into exile as far away as Babylon.’ “Our ancestors carried the Tabernacle with them through the wilderness. It was constructed according to the plan God had shown to Moses. Years later, when Joshua led our ancestors in battle against the nations that God drove out of this land, the Tabernacle was taken with them into their new territory. And it stayed there until the time of King David. “David found favor with God and asked for the privilege of building a permanent Temple for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who actually built it. However, the Most High doesn’t live in temples made by human hands. As the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you build me a temple as good as that?’ asks the LORD. ‘Could you build me such a resting place? Didn’t my hands make both heaven and earth?’ “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.” The Jewish leaders were infuriated by Stephen’s accusation, and they shook their fists at him in rage. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!” Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.

Acts 7:1-59-60 The Message (MSG)

Then the Chief Priest said, “What do you have to say for yourself?” Stephen replied, “Friends, fathers, and brothers, the God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was still in Mesopotamia, before the move to Haran, and told him, ‘Leave your country and family and go to the land I’ll show you.’ “So he left the country of the Chaldees and moved to Haran. After the death of his father, he immigrated to this country where you now live, but God gave him nothing, not so much as a foothold. He did promise to give the country to him and his son later on, even though Abraham had no son at the time. God let him know that his offspring would move to an alien country where they would be enslaved and brutalized for four hundred years. ‘But,’ God said, ‘I will step in and take care of those slaveholders and bring my people out so they can worship me in this place.’ “Then he made a covenant with him and signed it in Abraham’s flesh by circumcision. When Abraham had his son Isaac, within eight days he reproduced the sign of circumcision in him. Isaac became father of Jacob, and Jacob father of twelve ‘fathers,’ each faithfully passing on the covenant sign. “But then those ‘fathers,’ burning up with jealousy, sent Joseph off to Egypt as a slave. God was right there with him, though—he not only rescued him from all his troubles but brought him to the attention of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. He was so impressed with Joseph that he put him in charge of the whole country, including his own personal affairs. “Later a famine descended on that entire region, stretching from Egypt to Canaan, bringing terrific hardship. Our hungry fathers looked high and low for food, but the cupboard was bare. Jacob heard there was food in Egypt and sent our fathers to scout it out. Having confirmed the report, they went back to Egypt a second time to get food. On that visit, Joseph revealed his true identity to his brothers and introduced the Jacob family to Pharaoh. Then Joseph sent for his father, Jacob, and everyone else in the family, seventy-five in all. That’s how the Jacob family got to Egypt. “Jacob died, and our fathers after him. They were taken to Shechem and buried in the tomb for which Abraham paid a good price to the sons of Hamor. “When the four hundred years were nearly up, the time God promised Abraham for deliverance, the population of our people in Egypt had become very large. And there was now a king over Egypt who had never heard of Joseph. He exploited our race mercilessly. He went so far as forcing us to abandon our newborn infants, exposing them to the elements to die a cruel death. “In just such a time Moses was born, a most beautiful baby. He was hidden at home for three months. When he could be hidden no longer, he was put outside—and immediately rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter, who mothered him as her own son. Moses was educated in the best schools in Egypt. He was equally impressive as a thinker and an athlete. “When he was forty years old, he wondered how everything was going with his Hebrew kin and went out to look things over. He saw an Egyptian abusing one of them and stepped in, avenging his underdog brother by knocking the Egyptian flat. He thought his brothers would be glad that he was on their side, and even see him as an instrument of God to deliver them. But they didn’t see it that way. The next day two of them were fighting and he tried to break it up, told them to shake hands and get along with each other: ‘Friends, you are brothers, why are you beating up on each other?’ “The one who had started the fight said, ‘Who put you in charge of us? Are you going to kill me like you killed that Egyptian yesterday?’ When Moses heard that, realizing that the word was out, he ran for his life and lived in exile over in Midian. During the years of exile, two sons were born to him. “Forty years later, in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, an angel appeared to him in the guise of flames of a burning bush. Moses, not believing his eyes, went up to take a closer look. He heard God’s voice: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ Frightened nearly out of his skin, Moses shut his eyes and turned away. “God said, ‘Kneel and pray. You are in a holy place, on holy ground. I’ve seen the agony of my people in Egypt. I’ve heard their groans. I’ve come to help them. So get yourself ready; I’m sending you back to Egypt.’ “This is the same Moses whom they earlier rejected, saying, ‘Who put you in charge of us?’ This is the Moses that God, using the angel flaming in the burning bush, sent back as ruler and redeemer. He led them out of their slavery. He did wonderful things, setting up God-signs all through Egypt, down at the Red Sea, and out in the wilderness for forty years. This is the Moses who said to his congregation, ‘God will raise up a prophet just like me from your descendants.’ This is the Moses who stood between the angel speaking at Sinai and your fathers assembled in the wilderness and took the life-giving words given to him and handed them over to us, words our fathers would have nothing to do with. “They craved the old Egyptian ways, whining to Aaron, ‘Make us gods we can see and follow. This Moses who got us out here miles from nowhere—who knows what’s happened to him!’ That was the time when they made a calf-idol, brought sacrifices to it, and congratulated each other on the wonderful religious program they had put together. “God wasn’t at all pleased; but he let them do it their way, worship every new god that came down the pike—and live with the consequences, consequences described by the prophet Amos: Did you bring me offerings of animals and grains those forty wilderness years, O Israel? Hardly. You were too busy building shrines to war gods, to sex goddesses, Worshiping them with all your might. That’s why I put you in exile in Babylon. “And all this time our ancestors had a tent shrine for true worship, made to the exact specifications God provided Moses. They had it with them as they followed Joshua, when God cleared the land of pagans, and still had it right down to the time of David. David asked God for a permanent place for worship. But Solomon built it. “Yet that doesn’t mean that Most High God lives in a building made by carpenters and masons. The prophet Isaiah put it well when he wrote, “Heaven is my throne room; I rest my feet on earth. So what kind of house will you build me?” says God. “Where I can get away and relax? It’s already built, and I built it.” “And you continue, so bullheaded! Calluses on your hearts, flaps on your ears! Deliberately ignoring the Holy Spirit, you’re just like your ancestors. Was there ever a prophet who didn’t get the same treatment? Your ancestors killed anyone who dared talk about the coming of the Just One. And you’ve kept up the family tradition—traitors and murderers, all of you. You had God’s Law handed to you by angels—gift-wrapped!—and you squandered it!” At that point they went wild, a rioting mob of catcalls and whistles and invective. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, hardly noticed—he only had eyes for God, whom he saw in all his glory with Jesus standing at his side. He said, “Oh! I see heaven wide open and the Son of Man standing at God’s side!” Yelling and hissing, the mob drowned him out. Now in full stampede, they dragged him out of town and pelted him with rocks. The ringleaders took off their coats and asked a young man named Saul to watch them. As the rocks rained down, Stephen prayed, “Master Jesus, take my life.” Then he knelt down, praying loud enough for everyone to hear, “Master, don’t blame them for this sin”—his last words. Then he died. Saul was right there, congratulating the killers.

Acts 7:1-60 New American Standard Bible - NASB 1995 (NASB1995)

The high priest said, “Are these things so?” And he said, “Hear me, brethren and fathers! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, ‘LEAVE YOUR COUNTRY AND YOUR RELATIVES, AND COME INTO THE LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU.’ Then he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. From there, after his father died, God had him move to this country in which you are now living. But He gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot of ground, and yet, even when he had no child, He promised that HE WOULD GIVE IT TO HIM AS A POSSESSION, AND TO HIS DESCENDANTS AFTER HIM. But God spoke to this effect, that his DESCENDANTS WOULD BE ALIENS IN A FOREIGN LAND, AND THAT THEY WOULD BE ENSLAVED AND MISTREATED FOR FOUR HUNDRED YEARS. ‘AND WHATEVER NATION TO WHICH THEY WILL BE IN BONDAGE I MYSELF WILL JUDGE,’ said God, ‘AND AFTER THAT THEY WILL COME OUT AND SERVE ME IN THIS PLACE.’ And He gave him the covenant of circumcision; and so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs. “The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him, and rescued him from all his afflictions, and granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made him governor over Egypt and all his household. “Now a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction with it, and our fathers could find no food. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers there the first time. On the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family was disclosed to Pharaoh. Then Joseph sent word and invited Jacob his father and all his relatives to come to him, seventy-five persons in all. And Jacob went down to Egypt and there he and our fathers died. From there they were removed to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. “But as the time of the promise was approaching which God had assured to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt, until THERE AROSE ANOTHER KING OVER EGYPT WHO KNEW NOTHING ABOUT JOSEPH. It was he who took shrewd advantage of our race and mistreated our fathers so that they would expose their infants and they would not survive. It was at this time that Moses was born; and he was lovely in the sight of God, and he was nurtured three months in his father’s home. And after he had been set outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him away and nurtured him as her own son. Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds. But when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel. And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian. And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him, but they did not understand. On 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?’ But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying, ‘WHO MADE YOU A RULER AND JUDGE OVER US? YOU DO NOT MEAN TO KILL ME AS YOU KILLED THE EGYPTIAN YESTERDAY, DO YOU?’ At this remark, MOSES FLED AND BECAME AN ALIEN IN THE LAND OF MIDIAN, where he became the father of two sons. “After forty years had passed, AN ANGEL APPEARED TO HIM IN THE WILDERNESS OF MOUNT Sinai, IN THE FLAME OF A BURNING THORN BUSH. When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, there came the voice of the Lord: ‘I AM THE GOD OF YOUR FATHERS, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM AND ISAAC AND JACOB.’ Moses shook with fear and would not venture to look. BUT THE LORD SAID TO HIM, ‘TAKE OFF THE SANDALS FROM YOUR FEET, FOR THE PLACE ON WHICH YOU ARE STANDING IS HOLY GROUND. I HAVE CERTAINLY SEEN THE OPPRESSION OF MY PEOPLE IN EGYPT AND HAVE HEARD THEIR GROANS, AND I HAVE COME DOWN TO RESCUE THEM; COME NOW, AND I WILL SEND YOU TO EGYPT.’ “This Moses whom they disowned, saying, ‘WHO MADE YOU A RULER AND A JUDGE?’ is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN.’ This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness together with the angel who was speaking to him on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received living oracles to pass on to you. Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, SAYING TO AARON, ‘MAKE FOR US GODS WHO WILL GO BEFORE US; FOR THIS MOSES WHO LED US OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT—WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM.’ At that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. But God turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, ‘IT WAS NOT TO ME THAT YOU OFFERED VICTIMS AND SACRIFICES FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS, WAS IT, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL? YOU ALSO TOOK ALONG THE TABERNACLE OF MOLOCH AND THE STAR OF THE GOD ROMPHA, THE IMAGES WHICH YOU MADE TO WORSHIP. I ALSO WILL REMOVE YOU BEYOND BABYLON.’ “Our fathers had the tabernacle of testimony in the wilderness, just as He who spoke to Moses directed him to make it according to the pattern which he had seen. And having received it in their turn, our fathers brought it in with Joshua upon dispossessing the nations whom God drove out before our fathers, until the time of David. David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: ‘HEAVEN 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? WAS IT NOT MY HAND WHICH MADE ALL THESE THINGS?’ “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse. When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.

Acts 7:1-60 King James Version (KJV)

Then said the high priest, Are these things so? And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldæans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child. And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place. And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, and delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first. And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph's kindred was made known unto Pharaoh. Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers, and were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem. But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live. In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months: and when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: for he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons. And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold. Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground. I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt. This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush. He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: to whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices By the space of forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, And the star of your god Remphan, Figures which ye made to worship them: And I will carry you away beyond Babylon. Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David; who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built him an house. Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, And earth is my footstool: What house will ye build me? saith the Lord: Or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things? Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Acts 7:1-60 New Century Version (NCV)

The high priest said to Stephen, “Are these things true?” Stephen answered, “Brothers and fathers, listen to me. Our glorious God appeared to Abraham, our ancestor, in Mesopotamia before he lived in Haran. God said to Abraham, ‘Leave your country and your relatives, and go to the land I will show you.’ So Abraham left the country of Chaldea and went to live in Haran. After Abraham’s father died, God sent him to this place where you now live. God did not give Abraham any of this land, not even a foot of it. But God promised that he would give this land to him and his descendants, even before Abraham had a child. This is what God said to him: ‘Your descendants will be strangers in a land they don’t own. The people there will make them slaves and will mistreat them for four hundred years. But I will punish the nation where they are slaves. Then your descendants will leave that land and will worship me in this place.’ God made an agreement with Abraham, the sign of which was circumcision. And so when Abraham had his son Isaac, Abraham circumcised him when he was eight days old. Isaac also circumcised his son Jacob, and Jacob did the same for his sons, the twelve ancestors of our people. “Jacob’s sons became jealous of Joseph and sold him to be a slave in Egypt. But God was with him and saved him from all his troubles. The king of Egypt liked Joseph and respected him because of the wisdom God gave him. The king made him governor of Egypt and put him in charge of all the people in his palace. “Then all the land of Egypt and Canaan became so dry that nothing would grow, and the people suffered very much. Jacob’s sons, our ancestors, could not find anything to eat. But when Jacob heard there was grain in Egypt, he sent his sons there. This was their first trip to Egypt. When they went there a second time, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and the king learned about Joseph’s family. Then Joseph sent messengers to invite Jacob, his father, to come to Egypt