Thematic Bible




Thematic Bible



Then Peter and the apostles replied, We must obey God rather than men. The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, Whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree (cross). God exalted Him to His right hand to be Prince and Leader and Savior and Deliverer and Preserver, in order to grant repentance to Israel and to bestow forgiveness and release from sins. read more.
And we are witnesses of these things, and the Holy Spirit is also, Whom God has bestowed on those who obey Him.

[So] they summoned them and imperatively instructed them not to converse in any way or teach at all in or about the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied to them, Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you and obey you rather than God, you must decide (judge). But we [ourselves] cannot help telling what we have seen and heard.

Then the priests and the prophets said to the princes and to all the people, This man is deserving of death, for he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears. Then Jeremiah said to all the princes and to all the people: The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that you have heard. Therefore now amend your ways and your doings and obey the voice of the Lord your God; then the Lord will relent and reverse the decision concerning the evil which He has pronounced against you. read more.
As for me, behold, I am in your hands; do with me as seems good and suitable to you. But know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and upon its inhabitants, for in truth the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing. Then said the princes and all the people to the priests and to the prophets: This man is not deserving of death, for he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.

And the chief priests kept accusing Him of many things. And Pilate again asked Him, Have You no answer to make? See how many charges they are bringing against You! But Jesus made no further answer at all, so that Pilate wondered and marveled.

Then Peter, [because he was] filled with [and controlled by] the Holy Spirit, said to them, Rulers of the people and members of the council (the Sanhedrin), If we are being put on trial [here] today and examined concerning a good deed done to benefit a feeble (helpless) cripple, by what means this man has been restored to health, Let it be known and understood by all of you, and by the whole house of Israel, that in the name and through the power and authority of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom you crucified, [but] Whom God raised from the dead, in Him and by means of Him this man is standing here before you well and sound in body. read more.
This [Jesus] is the Stone which was despised and rejected by you, the builders, but which has become the Head of the corner [the Cornerstone]. And there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by and in which we must be saved.

