Atos 7

1 The high priest said, »Are these things so?«

2 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,

3 and said to him, ‘Leave your country and your relatives, and go into 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 had him move to this country in which you are now living.

5 But He gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot of ground, and yet, even though he had no child, he promised that he would give it to him as a possession, and to his descendants after him.

6 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.

7 ‘But I will judge the nation which they serve,’ said God, ‘and after that they will come out and worship me in this place.’

8 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.

9 »And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt. But God was with him,

10 and rescued him from all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made him governor over Egypt and all his household.

11 Now there came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, 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 At the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph's family was made known to Pharaoh.

14 Then Joseph sent and called his father Jacob and all his relatives to him, seventy-five persons in all.

15 And Jacob went down to Egypt, and there he and our fathers died.

16 They were carried back 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 of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt

18 until there arose another king over Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph.

19 He dealt craftily with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, so that they would not survive.

20 At this time Moses was born, and was beautiful before God. And he was brought up for three months in his father's house;

21 and when he was placed outside, Pharaoh's daughter took him and brought him up as her own son.

22 Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds.

23 »When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel.

24 And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and avenged the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian.

25 And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him, but they did not understand.

26 On the following day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren; why do you wrong each other?’

27 But the man who was wronging his neighbor pushed him aside, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?

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

29 At this remark Moses fled, and became an exile in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.

30 »After 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; and as he approached to look more closely, there came the voice of the Lord:

32 ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.’ Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look.

33 And the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.

34 I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them. Come now, and I will send you to Egypt.’

35 This Moses whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer 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 in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years.

37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren.’

38 This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living oracles to pass on to us.

39 But our fathers refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt,

40 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 happened to him.’

41 At that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands.

42 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 offer to me slain beasts and sacrifices,forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?

43 You took up the tent of Moloch,and the star of the god Rephan,the figures which you made to worship.And I will remove you beyond Babylon.’

44 »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.

45 And having received it in their turn, our fathers brought it in with Joshua when they took the land from the nations whom God drove out before our fathers. So it was until the time of David,

46 who found favor in God's sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.

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

48 However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says:

49 ‘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?

50 Has not my hand made all these things?’

51 »You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. You are doing just as your fathers did.

52 Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered,

53 you who received the law as delivered by angels, and yet did not keep it.«

54 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed their teeth at him.

55 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;

56 and he said, »Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.«

57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed together upon him with.

58 Then they cast him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, »Lord Jesus, 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.« And when he had said this, he fell asleep.