Acts 7 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Then the Chief Priest said, "What do you have to say for yourself?" 1 Then the high priest asked him, "Are these charges true?"
2 Stephen replied, "Friends, fathers, and brothers, the God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was still in Mesopotamia, before the move to Haran, 2 To this he replied: "Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran.
3 and told him, 'Leave your country and family and go to the land I'll show you.' 3 'Leave your country and your people,' God said, 'and go to the land I will show you.'
4 "So he left the country of the Chaldees and moved to Haran. After the death of his father, he immigrated to this country where you now live, 4 "So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living.
5 but God gave him nothing, not so much as a foothold. He did promise to give the country to him and his son later on, even though Abraham had no son at the time. 5 He gave him no inheritance here, not even a foot of ground. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child.
6 God let him know that his offspring would move to an alien country where they would be enslaved and brutalized for four hundred years. 6 God spoke to him in this way: 'Your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.
7 'But,' God said, 'I will step in and take care of those slaveholders and bring my people out so they can worship me in this place.' 7 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,' God said, 'and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.'
8 "Then he made a covenant with him and signed it in Abraham's flesh by circumcision. When Abraham had his son Isaac, within eight days he reproduced the sign of circumcision in him. Isaac became father of Jacob, and Jacob father of twelve 'fathers,' each faithfully passing on the covenant sign. 8 Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.
9 "But then those 'fathers,' burning up with jealousy, sent Joseph off to Egypt as a slave. God was right there with him, though - 9 "Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him
10 he not only rescued him from all his troubles but brought him to the attention of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. He was so impressed with Joseph that he put him in charge of the whole country, including his own personal affairs. 10 and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt; so he made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.
11 "Later a famine descended on that entire region, stretching from Egypt to Canaan, bringing terrific hardship. Our hungry fathers looked high and low for food, but the cupboard was bare. 11 "Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our fathers could not find food.
12 Jacob heard there was food in Egypt and sent our fathers to scout it out. 12 When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers on their first visit.
13 Having confirmed the report, they went back to Egypt a second time to get food. On that visit, Joseph revealed his true identity to his brothers and introduced the Jacob family to Pharaoh. 13 On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph's family.
14 Then Joseph sent for his father, Jacob, and everyone else in the family, seventy-five in all. 14 After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all.
15 That's how the Jacob family got to Egypt. 15 Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our fathers died.
16 They were taken to Shechem and buried in the tomb for which Abraham paid a good price to the sons of Hamor. 16 Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.
17 "When the four hundred years were nearly up, the time God promised Abraham for deliverance, the population of our people in Egypt had become very large. 17 "As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt greatly increased.
18 And there was now a king over Egypt who had never heard of Joseph. 18 Then another king, who knew nothing about Joseph, became ruler of Egypt.
19 He exploited our race mercilessly. He went so far as forcing us to abandon our newborn infants, exposing them to the elements to die a cruel death. 19 He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our forefathers by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.
20 "In just such a time Moses was born, a most beautiful baby. He was hidden at home for three months. 20 "At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for in his father's house.
21 When he could be hidden no longer, he was put outside - and immediately rescued by Pharaoh's daughter, who mothered him as her own son. 21 When he was placed outside, Pharaoh's daughter took him and brought him up as her own son.
22 Moses was educated in the best schools in Egypt. He was equally impressive as a thinker and an athlete. 22 Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.
23 "When he was forty years old, he wondered how everything was going with his Hebrew kin and went out to look things over. 23 "When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites.
24 He saw an Egyptian abusing one of them and stepped in, avenging his underdog brother by knocking the Egyptian flat. 24 He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian.
25 He thought his brothers would be glad that he was on their side, and even see him as an instrument of God to deliver them. But they didn't see it that way. 25 Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not.
26 The next day two of them were fighting and he tried to break it up, told them to shake hands and get along with each other: 'Friends, you are brothers, why are you beating up on each other?' 26 The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, 'Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?'
27 "The one who had started the fight said, 'Who put you in charge of us? 27 "But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, 'Who made you ruler and judge over us?
28 Are you going to kill me like you killed that Egyptian yesterday?' 28 Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?'
29 When Moses heard that, realizing that the word was out, he ran for his life and lived in exile over in Midian. During the years of exile, two sons were born to him. 29 When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.
30 "Forty years later, in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, an angel appeared to him in the guise of flames of a burning bush. 30 "After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai.