And the high priest asked [Stephen], Are these charges true? And he answered, Brethren and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our forefather Abraham when he was still in Mesopotamia, before he [went to] live in Haran, And He said to him, Leave your own country and your relatives and come into the land (region) that I will point out to you. read more.
So then he went forth from the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. And from there, after his father died, [God] transferred him to this country in which you are now dwelling. Yet He gave him no inheritable property in it, [no] not even enough ground to set his foot on; but He promised that He would give it to Him for a permanent possession and to his descendants after him, even though [as yet] he had no child. And this is [in effect] what God told him: That his descendants would be aliens (strangers) in a land belonging to other people, who would bring them into bondage and ill-treat them 400 years. But I will judge the nation to whom they will be slaves, said God, and after that they will escape and come forth and worship Me in this [very] place. And [God] made with Abraham a covenant (an agreement to be religiously observed) of which circumcision was the seal. And under these circumstances [Abraham] became the father of Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac [did so] when he became the father of Jacob, and Jacob [when each of his sons was born], the twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs [Jacob's sons], boiling with envy and hatred and anger, sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt; but God was with him, And delivered him from all his distressing afflictions and won him goodwill and favor and wisdom and understanding in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him governor over Egypt and all his house. Then there came a famine over all of Egypt and Canaan, with great distress, and our forefathers could find no fodder [for the cattle] or vegetable sustenance [for their households]. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent forth our forefathers [to go there on their] first trip. And on their second visit Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, and the family of Joseph became known to Pharaoh and his origin and race. And Joseph sent an invitation calling to himself Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all. And Jacob went down into Egypt, where he himself died, as did [also] our forefathers; And their bodies [Jacob's and Joseph's] were taken back to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of [silver] money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. But as the time for the fulfillment of the promise drew near which God had made to Abraham, the [Hebrew] people increased and multiplied in Egypt, Until [the time when] there arose over Egypt another and a different king who did not know Joseph [neither knowing his history and services nor recognizing his merits]. He dealt treacherously with and defrauded our race; he abused and oppressed our forefathers, forcing them to expose their babies so that they might not be kept alive. At this juncture Moses was born, and was exceedingly beautiful in God's sight. For three months he was nurtured in his father's house; Then when he was exposed [to perish], the daughter of Pharaoh rescued him and took him and reared him as her own son. So Moses was educated in all the wisdom and culture of the Egyptians, and he was mighty (powerful) in his speech and deeds. And when he was in his fortieth year, it came into his heart to visit his kinsmen the children of Israel [ to help them and to care for them]. And on seeing one of them being unjustly treated, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian and slaying [him]. He expected his brethren to understand that God was granting them deliverance by his hand [taking it for granted that they would accept him]; but they did not understand. Then on the next day he suddenly appeared to some who were quarreling and fighting among themselves, and he urged them to make peace and become reconciled, saying, Men, you are brethren; why do you abuse and wrong one another? Whereupon the man who was abusing his neighbor pushed [Moses] aside, saying, Who appointed you a ruler (umpire) and a judge over us? Do you intend to slay me as you slew the Egyptian yesterday? At that reply Moses sought safety by flight and he was an exile and an alien in the country of Midian, where he became the father of two sons. And when forty years had gone by, there appeared to him in the wilderness (desert) of Mount Sinai an angel, in the flame of a burning bramblebush. When Moses saw it, he was astonished and marveled at the sight; but when he went close to investigate, there came to him the voice of the Lord, saying, I am the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob. And Moses trembled and was so terrified that he did not venture to look. Then the Lord said to him, Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground and worthy of veneration. Because I have most assuredly seen the abuse and oppression of My people in Egypt and have heard their sighing and groaning, I have come down to rescue them. So, now come! I will send you back to Egypt [as My messenger]. It was this very Moses whom they had denied (disowned and rejected), saying, Who made you our ruler (referee) and judge? whom God sent to be a ruler and deliverer and redeemer, by and with the [protecting and helping] hand of the Angel that appeared to him in the bramblebush. He it was who led them forth, having worked wonders and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea and during the forty years in the wilderness (desert). It was this [very] Moses who said to the children of Israel, God will raise up for you a Prophet from among your brethren as He raised me up. This is he who in the assembly in the wilderness (desert) was the go-between for the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai and our forefathers, and he received living oracles (words that still live) to be handed down to us. [And yet] our forefathers determined not to be subject to him [refusing to listen to or obey him]; but thrusting him aside they rejected him, and in their hearts yearned for and turned back to Egypt. And they said to Aaron, Make us gods who shall [be our leaders and] go before us; as for this Moses who led us forth from the land of Egypt -- "we have no knowledge of what has happened to him. And they [even] made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice to the idol and made merry and exulted in the work of their [own] hands. But God turned [away from them] and delivered them up to worship and serve the host (stars) of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: Did you [really] offer to Me slain beasts and sacrifices for forty years in the wilderness (desert), O house of Israel? [No!] You took up the tent (the portable temple) of Moloch and carried it [with you], and the star of the god Rephan, the images which you [yourselves] made that you might worship them; and I will remove you [carrying you away into exile] beyond Babylon. Our forefathers had the tent (tabernacle) of witness in the wilderness, even as He Who directed Moses to make it had ordered, according to the pattern and model he had seen. Our forefathers in turn brought it [this tent of witness] in [with them into the land] with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations which God drove out before the face of our forefathers. [So it remained here] until the time of David, Who found grace (favor and spiritual blessing) in the sight of God and prayed that he might be allowed to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. However, the Most High does not dwell in houses and temples made with hands; as the prophet says, Heaven [is] My throne, and earth the footstool for My feet. What [kind of] house can you build for Me, says the Lord, or what is the place in which I can rest? Was it not My hand that made all these things? You stubborn and stiff-necked people, still heathen and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are always actively resisting the Holy Spirit. As your forefathers [were], so you [are and so you do]! Which of the prophets did your forefathers not persecute? And they slew those who proclaimed beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, Whom you now have betrayed and murdered -- " You who received the Law as it was ordained and set in order and delivered by angels, and [yet] you did not obey it! Now upon hearing these things, they [the Jews] were cut to the heart and infuriated, and they ground their teeth against [Stephen]. But he, full of the Holy Spirit and controlled by Him, gazed into heaven and saw the glory (the splendor and majesty) of God, and Jesus standing at God's right hand; And he said, Look! I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at God's right hand!

