Suffering and Glory
Acts 7:1-60 Stephen’s Speech
7 And the high priest said, “Are these things so?” 2 And Stephen said:
j“Brothers and fathers, hear me. kThe God lof glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, mbefore he lived in Haran, 3 and said to him, n‘Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.’ 4 mThen he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And oafter his father died, pGod removed him from there into this land in which you are now living. 5 Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot’s length, but promised qto give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, rthough he had no child. 6 And God spoke to this effect—that shis offspring would tbe sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them ufour hundred years. 7 ‘But vI will judge the nation that they serve,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out wand worship me in this place.’ 8 And xhe gave him the covenant of circumcision. And yso Abraham became the father of Isaac, and zcircumcised him on the eighth day, and aIsaac became the father of Jacob, and bJacob of the twelve patriarchs.
9 “And the patriarchs, cjealous of Joseph, dsold him into Egypt; but eGod was with him 10 and rescued him out of all his afflictions and fgave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, gwho made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 11 Now hthere came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food. 12 iBut when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers on their first visit. 13 And jon the second visit kJoseph made himself known to his brothers, and lJoseph’s family became known to Pharaoh. 14 And mJoseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, nseventy-five persons in all. 15 And oJacob went down into Egypt, and phe died, he qand our fathers, 16 and rthey were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that sAbraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
17 “But tas the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, uthe people increased and multiplied in Egypt 18 until there arose over Egypt another king vwho did not know Joseph. 19 wHe dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, xso that they would not be kept alive. 20 yAt 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, 21 and zwhen he was exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. 22 And Moses awas instructed in ball the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was cmighty in his words and deeds.
23 “When he was forty years old, it came into his heart dto visit his brothers, the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian. 25 He supposed that his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not understand. 26 eAnd 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?’ 27 But the man who was wronging his neighbor thrust him aside, saying, f‘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 retort gMoses fled and became an exile in the land of Midian, hwhere he became the father of two sons.
30 “Now when forty years had passed, ian angel appeared to him jin the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush. 31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and as he drew near to look, there came the voice of the Lord: 32 k‘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. 33 Then the Lord said to him, l‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34 mI have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and nhave heard their groaning, and oI have come down to deliver them. pAnd now come, I will send you to Egypt.’
35 “This Moses, whom they rejected, qsaying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’—this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer rby the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 sThis man led them out, performing twonders and signs uin Egypt and vat the Red Sea and win the wilderness for xforty years. 37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you ya prophet like me from your brothers.’ 38 This is the one zwho was in the congregation in the wilderness with athe angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. bHe received cliving doracles to give to us. 39 Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and ein their hearts they turned to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, f‘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.’ 41 And gthey made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and hwere rejoicing in ithe works of their hands. 42 But jGod turned away and kgave them over to worship lthe host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets:
m“ ‘Did you bring to me slain beasts and sacrifices,
nduring the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
43 You took up the tent of oMoloch
and the star of your god Rephan,
the images that you made to worship;
and I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.’
44 “Our fathers had pthe tent of witness in the wilderness, just as he who spoke to Moses qdirected him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen. 45 Our fathers in turn rbrought it in with Joshua when they sdispossessed the nations tthat God drove out before our fathers. So it was uuntil the days of David, 46 vwho found favor in the sight of God and wasked to find a dwelling place for xthe God of Jacob.1 47 But it was ySolomon who built a house for him. 48 zYet the Most High does not dwell ain houses made by hands, as the prophet says,
49 b“ ‘Heaven is my throne,
cand 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 Did not my hand make all these things?’
51 d“You stiff-necked people, euncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. fAs your fathers did, so do you. 52 gWhich of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of hthe Righteous One, iwhom you have now betrayed and murdered, 53 you who received the law jas delivered by angels and kdid not keep it.”
The Stoning of Stephen
54 Now when they heard these things lthey were enraged, and they mground their teeth at him. 55 But he, nfull of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw othe glory of God, and Jesus standing pat the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see qthe heavens opened, and rthe Son of Man standing pat the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together2 at him. 58 Then sthey cast him out of the city and tstoned him. And uthe witnesses laid down their garments vat the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, whe called out, “Lord Jesus, xreceive my spirit.” 60 And yfalling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, z“Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, ahe fell asleep.