- ¶ THEN the high priest asked Stephen, Are these things so?
- He said, Men, brethren and fathers, hearken: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was still in Mesopotamia before he came to dwell in Haran.
- And he said to him, Get out of your land and from your relatives and come into the land which I shall show you.
- Then Abraham left the land of the Chaldeans and came and settled in Haran and from thence, after his father’s death, God removed him into this land in which you now live.
- And he gave him no inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on;
yet he promised that he would give it as an inheritance to him and to his posterity, when as yet he had no son.
- God spoke to him and said, Your descendants will be settlers in a foreign land where they will be enslaved and mistreated for a period of four hundred years.
- But the people to whom they will be enslaved I will condemn, said God, and after that, they shall go out and serve me in this land.
- God gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision;
and then Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day;
and Isaac begat Jacob;
and Jacob begat our twelve patriarchs.
- And our forefathers were jealous of Joseph;
so they sold him into Egypt;
but God was with him,
- And he saved him from all his oppressors and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt;
and Pharaoh appointed Joseph to be overlord over Egypt and over all his house.
- Now there came a famine which brought great distress throughout Egypt and the land of Canaan so that our forefathers found no sustenance.
- But when Jacob heard that there was wheat in Egypt, he sent out our forefathers on their first venture.
- When they went the second time, Joseph made himself known to his brothers;
and Joseph’s family was made known to Pharaoh.
- Then Joseph sent and brought his father Jacob and all his family, seventy-five souls in number.
- So Jacob went down to Egypt where he and our forefathers died.
- And he was removed to Shechem and buried in the sepulchre which Abraham had bought for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor.
- ¶ But when the time of the promise was at hand, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people had already increased and become strong in Egypt,
- Till another king reigned over Egypt who knew not Joseph.
- He dealt deceitfully with our kindred, ill treated our forefathers, and commanded that they cast out their male children to the end that they might not live.
- During that very period Moses was born, and he was favored before God, so that for three months he was nourished in his father’s house.
- And when he was cast away by his mother, Pharaoh’s daughter found him and reared him as a son for herself.
- So Moses was trained in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and he was well versed in his words and also in his deeds.
- And when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.
- When he saw one of his own kindred mistreated, he avenged him and did justice to him, and killed the Egyptian who had mistreated him.
- For he thought his brethren, the Israelites, would understand that God would grant them deliverance by his hand, but they understood not.
- And the next day he found them quarreling one with another and he pleaded with them that they might be reconciled, saying, Men, you are brothers;
why are you wronging one another?
- But the one who was wronging his fellow thrust him aside and said to him, Who appointed you leader and judge over us?
- Perhaps you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday.
- And because of this saying, Moses fled and took refuge in the land of Midian where two sons were born to him.
- ¶ And when he had completed forty years, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sinai an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.
- When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight;
and as he drew near to look at it, the Lord spoke to him in a loud voice,
- Saying, I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.
And Moses trembled and dared not look at the sight.
- Then the Lord said to him, Take off your shoes from your feet, for the ground on which you stand is holy.
- Already I have seen the affliction of my people in Egypt, I have heard their groans, and I have come down to deliver them.
And now come, I will send you into Egypt.
- This Moses whom they had denied, saying, Who appointed you leader and judge over us?
this very one God sent to be a leader and deliverer to them by the hand of the angel which had appeared to him in the bush.
- It was he who brought them out after he had performed miracles, wonders, and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red sea and in the wilderness for forty years.
- This is the Moses who said to the children of Israel, The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brethren;
give heed to him.