Then Paul, gazing earnestly at the council (Sanhedrin), said, Brethren, I have lived before God, doing my duty with a perfectly good conscience until this very day [ as a citizen, a true and loyal Jew]. At this the high priest Ananias ordered those who stood near him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, God is about to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit as a judge to try me in accordance with the Law, and yet in defiance of the Law you order me to be struck? read more.
Those who stood near exclaimed, Do you rail at and insult the high priest of God? And Paul said, I was not conscious, brethren, that he was a high priest; for the Scripture says, You shall not speak ill of a ruler of your people. But Paul, when he perceived that one part of them were Sadducees and the other part Pharisees, cried out to the council (Sanhedrin), Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; it is with regard to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am indicted and being judged. So when he had said this, an angry dispute arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the whole [crowded] assemblage was divided [into two factions].



When it was morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people held a consultation against Jesus to put Him to death; And they bound Him and led Him away and handed Him over to Pilate the governor.

And when He entered the sacred enclosure of the temple, the chief priests and elders of the people came up to Him as He was teaching and said, By what power of authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this power of authority?

And immediately when it was morning, the chief priests, with the elders and scribes and the whole council, held a consultation; and when they had bound Jesus, they took Him away [ violently] and handed Him over to Pilate.

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the [ open] court of the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, And consulted together in order to arrest Jesus by stratagem secretly and put Him to death. But they said, It must not be during the Feast, for fear that there will be a riot among the people.

But those who had seized Jesus took Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had assembled. But Peter followed Him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest's home; he even went inside and sat with the guards to see the end. Now the chief priests and the whole council (the Sanhedrin) sought to get false witnesses to testify against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death; read more.
But they found none, though many witnesses came forward [to testify]. At last two men came forward And testified, This Fellow said, I am able to tear down the sanctuary of the temple of God and to build it up again in three days. And the high priest stood up and said, Have You no answer to make? What about this that these men testify against You? But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, I call upon you to swear by the living God, and tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus said to him, You have stated [the fact]. More than that, I tell you: You will in the future see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Almighty and coming on the clouds of the sky. Then the high priest tore his clothes and exclaimed, He has uttered blasphemy! What need have we of further evidence? You have now heard His blasphemy. What do you think now? They answered, He deserves to be put to death. Then they spat in His face and struck Him with their fists; and some slapped Him in the face, Saying, Prophesy to us, You Christ (the Messiah)! Who was it that struck You?

And at once, while He was still speaking, Judas came, one of the Twelve [apostles], and with him a crowd of men with swords and clubs, [who came] from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders [of the Sanhedrin]. Now the betrayer had given them a signal, saying, The One I shall kiss is [the Man]; seize Him and lead [Him] away safely [so as to prevent His escape]. And when he came, he went up to Jesus immediately and said, Master! Master! and he embraced Him and kissed Him fervently. read more.
And they threw their hands on Him and arrested Him. But one of the bystanders drew his sword and struck the bond servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. And Jesus said to them, Have you come out with swords and clubs as [you would] against a robber to capture Me? I was with you daily in the temple [ porches and courts] teaching, and you did not seize Me; but [this has happened] that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. Then [His disciples], forsaking Him, fled, all [of them]. And a young man was following Him, with nothing but a linen cloth ( sheet) thrown about [his] naked [body]; and they laid hold of him, But, leaving behind the linen cloth ( sheet), he fled from them naked. And they led Jesus away to the high priest, and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes were gathered together. And Peter followed Him at a distance, even right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting [ in the firelight] with the guards and warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the entire council (the Sanhedrin) were constantly seeking [to get] testimony against Jesus with a view to condemning Him and putting Him to death, but they did not find any. For many were repeatedly bearing false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree. And some stood up and were bearing false witness against Him, saying, We heard Him say, I will destroy this temple (sanctuary) which is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, made without hands. Still not even [in this] did their testimony agree. And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, Have You not even one answer to make? What [about this which] these [men] are testifying against You? But He kept still and did not answer at all. Again the high priest asked Him, Are You the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I Am; and you will [all] see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power ( the Almighty) and coming on the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest tore his garments and said, What need have we for more witnesses? You have heard His blasphemy. What is your decision? And they all condemned Him as being guilty and deserving of death. And some of them began to spit on Him and to blindfold Him and to strike Him with their fists, saying to Him, Prophesy! And the guards received Him with blows and by slapping Him.

