Stephen’s Address: The Call of Abraham
Then the high priest said, “Are these things
And he said, “Brethren and fathers, listen: The
God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when
he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran,
and said to him, ‘Get out of your country and
from your relatives, and come to a land that I
will show you.’
Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans
and dwelt in Haran. And from there, when his
father was dead, He moved him to this land in
which you now dwell.
And God gave him no inheritance in it,
not even enough to set his foot on. But
even when Abraham had no child, He
promised to give it to him for a possession, and
to his descendants after him.
But God spoke in this way: that his descendants
would dwell in a foreign land, and that they
would bring them into bondage and oppress
them four hundred years.
‘And the nation to whom they will be in
bondage I will judge,’ said God,
‘and after that they shall come out and serve Me
in this place.’
Then He gave him the covenant of circumcision;
and so Abraham begot Isaac and
circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac
begot Jacob, and Jacob begot the
The Patriarchs in
“And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold
Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him
and delivered him out of all his troubles, and
gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of
Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor
over Egypt and all his house.
Now a famine and great trouble came over all the
land of Egypt and Canaan, and our fathers found
But when Jacob heard that there was grain in
Egypt, he sent out our fathers first.
And the second time Joseph was made known
to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became
known to the Pharaoh.
Then Joseph sent and called his father Jacob and
all his relatives to him, seventy-five
15 So Jacob went down to Egypt; and he
died, he and our fathers.
And they were carried back to Shechem and laid
in the tomb that Abraham bought for a sum of
money from the sons of Hamor, the father
God Delivers Israel by
“But when the time of the promise drew near
which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew
and multiplied in Egypt
till another king arose who did not know Joseph.
This man dealt treacherously with our people,
and oppressed our forefathers, making them
expose their babies, so that they might not
20 At this time Moses was born, and was
well pleasing to God; and he was brought up in
his father’s house for three months.
But when he was set out, Pharaoh’s daughter took
him away and brought him up as her own son.
And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the
Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.
“Now when he was forty years old, it came into
his heart to visit his brethren, the children of
24 And seeing one of them suffer
wrong, he defended and avenged him who was
oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian.
For he supposed that his brethren would have
understood that God would deliver them by his
hand, but they did not understand.
And the next day he appeared to two of
them as they were fighting, and tried to
reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren;
why do you wrong one another?’
But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him
away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a
judge over us?
Do you want to kill me as you did the
Then, at this saying, Moses fled and became a
dweller in the land of Midian, where he had two
30 “And when forty years had passed, an
Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of
fire in a bush, in the wilderness of Mount
31 When Moses saw it, he marveled
at the sight; and as he drew near to observe,
the voice of the Lord came to him,
saying, ‘I am the God of
your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of
Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses
trembled and dared not look.
‘Then the LORD said to him, “Take your
sandals off your feet, for the place where you
stand is holy ground.
I have surely seen the oppression of
My people who are in Egypt; I have heard their
groaning and have come down to deliver them. And
now come, I will send you to Egypt.”’
“This Moses whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who
made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one
God sent to be a ruler and a deliverer by
the hand of the Angel who appeared to him in the
36 He brought them out, after he had shown
wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in
the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years.
Israel Rebels Against God
“This is that Moses who said to the children of
Israel, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for
you a Prophet like me from your brethren.
Him you shall hear.’
“This is he who was in the congregation in the
wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him on
Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the
one who received the living oracles to give to
whom our fathers would not obey, but rejected.
And in their hearts they turned back to Egypt,
saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods to go before
us; as for this Moses who brought
us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what
has become of him.’
And they made a calf in those days, offered
sacrifices to the idol, and rejoiced in the
works of their own hands.
Then God turned and gave them up to worship the
host of heaven, as it is written in the book of
‘ Did you offer Me slaughtered animals
and sacrifices during forty years
in the wilderness,
O house of Israel?
43 You also took up the tabernacle of
And the star of your god Remphan,
Images which you made to worship;
And I will carry you away beyond
God’s True Tabernacle
“Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in
the wilderness, as He appointed, instructing
Moses to make it according to the pattern that
he had seen,
which our fathers, having received it in turn,
also brought with Joshua into the land possessed
by the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the
face of our fathers until the days of David,
who found favor before God and asked to find a
dwelling for the God of Jacob.
But Solomon built Him a house.
“However, the Most High does not dwell in
temples made with hands, as the prophet says:
49 ‘ Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My
What house will you build for Me? says
Or what is the place of
50 Has My hand not made all
Israel Resists the
“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in
heart and ears! You always resist the Holy
Spirit; as your fathers did, so do
Which of the prophets did your fathers not
persecute? And they killed those who foretold
the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have
become the betrayers and murderers,
who have received the law by the direction of
angels and have not kept it.”
Stephen the Martyr
When they heard these things they were cut to
the heart, and they gnashed at him with their
55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit,
gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and
Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and
the Son of Man standing at the right hand of
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice,
stopped their ears, and ran at him with one
58 and they cast him out of the
city and stoned him. And the witnesses
laid down their clothes at the feet of a young
man named Saul.
And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on
God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my
Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud
voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.”
And when he had said this, he fell asleep.