Acts 7 Expanded Bible (EXB)
7 The high priest said to Stephen, “Are these ·things [charges] true?”
2 Stephen answered, “Brothers [L Men, brothers] and fathers, listen to me. ·Our glorious God [The God of glory] appeared to Abraham, our ·ancestor [patriarch; L father], in Mesopotamia before he lived in Haran [C a city in Syria where Abraham resided before reaching the Promised Land; Gen. 11:31]. 3 God said to Abraham, ‘Leave your country and your relatives, and go to the land I will show you [Gen. 12:1].’ 4 So Abraham left the ·country [land] of Chaldea [C another name for southern Mesopotamia, the location of Ur] and went to live in Haran. After Abraham’s father [C Terah] died, God sent him to this place where you now live. 5 God did not give Abraham ·any of this land [L an inheritance in it], not even a ·foot of it [L a foot’s length]. But God promised that he would give this land to him [L as a possession] and his ·descendants [L seed; Gen. 12:2], even before Abraham had a child. 6 This is what God said to him: ‘Your ·descendants [L seed] will be ·strangers [foreigners; resident aliens] in a ·land they don’t own [foreign land; land belonging to others; C Egypt]. The people there will make them slaves and will ·mistreat [oppress] them for four hundred years. 7 But I will ·punish [judge] the nation where they are slaves. Then ·your descendants [L they] will leave that land and will worship me in this place [Gen. 15:13–14; Ex. 3:12].’ 8 God made an ·agreement [covenant; C a treaty-like relationship] with Abraham, the sign of which was circumcision [Gen. 17:9–14]. And so when Abraham ·had his son [became the father of; T begat] Isaac, Abraham circumcised him when he was eight days old. Isaac ·also circumcised his son Jacob [or became the father of Jacob], and Jacob ·did the same for his sons, [or became the father of] the twelve ·ancestors of our people [patriarchs; C the twelve sons of Jacob who were the “fathers” of the twelve tribes of Israel].
9 “·Jacob’s sons [L The patriarchs] became jealous of Joseph and sold him to be a slave in Egypt. But God was with him 10 and ·saved [rescued; delivered] him from all his ·troubles [afflictions]. God gave Joseph ·wisdom to gain the favor of [L favor and wisdom before] Pharaoh, king of Egypt. The king made him governor of Egypt and put him in charge of ·all the people in his palace [L his whole household].
11 “Then all the land of Egypt and Canaan experienced a famine, and the people suffered very much. ·Jacob’s sons, our ancestors, [L Our fathers] could not find anything to eat. 12 But when Jacob heard there was grain in Egypt, he sent ·his sons [L our fathers] there. This was their first trip to Egypt [Gen. 42]. 13 When they went there a second time [Gen. 43—45], Joseph ·told his brothers who he was [made himself known to his brothers], and ·the king [L Pharaoh] learned about Joseph’s family. 14 Then Joseph sent messengers to ·invite [summon; call] Jacob, his father, to come to Egypt along with all his relatives (seventy-five persons altogether). 15 So Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and ·his sons [L our fathers] died. 16 Later their bodies were moved to Shechem and put in a grave there. (It was the same grave Abraham had bought for a sum of ·money [L silver] from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.) [C Stephen combines two accounts, Abraham’s purchase of a field in Hebron (Gen. 23:3–20) and Jacob’s purchase of a field in Shechem (Josh. 24:32).]
17 “The promise God made to Abraham [Gen. 15:12–16] was soon to come true, and the number of people in Egypt ·grew large [L increased/flourished and multiplied]. 18 Then ·a new [L another] king, who ·did not know who Joseph was [or did not think Joseph was important], ·began to rule Egypt [L arose; Ex. 1:8]. 19 This king ·tricked [exploited; dealt treacherously with] our ·people [L race] and was cruel to our ·ancestors [L fathers], forcing them to ·leave [L expose; abandon] their babies outside to die [C such abandonment was a common ancient method of population control]. 20 At this time Moses was born, and he was ·very beautiful [beautiful before/to God; or of high status in God’s eyes]. For three months Moses was cared for in his father’s house. 21 When ·they put Moses outside [L he was abandoned/exposed; C when Moses’ mother “exposed” Moses to the elements, she was actually hiding him; Ex. 2:3–4], ·the king’s [L Pharaoh’s] daughter adopted him and raised him as if he were her own son. 22 ·The Egyptians taught Moses everything they knew [L So Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians], and he was a powerful man in ·what he said and did [L his words and actions].
23 “When Moses was about forty years old, ·he thought it would be good [L it rose up in his heart] to visit his own ·people [relatives; L brothers (and sisters)], the ·people [L sons; children] of Israel. 24 Moses saw an Egyptian ·mistreating [wronging] one of his people, so he defended the ·Israelite [L oppressed man] and ·punished the Egyptian by killing him [L avenged him by striking down the Egyptian; Ex. 2:11–12]. 25 Moses ·thought [assumed] his own ·people [relatives; L brothers (and sisters)] would understand that God was using him to save them, but they did not. 26 The next day when Moses saw two men of Israel fighting, he tried to ·make peace between [reconcile] them. He said, ‘Men, you are brothers. Why are you ·hurting [wronging] each other?’ 27 The man who was ·hurting [wronging] ·the other [L his neighbor] pushed Moses away and said, ‘Who made you our ruler and judge? 28 ·Are you going [or Do you want] to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday [Ex. 2:14]?’ 29 When Moses heard him say this, he ·left Egypt [L fled] and went to live in the land of Midian [C a land without distinct borders centered in northwestern Arabia] where he was a ·stranger [foreigner; resident alien; Ex. 2:15–25]. While Moses lived in Midian, he had two sons.
