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Stephen's Speech

And the high priest said, “Are these things so?” And Stephen said:

(A)“Brothers and fathers, hear me. (B)The God (C)of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, (D)before he lived in Haran, and said to him, (E)‘Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.’ (F)Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And (G)after his father died, (H)God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living. Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot's length, but promised (I)to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, (J)though he had no child. And God spoke to this effect—that (K)his offspring would (L)be sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them for (M)four hundred years. ‘But (N)I will judge the nation that they serve,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out (O)and worship me in this place.’ And (P)he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And (Q)so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and (R)circumcised him on the eighth day, and (S)Isaac became the father of Jacob, and (T)Jacob of the twelve patriarchs.

“And the patriarchs, (U)jealous of Joseph, (V)sold him into Egypt; but (W)God was with him 10 and rescued him out of all his afflictions and (X)gave him favour and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, (Y)who made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 11 Now (Z)there came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food. 12 (AA)But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers on their first visit. 13 And (AB)on the second visit (AC)Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and (AD)Joseph's family became known to Pharaoh. 14 And (AE)Joseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, (AF)seventy-five persons in all. 15 And (AG)Jacob went down into Egypt, and (AH)he died, he (AI)and our fathers, 16 and (AJ)they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that (AK)Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

17 “But (AL)as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, (AM)the people increased and multiplied in Egypt 18 until there arose over Egypt another king (AN)who did not know Joseph. 19 (AO)He dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, (AP)so that they would not be kept alive. 20 (AQ)At 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 (AR)when he was exposed, Pharaoh's daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. 22 And Moses (AS)was instructed in (AT)all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was (AU)mighty in his words and deeds.

23 “When he was forty years old, it came into his heart (AV)to 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 (AW)And on the following day he appeared to them as they were quarrelling and tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers. Why do you wrong each other?’ 27 But the man who was wronging his neighbour thrust him aside, saying, (AX)‘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 (AY)Moses fled and became an exile in the land of Midian, (AZ)where he became the father of two sons.

30 “Now when forty years had passed, (BA)an angel appeared to him (BB)in 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 (BC)‘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, (BD)‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34 (BE)I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and (BF)have heard their groaning, and (BG)I have come down to deliver them. (BH)And now come, I will send you to Egypt.’

35 “This Moses, whom they rejected, (BI)saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’—this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer (BJ)by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 (BK)This man led them out, performing (BL)wonders and signs (BM)in Egypt and (BN)at the Red Sea and (BO)in the wilderness for (BP)forty years. 37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you (BQ)a prophet like me from your brothers.’ 38 This is the one (BR)who was in the congregation in the wilderness with (BS)the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. (BT)He received (BU)living (BV)oracles to give to us. 39 Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and (BW)in their hearts they turned to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, (BX)‘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 (BY)they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and (BZ)were rejoicing in (CA)the works of their hands. 42 But (CB)God turned away and (CC)gave them over to worship (CD)the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets:

(CE)“‘Did you bring to me slain beasts and sacrifices,
    (CF)during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
43 You took up the tent of (CG)Moloch
    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 (CH)the tent of witness in the wilderness, just as he who spoke to Moses (CI)directed him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen. 45 Our fathers in turn (CJ)brought it in with Joshua when they (CK)dispossessed the nations (CL)that God drove out before our fathers. So it was (CM)until the days of David, 46 (CN)who found favour in the sight of God and (CO)asked to find a dwelling place for (CP)the God of Jacob.[a] 47 But it was (CQ)Solomon who built a house for him. 48 (CR)Yet the Most High does not dwell (CS)in houses made by hands, as the prophet says,

49 (CT)“‘Heaven is my throne,
    (CU)and 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 (CV)“You stiff-necked people, (CW)uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. (CX)As your fathers did, so do you. 52 (CY)Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of (CZ)the Righteous One, (DA)whom you have now betrayed and murdered, 53 you who received the law (DB)as delivered by angels and (DC)did not keep it.”

