8And Stephen, filled with belief and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9But some of those of the so-called Congregation of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), rose up and argued with Stephen, 10but they were unable to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke. 11Then they instigated men to say, “We have heard him speak wicked, blasphemous words against Moses and our Alahim.”12And they stirred up the people, and the Elders, and the Scribes, so they all came upon him, seized him, and brought him to the Council.
13And they set up false witnesses who said, “This man won't stop speaking blasphemous words against this set-apart place and the Torah, 14for we've heard him saying that this YAHUSHA of Nazareth will overthrow this Temple and change the instructions which Moses peronally gave to us.”
15And all who sat in the Council, looking steadily at Stephen, saw that his face was shining like the face of a Heavenly Angel.
1And the High Priest said, “Is this so?”2And Stephen replied, “Men, brothers and fathers, listen: The Alahim of esteem appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Aram Naharayim, before he dwelt in Haran, 3and said to him, ‘Come out of your land and from your relatives, and come here, into a land that I will show you.’
4So Abraham came out of the land of the Kaldeans and dwelt in Haran. And from there (after the death of his father) YAHUAH brought him to this land, which you now live in. 5And He gave him no inheritance in it, not a foot of it, but He promised to give it to him in the future, to his seed after him, even though as yet, he had no child.
6And YAHUAH spoke in this way: that Abraham's seed would be traveling in a foreign land, and that they would be enslaved and mistreated 400 years. 7‘And the nation to whom they will be enslaved, I shall judge,’ said YAHUAH, ‘and after that they will come out and serve Me in this place.’
8And YAHUAH gave Abraham the Blood-Covenant of circumcision. And he brought forth Isaac and circumcised him on the 8th day. And Isaac had Jacob, who brought forth the 12 Tribes of Yisharal.
9And our ancestors, becoming jealous, sold their brother Joseph into Egypt. But YAHUAH was with him, 10and delivered Joseph out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom before the Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, who appointed him governor over Egypt and over all his house.
11Then a scarcity of food and great distress came over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and our fathers had no food. 12But Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, and he sent out our fathers the first time, 13and at the second trip Joseph was made known to his brothers, and Joseph’s race became known to the Pharoah.
14And Joseph sent and called his father Jacob and all his relatives to him: 75 people in all. 15And Jacob went down to Egypt, and died, he and our fathers, 16and they were brought over to Sheckem and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price of silver from the sons of Hamor, father of Sheckem.
17But as the time of the promise drew near (which YAHUAH had sworn to Abraham), the people increased and multiplied in Egypt 18until another King arose who did not know Joseph. 19Having dealt treacherously with our race, this Pharoah abused our fathers, making them even expose their own babies, so that they would be murdered.
THERE'S AN INTERESTING REASON WHY THE TEXT SAYS THAT STEPHEN 'WENT TO SLEEP' AND DIDN'T JUST SAY 'DIE'(FOR IT IMPLIES A RESURRECTION) :
HEBREW UNDERSTANDING :
Search results for "SLEEP" :
1957: to dream, to be slack or languid, i.e. (figuratively, to die) also to grow old or stale, remain long, cause to sleep.
4904: a bed (by euphemism - carnal intercourse) to lie with or to lie down (for rest, sexual connection, decease or any other purpose)
5123: to slumber (from drowsiness).
6974: the idea of abruptness in waking up from sleep, to awake, arise, be awake and watch.
7290: to stun, i.e. stupefy (with sleep or death) be fast asleep or in a deep sleep.
8639: a lethargy or trance.
1 COR 15:34WAKE UP FROM YOUR SLEEP and be righteously sober, and do not sin! For some don't have the knowledge of Yahuah, and I speak this to your shame. 35But someone might say, “How will the dead be raised up? What will they look like? And what body will they come back in?”
36Senseless one! What you sow is not made alive unless it dies first. 37And as for what you sow: you don't sow the body of the fruit (the final product) do you? You only sow a seed of bare grain (wheat etc). 38But YAHUAH allows the seed to grow into a body of it's own, just as He wishes ...