along with all his relatives (seventy-five persons altogether). So Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and his sons died. Later their bodies were moved to Shechem and put in a grave there. (It was the same grave Abraham had bought for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.) “The promise God made to Abraham was soon to come true, and the number of people in Egypt grew large. Then a new king, who did not know who Joseph was, began to rule Egypt. This king tricked our people and was cruel to our ancestors, forcing them to leave their babies outside to die. At this time Moses was born, and he was very beautiful. For three months Moses was cared for in his father’s house. When they put Moses outside, the king’s daughter adopted him and raised him as if he were her own son. The Egyptians taught Moses everything they knew, and he was a powerful man in what he said and did. “When Moses was about forty years old, he thought it would be good to visit his own people, the people of Israel. Moses saw an Egyptian mistreating one of his people, so he defended the Israelite and punished the Egyptian by killing him. Moses thought his own people would understand that God was using him to save them, but they did not. The next day when Moses saw two men of Israel fighting, he tried to make peace between them. He said, ‘Men, you are brothers. Why are you hurting each other?’ The man who was hurting the other pushed Moses away and said, ‘Who made you our ruler and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ When Moses heard him say this, he left Egypt and went to live in the land of Midian where he was a stranger. While Moses lived in Midian, he had two sons. “Forty years later an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush as he was in the desert near Mount Sinai. When Moses saw this, he was amazed and went near to look closer. Moses heard the Lord’s voice say, ‘I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ Moses began to shake with fear and was afraid to look. The Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground. I have seen the troubles my people have suffered in Egypt. I have heard their cries and have come down to save them. And now, Moses, I am sending you back to Egypt.’ “This Moses was the same man the two men of Israel rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge?’ Moses is the same man God sent to be a ruler and savior, with the help of the angel that Moses saw in the burning bush. So Moses led the people out of Egypt. He worked miracles and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and then in the desert for forty years. This is the same Moses that said to the people of Israel, ‘God will give you a prophet like me, who is one of your own people.’ This is the Moses who was with the gathering of the Israelites in the desert. He was with the angel that spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and he was with our ancestors. He received commands from God that give life, and he gave those commands to us. “But our ancestors did not want to obey Moses. They rejected him and wanted to go back to Egypt. They said to Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will lead us. Moses led us out of Egypt, but we don’t know what has happened to him.’ So the people made an idol that looked like a calf. Then they brought sacrifices to it and were proud of what they had made with their own hands. But God turned against them and did not try to stop them from worshiping the sun, moon, and stars. This is what is written in the book of the prophets: God says, ‘People of Israel, you did not bring me sacrifices and offerings while you traveled in the desert for forty years. You have carried with you the tent to worship Molech and the idols of the star god Rephan that you made to worship. So I will send you away beyond Babylon.’ “The Holy Tent where God spoke to our ancestors was with them in the desert. God told Moses how to make this Tent, and he made it like the plan God showed him. Later, Joshua led our ancestors to capture the lands of the other nations. Our people went in, and God forced the other people out. When our people went into this new land, they took with them this same Tent they had received from their ancestors. They kept it until the time of David, who pleased God and asked God to let him build a house for him, the God of Jacob. But Solomon was the one who built the Temple. “But the Most High does not live in houses that people build with their hands. As the prophet says: ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. So do you think you can build a house for me? says the Lord. Do I need a place to rest? Remember, my hand made all these things!’ ” Stephen continued speaking: “You stubborn people! You have not given your hearts to God, nor will you listen to him! You are always against what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you, just as your ancestors were. Your ancestors tried to hurt every prophet who ever lived. Those prophets said long ago that the One who is good would come, but your ancestors killed them. And now you have turned against and killed the One who is good. You received the law of Moses, which God gave you through his angels, but you haven’t obeyed it.” When the leaders heard this, they became furious. They were so mad they were grinding their teeth at Stephen. But Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit. He looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at God’s right side. He said, “Look! I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at God’s right side.” Then they shouted loudly and covered their ears and all ran at Stephen. They took him out of the city and began to throw stones at him to kill him. And those who told lies against Stephen left their coats with a young man named Saul. While they were throwing stones, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell on his knees and cried in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” After Stephen said this, he died.

