Bible: Acts 1-7

Jesus Ascends to Heaven

1:1 I wrote 1  the former 2  account, 3  Theophilus, 4  about all that Jesus began to do and teach 1:2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, 5  after he had given orders 6  by 7  the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 1:3 To the same apostles 8  also, after his suffering, 9  he presented himself alive with many convincing proofs. He was seen by them over a forty-day period 10  and spoke about matters concerning the kingdom of God. 1:4 While he was with them, 11  he declared, 12 Do not leave Jerusalem, 13  but wait there 14  for what my 15  Father promised, 16  which you heard about from me. 17  1:5 For 18  John baptized with water, but you 19  will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

1:6 So when they had gathered together, they began to ask him, 20 Lord, is this the time when you are restoring the kingdom to Israel? 1:7 He told them, “You are not permitted to know 21  the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts 22  of the earth.” 1:9 After 23  he had said this, while they were watching, he was lifted up and a cloud hid him from their sight. 1:10 As 24  they were still staring into the sky while he was going, suddenly 25  two men in white clothing stood near them 1:11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here 26  looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven 27  will come back in the same way you saw him go into heaven.”

A Replacement for Judas is Chosen

1:12 Then they returned to Jerusalem 28  from the mountain 29  called the Mount of Olives 30  (which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey 31  away). 1:13 When 32  they had entered Jerusalem, 33  they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Peter 34  and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James were there. 35  1:14 All these continued together in prayer with one mind, together with the women, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. 36  1:15 In those days 37  Peter stood up among the believers 38  (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty people) and said, 1:16 Brothers, 39  the scripture had to be fulfilled that the Holy Spirit foretold through 40  David concerning Judas – who became the guide for those who arrested Jesus 1:17 for he was counted as one of us and received a share in this ministry.” 41  1:18 (Now this man Judas 42  acquired a field with the reward of his unjust deed, 43  and falling headfirst 44  he burst open in the middle and all his intestines 45  gushed out. 1:19 This 46  became known to all who lived in Jerusalem, so that in their own language 47  they called that field 48  Hakeldama, that is, “Field of Blood.”) 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his house become deserted, 49  and let there be no one to live in it,’ 50  andLet another take his position of responsibility.’ 51  1:21 Thus one of the men 52  who have accompanied us during all the time the Lord Jesus associated with 53  us, 1:22 beginning from his baptism by John until the day he 54  was taken up from us – one of these must become a witness of his resurrection together with us.” 1:23 So they 55  proposed two candidates: 56  Joseph called Barsabbas (also called Justus) and Matthias. 1:24 Then they prayed, 57 Lord, you know the hearts of all. Show us which one of these two you have chosen 1:25 to assume the task 58  of this service 59  and apostleship from which Judas turned aside 60  to go to his own place.” 61  1:26 Then 62  they cast lots for them, and the one chosen was Matthias; 63  so he was counted with the eleven apostles. 64 

The Holy Spirit and the Day of Pentecost

2:1 Now 65  when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2:2 Suddenly 66  a sound 67  like a violent wind blowing 68  came from heaven 69  and filled the entire house where they were sitting. 2:3 And tongues spreading out like a fire 70  appeared to them and came to rest on each one of them. 2:4 All 71  of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak in other languages 72  as the Spirit enabled them. 73 

2:5 Now there were devout Jews 74  from every nation under heaven residing in Jerusalem. 75  2:6 When this sound 76  occurred, a crowd gathered and was in confusion, 77  because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 2:7 Completely baffled, they said, 78 Aren’t 79  all these who are speaking Galileans? 2:8 And how is it that each one of us hears them 80  in our own native language? 81  2:9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and the province of Asia, 82  2:10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene, 83  and visitors from Rome, 84  2:11 both Jews and proselytes, 85  Cretans and Arabs – we hear them speaking in our own languages about the great deeds God has done! 86  2:12 All were astounded and greatly confused, saying to one another, “What does this mean? 2:13 But others jeered at the speakers, 87  saying, “They are drunk on new wine! 88 

Peter’s Address on the Day of Pentecost

2:14 But Peter stood up 89  with the eleven, raised his voice, and addressed them: “You men of Judea 90  and all you who live in Jerusalem, 91  know this 92  and listen carefully to what I say. 2:15 In spite of what you think, these men are not drunk, 93  for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 94  2:16 But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel: 95 

2:17And in the last days 96  it will be,God says,

that I will pour out my Spirit on all people, 97 

and your sons and your daughters will prophesy,

and your young men will see visions,

and your old men will dream dreams.

