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 and ‘Let 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
2:17 ‘And 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.
2:22 “Men 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
2:29 “Brothers, 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
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 apostles’ teaching 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
and the peoples plot foolish 309 things?
4:26 The kings of the earth stood together, 310
and the rulers assembled together,
4:27 “For 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 apostles’ feet. 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 apostles’ feet.
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 apostles’ feet. 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.
7:17 “But 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.
7:30 “After 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,
7:49 ‘Heaven 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
7:51 “You 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