42And so it will be with the resurrection of the dead: the seed is sown into corruption, but raised into incorruption, 43it is sown in disrespect, but raised in full-esteem, it is sown in weakness, and raised in power, 44it is sown in a physical body, and raised up as a spirit-like body. For there is a physical body, and there is a spirit-like body also. (FIRST-FRUIT BODY LIKE YAHUSHA'S) ...
50And this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood is unable to inherit the Kingdom of Yahuah, just like corruption can never inherit incorruption.
51See, I speak a secret to you: WE WON'T ALL SLEEP, BUT WE'LL BE CHANGED, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, and we'll be changed also ...
58Therefore my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work and behaviour of the Master, knowing that your labor is not in vain in YAHUSHA.
1 PETER 5 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert, for your enemy the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
STEPHEN ACCUSED THE JEWISH LEADERS OF BEING ASLEEP BECAUSE (JUST LIKE THEIR ANCESTORS BEFORE THEM) THEY WERE BLIND, STIFF-NECKED AND HARD-HEARTED, REFUSING TO WAKE UP AND LET YAHUSHA HAVE IT (THAT HE IS THE PROMISED DELIVERER - THE KING OF THE UNIVERSE - JUST AS HE'D TOLD THEM).
BUT WHEN CONFRONTED AND 'CUT TO THE HEART' BY THE SWORD OF TRUTH FROM STEPHEN'S WITNESS ... INSTEAD OF WAKING UP FROM THEIR SLUMBER AND LETHARGY AND REPENTING, THEY RAGED AND GNASHED THEIR TEETH.
STEPHEN REVEALED THE SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS AND SLUMBER OF THE WHOLE NATION UNDER THESE RELIGIOUS FIENDS (RIGHT BACK FROM THE EXODUS) ... AND IN TURN HE WAS MURDERED AND WILLINGLY OFFERED UP HIS LIFE AS A LIVING SACRIFICE TO YAHUSHA, STONED TO DEATH AND CAUSED TO FALL ASLEEP (SPIRITUALLY). HE WASN'T EVEN ANGRY AT THEM (JUST AS YAHUSHA WASN'T) AND PLEADED THAT THEY BE FORGIVEN OF THIS SIN - ALL WHILE THEY WERE HURLING STONES AT HIM!!
WHEN THE DEVIL IS RAGING AT US, USING EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING AROUND TO TRIP US UP AND RIP US TO SHREDS, HOW DO WE STAY AWAKE AND SOBER? ... WE DIE TO IT ... GO DOWN HUMBLE AND ALLOW OUR REPUTATION TO BE SMEERED AND DRAGGED THROUGH THE MUD ... IN ORDER FOR YAHUSHA TO MOVE ON THOSE WHO DELIGHT IN DOING SUCH BEHAVIOURS.
THE ONLY WAY TO STAY AWAKE, WATCHING AND AWARE IS TO BE HEARING YAHUSHA'S VOICE, CHECKING OUR THOUGHTS WITH THE TRUTH OF HIS LIVING WORD AND ENTERING IN BOLDLY TO THE THRONE TO RELATE WITH HIM ... IF NOT WE FALL INTO A DREAM-STATE/DELUSION, GET SLACK, LAZY, OUR WORDS BECOME OLD AND STALE, AND WE GET CAUGHT UP IN THE CARNAL DESIRES OF THE FLESH, WHICH RENDER US STUNNED AND ASLEEP, USELESS.
BUT OVERCOMING ALL THIS WILL ALLOW US TO BE CHANGED WHEN YAHUSHA RETURNS ... AND EVEN IF WE HAVE DIED ... (AS YAHUSHA SAID):"SHE'S NOT DEAD, SHE'S JUST SLEEPING" ... WAITING FOR THE MASTER'S HAND TO ARRIVE, TO TOUCH AND RESURRECT AND MAKE ALL THINGS NEW AGAIN.
YAHUSHA TELLS US TO WAKE UP FROM OUR SLEEP AND ARISE FROM THE DEAD ... WE MUST DO IT OURSELF !!