2:18 Even on my servants, 98  both men and women,

I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 99 

2:19 And I will perform wonders in the sky 100  above

and miraculous signs 101  on the earth below,

blood and fire and clouds of smoke.

2:20 The sun will be changed to darkness

and the moon to blood

before the great and glorious 102  day of the Lord comes.

2:21 And then 103  everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ 104 

2:22Men of Israel, 105  listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man clearly attested to you by God with powerful deeds, 106  wonders, and miraculous signs 107  that God performed among you through him, just as you yourselves know 2:23 this man, who was handed over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you executed 108  by nailing him to a cross at the hands of Gentiles. 109  2:24 But God raised him up, 110  having released 111  him from the pains 112  of death, because it was not possible for him to be held in its power. 113  2:25 For David says about him,

I saw the Lord always in front of me, 114 

for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken.

2:26 Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced;

my body 115  also will live in hope,

2:27 because you will not leave my soul in Hades, 116 

nor permit your Holy One to experience 117  decay.

2:28 You have made known to me the paths of life;

you will make me full of joy with your presence.’ 118 

2:29Brothers, 119  I can speak confidently 120  to you about our forefather 121  David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 2:30 So then, because 122  he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants 123  on his throne, 124  2:31 David by foreseeing this 125  spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, 126  that he was neither abandoned to Hades, 127  nor did his body 128  experience 129  decay. 130  2:32 This Jesus God raised up, and we are all witnesses of it. 131  2:33 So then, exalted 132  to the right hand 133  of God, and having received 134  the promise of the Holy Spirit 135  from the Father, he has poured out 136  what you both see and hear. 2:34 For David did not ascend into heaven, but he himself says,

The Lord said to my lord,

Sit 137  at my right hand

2:35 until I make your enemies a footstool 138  for your feet.”’ 139 

2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know beyond a doubt 140  that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified 141  both Lord 142  and Christ.” 143 

The Response to Peter’s Address

2:37 Now when they heard this, 144  they were acutely distressed 145  and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “What should we do, brothers? 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each one of you be baptized 146  in the name of Jesus Christ 147  for 148  the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 149  2:39 For the promise 150  is for you and your children, and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to himself.” 2:40 With many other words he testified 151  and exhorted them saying, “Save yourselves from this perverse 152  generation! 2:41 So those who accepted 153  his message 154  were baptized, and that day about three thousand people 155  were added. 156 

The Fellowship of the Early Believers

2:42 They were devoting themselves to the apostlesteaching and to fellowship, 157  to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 158  2:43 Reverential awe 159  came over everyone, 160  and many wonders and miraculous signs 161  came about by the apostles. 2:44 All who believed were together and held 162  everything in common, 2:45 and they began selling 163  their property 164  and possessions and distributing the proceeds 165  to everyone, as anyone had need. 2:46 Every day 166  they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, 167  breaking bread from 168  house to house, sharing their food with glad 169  and humble hearts, 170  2:47 praising God and having the good will 171  of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number every day 172  those who were being saved.