Then Jesus said to those who had come out against Him -- "the chief priests and captains of the temple and elders [of the Sanhedrin] -- "Have you come out with swords and clubs as [you would] against a robber? When I was with you day after day in the temple [ enclosure], you did not stretch forth [your] hands against Me. But this is your hour -- "and the power [which] darkness [gives you has its way]. Then they seized Him and led Him away, bringing Him into the house of the high priest. Peter was following at a distance. read more.
And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and were seated together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and gazing [intently] at him, said, This man too was with Him. But he denied it and said, Woman, I do not know Him! And a little later someone else saw him and said, You are one of them also. But Peter said, Man, I am not! And when about an hour more had elapsed, still another emphatically insisted, It is the truth that this man also was with Him, for he too is a Galilean! But Peter said, Man, I do not know what you are talking about. And instantly, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter recalled the Lord's words, how He had told him, Before the cock crows today, you will deny Me thrice. And he went out and wept bitterly [that is, with painfully moving grief]. Now the men who had Jesus in custody treated Him with contempt and scoffed at and ridiculed Him and beat Him; They blindfolded Him also and asked Him, Prophesy! Who is it that struck You? And they said many other evil and slanderous and insulting words against Him, reviling Him. As soon as it was day, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes; and they led Him into their council (the Sanhedrin), and they said, If You are the Christ (the Messiah), tell us. But He said to them, If I tell you, you will not believe (trust in, cleave to, and rely on what I say), And if I question you, you will not answer. But hereafter (from this time on), the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God. And they all said, You are the Son of God, then? And He said to them, It is just as you say; I Am. And they said, What further evidence do we need? For we have heard [it] ourselves from His own mouth!

And while they [Peter and John] were talking to the people, the high priests and the military commander of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, Being vexed and indignant through and through because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in [the case of] Jesus the resurrection from the dead. So they laid hands on them (arrested them) and put them in prison until the following day, for it was already evening. read more.
But many of those who heard the message believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on Jesus as the Christ). And their number grew and came to about 5,000. Then on the following day, their magistrates and elders and scribes were assembled in Jerusalem, Including Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander and all others who belonged to the high priestly relationship. And they set the men in their midst and repeatedly demanded, By what sort of power or by what kind of authority did [such people as] you do this [healing]? Then Peter, [because he was] filled with [and controlled by] the Holy Spirit, said to them, Rulers of the people and members of the council (the Sanhedrin), If we are being put on trial [here] today and examined concerning a good deed done to benefit a feeble (helpless) cripple, by what means this man has been restored to health, Let it be known and understood by all of you, and by the whole house of Israel, that in the name and through the power and authority of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom you crucified, [but] Whom God raised from the dead, in Him and by means of Him this man is standing here before you well and sound in body. This [Jesus] is the Stone which was despised and rejected by you, the builders, but which has become the Head of the corner [the Cornerstone]. And there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by and in which we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness and unfettered eloquence of Peter and John and perceived that they were unlearned and untrained in the schools [common men with no educational advantages], they marveled; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus. And since they saw the man who had been cured standing there beside them, they could not contradict the fact or say anything in opposition. But having ordered [the prisoners] to go aside out of the council [chamber], they conferred (debated) among themselves, Saying, What are we to do with these men? For that an extraordinary miracle has been performed by (through) them is plain to all the residents of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may not spread further among the people and the nation, let us warn and forbid them with a stern threat to speak any more to anyone in this name [or about this Person]. [So] they summoned them and imperatively instructed them not to converse in any way or teach at all in or about the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied to them, Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you and obey you rather than God, you must decide (judge). But we [ourselves] cannot help telling what we have seen and heard. Then when [the rulers and council members] had further threatened them, they let them go, not seeing how they could secure a conviction against them because of the people; for everybody was praising and glorifying God for what had occurred.

