1 Then the kohen gadol said, “Are these things so?”
2 Stephen declared, “Brethren and fathers, listen. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran. 3 He said to him, ‘Leave your country and your relatives, and come here to the land that I will show you.’ 4 Then he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. From there, after his father died, God moved him to this land where you now live. 5 He gave him no inheritance in it—not even a foothold—yet He promised ‘to give it to him as a possession to him and to his descendants after him,’ even though he had no child.
6 “But God spoke in this way, that his ‘descendants would be foreigners in a land belonging to others, and they would enslave and mistreat them for four hundred years. 7 But I will judge the nation they serve as slaves,’ God said, ‘and afterward they shall come out and serve Me in this place.’#7:6-7. Gen. 15:13-14.
8 “Then God gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision.#7:8. Heb. brit milah. So he became the father of Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day, and so Isaac with Jacob, and Jacob with the twelve patriarchs. 9 The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him. 10 He rescued him out of all his troubles and granted him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him governor over Egypt and all his household.
11 “Famine and great suffering came over all Egypt and Canaan, and our fathers could find no food. 12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers there the first time. 13 On the second visit, Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and his family became known to Pharaoh. 14 So Joseph sent and called for Jacob and all his relatives—seventy-five persons. 15 Jacob went down to Egypt and died, he and our fathers. 16 They were carried to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
17 “But as the time drew near for the promise God had sworn to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt—18 until ‘there arose another king over Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph.’#7:18. Exod. 1:8. 19 Dealing with our people with cruel cunning, this king mistreated our fathers and forced them to abandon their infants so they would not survive.
20 “At this time Moses was born—extraordinary before God. For three months he was nurtured in his father's house. 21 And when he was set outside, Pharaoh's daughter took him and raised him as her own son. 22 Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was powerful in his words and deeds.
23 “When he was approaching forty years of age, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, B’nei-Israel. 24 When he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he went to the defense of the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian. 25 He was assuming that his brethren understood that by his hand God was delivering them, but they did not understand. 26 So on the next day he appeared to them as they were fighting. He tried to reconcile them in shalom, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers. Why do you wrong one another?’
27 “But the one doing wrong to his neighbor pushed him away, saying, ‘Who appointed you ruler and judge over us? 28 You don’t want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?’#7:28. Exod. 2:14. 29 At this remark, Moses fled and became an exile in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.
30 “When forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai in the flame of a burning bush. 31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight. But when he came up to look, there came the voice of Adonai: 32 ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.’#7:32. Exod. 3:6.
“Moses trembled in fear and did not dare to look. 33 But Adonai said to him, ‘Take the sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34 I have surely seen the oppression of my people in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to deliver them. Now come—let Me send you to Egypt.’
35 “This Moses—whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who appointed you as ruler and judge?’—is the one whom God sent as both ruler and redeemer, by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years. 37 This is the Moses who said to B’nei-Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brethren.’#7:37. Exod. 12:41; 33:1.
38 “This is the one who was in the community in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living words to pass on to us. 39 Our fathers did not want to be obedient to him, but shoved him aside. And in their hearts they turned back to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make gods for us who will go before us. For this Moses who led us out of the land of Egypt—we have no idea what has happened to him.’#7:40. Exod. 32:1, 23.
41 “And they made a calf in those days, offered a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. 42 But God turned and gave them over to serve the host of heaven, just as it is written in the book of the Prophets:
‘It was not to Me that you brought sacrifices and offerings
for forty years in the wilderness, was it, O House of Israel?
43 You also took up the tent of Moloch
and the star of your god Rephan,
the images you made to worship.
And I will deport you beyond Babylon.’#7:42-43. Amos 5:25-27.
44 “Our fathers had the Tent of Witness in the wilderness—just as the One speaking to Moses had directed him to make it according to the design he had seen. 45 Our fathers received it in turn and brought it in with Joshua when they took possession of the land of the nations that God drove out before our fathers. So it remained until the days of David, 46 who found favor in God’s sight. He asked to find a dwelling place for the God#7:46. Lit. house; cf. Ps. 132:3-5(LXX). of Jacob. 47 But Solomon built a house for Him. 48 However, the Elyon does not dwell in man-made houses. As the prophet says,
49 ‘Heaven is My throne,
and the earth is the footstool of My feet.
What kind of house will you build for Me, says Adonai,
or what is the place of My rest?
50 Did not My Hand make all these things?’#7:50. Isa. 66:2.
51 “O you stiff-necked people! You uncircumcised of heart and ears! You always resist the Ruach ha-Kodesh; just as your fathers did, you do as well. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed the ones who foretold the coming of the Righteous One. Now you have become His betrayers and murderers—53 you who received the Torah by direction of angels and did not keep it!”
54 When they heard these things, they became enraged and began gnashing their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God—and Yeshua standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
57 But they covered their ears; and crying out with a loud voice, they rushed at him with one impulse. 58 Driving him out of the city, they began stoning him, and the witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 They went on stoning Stephen as he was calling out, “Lord Yeshua, receive my spirit!” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” After he said this, he died.#7:60. Lit. he fell asleep.
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