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10 with Stephen.* And they were not able to
resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he 11 spake. Then they suborned men, who said,
We have heard him speak blasphemous words 12 against Moses, and against God. And they stirred
up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, 13 and brought him to the council, and set up false
witnesses, who said, This man ceaseth not to
speak blasphemous words against this holy 14 place and the law. For we have heard him
say, that Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this
place, and shall change the customs which 15 Moses delivered us.t. And all who sat in the
council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face appear like the face of an angel.
1 THEN said the high priest, Are these things 2 so? And he said, Men, brethren and fathers,
hearken: The God of glory appeared unto
our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopo3 tamia,f before he dwelt in Haran, and said
* Jews from those synagogues, who were then visiting at Jerusalem. And who, perhaps, had not seen our Lord, or personally witnessed his miracles. The dispute probably was whether Jesus of Nazareth were the Messiah.
* He so well understood the gospel and the prophecies of the Jewish scriptures, as to know that the law of Moses, &c. were to be abolished.
† Abraham was called from among idolators; and was the father of all the faithful. The law of Moses was for a limited time, and for the Jews only; but the gospel was to be preached to all nations.
unto him, Depart out of thy country, and from
thy kindred, and come into the land which I 4 shall shew thee. Then he came out of the
land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Haran; when his father was dead, he reinoved him
thence into this land, in which ye now dwell. 5 And he gave him no inheritance in it, not even
to set his foot on : yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to
his seed after him, when as yet he had no 6 child. And God spake thus, That his seed
should sojourn in a strange land ; and that
they should be enslaved and oppressed four 7 hundred years. And God said, The nation
whom they shall serve, I will judge; and after
that they shall come forth, and serve me in 8 this place. And he gave him the covenant of
circumcision : and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac
begat Jacob, and Jacob begat the twelve patri9 archs. And the patriarchs, moved with envy,
sold Joseph into Egypt: But God was with 10 him, and delivered him out of all his afflictions,
and gave him wisdom and favor in the sight
of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him 11 governor over Egypt, and all his house. Now
there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt,
and Canaan, and great affliction ; and our fath12 ers found no sustenance. But when Jacob.
heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent 13 out our fathers first. And at the second time
Joseph was made known to his brethren: anil
Joseph's kindred was made known unto Phan' 14 rach. Then Joseph sent, and called bis father
Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threeseore 15 and fifteen souls. And Jacob went down into 16 Egypt, and died, he and our fathers, and were
carried over into Shechem, and laid in the sepulchre which Abraham bought for a sum of
money of the sons of Emmor, of Shechem. 17 But when the time of the promise drew
near which God had sworn to Abraham, the 18 people, grew and multiplied in Egypt, until
another king arose who knew not.Joseph. 19 The same dealt deceitfully with our kindred,
and oppressed our fathers, requiring them to
cast out their young children, that they might 20 not live. In which time Moses was born, and
was exceedingly fair ;* and was nourished in 21 his father's house three months : and when he
was cast out,t Pharaoh's daughter took him: 22 up, and nourished him for her own son. And
Moses was educated in all the learning of the
Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in 23 deeds. And when he was forty years old,
it came into his heart to visit his brethren the 24 children of Israel. And seeing one of them
* Was pleasing to God, or a favorite of heaven. The original admits of either sense, that he was of fair form and appearance; or a favorite child of providence.
† According to the cruel decree of the king of Egypt. See 19th verse.
| The Egyptians were at that period the most civilized nation of the earth. From them, probably, after the time of Moses, the Greeks received the first knowledge of many of the arts of life. For the knowledge of alphabetic writing the Greeks probably are indebted to the Phoenecians ; who derived it from their neighbors, the Jews. When the Israelites were acquainted with letters, the Egyptians made use of hieroglyphic writings.
suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged
him who was oppressed, and smote the Egyp25 tian : for he supposed his brethren would have
understood, how that God, by his hand, would 26 deliver them : but they understood not.* And
the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have reconciled them,
saying, Sirs, ye are brethren ; why do ye 27 wrong one to another? But he who did his
neighbor wrong, thrust him away, saying,
Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Wilt thou kill me, as thou killedst the Egyp29 tian yesterday? Then Moses filed at this
saying, and was a stranger in the land of Mid30 ian, where he begat two sons.
And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sinai an
angel of the Lord, in a flame of fire in a bush. 31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight;
and as he crew near to behold it, the voice of 32 the Lord came unto him, saying, I am the
God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and
the God of Isaac, aud the God of Jacob. Then 33 Moses trembled, and durst not behold. Then
the Lord said to him, Put off thy shoes from
thy feet, for the place where throu standest is 34 holy ground. I have seen, I have seent the
affliction of my people in Egypt, and I have heard their groanings, and am come down to
* But it does not appear from the history of Moses, that he had any intimations at this time, of being appointed the deliverer of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage.
+ This repetition implies that God was not indifforent to their sufferings.
deliver them : and now, come, I will send thee 35 into Egypt. This Moses whom they refused,
saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge ? the same God sent to be a ruler and a Savior,
by the hand of the angel who appeared to him 36 in the bush, He brought them out, after that
he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wil
derness forty years. S7 This is that Moses who said unto the chil
dren of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your
God raise up unto you of your brethren like 38 unto me: him shall ye hear. This is he who
was in the church in the wilderness, * with the angel who spake to him in mount Sinai, and
with our fathers who received the living oracles 39 to give unto us. Whom our fathers would
not obey, but thrust from them, and in their 40 hearts turned back again into Egypt; saying
unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us : for as for tnis Moses who brought us out of
the land of Egypt, we know not what is be41 come of him. And they made a molten calf
in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the
idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own 42 hands. Then God turned, and gave them up
to worship the host of heaven, t as it is written in the book of the prophets, O house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts, and sacri
* That is, Moses is he who was in the church in the wilderness; and who received the living (or life-giving) oracles from God, to give to us.
+ That is, the sun and muon, which were objeets of worship aniong the heathens.