Peter and John Heal a Lame Man at the Temple

3:1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time 173  for prayer, 174  at three o’clock in the afternoon. 175  3:2 And a man lame 176  from birth 177  was being carried up, who was placed at the temple gate called “the Beautiful Gate” every day 178  so he could beg for money 179  from those going into the temple courts. 180  3:3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple courts, 181  he asked them for money. 182  3:4 Peter looked directly 183  at him (as did John) and said, “Look at us! 3:5 So the lame man 184  paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. 3:6 But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, 185  but what I do have I give you. In the name 186  of Jesus Christ 187  the Nazarene, stand up and 188  walk! 3:7 Then 189  Peter 190  took hold 191  of him by the right hand and raised him up, and at once the man’s 192  feet and ankles were made strong. 193  3:8 He 194  jumped up, 195  stood and began walking around, and he entered the temple courts 196  with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 3:9 All 197  the people saw him walking and praising God, 3:10 and they recognized him as the man who used to sit and ask for donations 198  at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with astonishment and amazement 199  at what had happened to him.

Peter Addresses the Crowd

3:11 While the man 200  was hanging on to Peter and John, all the people, completely astounded, ran together to them in the covered walkway 201  called Solomon’s Portico. 202  3:12 When Peter saw this, he declared to the people, “Men of Israel, 203  why are you amazed at this? Why 204  do you stare at us as if we had made this man 205  walk by our own power or piety? 3:13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 206  the God of our forefathers, 207  has glorified 208  his servant 209  Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected 210  in the presence of Pilate after he had decided 211  to release him. 3:14 But you rejected 212  the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a man who was a murderer be released to you. 3:15 You killed 213  the Originator 214  of life, whom God raised 215  from the dead. To this fact we are witnesses! 216  3:16 And on the basis of faith in Jesus’ 217  name, 218  his very name has made this man – whom you see and know – strong. The 219  faith that is through Jesus 220  has given him this complete health in the presence 221  of you all. 3:17 And now, brothers, I know you acted in ignorance, 222  as your rulers did too. 3:18 But the things God foretold 223  long ago through 224  all the prophets – that his Christ 225  would suffer – he has fulfilled in this way. 3:19 Therefore repent and turn back so that your sins may be wiped out, 3:20 so that times of refreshing 226  may come from the presence of the Lord, 227  and so that he may send the Messiah 228  appointed 229  for you – that is, Jesus. 3:21 This one 230  heaven must 231  receive until the time all things are restored, 232  which God declared 233  from times long ago 234  through his holy prophets. 3:22 Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must obey 235  him in everything he tells you. 236  3:23 Every person 237  who does not obey that prophet will be destroyed and thus removed 238  from the people.’ 239  3:24 And all the prophets, from Samuel and those who followed him, have spoken about and announced 240  these days. 3:25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors, 241  saying to Abraham, ‘And in your descendants 242  all the nations 243  of the earth will be blessed.’ 244  3:26 God raised up 245  his servant and sent him first to you, to bless you by turning 246  each one of you from your iniquities.” 247 

The Arrest and Trial of Peter and John

4:1 While Peter and John 248  were speaking to the people, the priests and the commander 249  of the temple guard 250  and the Sadducees 251  came up 252  to them, 4:2 angry 253  because they were teaching the people and announcing 254  in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 4:3 So 255  they seized 256  them and put them in jail 257  until the next day (for it was already evening). 4:4 But many of those who had listened to 258  the message 259  believed, and the number of the men 260  came to about five thousand.

4:5 On the next day, 261  their rulers, elders, and experts in the law 262  came together 263  in Jerusalem. 264  4:6 Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and others who were members of the high priest’s family. 265  4:7 After 266  making Peter and John 267  stand in their midst, they began to inquire, “By what power or by what name 268  did you do this? 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, 269  replied, 270 Rulers of the people and elders, 271  4:9 if 272  we are being examined 273  today for a good deed 274  done to a sick man – by what means this man was healed 275  4:10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ 276  the Nazarene whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, this man stands before you healthy. 4:11 This Jesus 277  is the stone that was rejected by you, 278  the builders, that has become the cornerstone. 279  4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people 280  by which we must 281  be saved.”

