1But the high priest said: “Are these things so?”2He said: “Men, brothers and fathers, hear. The God of glory appeared to our forefather Abraham while he was in Mes‧o‧po‧ta′mi‧a, before he took up residence in Ha′ran,3and he said to him, ‘Go out from your land and from your relatives and come on into the land I shall show you.’4Then he went out from the land of the Chal‧de′ans and took up residence in Ha′ran. And from there, after his father died, [God] caused him to change his residence to this land in which YOU now dwell.5And yet he did not give him any inheritable possession in it, no, not a footbreadth; but he promised to give it to him as a possession, and after him to his seed, while as yet he had no child.6Moreover, God spoke to this effect, that his seed would be alien residents in a foreign land and [the people] would enslave them and afflict [them] for four hundred years.7‘And that nation for which they will slave I shall judge,’ God said, ‘and after these things they will come out and will render sacred service to me in this place.’
8“He also gave him a covenant of circumcision; and thus he became the father of Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve family heads.9And the family heads became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. But God was with him,10and he delivered him out of all his tribulations and gave him graciousness and wisdom in the sight of Phar′aoh king of Egypt. And he appointed him to govern Egypt and his whole house.11But a famine came upon the whole of Egypt and Ca′naan, even a great tribulation; and our forefathers were not finding any provisions.12But Jacob heard there were foodstuffs in Egypt and he sent our forefathers out the first time.13And during the second time Joseph was made known to his brothers; and the family stock of Joseph became manifest to Phar′aoh.14So Joseph sent out and called Jacob his father and all his relatives from that place, to the number of seventy‐five souls.15Jacob went down into Egypt. And he deceased; and so did our forefathers,16and they were transferred to She′chem and were laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a price with silver money from the sons of Ha′mor in She′chem.
17“Just as the time was approaching for [fulfillment of] the promise that God had openly declared to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,18until there rose a different king over Egypt, who did not know of Joseph.19This one used statecraft against our race and wrongfully forced the fathers to expose their infants, that they might not be preserved alive.20In that particular time Moses was born, and he was divinely beautiful. And he was nursed three months in [his] father’s home.21But when he was exposed, the daughter of Phar′aoh picked him up and brought him up as her own son.22Consequently Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. In fact, he was powerful in his words and deeds.
23“Now when the time of his fortieth year was being fulfilled, it came into his heart to make an inspection of his brothers, the sons of Israel.24And when he caught sight of a certain one being unjustly treated, he defended him and executed vengeance for the one being abused by striking the Egyptian down.25He was supposing his brothers would grasp that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not grasp [it].26And the next day he appeared to them as they were fighting, and he tried to bring them together again in peace, saying, ‘Men, YOU are brothers. Why do YOU treat each other unjustly?’27But the one that was treating his neighbor unjustly thrust him away, saying, ‘Who appointed you ruler and judge over us?28You do not want to do away with me in the same manner that you did away with the Egyptian yesterday, do you?’29At this speech Moses took to flight and became an alien resident in the land of Mid′i‧an, where he became the father of two sons.
30“And when forty years were fulfilled, there appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Si′nai an angel in the fiery flame of a thornbush.31Now when Moses saw it he marveled at the sight. But as he was approaching to investigate, Jehovah’s voice came,32‘I am the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.’ Seized with trembling, Moses did not dare to investigate further.33Jehovah said to him, ‘Take the sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.34I have certainly seen the wrongful treatment of my people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning and I have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you off to Egypt.’35This Moses, whom they disowned, saying, ‘Who appointed you ruler and judge?’ this man God sent off as both ruler and deliverer by the hand of the angel that appeared to him in the thornbush.36This man led them out after doing portents and signs in Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years.
37“This is the Moses that said to the sons of Israel, ‘God will raise up for YOU from among YOUR brothers a prophet like me.’38This is he that came to be among the congregation in the wilderness with the angel that spoke to him on Mount Si′nai and with our forefathers, and he received living sacred pronouncements to give YOU.39To him our forefathers refused to become obedient, but they thrust him aside and in their hearts they turned back to Egypt,40saying to Aaron, ‘Make gods for us to go ahead of us. For this Moses, who led us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.’41So they made a calf in those days and brought up a sacrifice to the idol and began to enjoy themselves in the works of their hands.42So God turned and handed them over to render sacred service to the army of heaven, just as it is written in the book of the prophets, ‘It was not to me that YOU offered victims and sacrifices for forty years in the wilderness, was it, O house of Israel?43But it was the tent of Mo′loch and the star of the god Re′phan that YOU took up, the figures which YOU made to worship them. Consequently I will deport YOU beyond Babylon.’
44“Our forefathers had the tent of the witness in the wilderness, just as he gave orders when speaking to Moses to make it according to the pattern he had seen.45And our forefathers who succeeded to it also brought it in with Joshua into the land possessed by the nations, whom God thrust out from before our forefathers. Here it remained until the days of David.46He found favor in the sight of God and asked for [the privilege of] providing a habitation for the God of Jacob.47However, Sol′o‧mon built a house for him.48Nevertheless, the Most High does not dwell in houses made with hands; just as the prophet says,49‘The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What sort of house will YOU build for me? Jehovah says. Or what is the place for my resting?50My hand made all these things, did it not?’
51“Obstinate men and uncircumcised in hearts and ears, YOU are always resisting the holy spirit; as YOUR forefathers did, so YOU do.52Which one of the prophets did YOUR forefathers not persecute? Yes, they killed those who made announcement in advance concerning the coming of the righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers YOU have now become,53YOU who received the Law as transmitted by angels but have not kept it.”
54Well, at hearing these things they felt cut to their hearts and began to gnash their teeth at him.55But he, being full of holy spirit, gazed into heaven and caught sight of God’s glory and of Jesus standing at God’s right hand,56and he said: “Look! I behold the heavens opened up and the Son of man standing at God’s right hand.”57At this they cried out at the top of the voice and put their hands over their ears and rushed upon him with one accord.58And after throwing him outside the city, they began casting stones at him. And the witnesses laid down their outer garments at the feet of a young man called Saul.59And they went on casting stones at Stephen as he made appeal and said: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”60Then, bending his knees, he cried out with a strong voice: “Jehovah, do not charge this sin against them.” And after saying this he fell asleep [in death].