Acts 7 New English Translation (NET Bible)
Stephen’s Defense Before the Council
7 Then the high priest said, “Are these things true?”[a] 2 So he replied,[b] “Brothers and fathers, listen to me. The God of glory appeared to our forefather[c] Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he settled in Haran, 3 and said to him, ‘Go out from your country and from your relatives, and come to the land I will show you.’[d] 4 Then he went out from the country of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After his father died, God[e] made him move[f] to this country where you now live. 5 He[g] did not give any of it to him for an inheritance,[h] not even a foot of ground,[i] yet God[j] promised to give it to him as his possession, and to his descendants after him,[k] even though Abraham[l] as yet had no child. 6 But God spoke as follows: ‘Your[m] descendants will be foreigners[n] in a foreign country, whose citizens will enslave them and mistreat them for 400 years.[o] 7 But I will punish[p] the nation they serve as slaves,’ said God, ‘and after these things they will come out of there[q] and worship[r] me in this place.’[s] 8 Then God[t] gave Abraham[u] the covenant[v] of circumcision, and so he became the father of Isaac and circumcised him when he was eight days old,[w] and Isaac became the father of[x] Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs.[y] 9 The[z] patriarchs, because they were jealous of Joseph, sold[aa] him into Egypt. But[ab] God was with him, 10 and rescued him from all his troubles, and granted him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made[ac] him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 11 Then a famine occurred throughout[ad] Egypt and Canaan, causing[ae] great suffering, and our[af] ancestors[ag] could not find food. 12 So when Jacob heard that there was grain[ah] in Egypt, he sent our ancestors[ai] there[aj] the first time. 13 On their second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers again, and Joseph’s family[ak] became known to Pharaoh. 14 So Joseph sent a message[al] and invited[am] his father Jacob and all his relatives to come, seventy-five people[an] in all. 15 So Jacob went down to Egypt and died there,[ao] along with our ancestors,[ap] 16 and their bones[aq] were later moved to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a certain sum of money[ar] from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
17 “But as the time drew near for God to fulfill the promise he had declared to Abraham,[as] the people increased greatly in number[at] in Egypt, 18 until another king who did not know about[au] Joseph ruled[av] over Egypt.[aw] 19 This was the one who exploited[ax] our people[ay] and was cruel to our ancestors,[az] forcing them to abandon[ba] their infants so they would die.[bb] 20 At that time Moses was born, and he was beautiful[bc] to God. For[bd] three months he was brought up in his father’s house, 21 and when he had been abandoned,[be] Pharaoh’s daughter adopted[bf] him and brought him up[bg] as her own son. 22 So Moses was trained[bh] in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful[bi] in his words and deeds. 23 But when he was about forty years old, it entered his mind[bj] to visit his fellow countrymen[bk] the Israelites.[bl] 24 When[bm] he saw one of them being hurt unfairly,[bn] Moses[bo] came to his defense[bp] and avenged the person who was mistreated by striking down the Egyptian. 25 He thought his own people[bq] would understand that God was delivering them[br] through him,[bs] but they did not understand.[bt] 26 The next day Moses[bu] saw two men[bv] fighting, and tried to make peace between[bw] them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why are you hurting one another?’ 27 But the man who was unfairly hurting his neighbor pushed[bx] Moses[by] aside, saying, ‘Who made[bz] you a ruler and judge over us? 28 You don’t want to kill me the way you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?’[ca] 29 When the man said this,[cb] Moses fled and became a foreigner[cc] in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.