4:13 When they saw the boldness 282  of Peter and John, and discovered 283  that they were uneducated 284  and ordinary 285  men, they were amazed and recognized these men had been with Jesus. 4:14 And because they saw the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say against this. 286  4:15 But when they had ordered them to go outside the council, 287  they began to confer with one another, 4:16 saying, “What should we do with these men? For it is plain 288  to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable miraculous sign 289  has come about through them, 290  and we cannot deny it. 4:17 But to keep this matter from spreading any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more 291  to anyone in this name.” 4:18 And they called them in and ordered 292  them not to speak or teach at all in the name 293  of Jesus. 4:19 But Peter and John replied, 294 Whether it is right before God to obey 295  you rather than God, you decide, 4:20 for it is impossible 296  for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” 4:21 After threatening them further, they released them, for they could not find how to punish them on account of the people, because they were all praising 297  God for what had happened. 4:22 For the man, on whom this miraculous sign 298  of healing had been performed, 299  was over forty years old.

The Followers of Jesus Pray for Boldness

4:23 When they were released, Peter and John 300  went to their fellow believers 301  and reported everything the high priests and the elders had said to them. 4:24 When they heard this, they raised their voices to God with one mind 302  and said, “Master of all, 303  you who made the heaven, the earth, 304  the sea, and everything that is in them, 4:25 who said by the Holy Spirit through 305  your servant David our forefather, 306 

Why do the nations 307  rage, 308 

and the peoples plot foolish 309  things?

4:26 The kings of the earth stood together, 310 

and the rulers assembled together,

against the Lord and against his 311  Christ.’ 312 

4:27For indeed both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, assembled together in this city against 313  your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, 314  4:28 to do as much as your power 315  and your plan 316  had decided beforehand 317  would happen. 4:29 And now, Lord, pay attention to 318  their threats, and grant 319  to your servants 320  to speak your message 321  with great courage, 322  4:30 while you extend your hand to heal, and to bring about miraculous signs 323  and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 4:31 When 324  they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, 325  and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak 326  the word of God 327  courageously. 328 

Conditions Among the Early Believers

4:32 The group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, 329  and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but everything was held in common. 330  4:33 With 331  great power the apostles were giving testimony 332  to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all. 4:34 For there was no one needy 333  among them, because those who were owners of land or houses were selling 334  them 335  and bringing the proceeds from the sales 4:35 and placing them at the apostlesfeet. The proceeds 336  were distributed to each, as anyone had need. 4:36 So Joseph, a Levite who was a native of Cyprus, called by the apostles Barnabas (which is translated “son of encouragement), 337  4:37 sold 338  a field 339  that belonged to him and brought the money 340  and placed it at the apostlesfeet.

The Judgment on Ananias and Sapphira

5:1 Now a man named Ananias, together with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of property. 5:2 He 341  kept back for himself part of the proceeds with his wife’s knowledge; he brought 342  only part of it and placed it at the apostlesfeet. 5:3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled 343  your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back for yourself part of the proceeds from the sale of 344  the land? 5:4 Before it was sold, 345  did it not 346  belong to you? And when it was sold, was the money 347  not at your disposal? How have you thought up this deed in your heart? 348  You have not lied to people 349  but to God!

5:5 When Ananias heard these words he collapsed and died, and great fear gripped 350  all who heard about it. 5:6 So the young men came, 351  wrapped him up, 352  carried him out, and buried 353  him. 5:7 After an interval of about three hours, 354  his wife came in, but she did not know 355  what had happened. 5:8 Peter said to her, “Tell me, were the two of you 356  paid this amount 357  for the land?” Sapphira 358  said, “Yes, that much.” 5:9 Peter then told her, “Why have you agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out! 5:10 At once 359  she collapsed at his feet and died. So when the young men came in, they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 5:11 Great 360  fear gripped 361  the whole church 362  and all who heard about these things.

The Apostles Perform Miraculous Signs and Wonders

5:12 Now many miraculous signs 363  and wonders came about among the people through the hands of the apostles. By 364  common consent 365  they were all meeting together in Solomon’s Portico. 366  5:13 None of the rest dared to join them, 367  but the people held them in high honor. 368  5:14 More and more believers in the Lord were added to their number, 369  crowds of both men and women. 5:15 Thus 370  they even carried the sick out into the streets, and put them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow would fall on some of them. 5:16 A crowd of people from the towns around Jerusalem 371  also came together, bringing the sick and those troubled by unclean spirits. 372  They 373  were all 374  being healed.

Further Trouble for the Apostles

5:17 Now the high priest rose up, and all those with him (that is, the religious party of the Sadducees 375 ), 376  and they were filled with jealousy. 377  5:18 They 378  laid hands on 379  the apostles and put them in a public jail. 5:19 But during the night an angel of the Lord 380  opened 381  the doors of the prison, 382  led them out, 383  and said, 5:20 Go and stand in the temple courts 384  and proclaim 385  to the people all the words of this life.” 5:21 When they heard this, they entered the temple courts 386  at daybreak and began teaching. 387 

Now when the high priest and those who were with him arrived, they summoned the Sanhedrin 388 that is, the whole high council 389  of the Israelites 390 and sent to the jail to have the apostles 391  brought before them. 392  5:22 But the officers 393  who came for them 394  did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 395  5:23 We found the jail locked securely and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, 396  we found no one inside.” 5:24 Now when the commander 397  of the temple guard 398  and the chief priests heard this report, 399  they were greatly puzzled concerning it, 400  wondering what this could 401  be. 5:25 But someone came and reported to them, “Look! The men you put in prison are standing in the temple courts 402  and teaching 403  the people! 5:26 Then the commander 404  of the temple guard 405  went with the officers 406  and brought the apostles 407  without the use of force 408  (for they were afraid of being stoned by the people). 409 

5:27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the council, 410  and the high priest questioned 411  them, 5:28 saying, “We gave 412  you strict orders 413  not to teach in this name. 414  Look, 415  you have filled Jerusalem 416  with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood 417  on us! 5:29 But Peter and the apostles replied, 418 We must obey 419  God rather than people. 420  5:30 The God of our forefathers 421  raised up Jesus, whom you seized and killed by hanging him on a tree. 422  5:31 God exalted him 423  to his right hand as Leader 424  and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 425  5:32 And we are witnesses of these events, 426  and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey 427  him.”

5:33 Now when they heard this, they became furious 428  and wanted to execute them. 429  5:34 But a Pharisee 430  whose name was Gamaliel, 431  a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, stood up 432  in the council 433  and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 5:35 Then he said to the council, 434 Men of Israel, 435  pay close attention to 436  what you are about to do to these men. 5:36 For some time ago 437  Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. He 438  was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and nothing came of it. 439  5:37 After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census, 440  and incited people to follow him in revolt. 441  He too was killed, and all who followed him were scattered. 5:38 So in this case I say to you, stay away from these men and leave them alone, because if this plan or this undertaking originates with people, 442  it will come to nothing, 443  5:39 but if 444  it is from God, you will not be able to stop them, or you may even be found 445  fighting against God.” He convinced them, 446  5:40 and they summoned the apostles and had them beaten. 447  Then 448  they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. 5:41 So they left the council rejoicing because they had been considered worthy 449  to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. 450  5:42 And every day both in the temple courts 451  and from house to house, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the good news 452  that Jesus was the Christ. 453 

The Appointment of the First Seven Deacons

6:1 Now in those 454  days, when the disciples were growing in number, 455  a complaint arose on the part of the Greek-speaking Jews 456  against the native Hebraic Jews, 457  because their widows 458  were being overlooked 459  in the daily distribution of food. 460  6:2 So the twelve 461  called 462  the whole group 463  of the disciples together and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to wait on tables. 464  6:3 But carefully select from among you, brothers, 465  seven 466  men who are well-attested, 467  full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge 468  of this necessary task. 469  6:4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 6:5 The 470  proposal pleased the entire group, so 471  they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, with 472  Philip, 473  Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a Gentile convert to Judaism 474  from Antioch. 475  6:6 They stood these men before the apostles, who prayed 476  and placed 477  their hands on them. 6:7 The word of God continued to spread, 478  the number of disciples in Jerusalem 479  increased greatly, and a large group 480  of priests became obedient to the faith.

Stephen is Arrested

6:8 Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and miraculous signs 481  among the people. 6:9 But some men from the Synagogue 482  of the Freedmen (as it was called), 483  both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, as well as some from Cilicia and the province of Asia, 484  stood up and argued with Stephen. 6:10 Yet 485  they were not able to resist 486  the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. 6:11 Then they secretly instigated 487  some men to say, “We have heard this man 488  speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 6:12 They incited the people, the 489  elders, and the experts in the law; 490  then they approached Stephen, 491  seized him, and brought him before the council. 492  6:13 They brought forward false witnesses who said, “This man does not stop saying things against this holy place 493  and the law. 494  6:14 For we have heard him saying that Jesus the Nazarene will destroy this place and change the customs 495  that Moses handed down to us.” 6:15 All 496  who were sitting in the council 497  looked intently at Stephen 498  and saw his face was like the face of an angel. 499 

Stephen’s Defense Before the Council

7:1 Then the high priest said, “Are these things true? 500  7:2 So he replied, 501 Brothers and fathers, listen to me. The God of glory appeared to our forefather 502  Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he settled in Haran, 7:3 and said to him, ‘Go out from your country and from your relatives, and come to the land I will show you.’ 503  7:4 Then he went out from the country of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After his father died, God 504  made him move 505  to this country where you now live. 7:5 He 506  did not give any of it to him for an inheritance, 507  not even a foot of ground, 508  yet God 509  promised to give it to him as his possession, and to his descendants after him, 510  even though Abraham 511  as yet had no child. 7:6 But God spoke as follows: ‘Your 512  descendants will be foreigners 513  in a foreign country, whose citizens will enslave them and mistreat them for four hundred years. 514  7:7 But I will punish 515  the nation they serve as slaves,’ said God, ‘and after these things they will come out of there 516  and worship 517  me in this place.’ 518  7:8 Then God 519  gave Abraham 520  the covenant 521  of circumcision, and so he became the father of Isaac and circumcised him when he was eight days old, 522  and Isaac became the father of 523  Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs. 524  7:9 The 525  patriarchs, because they were jealous of Joseph, sold 526  him into Egypt. But 527  God was with him, 7:10 and rescued him from all his troubles, and granted him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made 528  him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 7:11 Then a famine occurred throughout 529  Egypt and Canaan, causing 530  great suffering, and our 531  ancestors 532  could not find food. 7:12 So when Jacob heard that there was grain 533  in Egypt, he sent our ancestors 534  there 535  the first time. 7:13 On their second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers again, and Joseph’s family 536  became known to Pharaoh. 7:14 So Joseph sent a message 537  and invited 538  his father Jacob and all his relatives to come, seventy-five people 539  in all. 7:15 So Jacob went down to Egypt and died there, 540  along with our ancestors, 541  7:16 and their bones 542  were later moved to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a certain sum of money 543  from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

7:17But as the time drew near for God to fulfill the promise he had declared to Abraham, 544  the people increased greatly in number 545  in Egypt, 7:18 until another king who did not know about 546  Joseph ruled 547  over Egypt. 548  7:19 This was the one who exploited 549  our people 550  and was cruel to our ancestors, 551  forcing them to abandon 552  their infants so they would die. 553  7:20 At that time Moses was born, and he was beautiful 554  to God. For 555  three months he was brought up in his father’s house, 7:21 and when he had been abandoned, 556  Pharaoh’s daughter adopted 557  him and brought him up 558  as her own son. 7:22 So Moses was trained 559  in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful 560  in his words and deeds. 7:23 But when he was about forty years old, it entered his mind 561  to visit his fellow countrymen 562  the Israelites. 563  7:24 When 564  he saw one of them being hurt unfairly, 565  Moses 566  came to his defense 567  and avenged the person who was mistreated by striking down the Egyptian. 7:25 He thought his own people 568  would understand that God was delivering them 569  through him, 570  but they did not understand. 571  7:26 The next day Moses 572  saw two men 573  fighting, and tried to make peace between 574  them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why are you hurting one another?’ 7:27 But the man who was unfairly hurting his neighbor pushed 575  Moses 576  aside, saying, ‘Who made 577  you a ruler and judge over us? 7:28 You don’t want to kill me the way you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?’ 578  7:29 When the man said this, 579  Moses fled and became a foreigner 580  in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.

