Atos 7

1 And the high priest said, "Are these things so?"

2 Stephen answered. "Listen, brothers and fathers. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran,

3 and said to him, "Leave your country and your kindred, and come to whatever land I will show you.

4 "So he left Chaldea and settled in Haran, and from there, after his fathers death, God moved him to this land which you inhabit.

5 "But he gave him no inheritance in it, no, not a single square yard of ground; yet he promised to bestow the land as a permanent possession on him and his posterity - he at that time being childless.

6 "What God said was this. "His offspring will sojourn in a foreign land where they will be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years.

7 "And the nation, whichever it is, that enslaves them I will judge, said God, and after ward they shall come out, and they shall worship me in this place.

8 "Then he gave him a covenant of circumcision, and under this covenant he became the father of Isaac, whom he circumcised on the eighth day, and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve Patriarchs.

9 "The patriarchs out of jealousy sold Joseph into Egypt.

10 "But God was with him, and delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him grace and wisdom, when he stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who appointed him Governor over Egypt, and over all the royal household.

11 "Then there came a famine over the whole of Egypt and Canaan, and great distress, so that our ancestors could not find food.

12 "But Jacob heard that there was food in Egypt, and sent our ancestors there on their first visit.

13 "On their second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Pharaoh was informed of Josephs parentage.

14 "Then Joseph sent and invited Jacob his father and all his family, numbering seventy-five souls, to come to him;

15 "and Jacob went down into Egypt.

16 "There he died, and our ancestors also, and they were carried across to Shechem, and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

17 "but as the time drew near for the fulfilment of the promise which God made to Abraham, the people multiplied and increased in Egypt;

18 "until there arose a king who knew not Joseph.

19 "He dealt craftily with our race, and oppressed our forefathers, by making them expose their infants so that they should not live.

20 "In this time Moses was born, a divinely beautiful child, who was brought up for three months in his fathers house.

21 "When he was exposed, Pharaohs daughter took him up, and brought him up as her own son.

22 "So Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in his words and works.

23 "And when he was forty years old it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel;

24 "and when he saw one of them wronged he wrought redress for the one overpowered, by striking down the Egyptian.

25 "(Now he supposed that his brothers would understand how God by his hand was bringing them deliverance; but they did not.)

26 "Next day he came upon two of them fighting, and tried to make peace between them. "Sirs, he said, you are brothers. Why are you wronging each other?

27 "But the man who was ill-treating his neighbor thrust him aside, saying, "Who made you a magistrate and ruler over us?

28 "Do you want to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?

29 "Alarmed at this question, Moses fled from the land, and went to live in the land of Midian. There he became the father of two sons.

30 "But at the end of forty years there appeared to him, in the desert of Mt. Sinai, an angel in a flame of fire, in a bush.

31 "When Moses saw it he was astonished at the sight. But when he drew near to look, the voice of the Lord said,

32 "I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. "And Moses trembled and dared not gaze.

33 "And the Lord said. "Take off your sandals, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.

34 "Truly I have seen the oppression of my people in Egypt, and I have heard their groans, and am come down to rescue them; and now, come, I will send you into Egypt.

35 "This Moses whom they refused when they said, Who made you to be a ruler and a judge? that same Moses we find God sending as a ruler and a redeemer by the hand in the bush.

36 "This was he who brought them out, after he had shown signs and wonders in the wilderness, for forty years.

37 "It was this Moses who said to the Children of Israel, "God will raise up a Prophet for you from among your brothers, as he did me.

38 "This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness along with the angel who spoke to him in Mt. Sinai, and with our ancestors to whom he gave living words to hand down to us.

39 "To him our ancestors would not be obedient, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts turned back into Egypt.

40 "Said they to Aaron. "Make Gods for us who shall march in front of us! As for this Moses who led us forth out of the land of Egypt, we know not what has happened to him.

41 "And they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to this idol, and began to rejoice over what they had made with their hands.

42 "So God turned from them, and gave them up to the worship of the heavenly host, as it is written in the book of the Prophets. "Did you offer unto me slain beasts as sacrifices during the forty years in the wilderness, O House of Israel?

43 No, it was the Tabernacle of Moloch and the star-symbol of the god Rempha that you lifted up - the images which you made in order to worship them; so I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

44 "In the wilderness our ancestors had the Tabernacle of Testimony built, as he appointed who told Moses to make it according to the pattern he had seen.

45 "That tabernacle was brought in by our ancestors, in their turn, when they under Joshua entered on the possession of the nations whom God thrust out before them, until the days of David.

46 "David obtained favor with God, and asked permission to find a dwelling-place for the God of Jacob.

47 "But it was Solomon who built him a house.

48 "Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made with hands; as said the prophet.

49 "The heaven is my throne, And the earth the footstool of my feet; What kind of house will you build for me? saith the Lord. Or what resting-place shall I have?

50 Did not my hand make this universe?

51 "Stiff-necked, uncircumcised in heart and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Ghost! As your fathers did, so do you.

52 "Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become -

53 "you who received the law, given through angels, and obeyed it not."

54 As they heard these words they became furious and gnashed their teeth at him.

55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

56 "Look, I see heaven open," he said, "And the Son of man standing at the right hand of God."

57 With a loud outcry they stopped their ears, and rushed upon Stephen in a body,

58 dragged him outside the city, and stoned him, the witnesses throwing off their outer garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59 So they stoned Stephen while he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

60 Then he knelt down and cried aloud, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge."