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Acts 7 (Lexham English Bible)

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Stephen’s Defense

1 And the high priest said, "Is it so concerning these [things]?" 2 So he said, "Men--brothers and fathers--listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham [while he]a was in Mesopotamia, before he settled in Haran, 3 and said to him, 'Go out from your land and from your relatives and come to the land that I will show you.' 4 Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans [and]b settled in Haran. And from there, after his father died, he caused him to move to this land in which you now live. 5 And he did not give him an inheritance in it--not even a footstepc--and he promised to give [it]d to him for his possession, and to his descendants after him, {although he did not have}ef a child. 6 But God spoke like this: 'His descendants will be foreigners in a foreign land, and they will enslave them and mistreat [them]g four hundred years, 7 and the nation {that}h they will serve as slaves, I will judge,' God said, 'and after these [things] they will come outi and will worship me in this place.'j 8 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision, and so he became the father of Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac [did so with]k Jacob, and Jacob [did so with]l the twelve patriarchs. 9 And the patriarchs, [because they]m were jealous of Joseph, sold [him]n into Egypt. And God was with him, 10 and rescued him from all his afflictions and granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And he appointed him ruler over Egypt and allo his household. 11 And a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan and great affliction, and our fathers could not find food. 12 So [when]p Jacob heard [there] was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first. 13 And on the second [visit]q Joseph was made known to his brothers, and the family of Joseph became known to Pharaoh. 14 So Joseph sent [and]r summoned his father Jacob and all [his]s relatives, seventy-five persons in [all]. 15 And Jacob went down to Egypt and died, he and our fathers. 16 And they were brought back to Shechem and buried in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. 17 "But as the time of the promise that God had made to Abraham was drawing near, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt 18 until another king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph. 19 This man deceitfully took advantage of ourt people [and]u mistreated our ancestors, {causing them to abandon their infants}v so that they would not be kept alive. 20 At this time Moses was born, and he was beautiful to God. {He}w was brought up [for] three months in [his]x father's house, 21 and [when]y he was abandoned, the daughter of Pharaoh took him [up] and brought him [up] {as her own son}.z 22 And Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was powerful in his words and deeds. 23 "But when {he was forty years old},aa it entered in his heart to visit his brothers, the sons of Israel. 24 And [when he]bb saw one of them being unjustly harmed, he defended [him]cc and {avenged}dd the one who had been oppressed [by]ee striking down the Egyptian. 25 And he thought hisff brothers would understand that God was granting deliverance to them by his hand, but they did not understand. 26 And on the following day, he made an appearance to them [while they]gg were fighting and was attempting to reconcilehh them in peace, saying, 'Men [and] brothers, why are you doing wrong to one another?' 27 But the one who was doing wrong to [his]ii neighbor pushed him aside, saying, 'Who appointed you a ruler and a judge over us? 28 You do not want to do away with me {the same way}jj you did away with the Egyptian yesterday, [do you]?'kk 29 And at this statement, Moses fled and became a foreigner in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons. 30 "And [when]ll forty years had been completed, an angel appeared to him in the desert of Mount Sinai in the flame of a burning bush. 31 And [when]mm Moses saw [it],nn he was astonished at the sight, and [when]oo he approached to look at [it],pp the voice of the Lord came: 32 'I [am] the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob!'qq So Moses began trembling [and]rr did not dare to look at [it].ss 33 And the Lord said to him, 'Untie the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. 34 {I have certainly seen}tt the mistreatment of my people [who are] in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt.'uu 35 This Moses whom they had repudiated, saying, 'Who appointed you a ruler and a judge?'vv--this man God sent [as] both ruler and redeemer with {the help}ww 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 the sons of Israel, 'God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers.'xx 38 This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and who [with] our fathers received living oracles to give to us, 39 to whom our fathers were not willing to become obedient, but rejected [him]yy and turned [back] in their hearts to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, 'Make us gods who will go on before us! For this Moses, who led us out from the land of Egypt--we do not know what has happened to him!'zz 41 And they manufactured a calf in those days, and offered up a sacrifice to the idol, and began rejoicing52 in the works of their hands. 42 But God turned away and gave them over to worship the host of heaven, just as it is written in the book of the prophets: 'You did not bring offerings and sacrifices to me [for] forty years in the wilderness, [did you], house of Israel? 43 And you took along the tabernacle53 of Moloch and the star of the god54 Rephan, the images that you made, to worship them, and I will deport you beyond Babylon!'55 44 The tabernacle of the testimony {belonged}56 to our fathers in the wilderness, just as the one who spoke to Moses directed [him]57 to make it according to the design that he had seen, 45 and which, [after]58 receiving [it]59 in turn, our fathers brought in with Joshua {when they dispossessed the}60 nations that God drove out from the presence of our fathers, until the days of David, 46 who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a habitation for the God of Jacob.61 47 But Solomon built a house for him. 48 But the Most High does not live in [houses]62 made by human hands, just as the prophet says, 49 'Heaven [is] my throne and earth [is] the footstool for my feet. 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]?'63 51 "[You] stiff-necked [people] and uncircumcised in hearts and in [your]64 ears! You constantly resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers [did], [so] also [do] you! 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand about the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become, 53 [you] who received the law by directions of angels and have not observed [it]!"

Stephen’s Martyrdom

54 Now [when they]65 heard these [things], they were infuriated in their hearts and gnashed [their]66 teeth at him. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently into heaven [and]67 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 crying out with a loud voice, they stopped their ears and rushed at him with one purpose. 58 And [after they]68 had driven [him]69 out of the city, they began to stone70 [him],71 and the witnesses laid aside their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they kept on stoning Stephen [as he]72 was calling out and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" 60 And falling to [his]73 knees, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them!" And [after he]74 said this, he fell asleep.75
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