7:30After 581  forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the desert 582  of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. 583  7:31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and when he approached to investigate, there came the voice of the Lord, 7:32 I am the God of your forefathers, 584  the God of Abraham, Isaac, 585  and Jacob.’ 586  Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look more closely. 587  7:33 But the Lord said to him,Take the sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 588  7:34 I have certainly seen the suffering 589  of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them. 590  Now 591  come, I will send you to Egypt.’ 592  7:35 This same 593  Moses they had rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge? 594  God sent as both ruler and deliverer 595  through the hand of the angel 596  who appeared to him in the bush. 7:36 This man led them out, performing wonders and miraculous signs 597  in the land of Egypt, 598  at 599  the Red Sea, and in the wilderness 600  for forty years. 7:37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, 601 God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers.’ 602  7:38 This is the man who was in the congregation 603  in the wilderness 604  with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors, 605  and he 606  received living oracles 607  to give to you. 608  7:39 Our 609  ancestors 610  were unwilling to obey 611  him, but pushed him aside 612  and turned back to Egypt in their hearts, 7:40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go in front of us, for this Moses, who led us out of the land of Egypt 613  – we do not know what has happened to him! 614  7:41 At 615  that time 616  they made an idol in the form of a calf, 617  brought 618  a sacrifice to the idol, and began rejoicing 619  in the works of their hands. 620  7:42 But God turned away from them and gave them over 621  to worship the host 622  of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: ‘It was not to me that you offered slain animals and sacrifices 623  forty years in the wilderness, was it, 624  house of Israel? 7:43 But you took along the tabernacle 625  of Moloch 626  and the star of the 627  god Rephan, 628  the images you made to worship, but I will deport 629  you beyond Babylon.’ 630  7:44 Our ancestors 631  had the tabernacle 632  of testimony in the wilderness, 633  just as God 634  who spoke to Moses ordered him 635  to make it according to the design he had seen. 7:45 Our 636  ancestors 637  received possession of it and brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors, 638  until the time 639  of David. 7:46 He 640  found favor 641  with 642  God and asked that he could 643  find a dwelling place 644  for the house 645  of Jacob. 7:47 But Solomon built a house 646  for him. 7:48 Yet the Most High 647  does not live in houses made by human hands, 648  as the prophet says,

7:49Heaven is my throne,

and earth is the footstool for my feet.

What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,

or what is my resting place? 649 

7:50 Did my hand 650  not make all these things? 651 

7:51You stubborn 652  people, with uncircumcised 653  hearts and ears! 654  You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, like your ancestors 655  did! 7:52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors 656  not persecute? 657  They 658  killed those who foretold long ago the coming of the Righteous One, 659  whose betrayers and murderers you have now become! 660  7:53 You 661  received the law by decrees given by angels, 662  but you did not obey 663  it.” 664 

Stephen is Killed

7:54 When they heard these things, they became furious 665  and ground their teeth 666  at him. 7:55 But Stephen, 667  full 668  of the Holy Spirit, looked intently 669  toward heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing 670  at the right hand of God. 7:56 Look!” he said. 671 I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God! 7:57 But they covered their ears, 672  shouting out with a loud voice, and rushed at him with one intent. 7:58 When 673  they had driven him out of the city, they began to stone him, 674  and the witnesses laid their cloaks 675  at the feet of a young man named Saul. 7:59 They 676  continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit! 7:60 Then he fell 677  to his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” 678  When 679  he had said this, he died. 680 

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