11. The Increase of the Persecution by the Jewish Religionists
a. The Martyrdom of Stephen
(1) Opposed and Arrested
8 And Stephen, full of grace and apower, did great 1wonders and signs among the people.
9 But some of those of the 1synagogue which is called the synagogue of the 2Libertines and of the Cyrenians and of the Alexandrians and of those from Cilicia and Asia rose up and disputed with Stephen;
10 Yet they were not able to awithstand the wisdom and the bSpirit with which he spoke.
11 Then they instigated some men to asay, We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.
12 And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and led him to the 1Sanhedrin.
13 And they set up afalse bwitnesses, saying, This man does not cease speaking words cagainst this holy 1place and the law,
14 For we have heard him saying that this Jesus the Nazarene will 1destroy this place and will change the acustoms which Moses delivered to us.
15 And all those sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw his face as though it were the 1face of an angel.
1 And the high priest said, Are these things so?
2 And he said, 1Men, abrothers and fathers, listen. The God of 2bglory appeared to our father Abraham while he was in cMesopotamia, before he dwelt in dHaran,
3 And said to him, a"Come out from your land and from your relatives, and come into the land which I will show you.''
4 Then he acame forth from the land of the bChaldeans and dwelt in Haran. And from there, after his father cdied, He 1removed him into this land, in which you now dwell.
5 Yet He did not give him an inheritance in it, not even a place to set his foot on; and He apromised to give it to him for a possession and to his bseed after him, while he had cno child.
6 And God spoke in this way that his seed would be a asojourner in a 1foreign land, and 2they would benslave them and mistreat them 3cfour hundred years.
7 "And whatever nation they will aserve as slaves I will judge,'' said God, "and after these things they will come forth and bserve Me as priests in this place.''
8 And He gave to him a acovenant of circumcision; and thus Abraham begot bIsaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac, cJacob; and Jacob, the dtwelve patriarchs.
9 And the patriarchs became ajealous of Joseph and bsold him into Egypt; yet God was cwith him
10 And rescued him out of all his afflictions and granted him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he aappointed him governor over Egypt and over all his house.
11 And a afamine came over all Egypt and Canaan as well as great affliction; and our fathers could find no 1sustenance.
12 But when Jacob heard that there was agrain in Egypt, he sent our fathers out the first time.
13 And during the second time Joseph was amade known to his brothers, and Joseph's race became manifest to bPharaoh.
14 And Joseph sent word and called for Jacob his afather and all his family, 1seventy-five souls in all.
15 And aJacob went down into Egypt; and he bended his days, he and our fathers.
16 And they were carried over to Shechem and placed in the tomb which Abraham had abought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
17 But as the time of the apromise which God had assured to Abraham drew near, the people grew and were bmultiplied in Egypt,
18 Until 1another aking rose up over Egypt who did not know of Joseph.
19 This one dealt acraftily with our race and mistreated our fathers, so that they threw out their bbabies in order that they would not be kept alive.
20 At this time 1Moses was born and was 2lovely to God. And he was nurtured athree months in his father's house.
21 And when he was 1thrown out, Pharaoh's adaughter took him up and nurtured him as a son for herself.
22 And Moses was educated in all the 1awisdom of the Egyptians, and he was powerful in his words and works.
23 But when he was approaching forty years of age, it came into his heart to visit his abrothers, the sons of Israel.
24 And when he saw one of them being wronged, he defended him, and he avenged him who was being oppressed by striking the Egyptian dead.
25 And he supposed that his brothers understood that God through his hand was giving salvation to them; but they did not understand.
26 And on the following day he appeared to them as they were afighting and tried to reconcile them in peace, saying, 1Men, you are brothers. Why are you wronging one another?
27 But the one who was wronging his neighbor pushed him away, saying, a"Who appointed you a ruler and a judge over us?
28 Do you want to do away with me the same way you did away with the Egyptian yesterday?''
29 And Moses afled at this word and became a sojourner in the land of Midian, where he begot two bsons.
30 And when forty years had been fulfilled, an 1Angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai in the flame of a athornbush fire.
31 And when Moses saw it, he marveled at the vision; and as he approached to examine it, there came the voice of the 1Lord:
32 a"I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.'' And Moses trembled and dared not 1examine it.
33 And the Lord said to him, a"Untie the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground.
34 1aI have surely seen the ill-treatment of My people who are in Egypt and have bheard their groaning, and I have come down to crescue them. And now, come, I will send you into Egypt.''
35 This Moses, whom they refused, saying, aWho appointed you a ruler and a judge? this one God has sent as both a ruler and a redeemer, along with the hand of the bAngel who 1appeared to him in the thornbush.
36 This man led them aout, doing bwonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the cRed Sea and in the dwilderness for eforty years.
37 This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, a"A Prophet will God raise up unto you from your brothers, like me.''
38 This is the one who was in the assembly in the wilderness with the aAngel who spoke to him in bMount Sinai and with our fathers, and who received living coracles to give to us.
39 To him our fathers were not willing to become obedient, but thrust him away and aturned in their hearts to Egypt,
40 Saying to Aaron, a"Make gods for us who will go before us; for this Moses, who has led us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.''
41 And they made a 1acalf in those days and brought up a sacrifice to the idol and were glad with the works of their hands.
42 But God turned and adelivered them up to 1serve the 2bhost of heaven, even as it is written in the 3book of the prophets, c"Did you offer slain beasts and sacrifices to Me for dforty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
43 And you took up the 1tabernacle of aMoloch and the star of your god 2Rompha, the images which you made to worship. And I will carry you away beyond Babylon.''
44 The atabernacle of btestimony was with our fathers in the wilderness, even as He who spoke to Moses instructed him to make it, according to the cpattern which he had seen.
45 This tabernacle our fathers, having in their turn received, also brought in with aJoshua when they took bpossession of the nations, whom God cdrove out before the face of our fathers until the days of dDavid,
46 Who found favor before God and asked to find a ahabitation for the bGod of Jacob.
47 But Solomon abuilt Him a house.
48 Yet the 1Most High does 2not adwell in that which is made by hands, even as the prophet says,
49 "Heaven is My throne, and the earth is a footstool for My feet. 1What kind of house will you build for Me, says the Lord, or what is the place of My rest?
50 Has not My hand made all these things?''
51 You astiff-necked and uncircumcised in bhearts and cears, you always 1oppose the Holy 2Spirit; as your fathers did, you also do.
52 Which of the aprophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand concerning the coming of the brighteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become,
53 You who received the alaw as 1ordinances of bangels and did not keep it.
54 Now as they aheard these things, they were 1exasperated and bgnashed their teeth at him.
55 But being 1full of the Holy Spirit, he looked intently into heaven and saw the 2aglory of God and Jesus 3standing at the bright hand of God;
56 And he said, Behold, I see the 1heavens aopened up and the bSon of Man standing at the right hand of God.
57 But they cried out with a loud voice and covered their ears and rushed upon him with one accord.
58 And they threw him aoutside of the city and bstoned him. And the cwitnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man called 1dSaul.
59 And they stoned Stephen as he 1called upon the Lord and said, Lord Jesus, receive my aspirit!
60 And akneeling down, he cried out with a loud voice, Lord, do 1not hold this sin against them. And when he had said this, he fell basleep.