Then said the chief priest: is it even so? And he said: ye men, brethren and fathers, hearken to. The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham while he was yet in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto him: come out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land, which I shall show thee. Then came he out of the land of Chaldey, and dwelt in Charran. And after that, as soon as his father was dead, he brought him into this land in which ye now dwell, and he gave him none inheritance in it, no not the breadth of a foot: but promised that he would give it to him to possess and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.
God verily spake on this wise, that his seed should be a dweller in a strange land and that they should keep them in bondage and entreat them evil four hundred years. But the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God. And after that shall they come forth and serve me in this place. And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And he begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day, and Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob the twelve Patriarchs. And the Patriarchs having indignation sold Joseph into Egypt. And God was with him, and delivered him out of all his adversities, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharao king of Egypt which made him governor over Egypt, and over all his household.
Then came there a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, that our fathers found no sustenance. But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt he sent our fathers first, and at the second time, Joseph was known of his brethren, and Josephs kindred was made known unto Pharao. Then sent Joseph and caused his father to be brought and all his kin, three score and fifteen souls. And Jacob descended into Egypt and died both he and our fathers, and were translated into Sichem, and were put in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for money of the sons of Emor, at Syihem.
When the time of the promise drew nigh (which God had sworn to Abraham) the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, till another king arose which knew not of Joseph. The same dealt subtly with our kindred and evil intreated our fathers, and made them to cast out their young children, that they should not remain alive. The same time was Moses born, and was a proper child in the sight of God, which was nourished up in his fathers house three months. When he was cast out, Pharaohs daughter took him up, and nourished him up for her own son. And Moses was learned in all manner wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in deeds and in words.
And when he was full forty year old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. And when he saw one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged his quarrel that had the harm done to him, and smote the Egyptian. For he supposed his brethren would have understood, how that God by his hands should save them. But they understood not.
And the next day he showed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again saying: Sirs, ye are brethren, why hurt ye one another? But he that did his neighbour wrong, thrust him away saying: who made thee a ruler and a judge among us? What, wilt thou kill me, as thou didst the Egyptian yesterday? Then fled Moses at that saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.
And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina 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 behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him: I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Moses trembled and durst not behold. Then said the Lord to him: Put off thy shoes from thy feet, for the place where thou standest is holy ground. I have perfectly seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come and I will send thee into Egypt.
This Moses whom they forsook saying: who made the a ruler and a judge? the same God sent both a ruler and deliverer, by the hands of the Angel which appeared to him in the bush. And the same brought them out, showing wonders and signs in Egypt, and in the reed sea and in the wilderness forty years. This is that Moses which said unto the children of Israel: A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear.
This is he that was in the congregation, in the wilderness with the Angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers. This man received the word of life to give unto us, to whom our fathers would not obey, but cast it from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, saying unto Aaron: Make us Gods to go before us. For this Moses that brought us out of the land of Egypt, we *wot not what is become of him. And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the image, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.
Then God turned himself and gave them up, that they should worship the stars of the sky, as it is written in the book of the Prophets: O ye of the house of Israel, gave ye to me sacrifices and meat offerings, by the space of forty years in the wilderness? And ye took unto you the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them. And I will translate you beyond Babylon.
Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed them speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. Which tabernacle our fathers received, and brought it in with Joshue into the possession of the Gentiles which God drave out before the face of our fathers unto the time of David, which found favour before God, and would faine have made a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built him an house.
How be it he that is highest of all, dwelleth not in temples made with hands, as saith the Prophet: Heaven is my seat, and earth is my footstool, what house will ye build for me saith the Lord? or what place is it that I should rest in hath not my hand made all these things?
Ye stiffnecked and of uncircumcised hearts and ears: ye have all ways resisted the holy ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the Prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them, which showed before of the coming of that *Just, whom ye have now betrayed and murdered. And ye also have received a law by the ordinance of Angels, and have not kept it.
When they heard these things, their hearts clave asunder, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he being full of the holy ghost, looked up steadfastly with his eyes into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said: behold, I see the heavens open, and the son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they gave a shout with a loud voice, and stopped their ears and ran upon him all at once, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young mans feet named Saul. And they stoned Steven calling on and saying: Lord Jesus receive my spirit. And he kneeled down and cried with a loud voice: Lord lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had thus spoken, he fell asleep.