And Stephen said: "Brethren and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopota'mia, before he lived in Haran,
and said to him, 'Depart from your land and from your kindred and go into the land which I will show you.'
Then he departed from the land of the Chalde'ans, and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living;
yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot's length, but promised to give it to him in possession and to his posterity after him, though he had no child.
And God spoke to this effect, that his posterity would be aliens in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and ill-treat them four hundred years.
'But I will judge the nation which they serve,' said God, 'and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.'
And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs.
"And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him,
and rescued him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him governor over Egypt and over all his household.
Now there came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food.
But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent forth our fathers the first time.
And at the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph's family became known to Pharaoh.
And Joseph sent and called to him Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five souls;
and Jacob went down into Egypt. And he died, himself and our fathers,
and they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
"But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt
till there arose over Egypt another king who had not known Joseph.
He dealt craftily with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, that they might not be kept alive.
At this time Moses was born, and was beautiful before God. And he was brought up for three months in his father's house;
and when he was exposed, Pharaoh's daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son.
And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds.
"When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel.
And seeing one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking the Egyptian.
He supposed that his brethren understood that God was giving them deliverance by his hand, but they did not understand.
And on the following day he appeared to them as they were quarreling and would have reconciled them, saying, 'Men, you are brethren, why do you wrong each other?'
But the man who was wronging his neighbor thrust him aside, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?
Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?'
At this retort Moses fled, and became an exile in the land of Mid'ian, where he became the father of two sons.
"Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush.
When Moses saw it he wondered at the sight; and as he drew near to look, the voice of the Lord came,
'I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.' And Moses trembled and did not dare to look.
And the Lord said to him, 'Take off the shoes from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.
I have surely seen the ill-treatment of my people that are in Egypt and heard their groaning, and I have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt.'
"This Moses whom they refused, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge?' God sent as both ruler and deliverer by the hand of the angel that appeared to him in the bush.
He led them out, having performed wonders and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years.
This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, 'God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as he raised me up.'
This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living oracles to give to us.
Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt,
saying to Aaron, 'Make for us gods to go before us; as for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.'
And they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and rejoiced in the works of their hands.
But God turned and gave them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: 'Did you offer to me slain beasts and sacrifices, forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
And you took up the tent of Moloch, and the star of the god Rephan, the figures which you made to worship; and I will remove you beyond Babylon.'
"Our fathers had the tent of witness in the wilderness, even as he who spoke to Moses directed him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen.
Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations which God thrust out before our fathers. So it was until the days of David,
who found favor in the sight of God and asked leave to find a habitation for the God of Jacob.
But it was Solomon who built a house for him.
Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made with hands; as the prophet says,
'Heaven is my throne, and earth my footstool. What house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest?
Did not my hand make all these things?'
"You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.
Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered,
you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it."
Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth against him.
But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God;
and he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God."
But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together upon him.
Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.
And as they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
And he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
And Saul was consenting to his death. And on that day a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the region of Judea and Sama'ria, except the apostles.
Devout men buried Stephen, and made great lamentation over him.
But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.
Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.
Philip went down to a city of Sama'ria, and proclaimed to them the Christ.
And the multitudes with one accord gave heed to what was said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs which he did.
For unclean spirits came out of many who were possessed, crying with a loud voice; and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.
So there was much joy in that city.
But there was a man named Simon who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the nation of Sama'ria, saying that he himself was somebody great.
They all gave heed to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, "This man is that power of God which is called Great."
And they gave heed to him, because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.
But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.
Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Sama'ria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,
who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit;
for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money,
saying, "Give me also this power, that any one on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit."
But Peter said to him, "Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!
You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.
Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.
For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity."
And Simon answered, "Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me."
Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.
But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." This is a desert road.
And he rose and went. And behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a minister of the Can'dace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship
and was returning; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
And the Spirit said to Philip, "Go up and join this chariot."
So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?"
And he said, "How can I, unless some one guides me?" And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
Now the passage of the scripture which he was reading was this: "As a sheep led to the slaughter or a lamb before its shearer is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken up from the earth."
And the eunuch said to Philip, "About whom, pray, does the prophet say this, about himself or about some one else?"
Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news of Jesus.
And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?"
And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught up Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
But Philip was found at Azo'tus, and passing on he preached the gospel to all the towns till he came to Caesare'a.
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