However, some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (freed Jewish slaves), as it was called, and [of the synagogues] of the Cyrenians and of the Alexandrians and of those from Cilicia and [the province of] Asia, arose [and undertook] to debate and dispute with Stephen. But they were not able to resist the intelligence and the wisdom and [the inspiration of] the Spirit with which and by Whom he spoke. So they [secretly] instigated and instructed men to say, We have heard this man speak, using slanderous and abusive and blasphemous language against Moses and God. read more.
[Thus] they incited the people as well as the elders and the scribes, and they came upon Stephen and arrested him and took him before the council (Sanhedrin). And they brought forward false witnesses who asserted, This man never stops making statements against this sacred place and the Law [of Moses]; For we have heard him say that this Jesus the Nazarene will tear down and destroy this place, and will alter the institutions and usages which Moses transmitted to us. Then all who sat in the council (Sanhedrin), as they gazed intently at Stephen, saw that his face had the appearance of the face of an angel.

And the high priest asked [Stephen], Are these charges true? And he answered, Brethren and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our forefather Abraham when he was still in Mesopotamia, before he [went to] live in Haran, And He said to him, Leave your own country and your relatives and come into the land (region) that I will point out to you. read more.
So then he went forth from the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. And from there, after his father died, [God] transferred him to this country in which you are now dwelling. Yet He gave him no inheritable property in it, [no] not even enough ground to set his foot on; but He promised that He would give it to Him for a permanent possession and to his descendants after him, even though [as yet] he had no child. And this is [in effect] what God told him: That his descendants would be aliens (strangers) in a land belonging to other people, who would bring them into bondage and ill-treat them 400 years. But I will judge the nation to whom they will be slaves, said God, and after that they will escape and come forth and worship Me in this [very] place. And [God] made with Abraham a covenant (an agreement to be religiously observed) of which circumcision was the seal. And under these circumstances [Abraham] became the father of Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac [did so] when he became the father of Jacob, and Jacob [when each of his sons was born], the twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs [Jacob's sons], boiling with envy and hatred and anger, sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt; but God was with him, And delivered him from all his distressing afflictions and won him goodwill and favor and wisdom and understanding in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him governor over Egypt and all his house. Then there came a famine over all of Egypt and Canaan, with great distress, and our forefathers could find no fodder [for the cattle] or vegetable sustenance [for their households]. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent forth our forefathers [to go there on their] first trip. And on their second visit Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, and the family of Joseph became known to Pharaoh and his origin and race. And Joseph sent an invitation calling to himself Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all. And Jacob went down into Egypt, where he himself died, as did [also] our forefathers; And their bodies [Jacob's and Joseph's] were taken back to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of [silver] money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. But as the time for the fulfillment of the promise drew near which God had made to Abraham, the [Hebrew] people increased and multiplied in Egypt, Until [the time when] there arose over Egypt another and a different king who did not know Joseph [neither knowing his history and services nor recognizing his merits]. He dealt treacherously with and defrauded our race; he abused and oppressed our forefathers, forcing them to expose their babies so that they might not be kept alive. At this juncture Moses was born, and was exceedingly beautiful in God's sight. For three months he was nurtured in his father's house; Then when he was exposed [to perish], the daughter of Pharaoh rescued him and took him and reared him as her own son. So Moses was educated in all the wisdom and culture of the Egyptians, and he was mighty (powerful) in his speech and deeds. And when he was in his fortieth year, it came into his heart to visit his kinsmen the children of Israel [ to help them and to care for them]. And on seeing one of them being unjustly treated, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian and slaying [him]. He expected his brethren to understand that God was granting them deliverance by his hand [taking it for granted that they would accept him]; but they did not understand. Then on the next day he suddenly appeared to some who were quarreling and fighting among themselves, and he urged them to make peace and become reconciled, saying, Men, you are brethren; why do you abuse and wrong one another? Whereupon the man who was abusing his neighbor pushed [Moses] aside, saying, Who appointed you a ruler (umpire) and a judge over us? Do you intend to slay me as you slew the Egyptian yesterday? At that reply Moses sought safety by flight and he was an exile and an alien in the country of Midian, where he became the father of two sons. And when forty years had gone by, there appeared to him in the wilderness (desert) of Mount Sinai an angel, in the flame of a burning bramblebush. When Moses saw it, he was astonished and marveled at the sight; but when he went close to investigate, there came to him the voice of the Lord, saying, I am the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob. And Moses trembled and was so terrified that he did not venture to look. Then the Lord said to him, Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground and worthy of veneration. Because I have most assuredly seen the abuse and oppression of My people in Egypt and have heard their sighing and groaning, I have come down to rescue them. So, now come! I will send you back to Egypt [as My messenger]. It was this very Moses whom they had denied (disowned and rejected), saying, Who made you our ruler (referee) and judge? whom God sent to be a ruler and deliverer and redeemer, by and with the [protecting and helping] hand of the Angel that appeared to him in the bramblebush. He it was who led them forth, having worked wonders and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea and during the forty years in the wilderness (desert). It was this [very] Moses who said to the children of Israel, God will raise up for you a Prophet from among your brethren as He raised me up. This is he who in the assembly in the wilderness (desert) was the go-between for the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai and our forefathers, and he received living oracles (words that still live) to be handed down to us. [And yet] our forefathers determined not to be subject to him [refusing to listen to or obey him]; but thrusting him aside they rejected him, and in their hearts yearned for and turned back to Egypt. And they said to Aaron, Make us gods who shall [be our leaders and] go before us; as for this Moses who led us forth from the land of Egypt -- "we have no knowledge of what has happened to him. And they [even] made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice to the idol and made merry and exulted in the work of their [own] hands. But God turned [away from them] and delivered them up to worship and serve the host (stars) of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: Did you [really] offer to Me slain beasts and sacrifices for forty years in the wilderness (desert), O house of Israel? [No!] You took up the tent (the portable temple) of Moloch and carried it [with you], and the star of the god Rephan, the images which you [yourselves] made that you might worship them; and I will remove you [carrying you away into exile] beyond Babylon. Our forefathers had the tent (tabernacle) of witness in the wilderness, even as He Who directed Moses to make it had ordered, according to the pattern and model he had seen. Our forefathers in turn brought it [this tent of witness] in [with them into the land] with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations which God drove out before the face of our forefathers. [So it remained here] until the time of David, Who found grace (favor and spiritual blessing) in the sight of God and prayed that he might be allowed to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. However, the Most High does not dwell in houses and temples made with hands; as the prophet says, Heaven [is] My throne, and earth the footstool for My feet. What [kind of] house can you build for Me, says the Lord, or what is the place in which I can rest? Was it not My hand that made all these things? You stubborn and stiff-necked people, still heathen and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are always actively resisting the Holy Spirit. As your forefathers [were], so you [are and so you do]! Which of the prophets did your forefathers not persecute? And they slew those who proclaimed beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, Whom you now have betrayed and murdered -- " You who received the Law as it was ordained and set in order and delivered by angels, and [yet] you did not obey it! Now upon hearing these things, they [the Jews] were cut to the heart and infuriated, and they ground their teeth against [Stephen]. But he, full of the Holy Spirit and controlled by Him, gazed into heaven and saw the glory (the splendor and majesty) of God, and Jesus standing at God's right hand; And he said, Look! I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at God's right hand! But they raised a great shout and put their hands over their ears and rushed together upon him. Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him, and the witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And while they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, Lord Jesus, receive and accept and welcome my spirit!