31 Moses, not believing his eyes, went up to take a closer look. He heard God's voice: 31 When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to look more closely, he heard the Lord's voice:
32 'I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.' Frightened nearly out of his skin, Moses shut his eyes and turned away. 32 'I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.' Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look.
33 "God said, 'Kneel and pray. You are in a holy place, on holy ground. 33 "Then the Lord said to him, 'Take off your sandals; the place where you are standing is holy ground.
34 I've seen the agony of my people in Egypt. I've heard their groans. I've come to help them. So get yourself ready; I'm sending you back to Egypt.' 34 I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.'
35 "This is the same Moses whom they earlier rejected, saying, 'Who put you in charge of us?' This is the Moses that God, using the angel flaming in the burning bush, sent back as ruler and redeemer. 35 "This is the same Moses whom they had rejected with the words, 'Who made you ruler and judge?' He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush.
36 He led them out of their slavery. He did wonderful things, setting up God-signs all through Egypt, down at the Red Sea, and out in the wilderness for forty years. 36 He led them out of Egypt and did wonders and miraculous signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the desert.
37 This is the Moses who said to his congregation, 'God will raise up a prophet just like me from your descendants.' 37 "This is that Moses who told the Israelites, 'God will send you a prophet like me from your own people.'
38 This is the Moses who stood between the angel speaking at Sinai and your fathers assembled in the wilderness and took the life-giving words given to him and handed them over to us, 38 He was in the assembly in the desert, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living words to pass on to us.
39 words our fathers would have nothing to do with. 39 "But our fathers refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt.
40 whining to Aaron, 'Make us gods we can see and follow. This Moses who got us out here miles from nowhere - who knows what's happened to him!' 40 They told Aaron, 'Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt--we don't know what has happened to him!'
41 That was the time when they made a calf-idol, brought sacrifices to it, and congratulated each other on the wonderful religious program they had put together. 41 That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and held a celebration in honor of what their hands had made.
42 "God wasn't at all pleased; but he let them do it their way, worship every new god that came down the pike - and live with the consequences, consequences described by the prophet Amos: Did you bring me offerings of animals and grains those forty wilderness years, O Israel? 42 But God turned away and gave them over to the worship of the heavenly bodies. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets: " 'Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the desert, O house of Israel?
43 Hardly. You were too busy building shrines to war gods, to sex goddesses, Worshiping them with all your might. That's why I put you in exile in Babylon. 43 You have lifted up the shrine of Molech and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile' beyond Babylon.
44 "And all this time our ancestors had a tent shrine for true worship, made to the exact specifications God provided Moses. 44 "Our forefathers had the tabernacle of the Testimony with them in the desert. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen.
45 They had it with them as they followed Joshua, when God cleared the land of pagans, and still had it right down to the time of David. 45 Having received the tabernacle, our fathers under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations God drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David,
46 David asked God for a permanent place for worship. 46 who enjoyed God's favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.
47 But Solomon built it. 47 But it was Solomon who built the house for him.
48 "Yet that doesn't mean that Most High God lives in a building made by carpenters and masons. The prophet Isaiah put it well when he wrote, 48 "However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says:
49 "Heaven is my throne room; I rest my feet on earth. So what kind of house will you build me?" says God. "Where I can get away and relax? 49 " 'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be?
50 It's already built, and I built it." 50 Has not my hand made all these things?'
51 "And you continue, so bullheaded! Calluses on your hearts, flaps on your ears! Deliberately ignoring the Holy Spirit, you're just like your ancestors. 51 "You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!
52 Was there ever a prophet who didn't get the same treatment? Your ancestors killed anyone who dared talk about the coming of the Just One. And you've kept up the family tradition - traitors and murderers, all of you. 52 Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him--
53 You had God's Law handed to you by angels - gift-wrapped! - and you squandered it!" 53 you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it."
54 At that point they went wild, a rioting mob of catcalls and whistles and invective. 54 When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.
55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, hardly noticed - he only had eyes for God, whom he saw in all his glory with Jesus standing at his side. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
56 He said, "Oh! I see heaven wide open and the Son of Man standing at God's side!" 56 "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
57 Yelling and hissing, the mob drowned him out. Now in full stampede, 57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him,
58 they dragged him out of town and pelted him with rocks. The ringleaders took off their coats and asked a young man named Saul to watch them. 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59 As the rocks rained down, Stephen prayed, "Master Jesus, take my life." 59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
60 Then he knelt down, praying loud enough for everyone to hear, "Master, don't blame them for this sin" - his last words. Then he died. Saul was right there, congratulating the killers. 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.