Appointed for Service
1 Now in those days, when the disciples were multiplying, grumbling arose#6:1. cf. Exod. 16:7-8. among the Hellenists against the Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily support. 2 So the Twelve called together the whole group of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. 3 So, brethren, select from among you seven reputable men, full of the Ruach and wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the Word.”
5 The statement pleased the whole group; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Ruach ha-Kodesh, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. 6 They placed these men before the shlichim; and after praying, they laid hands on them.#6:6. cf. Num. 8:10; 27:18; Deut. 34:9.
7 The word of God kept on spreading, and the number of disciples in Jerusalem greatly multiplied; even a great number of the kohanim were becoming obedient to the faith.
Stephen’s Testimony and Martyrdom
8 Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. 9 But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen—both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, as well as some from Cilicia and Asia#6:9. The Roman province of Asia, in the western part of Asia Minor (now part of Turkey).—stood up and began arguing with Stephen. 10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Ruach by whom he was speaking.
11 Then they secretly instigated men into saying, “We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and against God!” 12 They also incited the people, the elders, and the Torah scholars; and they rushed at Stephen, seized him, and led him away to the Sanhedrin. 13 They set up false witnesses who said, “This man never stops speaking words against this holy place and the Torah. 14 For we have heard him saying that this Yeshua ha-Natzrati will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us.” 15 Watching him intently, everyone who was sitting in the Sanhedrin saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
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