And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they gained possessions there and grew and multiplied exceedingly.

The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about 600,000 men on foot, besides women and children. And a mixed multitude went also with them, and very much livestock, both flocks and herds.

But the descendants of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, and the land was full of them. Now a new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph. He said to his people, Behold, the Israelites are too many and too mighty for us [and they outnumber us both in people and in strength]. read more.
Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply more and, should war befall us, they join our enemies, fight against us, and escape out of the land. So they set over [the Israelites] taskmasters to afflict and oppress them with [increased] burdens. And [the Israelites] built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. But the more [the Egyptians] oppressed them, the more they multiplied and expanded, so that [the Egyptians] were vexed and alarmed because of the Israelites. And the Egyptians reduced the Israelites to severe slavery. They made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar, brick, and all kinds of work in the field. All their service was with harshness and severity. Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, of whom one was named Shiprah and the other Puah, When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, she shall live. But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded, but let the male babies live. So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, Why have you done this thing and allowed the male children to live? The midwives answered Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; they are vigorous and quickly delivered; their babies are born before the midwife comes to them. So God dealt well with the midwives and the people multiplied and became very strong.

There [the Lord] greatly increased His people and made them stronger than their oppressors.

But as the time for the fulfillment of the promise drew near which God had made to Abraham, the [Hebrew] people increased and multiplied in Egypt,



But as the time for the fulfillment of the promise drew near which God had made to Abraham, the [Hebrew] people increased and multiplied in Egypt,

Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the good promise I have made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.


