Bible: Acts 6:8-7:53

Stephen is Arrested

6:8 Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and miraculous signs 1  among the people. 6:9 But some men from the Synagogue 2  of the Freedmen (as it was called), 3  both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, as well as some from Cilicia and the province of Asia, 4  stood up and argued with Stephen. 6:10 Yet 5  they were not able to resist 6  the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. 6:11 Then they secretly instigated 7  some men to say, “We have heard this man 8  speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 6:12 They incited the people, the 9  elders, and the experts in the law; 10  then they approached Stephen, 11  seized him, and brought him before the council. 12  6:13 They brought forward false witnesses who said, “This man does not stop saying things against this holy place 13  and the law. 14  6:14 For we have heard him saying that Jesus the Nazarene will destroy this place and change the customs 15  that Moses handed down to us.” 6:15 All 16  who were sitting in the council 17  looked intently at Stephen 18  and saw his face was like the face of an angel. 19 

Stephen’s Defense Before the Council

7:1 Then the high priest said, “Are these things true? 20  7:2 So he replied, 21 Brothers and fathers, listen to me. The God of glory appeared to our forefather 22  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.’ 23  7:4 Then he went out from the country of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After his father died, God 24  made him move 25  to this country where you now live. 7:5 He 26  did not give any of it to him for an inheritance, 27  not even a foot of ground, 28  yet God 29  promised to give it to him as his possession, and to his descendants after him, 30  even though Abraham 31  as yet had no child. 7:6 But God spoke as follows: ‘Your 32  descendants will be foreigners 33  in a foreign country, whose citizens will enslave them and mistreat them for four hundred years. 34  7:7 But I will punish 35  the nation they serve as slaves,’ said God, ‘and after these things they will come out of there 36  and worship 37  me in this place.’ 38  7:8 Then God 39  gave Abraham 40  the covenant 41  of circumcision, and so he became the father of Isaac and circumcised him when he was eight days old, 42  and Isaac became the father of 43  Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs. 44  7:9 The 45  patriarchs, because they were jealous of Joseph, sold 46  him into Egypt. But 47  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 48  him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 7:11 Then a famine occurred throughout 49  Egypt and Canaan, causing 50  great suffering, and our 51  ancestors 52  could not find food. 7:12 So when Jacob heard that there was grain 53  in Egypt, he sent our ancestors 54  there 55  the first time. 7:13 On their second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers again, and Joseph’s family 56  became known to Pharaoh. 7:14 So Joseph sent a message 57  and invited 58  his father Jacob and all his relatives to come, seventy-five people 59  in all. 7:15 So Jacob went down to Egypt and died there, 60  along with our ancestors, 61  7:16 and their bones 62  were later moved to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a certain sum of money 63  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, 64  the people increased greatly in number 65  in Egypt, 7:18 until another king who did not know about 66  Joseph ruled 67  over Egypt. 68  7:19 This was the one who exploited 69  our people 70  and was cruel to our ancestors, 71  forcing them to abandon 72  their infants so they would die. 73  7:20 At that time Moses was born, and he was beautiful 74  to God. For 75  three months he was brought up in his father’s house, 7:21 and when he had been abandoned, 76  Pharaoh’s daughter adopted 77  him and brought him up 78  as her own son. 7:22 So Moses was trained 79  in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful 80  in his words and deeds. 7:23 But when he was about forty years old, it entered his mind 81  to visit his fellow countrymen 82  the Israelites. 83  7:24 When 84  he saw one of them being hurt unfairly, 85  Moses 86  came to his defense 87  and avenged the person who was mistreated by striking down the Egyptian. 7:25 He thought his own people 88  would understand that God was delivering them 89  through him, 90  but they did not understand. 91  7:26 The next day Moses 92  saw two men 93  fighting, and tried to make peace between 94  them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why are you hurting one another?’ 7:27 But the man who was unfairly hurting his neighbor pushed 95  Moses 96  aside, saying, ‘Who made 97  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?’ 98  7:29 When the man said this, 99  Moses fled and became a foreigner 100  in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.

7:30After 101  forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the desert 102  of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. 103  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, 104  the God of Abraham, Isaac, 105  and Jacob.’ 106  Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look more closely. 107  7:33 But the Lord said to him,Take the sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 108  7:34 I have certainly seen the suffering 109  of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them. 110  Now 111  come, I will send you to Egypt.’ 112  7:35 This same 113  Moses they had rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge? 114  God sent as both ruler and deliverer 115  through the hand of the angel 116  who appeared to him in the bush. 7:36 This man led them out, performing wonders and miraculous signs 117  in the land of Egypt, 118  at 119  the Red Sea, and in the wilderness 120  for forty years. 7:37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, 121 God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers.’ 122  7:38 This is the man who was in the congregation 123  in the wilderness 124  with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors, 125  and he 126  received living oracles 127  to give to you. 128  7:39 Our 129  ancestors 130  were unwilling to obey 131  him, but pushed him aside 132  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 133  – we do not know what has happened to him! 134  7:41 At 135  that time 136  they made an idol in the form of a calf, 137  brought 138  a sacrifice to the idol, and began rejoicing 139  in the works of their hands. 140  7:42 But God turned away from them and gave them over 141  to worship the host 142  of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: ‘It was not to me that you offered slain animals and sacrifices 143  forty years in the wilderness, was it, 144  house of Israel? 7:43 But you took along the tabernacle 145  of Moloch 146  and the star of the 147  god Rephan, 148  the images you made to worship, but I will deport 149  you beyond Babylon.’ 150  7:44 Our ancestors 151  had the tabernacle 152  of testimony in the wilderness, 153  just as God 154  who spoke to Moses ordered him 155  to make it according to the design he had seen. 7:45 Our 156  ancestors 157  received possession of it and brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors, 158  until the time 159  of David. 7:46 He 160  found favor 161  with 162  God and asked that he could 163  find a dwelling place 164  for the house 165  of Jacob. 7:47 But Solomon built a house 166  for him. 7:48 Yet the Most High 167  does not live in houses made by human hands, 168  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? 169 

7:50 Did my hand 170  not make all these things? 171 

7:51You stubborn 172  people, with uncircumcised 173  hearts and ears! 174  You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, like your ancestors 175  did! 7:52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors 176  not persecute? 177  They 178  killed those who foretold long ago the coming of the Righteous One, 179  whose betrayers and murderers you have now become! 180  7:53 You 181  received the law by decrees given by angels, 182  but you did not obey 183  it.” 184 

NET Bible Study Environment