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Acts 7 (New American Standard)

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Stephen's Defense

1 The high priest said, "Are these things so?" 2 And he said, "Hear me, 1brethren and fathers! 2The God of glory 3appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in aHaran, 3 and said to him, '4LEAVE YOUR COUNTRY AND YOUR RELATIVES, AND COME INTO THE LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU.' 4 "5Then he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in bHaran. 6From 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 when he had no child, 7He promised that HE WOULD GIVE IT TO HIM AS A POSSESSION, AND TO HIS DESCENDANTS AFTER HIM. 6 "But 8God spoke to this effect, that his DESCENDANTS WOULD BE ALIENS IN A FOREIGN LAND, AND THAT THEY WOULD cBE ENSLAVED AND MISTREATED FOR FOUR HUNDRED YEARS. 7 " 'AND WHATEVER NATION TO WHICH THEY WILL BE IN BONDAGE I MYSELF WILL JUDGE,' said God, 'AND 9AFTER THAT THEY WILL COME OUT AND dSERVE ME IN THIS PLACE.' 8 "And He 10gave him ethe covenant of circumcision; and so 11Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and 12Isaac became the father of Jacob, and 13Jacob of the twelve 14patriarchs. 9 "The patriarchs 15became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him, 10 and rescued him from all his afflictions, and 16granted 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 17a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction with it, and our fathers fcould find no food. 12 "But 18when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers there the first time. 13 "On the second visit 19Joseph gmade himself known to his brothers, and 20Joseph's family was disclosed to Pharaoh. 14 "Then 21Joseph sent word and invited Jacob his father and all his relatives to come to him, 22seventy-five h23persons in all. 15 "And 24Jacob went down to Egypt and there he and our fathers died. 16 "From there they were removed to i25Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of jHamor in kShechem. 17 "But as the 26time of the promise was approaching which God had assured to Abraham, 27the people increased and multiplied in Egypt, 18 until 28THERE AROSE ANOTHER KING OVER EGYPT WHO KNEW NOTHING ABOUT JOSEPH. 19 "It was he who took 29shrewd advantage of our race and mistreated our fathers so that they would l30expose their infants and they would not survive. 20 "It was at this time that 31Moses was born; and he was lovely min the sight of God, and he was nurtured three months in his father's home. 21 "And after he had been set outside, 32Pharaoh's daughter ntook him away and nurtured him as her own son. 22 "Moses was educated in all 33the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds. 23 "But when he was approaching the age of forty, 34it entered his omind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel. 24 "And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian. 25 "And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them pdeliverance qthrough him, but they did not understand. 26 "35On the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting together, and he tried to reconcile them in peace, saying, 'Men, you are brethren, why do you injure one another?' 27 "But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying, '36WHO MADE YOU A RULER AND JUDGE OVER US? 28 '37YOU DO NOT MEAN TO KILL ME AS YOU KILLED THE EGYPTIAN YESTERDAY, DO YOU?' 29 "At this remark, 38MOSES FLED AND BECAME AN ALIEN IN THE LAND OF rMIDIAN, where he 39became the father of two sons. 30 "After forty years had passed, 40AN ANGEL APPEARED TO HIM IN THE WILDERNESS OF MOUNT Sinai, IN THE FLAME OF A BURNING THORN BUSH. 31 "When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, there came the voice of the Lord: 32 '41I AM THE GOD OF YOUR FATHERS, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM AND ISAAC AND JACOB.' Moses shook with fear and would not venture to look. 33 "42BUT THE LORD SAID TO HIM, '43TAKE OFF THE SANDALS FROM YOUR FEET, FOR THE PLACE ON WHICH YOU ARE STANDING IS HOLY GROUND. 34 '44I HAVE CERTAINLY SEEN THE OPPRESSION OF MY PEOPLE IN EGYPT AND HAVE HEARD THEIR GROANS, AND I HAVE COME DOWN TO RESCUE THEM; s45COME NOW, AND I WILL SEND YOU TO EGYPT.' 35 "This Moses whom they 46disowned, saying, 'WHO MADE YOU A RULER AND A JUDGE?' is the one whom God tsent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the uhelp of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. 36 "47This man led them out, performing 48wonders and vsigns in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the 49wilderness for forty years. 37 "This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, '50GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET wLIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN.' 38 "This is the one who was in 51the xcongregation in the wilderness together with 52the angel who was speaking to him on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received 53living 54oracles to pass on to you. 39 "Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but 55repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, 40 56SAYING TO AARON, 'MAKE FOR US GODS WHO WILL GO BEFORE US; FOR THIS MOSES WHO LED US OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT -WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM'. 41 "yAt that time 57they made a zcalf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in 58the works of their hands. 42 "But God 59turned away and delivered them up to aaserve the bbhost of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, '60IT WAS NOT TO ME THAT YOU OFFERED VICTIMS AND SACRIFICES 61FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS, WAS IT, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL? 43 '62YOU ALSO TOOK ALONG THE TABERNACLE OF MOLOCH AND THE STAR OF THE GOD ccROMPHA, THE IMAGES WHICH YOU MADE TO WORSHIP. I ALSO WILL REMOVE YOU BEYOND BABYLON.' 44 "Our fathers had 63the tabernacle of testimony in the wilderness, just as He who spoke to Moses directed him to make it 64according to the pattern which he had seen. 45 "And having received it in their turn, our fathers 65brought it in with ddJoshua upon dispossessing the eenations whom God drove out before our fathers, until the time of David. 46 "66David found favor in God's sight, and 67asked that he might find a dwelling place for the ffGod of Jacob. 47 "But it was 68Solomon who built a house for Him. 48 "However, 69the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: 49 '70HEAVEN IS MY THRONE, AND EARTH IS THE FOOTSTOOL OF MY FEET; WHAT KIND OF HOUSE WILL YOU BUILD FOR ME?' says the Lord, 'OR WHAT PLACE IS THERE FOR MY REPOSE? 50 '71WAS IT NOT MY HAND WHICH MADE ALL THESE THINGS?' 51 "You men who are 72stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. 52 "73Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of 74the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers 75you have now become; 53 you who received the law as 76ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it."

Stephen Put to Death

54 Now when they heard this, they were 77cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. 55 But being 78full of the Holy Spirit, he 79gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing 80at the right hand of God; 56 and he said, "Behold, I see the 81heavens opened up and 82the 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 at him with one impulse. 58 When they had 83driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and 84the witnesses 85laid aside their robes at the feet of 86a young man named Saul. 59 They went on stoning Stephen as he 87called on the Lord and said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" 60 Then 88falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, 89do not hold this sin against them!" Having said this, he gg90fell asleep.
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