30 “After[cd] forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the desert[ce] of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush.[cf] 31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and when he approached to investigate, there came the voice of the Lord, 32 ‘I am the God of your forefathers,[cg] the God of Abraham, Isaac,[ch] and Jacob.’[ci] Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look more closely.[cj] 33 But the Lord said to him, ‘Take the sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.[ck] 34 I have certainly seen the suffering[cl] of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them.[cm] Now[cn] come, I will send you to Egypt.’[co] 35 This same[cp] Moses they had rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge?’[cq] God sent as both ruler and deliverer[cr] through the hand of the angel[cs] who appeared to him in the bush. 36 This man led them out, performing wonders and miraculous signs[ct] in the land of Egypt,[cu] at[cv] the Red Sea, and in the wilderness[cw] for forty years. 37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites,[cx] ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers.’[cy] 38 This is the man who was in the congregation[cz] in the wilderness[da] with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors,[db] and he[dc] received living oracles[dd] to give to you.[de] 39 Our[df] ancestors[dg] were unwilling to obey[dh] him, but pushed him aside[di] and turned back to Egypt in their hearts, 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[dj] —we do not know what has happened to him!’[dk] 41 At[dl] that time[dm] they made an idol in the form of a calf,[dn] brought[do] a sacrifice to the idol, and began rejoicing[dp] in the works of their hands.[dq] 42 But God turned away from them and gave them over[dr] to worship the host[ds] of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: ‘It was not to me that you offered slain animals and sacrifices[dt] forty years in the wilderness, was it,[du] house of Israel? 43 But you took along the tabernacle[dv] of Moloch[dw] and the star of the[dx] god Rephan,[dy] the images you made to worship, but I will deport[dz] you beyond Babylon.’[ea] 44 Our ancestors[eb] had the tabernacle[ec] of testimony in the wilderness,[ed] just as God[ee] who spoke to Moses ordered him[ef] to make it according to the design he had seen. 45 Our[eg] ancestors[eh] received possession of it and brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors,[ei] until the time[ej] of David. 46 He[ek] found favor[el] with[em] God and asked that he could[en] find a dwelling place[eo] for the house[ep] of Jacob. 47 But Solomon built a house[eq] for him. 48 Yet the Most High[er] does not live in houses made by human hands,[es] as the prophet says,
49 ‘Heaven is my throne,
51 “You stubborn[ew] people, with uncircumcised[ex] hearts and ears![ey] You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, like your ancestors[ez] did! 52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors[fa] not persecute?[fb] They[fc] killed those who foretold long ago the coming of the Righteous One,[fd] whose betrayers and murderers you have now become![fe] 53 You[ff] received the law by decrees given by angels,[fg] but you did not obey[fh] it.”
Stephen is Killed
54 When they heard these things, they became furious[fi] and ground their teeth[fj] at him. 55 But Stephen,[fk] full[fl] of the Holy Spirit, looked intently[fm] toward heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing[fn] at the right hand of God. 56 “Look!” he said.[fo] “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57 But they covered their ears,[fp] shouting out with a loud voice, and rushed at him with one intent. 58 When[fq] they had driven him out of the city, they began to stone him,[fr] and the witnesses laid their cloaks[fs] at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 They[ft] continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60 Then he fell[fu] to his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!”[fv] When[fw] he had said this, he died.[fx]
Acts 7 New International Version (NIV)
Stephen’s Speech to the Sanhedrin
7 Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?”
2 To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. 3 ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’[a]
4 “So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living. 5 He gave him no inheritance here, not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child. 6 God spoke to him in this way: ‘For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated. 7 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,’ God said, ‘and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’[b] 8 Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.
9 “Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him 10 and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.
11 “Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food. 12 When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit. 13 On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family. 14 After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. 15 Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died. 16 Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.
17 “As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased. 18 Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’[c] 19 He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.
20 “At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child.[d] For three months he was cared for by his family. 21 When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. 22 Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.
23 “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. 24 He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. 25 Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. 26 The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?’
27 “But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? 28 Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’[e] 29 When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.
30 “After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. 31 When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say: 32 ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’[f] Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look.
33 “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34 I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.’[g]
35 “This is the same Moses they had rejected with the words, ‘Who made you ruler and judge?’ He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 He led them out of Egypt and performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the wilderness.
37 “This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.’[h] 38 He was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living words to pass on to us.
39 “But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. 40 They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!’[i] 41 That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made. 42 But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets:
“‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings
44 “Our ancestors had the tabernacle of the covenant law with them in the wilderness. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen. 45 After receiving the tabernacle, our ancestors under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations God drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David, 46 who enjoyed God’s favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.[k] 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him.
48 “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says:
49 “‘Heaven is my throne,
51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”
The Stoning of Stephen
54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.