The Stoning of Stephen

54 Now when they heard these things (DD)they were enraged, and they (DE)ground their teeth at him. 55 But he, (DF)full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw (DG)the glory of God, and Jesus standing (DH)at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see (DI)the heavens opened, and (DJ)the Son of Man standing (DK)at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together[b] at him. 58 Then (DL)they cast him out of the city and (DM)stoned him. And (DN)the witnesses laid down their garments (DO)at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, (DP)he called out, “Lord Jesus, (DQ)receive my spirit.” 60 And (DR)falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, (DS)“Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, (DT)he fell asleep.


  1. Acts 7:46 Some manuscripts for the house of Jacob
  2. Acts 7:57 Or rushed with one mind

Stephen’s Speech to the Sanhedrin

Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?”

To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers,(A) listen to me! The God of glory(B) appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran.(C) ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’[a](D)

“So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living.(E) He gave him no inheritance here,(F) not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land,(G) even though at that time Abraham had no child. God spoke to him in this way: ‘For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated.(H) 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.’[b](I) Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision.(J) And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth.(K) Later Isaac became the father of Jacob,(L) and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.(M)

“Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph,(N) they sold him as a slave into Egypt.(O) But God was with him(P) 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 Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.(Q)

11 “Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food.(R) 12 When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit.(S) 13 On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was,(T) and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family.(U) 14 After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family,(V) seventy-five in all.(W) 15 Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died.(X) 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.(Y)

17 “As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased.(Z) 18 Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’[c](AA) 19 He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.(AB)

20 “At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child.[d] For three months he was cared for by his family.(AC) 21 When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son.(AD) 22 Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians(AE) and was powerful in speech and action.

23 “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. 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 Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. 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 “But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us?(AF) 28 Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’[e] 29 When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.(AG)

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 When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say:(AH) 32 ‘I am the God of your fathers,(AI) the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’[f] Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look.(AJ)

33 “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.(AK) 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.’[g](AL)

35 “This is the same Moses they had rejected with the words, ‘Who made you ruler and judge?’(AM) 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 Egypt(AN) and performed wonders and signs(AO) in Egypt, at the Red Sea(AP) and for forty years in the wilderness.(AQ)

37 “This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.’[h](AR) 38 He was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel(AS) who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors;(AT) and he received living words(AU) to pass on to us.(AV)

39 “But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt.(AW) 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!’[i](AX) 41 That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made.(AY) 42 But God turned away from them(AZ) and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars.(BA) 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?
43 You 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’[j](BB) beyond Babylon.

44 “Our ancestors had the tabernacle of the covenant law(BC) with them in the wilderness. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen.(BD) 45 After receiving the tabernacle, our ancestors under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations God drove out before them.(BE) It remained in the land until the time of David,(BF) 46 who enjoyed God’s favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.[k](BG) 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him.(BH)

48 “However, the Most High(BI) does not live in houses made by human hands.(BJ) As the prophet says:

49 “‘Heaven is my throne,
    and the earth is my footstool.(BK)
What kind of house will you build for me?
says the Lord.
    Or where will my resting place be?
50 Has not my hand made all these things?’[l](BL)

51 “You stiff-necked people!(BM) Your hearts(BN) and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute?(BO) They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him(BP) 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels(BQ) but have not obeyed it.”

The Stoning of Stephen

54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious(BR) and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit,(BS) looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.(BT) 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open(BU) and the Son of Man(BV) standing at the right hand of God.”

57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city(BW) and began to stone him.(BX) Meanwhile, the witnesses(BY) laid their coats(BZ) at the feet of a young man named Saul.(CA)

59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”(CB) 60 Then he fell on his knees(CC) and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”(CD) When he had said this, he fell asleep.(CE)


  1. Acts 7:3 Gen. 12:1
  2. Acts 7:7 Gen. 15:13,14
  3. Acts 7:18 Exodus 1:8
  4. Acts 7:20 Or was fair in the sight of God
  5. Acts 7:28 Exodus 2:14
  6. Acts 7:32 Exodus 3:6
  7. Acts 7:34 Exodus 3:5,7,8,10
  8. Acts 7:37 Deut. 18:15
  9. Acts 7:40 Exodus 32:1
  10. Acts 7:43 Amos 5:25-27 (see Septuagint)
  11. Acts 7:46 Some early manuscripts the house of Jacob
  12. Acts 7:50 Isaiah 66:1,2

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