Acts 7:1-60 American Standard Version (ASV)

And the high priest said, Are these things so? And he said, Brethren and fathers, hearken: The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, and said unto him, Get thee out of thy land, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldæans, and dwelt in Haran: and from thence, when his father was dead, God removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell: and he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: and he promised that he would give it to him in possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child. And God spake on this wise, that his seed should sojourn in a strange land, and that they should bring them into bondage, and treat them ill, four hundred years. And the nation to which they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place. And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob the twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs, moved with jealousy against Joseph, sold him into Egypt: and God was with him, and delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. Now there came a famine over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent forth our fathers the first time. And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph’s race became manifest unto Pharaoh. And Joseph sent, and called to him Jacob his father, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. And Jacob went down into Egypt; and he died, himself and our fathers; and they were carried over unto Shechem, and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price in silver of the sons of Hamor in Shechem. But as the time of the promise drew nigh which God vouchsafed unto Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, till there arose another king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph. The same dealt craftily with our race, and ill-treated our fathers, that they should cast out their babes to the end they might not live. At which season Moses was born, and was exceeding fair; and he was nourished three months in his father’s house: and when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians; and he was mighty in his words and works. But when he was well-nigh forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, smiting the Egyptian: and he supposed that his brethren understood that God by his hand was giving them deliverance; but they understood not. And the day following he appeared unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? But he that did his neighbor wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? Wouldest thou kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian yesterday? And Moses fled at this saying, and became a sojourner in the land of Midian, where he begat two sons. And when forty years were fulfilled, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush. And when Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold, there came a voice of the Lord, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob. And Moses trembled, and durst not behold. And the Lord said unto him, Loose the shoes from thy feet: for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. I have surely seen the affliction of my people that is in Egypt, and have heard their groaning, and I am come down to deliver them: and now come, I will send thee into Egypt. This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? him hath God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the hand of the angel that appeared to him in the bush. This man led them forth, having wrought wonders and signs in Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. This is that Moses, who said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall God raise up unto you from among your brethren, like unto me. This is he that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel that spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received living oracles to give unto us: to whom our fathers would not be obedient, but thrust him from them, and turned back in their hearts unto Egypt, saying unto Aaron, Make us gods that shall go before us: for as for this Moses, who led us forth out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him. And they made a calf in those days, and brought a sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their hands. But God turned, and gave them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, Did ye offer unto me slain beasts and sacrifices Forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? And ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, And the star of the god Rephan, The figures which ye made to worship them: And I will carry you away beyond Babylon. Our fathers had the tabernacle of the testimony in the wilderness, even as he appointed who spake unto Moses, that he should make it according to the figure that he had seen. Which also our fathers, in their turn, brought in with Joshua when they entered on the possession of the nations, that God thrust out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David; who found favor in the sight of God, and asked to find a habitation for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built him a house. Howbeit the Most High dwelleth not in houses made with hands; as saith the prophet, The heaven is my throne, And the earth the footstool of my feet: What manner of house will ye build me? saith the Lord: Or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things? Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? and they killed them that showed before of the coming of the Righteous One; of whom ye have now become betrayers and murderers; ye who received the law as it was ordained by angels, and kept it not. Now when they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed upon him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon the Lord, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Acts 7:1-60 New International Version (NIV)

Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?” To 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. ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’ “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. He 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. God 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. But 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.’ Then 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. “Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him and 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. “Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food. When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit. On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family. After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died. Their 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. “As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased. Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’ He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die. “At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family. When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. The 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?’ “But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons. “After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look. “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I 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.’ “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. He led them out of Egypt and performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the wilderness. “This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.’ He was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living words to pass on to us. “But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!’ That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made. But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets: “ ‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel? You have taken up the tabernacle of Molek and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile’ beyond Babylon. “Our ancestors had the tabernacle of the covenant law with them in the wilderness. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen. After receiving the tabernacle, our ancestors under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations God drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David, who enjoyed God’s favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for him. “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says: “ ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?’ “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.” When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Acts 7:1-60 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Now the high priest asked [Stephen], “Are these charges true?” And he answered, “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory [the Shekinah, the radiance of God] appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and He said to him, ‘LEAVE YOUR COUNTRY AND YOUR RELATIVES, AND COME TO THE LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU.’ Then he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. And from there, after his father died, God sent him to this country in which you now live. But He did not give him inheritable property, not even enough ground to take a step on, yet He promised that HE WOULD GIVE IT TO HIM AS A POSSESSION, AND TO HIS DESCENDANTS AFTER HIM. And this is, in effect, what God spoke [to him]: That his DESCENDANTS WOULD BE ALIENS (strangers) IN A FOREIGN LAND, AND THAT THEY WOULD BE ENSLAVED AND MISTREATED FOR FOUR HUNDRED YEARS. ‘AND I WILL JUDGE ANY NATION TO WHOM THEY WILL BE IN BONDAGE,’ said God, ‘AND AFTER THAT THEY WILL COME OUT AND SERVE ME [in worship] IN THIS PLACE.’ And God gave Abraham a covenant [a formal agreement to be strictly observed] of [which] circumcision [was the sign]; and so [under these circumstances] Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac [became the father] of Jacob, and Jacob [became the father] of the twelve patriarchs. “The [ten elder] patriarchs, overwhelmed with jealousy, sold [their younger brother] Joseph into [slavery in] Egypt; but God was with him, and He rescued him from all his suffering, and gave him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made Joseph governor over Egypt and over his entire household. “Now a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great distress and our fathers could not find food [for their households and livestock]. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers there the first time. And on the second visit Joseph identified himself to his brothers, and Joseph’s family and background were revealed to Pharaoh. Then Joseph sent and invited Jacob his father and all his relatives to come to him, seventy-five persons in all. And Jacob (Israel) went down into Egypt, and there he died, as did our fathers; and [from Egypt] their bodies were taken back to Shechem and placed in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. “But as the time [for the fulfillment] of the promise which God had made to Abraham was approaching, the [Hebrew] people increased and multiplied in Egypt, until [the time when] THERE AROSE ANOTHER KING OVER EGYPT WHO DID NOT KNOW JOSEPH [nor his history and the merit of his service to Egypt]. He shrewdly exploited our race and mistreated our fathers, forcing them to expose their [male] babies so that they would die. It was at this [critical] time that Moses was born; and he was lovely in the sight of God, and for three months he was nourished in his father’s house. Then when he was set outside [to die], Pharaoh’s daughter rescued him and claimed him for herself, and cared for him as her own son. So Moses was educated in all the wisdom and culture of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds. But when he reached the age of forty, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the sons of Israel. And when he saw one [of them] being treated unfairly, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking and killing the Egyptian. He expected his countrymen to understand that God was granting them freedom through him [assuming that they would accept him], but they did not understand. Then on the next day he suddenly appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and he tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you wrong one another?’ But the man who was injuring his neighbor pushed Moses away, saying, ‘WHO APPOINTED YOU RULER AND JUDGE OVER US? DO YOU INTEND TO KILL ME AS YOU KILLED THE EGYPTIAN YESTERDAY?’ At this remark MOSES FLED AND BECAME AN EXILE IN THE LAND OF MIDIAN, where he fathered two sons. “After forty years had passed, AN ANGEL APPEARED TO HIM IN THE WILDERNESS OF MOUNT Sinai, IN THE FLAME OF A BURNING THORN BUSH. When Moses saw it, he was astonished at the sight; but as he went near to look more closely, the voice of the Lord came [to him, saying]: ‘I AM THE GOD OF YOUR FATHERS, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM AND OF ISAAC AND OF JACOB.’ Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look. THEN THE LORD SAID TO HIM, ‘REMOVE THE SANDALS FROM YOUR FEET, FOR THE PLACE WHERE YOU ARE STANDING IS HOLY GROUND [worthy of reverence and respect]. I HAVE MOST CERTAINLY SEEN THE OPPRESSION OF MY PEOPLE IN EGYPT AND HAVE HEARD THEIR GROANING, AND I HAVE COME DOWN TO RESCUE THEM. NOW COME, AND I WILL SEND YOU TO EGYPT [as My messenger].’ “This Moses whom they rejected, saying, ‘WHO MADE YOU A RULER AND A JUDGE?’ is the very one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer, with the [protecting and helping] hand of the Angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. This man led them out [of Egypt] after performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and at the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. This is the Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR COUNTRYMEN.’ This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness together with the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received living oracles [divine words that still live] to be handed down to you. Our fathers were unwilling to be subject to him [and refused to listen to him]. They rejected him, and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. THEY SAID TO AARON, ‘MAKE FOR US GODS WHO WILL GO BEFORE US; FOR THIS MOSES WHO LED US OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT, WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO HIM.’ In those days they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and rejoiced and celebrated over the works of their hands. But God turned away [from them] and handed them over to serve the host of heaven. As it is written and forever remains written in the book of the prophets, ‘IT WAS NOT [really] TO ME THAT YOU OFFERED VICTIMS AND SACRIFICES FOR FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS, WAS IT, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL? YOU ALSO TOOK ALONG THE TABERNACLE (portable temple) OF MOLOCH AND THE STAR OF THE GOD ROMPHA, THE IMAGES WHICH YOU MADE TO WORSHIP; AND I WILL REMOVE YOU BEYOND BABYLON [carrying you away into exile].’ “Our fathers had the tabernacle of testimony in the wilderness, just as God directed Moses to make it according to the pattern which he had seen. Our fathers also brought it in [with them into the land] with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations whom God drove out before our fathers, [and so it remained here] until the time of David, who found favor (grace, spiritual blessing) in the sight of God and asked that he might [be allowed to] find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. However, the Most High [the One infinitely exalted above humanity] does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet [Isaiah] says, ‘HEAVEN IS MY THRONE, AND THE EARTH IS THE FOOTSTOOL FOR MY FEET; WHAT KIND OF HOUSE WILL YOU BUILD FOR ME?’ says the Lord, ‘OR WHAT PLACE IS THERE FOR MY REST? WAS IT NOT MY HAND THAT MADE ALL THESE THINGS?’ “You stiff-necked and stubborn people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are always actively resisting the Holy Spirit. You are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who proclaimed beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained and delivered to you by angels, and yet you did not obey it!” Now when they heard this [accusation and understood its implication], they were cut to the heart, and they began grinding their teeth [in rage] at him. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit and led by Him, gazed into heaven and saw the glory [the great splendor and majesty] of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Look! I see the heavens opened up [in welcome] and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” But they shouted with loud voices, and covered their ears and together rushed at him [considering him guilty of blasphemy]. Then they drove him out of the city and began stoning him; and the witnesses placed their outer robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. They continued stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive and accept and welcome my spirit!” Then falling on his knees [in worship], he cried out loudly, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them [do not charge them]!” When he had said this, he fell asleep [in death].

