Stoning of St. Stephen

Stoning of St. Stephen

Commissioned by chief priests to stop the Way
From gathering more heretics, I went
Forth from Jerusalem, with leave to take
Their freedom and their lives, a hound on scent,

A Justice Fighter for the Jewish faith,
Schooled in the Law, the Law I represented,
Who rubbed his hands with glee each time we jailed
A Jesus follower who had misspent

His blood and birth, the ones like Stephen, who
Spoke blasphemy against our holy place
And claimed the Nazarene would wipe it out,

Who, even as the people stoned him, knew
Not how he had brought shame upon his race,
As I approved his death amid the shouts.

~Day Williams

The Stoning of St. Stephen, by Rembrandt