And the high priest asked [Stephen], Are these charges true? And he answered, Brethren and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our forefather Abraham when he was still in Mesopotamia, before he [went to] live in Haran, And He said to him, Leave your own country and your relatives and come into the land (region) that I will point out to you. read more.
So then he went forth from the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. And from there, after his father died, [God] transferred him to this country in which you are now dwelling. Yet He gave him no inheritable property in it, [no] not even enough ground to set his foot on; but He promised that He would give it to Him for a permanent possession and to his descendants after him, even though [as yet] he had no child. And this is [in effect] what God told him: That his descendants would be aliens (strangers) in a land belonging to other people, who would bring them into bondage and ill-treat them 400 years. But I will judge the nation to whom they will be slaves, said God, and after that they will escape and come forth and worship Me in this [very] place. And [God] made with Abraham a covenant (an agreement to be religiously observed) of which circumcision was the seal. And under these circumstances [Abraham] became the father of Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac [did so] when he became the father of Jacob, and Jacob [when each of his sons was born], the twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs [Jacob's sons], boiling with envy and hatred and anger, sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt; but God was with him, And delivered him from all his distressing afflictions and won him goodwill and favor and wisdom and understanding in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him governor over Egypt and all his house. Then there came a famine over all of Egypt and Canaan, with great distress, and our forefathers could find no fodder [for the cattle] or vegetable sustenance [for their households]. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent forth our forefathers [to go there on their] first trip. And on their second visit Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, and the family of Joseph became known to Pharaoh and his origin and race. And Joseph sent an invitation calling to himself Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all. And Jacob went down into Egypt, where he himself died, as did [also] our forefathers; And their bodies [Jacob's and Joseph's] were taken back to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of [silver] money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. But as the time for the fulfillment of the promise drew near which God had made to Abraham, the [Hebrew] people increased and multiplied in Egypt, Until [the time when] there arose over Egypt another and a different king who did not know Joseph [neither knowing his history and services nor recognizing his merits]. He dealt treacherously with and defrauded our race; he abused and oppressed our forefathers, forcing them to expose their babies so that they might not be kept alive. At this juncture Moses was born, and was exceedingly beautiful in God's sight. For three months he was nurtured in his father's house; Then when he was exposed [to perish], the daughter of Pharaoh rescued him and took him and reared him as her own son. So Moses was educated in all the wisdom and culture of the Egyptians, and he was mighty (powerful) in his speech and deeds. And when he was in his fortieth year, it came into his heart to visit his kinsmen the children of Israel [ to help them and to care for them]. And on seeing one of them being unjustly treated, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian and slaying [him]. He expected his brethren to understand that God was granting them deliverance by his hand [taking it for granted that they would accept him]; but they did not understand. Then on the next day he suddenly appeared to some who were quarreling and fighting among themselves, and he urged them to make peace and become reconciled, saying, Men, you are brethren; why do you abuse and wrong one another? Whereupon the man who was abusing his neighbor pushed [Moses] aside, saying, Who appointed you a ruler (umpire) and a judge over us? Do you intend to slay me as you slew the Egyptian yesterday? At that reply Moses sought safety by flight and he was an exile and an alien in the country of Midian, where he became the father of two sons. And when forty years had gone by, there appeared to him in the wilderness (desert) of Mount Sinai an angel, in the flame of a burning bramblebush. When Moses saw it, he was astonished and marveled at the sight; but when he went close to investigate, there came to him the voice of the Lord, saying, I am the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob. And Moses trembled and was so terrified that he did not venture to look. Then the Lord said to him, Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground and worthy of veneration. Because I have most assuredly seen the abuse and oppression of My people in Egypt and have heard their sighing and groaning, I have come down to rescue them. So, now come! I will send you back to Egypt [as My messenger]. It was this very Moses whom they had denied (disowned and rejected), saying, Who made you our ruler (referee) and judge? whom God sent to be a ruler and deliverer and redeemer, by and with the [protecting and helping] hand of the Angel that appeared to him in the bramblebush. He it was who led them forth, having worked wonders and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea and during the forty years in the wilderness (desert). It was this [very] Moses who said to the children of Israel, God will raise up for you a Prophet from among your brethren as He raised me up. This is he who in the assembly in the wilderness (desert) was the go-between for the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai and our forefathers, and he received living oracles (words that still live) to be handed down to us. [And yet] our forefathers determined not to be subject to him [refusing to listen to or obey him]; but thrusting him aside they rejected him, and in their hearts yearned for and turned back to Egypt. And they said to Aaron, Make us gods who shall [be our leaders and] go before us; as for this Moses who led us forth from the land of Egypt -- "we have no knowledge of what has happened to him. And they [even] made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice to the idol and made merry and exulted in the work of their [own] hands. But God turned [away from them] and delivered them up to worship and serve the host (stars) of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: Did you [really] offer to Me slain beasts and sacrifices for forty years in the wilderness (desert), O house of Israel? [No!] You took up the tent (the portable temple) of Moloch and carried it [with you], and the star of the god Rephan, the images which you [yourselves] made that you might worship them; and I will remove you [carrying you away into exile] beyond Babylon. Our forefathers had the tent (tabernacle) of witness in the wilderness, even as He Who directed Moses to make it had ordered, according to the pattern and model he had seen. Our forefathers in turn brought it [this tent of witness] in [with them into the land] with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations which God drove out before the face of our forefathers. [So it remained here] until the time of David, Who found grace (favor and spiritual blessing) in the sight of God and prayed that he might be allowed to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. However, the Most High does not dwell in houses and temples made with hands; as the prophet says, Heaven [is] My throne, and earth the footstool for My feet. What [kind of] house can you build for Me, says the Lord, or what is the place in which I can rest? Was it not My hand that made all these things? You stubborn and stiff-necked people, still heathen and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are always actively resisting the Holy Spirit. As your forefathers [were], so you [are and so you do]! Which of the prophets did your forefathers not persecute? And they slew those who proclaimed beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, Whom you now have betrayed and murdered -- " You who received the Law as it was ordained and set in order and delivered by angels, and [yet] you did not obey it! Now upon hearing these things, they [the Jews] were cut to the heart and infuriated, and they ground their teeth against [Stephen]. But he, full of the Holy Spirit and controlled by Him, gazed into heaven and saw the glory (the splendor and majesty) of God, and Jesus standing at God's right hand; And he said, Look! I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at God's right hand!