Acts 7:1-60 The Passion Translation (TPT)

The high priest asked, “Are these accusations true?” Stephen replied, “My fellow Jews and fathers, listen to me. The God of glory appeared to our ancestor Abraham while he was living in Iraq and before he moved to Haran in Syria. God said to him, ‘Go! Leave behind your country and your relatives. Begin your journey and come to the land that I will show you.’ “So Abraham left southeastern Iraq and began his journey. He settled in Haran and stayed there until his father passed away. Then God had him move to the land of Israel with only a promise. Although God gave him no parcel of land he could call his own, not even a footprint, yet he promised Abraham that he and his descendants would one day have it all. And even though as yet Abraham had no child, God spoke with him and gave him this promise: ‘Your descendants will live in a foreign land with a people who will make slaves of them and oppress them for four hundred years. But I will judge the nation that enslaves them, and your descendants will be set free to return to this land to serve and worship me.’ “Then God entered into covenant with Abraham, which included the requirement of circumcision. So when he became the father of Isaac, he circumcised him eight days after his birth. “Isaac then became the father of Jacob, who was the father of our twelve patriarchs. Jacob’s sons became jealous of their brother Joseph and sold him to be a slave in Egypt. But God’s favor and blessing rested upon Joseph, and in time, God rescued him from all his oppression and granted him extraordinary favor before Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Pharaoh appointed him as the overseer of his nation and even of his own palace. “Then a devastating famine came over all of Egypt and Canaan, bringing great misery to the people, including our ancestors, who couldn’t find food. But when Jacob learned that there was food in Egypt, he sent his sons, our ancestors, on their first trip to purchase grain for their family. On their second trip to Egypt, Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers, and because of this, Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family and where he came from. “Joseph sent for his father, Jacob, and his entire family, a total of seventy-five people, to come and reside in Egypt. Eventually, Jacob died there, along with all of his sons, our forefathers. Their bones were later carried back to the promised land and buried in Shechem, in the tomb Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor. “The time drew near for God to fulfill the prophetic promise he had made to Abraham. Our Jewish people had increased greatly in number, multiplying many times over while in Egypt. “Another king, who had forgotten how Joseph had made their nation great, arose to rule over Egypt. He was an abusive king who exploited our people with his smooth talk. With cruelty he forced our ancestors to give up their little boys as he committed infanticide! “Then Moses came on the scene—a child of divine beauty. His parents hid him from Pharaoh as long as they could to spare his life. After three months they could conceal him no longer, so they had to abandon him to his fate. But God arranged that Pharaoh’s daughter would find him, take him home, and raise him as her own son. So Moses was fully trained in the royal courts and educated in the highest wisdom Egypt had to offer, until he arose as a powerful prince and an eloquent orator. “When Moses turned forty, his heart was stirred for his people, the Israelites. One day he saw one of our people being violently mistreated, so he came to his rescue, and with his own hands Moses murdered the abusive Egyptian. Moses hoped that when the people realized how he had rescued one of their own, they would recognize him as their deliverer. How wrong he was! The next day he came upon two of our people engaged in a fist fight, and he tried to break it up by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers! Why would you want to hurt each other?’ “But the perpetrator pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who do you think you are? Who appointed you to be our ruler and judge? Are you going to kill me like you did the Egyptian yesterday?’ “Shaken by this, Moses fled Egypt and lived as an exile in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons. After forty years had passed, while he was in the desert near Mount Sinai, the Messenger of Yahweh appeared to him in the midst of a flaming thorn bush. Moses was astonished and stunned by what he was seeing, so he drew closer to observe this marvel. Then the Lord Yahweh spoke to him out of the flames: ‘I am the living God, the God of your ancestors. I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ “Trembling in God’s presence and overwhelmed with awe, Moses didn’t even dare to look into the fire. “Out of the flames the Lord Yahweh said to him: ‘Take the sandals off your feet, for you are standing in the realm of holiness. I have watched and seen how my people have been mistreated in Egypt. I have heard their painful groaning, and now I have come down to set them free. So come to me, Moses, for I am sending you to Egypt to represent me.’ “So God sent back to Egypt the man our people rejected and refused to recognize by saying, ‘Who appointed you to be our ruler and judge?’ God sent this man back to be their ruler and deliverer, commissioned with the power of the messenger who appeared to him in the flaming thorn bush. This man brought the people out from their Egyptian bondage with many astonishing wonders and miracle signs—miracles in Egypt, miracles at the Red Sea, and miracles during their forty-year journey through the wilderness. This is the same Moses who said to our ancestors, ‘The Lord God will raise up one from among you who will be a prophet to you, like I have been. Listen to everything he will say!’ “Moses led the congregation in the wilderness and he spoke face-to-face with the angel who spoke with him on the top of Mount Sinai. Along with our ancestors, he received the living oracles of God that were passed down to us. But our forefathers refused to obey. They pushed him away, and their hearts longed to return to Egypt. “While Moses was on the mountain, our forefathers said to Aaron, ‘Make us gods to lead us, because we don’t know what has become of this Moses who brought us out of Egypt.’ “So they made a god, an idol in the form of a bull calf. They offered sacrifices to it and celebrated with delight what their own hands had made. “When God saw what they had done, he turned away from them and handed them over to the worship of the stars of heaven, as recorded in the prophetic writings: ‘People of Israel, you failed to worship me when you offered animal sacrifices for forty years in the wilderness. Instead you worshiped the god Moloch, and you carried his tabernacle, not mine. You worshiped your star-god, Rephan. You made idols with your hands and worshiped them instead of me. So now I will cast you into exile beyond Babylon.’ “God gave Moses the revelation of the pattern of the tabernacle of the testimony. By God’s command, he made it exactly according to the specifications given to him for our ancestors in the wilderness. The next generation received possession of it, and under Joshua’s leadership they took possession of the land of the nations, which God drove out in front of them. The tabernacle was carried about until David found loving favor with God and prayed for a dwelling place for the God of Jacob, but it was Solomon who built him a house. “However, the Most High God does not live in temples made by human hands, as the prophet said: ‘Heaven is my throne room and the earth is but a footstool for my feet. How could you possibly build a house that could contain me?’ says the Lord Yahweh. ‘And where could you find a place where I could live? Don’t you know that it is my hands that have built my house, not yours?’ “Why would you be so stubborn as to close your hearts and your ears to me? You are always opposing the Holy Spirit, just like your forefathers! Which prophet was not persecuted and murdered by your ancestors? Name just one! They killed them all—even the ones who prophesied long ago of the coming of the Righteous One! Now you follow in their steps and have become his betrayers and murderers. You have been given the law by the visitation of angels, but you have not obeyed it.” When they heard these things, they were overtaken with violent rage filling their souls, and they gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, overtaken with great faith, was full of the Holy Spirit. He fixed his gaze into the heavenly realm and saw the glory and splendor of God—and Jesus, who stood up at the right hand of God. “Look!” Stephen said. “I can see the heavens opening and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God to welcome me home!” His accusers covered their ears with their hands and screamed at the top of their lungs to drown out his voice. Then they pounced on him and threw him outside the city walls to stone him. His accusers, one by one, placed their outer garments at the feet of a young man named Saul of Tarsus. As they hurled stone after stone at him, Stephen prayed, “Our Lord Jesus, accept my spirit into your presence.” He crumpled to his knees and shouted in a loud voice, “Our Lord, don’t hold this sin against them.” And then he died.

Acts 7:1-60 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)

And the high priest said, “Are these things so?” And Stephen said: “Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, ‘Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.’ Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living. Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot’s length, but promised to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child. And God spoke to this effect—that his offspring would be sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them four hundred years. ‘But I will judge the nation that they serve,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.’ And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs. “And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him and rescued him out of all his afflictions and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. Now there came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers on their first visit. And on the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became known to Pharaoh. And Joseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all. And Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, he and our fathers, and they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. “But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt until there arose over Egypt another king who did not know Joseph. He dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, so that they would not be kept alive. At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house, and when he was exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds. “When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel. And seeing one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian. He supposed that his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not understand. And on the following day he appeared to them as they were quarreling and tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers. Why do you wrong each other?’ But the man who was wronging his neighbor thrust him aside, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ At this retort Moses fled and became an exile in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons. “Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and as he drew near to look, there came the voice of the Lord: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.’ And Moses trembled and did not dare to look. Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have surely seen the affliction 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.’ “This Moses, whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’—this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.’ This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us. Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt, saying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ And they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. But God turned away and gave them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: “‘Did you bring to me slain beasts and sacrifices, during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? You took up the tent of Moloch and the star of your god Rephan, the images that you made to worship; and I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.’ “Our fathers had the tent of witness in the wilderness, just as he who spoke to Moses directed him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen. Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers. So it was until the days of David, who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for him. Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?’ “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.” Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.