30 “Forty years later an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush as he was in the ·desert [wilderness] near Mount Sinai [Ex. 3]. 31 When Moses saw this, he was amazed [L at the sight/vision] and went near to look closer. Moses heard the Lord’s voice say, 32 ‘I am the God of your ·ancestors [forefathers; fathers], the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob [Ex. 3:6].’ Moses began to ·shake [tremble] with fear and ·was afraid [did not dare] to look. 33 The Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground. 34 I have [surely; indeed] seen the ·troubles [wrongs; mistreatment; oppression] my people have suffered in Egypt. I have heard their ·cries [groans] and have come down to ·save [rescue; deliver] them. And now, Moses, I am sending you back to Egypt [Ex. 3:5, 7–8, 10].’
35 “This Moses was the same man the two men of Israel rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge [Ex. 2:14; C compare the rejection of Jesus in v. 52]?’ This same man God sent to be a ruler and ·savior [rescuer; liberator; redeemer], with the ·help [L hand] of the angel that ·Moses saw [L appeared to him] in the burning bush. 36 ·So Moses [L This man] led the people out of Egypt. He worked ·miracles [wonders] and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea [C the Hebrew OT calls it the Sea of Reeds; the Septuagint (the Greek OT) calls it the Red Sea; Ex. 13:18; 15:4], and then in the ·desert [wilderness] for forty years. 37 This is the same Moses that said to the ·people [L sons; children] of Israel, ‘God will ·give [L raise up for] you a prophet like me, ·who is one of your own ·people [L from among your brothers; Deut. 18:15].’ 38 This is the Moses who was with the ·gathering of the Israelites [assembly; congregation] in the ·desert [wilderness]. He was with the angel that spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and he was with our ·ancestors [forefathers; fathers]. He received ·commands from God that give life [life-giving messages; or living oracles], and he gave those commands to us [Ex. 19—24].
39 “But our ·ancestors [forefathers; fathers] did not want to obey Moses. They ·rejected him [pushed him away] and ·wanted to go [L in their hearts turned] back to Egypt. 40 They said to Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will ·lead [L go before] us. Moses led us out of Egypt, but we don’t know what has happened to him [Ex. 32:1].’ 41 So [L in those days] the people made an idol that looked like a calf. Then they ·brought [or offered up] sacrifices to it and ·were proud of [celebrated; L rejoiced about] what they had made with their own hands. 42 But God turned ·against [or away from] them and did not try to stop them from worshiping the ·sun, moon, and stars [L host of heaven]. This is what is written in the book of the prophets: God says,
‘·People [L House] of Israel, you did not ·bring [offer up to] me sacrifices and offerings
44 “The ·Holy Tent [L Tent/T Tabernacle of Testimony/Witness] where God spoke to our ·ancestors [forefathers; fathers] was with them in the ·desert [wilderness]. God told Moses how to make this ·Tent [T Tabernacle], and he made it like the ·plan [pattern] God showed him [Ex. 25—31]. 45 Later, Joshua led our ·ancestors [forefathers; fathers] to ·capture [take possession of] the lands of the other nations. Our people went in, and God forced the other people out [Josh. 1—12]. When our people went into this new land, they took with them this same ·Tent [T Tabernacle] they had received from their ·ancestors [forefathers; fathers]. They kept it until the time of David, 46 who ·pleased [L found favor with] God and asked God to ·let him build a house [L find a dwelling place] for him, the God of Jacob[a] [2 Sam. 7]. 47 But Solomon was the one who built ·the Temple [L a house for him; 1 Kin. 7—8].
48 “But the Most High does not live in houses that people build with their hands. As the prophet says:
49 ‘Heaven is my throne,
51 Stephen continued speaking: “You ·stubborn [L stiff-necked] people! You have ·not given your hearts to God, nor will you listen to him [L uncircumcised hearts and ears]! You are always ·against [resisting] what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you, just as your ·ancestors [forefathers; fathers] were. 52 Was there ever a prophet your ·ancestors [forefathers; fathers] did not ·try to hurt [persecute]? They even killed ·the prophets [L those] who ·predicted [foretold; announced beforehand] the coming of the ·One who is good [Righteous One; C Jesus the Messiah]. And now you have ·turned against [betrayed] and ·killed [murdered] the ·One who is good [Righteous One]. 53 You received the law of Moses, which God gave you through his angels [Gal. 3:19; Heb. 2:2], but you haven’t obeyed it.”
Stephen Is Killed
54 When the leaders heard this, they became furious [L in their hearts]. They were so mad they were ·grinding [gnashing] their teeth at Stephen. 55 But Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit. He looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at God’s right ·side [or hand; C the place of highest honor beside a king]. 56 He said, “Look! I see heaven open and the Son of Man [C a title for the Messiah; Dan. 7:13–14] standing at God’s right ·side [or hand].” [C Normally portrayed as “sitting” at God’s right side (Ps. 110:1), Jesus is standing either to give testimony to Stephen’s faithfulness, or to welcome him into God’s presence.]
57 Then they shouted loudly and covered their ears and all ·ran [rushed together; or rushed with one intent] at Stephen. 58 They ·took [dragged] him out of the city and began to ·throw stones at him to kill [stone] him [C the customary way to execute a criminal]. And ·those who told lies against Stephen [or his accusers; those who provided testimony; L the witnesses] left their coats ·with [L at the feet of] a young man named Saul [C later known as Paul]. 59 While they were ·throwing stones [stoning him], Stephen ·prayed [L called out], “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 He fell on his knees and cried in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” After Stephen said this, he ·died [L fell asleep; C for believers death is temporary, like sleep].
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