Acts 7:1-53View Full Chapter
Stephen’s Speech to the Sanhedrin 1Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?” 2To 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 Harran.
3‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’
8Then 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“Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him
10and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace. 11“Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food. 12When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit. 13On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family. 14After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. 15Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died.
16Their 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“As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased.
18Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’
19He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.
20“At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child.
22Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. 23“When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. 24He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. 25Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not.
26The 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“But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us?
28Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’
29When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons. 30“After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. 31When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say:
32‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’
34I 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.’
36He led them out of Egypt and performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the wilderness.
37“This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.’
38He was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living words to pass on to us.
39“But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt.
40They 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!’
42But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets: “ ‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?
43You have taken up the tabernacle of Molek and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile’
47But it was Solomon who built a house for him.
48“However, the Most High does not live 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 where will my resting place be?
50Has not my hand made all these things?’
53you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”