Stephen Stoned

The Stoning of Stephen

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Stephen Stoned
ACTS 7 COMMENTARY
Acts 7:44-50 Tabernacle
Acts 7:51-56 Stiff-necked

Acts 7:57-60 Stephen Stoned

Acts 8 Bible Study
ACTS 7:57-60  57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 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. 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 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.

What didn't the Sanhedrin do?
They were so angry at Stephen that they illegally murdered him immediately instead of taking him to the Romans to have him legally murdered by them.

Why did they lay down "their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul" (Acts 7:58)?
Stoning typically involved immobilizing the victim by binding his or her hands and feet, pushing him or her over a shallow cliff if one is available, and then picking up and throwing down sizeable rocks to crush the victim below (The cliff was typically high enough to give the dropped rocks velocity and perhaps for the fall to break the legs of the victim but not high enough for the fall itself to kill the victim). Layers of clothes that would impede picking up and heaving rocks were apparently left with a "young man named Saul" who most likely was too young to participate in the execution but old and eager enough to play the role of cloakroom attendant for the executioners.

What became of Saul?
He became one of the greatest persecutors of Christians until God turned him into one of His greatest apostles and the pen with which to write two-thirds of the New Testament.

How did Stephen die?
Forgiving his murderers and asking Jesus to receive his spirit, like Jesus asked the Father while on the cross (see Father, forgive them). Stephen didn't have a long ministry. He didn't spend decades taking the Gospel to distant lands like Saul would later do. Stephen died after giving one sermon in front of the Sanhedrin, but what a sermon it was. The God-inspired and pleasing courage with which he presented the Truth to the most powerful men of his day should inspire all of today.

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