Acts 26:14
New International Version
We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

New Living Translation
We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.’

English Standard Version
And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

Berean Study Bible
We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice say to me in Hebrew, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

Berean Literal Bible
And of all of us having fallen down to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'

King James Bible
And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

New King James Version
And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

New American Standard Bible
And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

NASB 1995
“And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

NASB 1977
“And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

Amplified Bible
And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice in the Hebrew dialect (Jewish Aramaic) saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick [repeatedly] against the goads [offering pointless resistance].’

Christian Standard Bible
We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice speaking to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

Holman Christian Standard Bible
We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice speaking to me in the Hebrew language, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’”

American Standard Version
And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice saying unto me in the Hebrew language, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the goad.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And we all fell upon the ground, and I heard a voice, which said to me in Judean Aramaic, “Shaul, Shaul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick the goads.”

Contemporary English Version
We all fell to the ground. Then I heard a voice say to me in Aramaic, "Saul, Saul, why are you so cruel to me? It's foolish to fight against me!"

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when we were all fallen down on the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me in the Hebrew tongue: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the goad.

English Revised Version
And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice saying unto me in the Hebrew language, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the goad.

Good News Translation
All of us fell to the ground, and I heard a voice say to me in Hebrew, 'Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me? You are hurting yourself by hitting back, like an ox kicking against its owner's stick.'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
All of us fell to the ground, and I heard a voice asking me in Hebrew, 'Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me? It's hard for [a mortal like] you to resist God.'

International Standard Version
"All of us fell to the ground, and I heard a voice asking me in the Hebrew language, 'Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me? It is hurting you to keep on kicking against the cattle prods.'

Literal Standard Version
and we all having fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking to me, and saying in the Hebrew dialect, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? [It is] hard for you to kick against goads!

NET Bible
When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? You are hurting yourself by kicking against the goads.'

New Heart English Bible
When we had all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'

Weymouth New Testament
We all fell to the ground; and I heard a voice which said to me in Hebrew, "'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? You are finding it painful to kick against the ox-goad.'

World English Bible
When we had all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'

Young's Literal Translation
and we all having fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew dialect, Saul, Saul, why me dost thou persecute? hard for thee against pricks to kick!

Additional Translations ...
Context
Paul's Testimony to Agrippa
13About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and my companions. 14 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice say to me in Hebrew, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15‘Who are You, Lord?’ I asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied.…

Cross References
Acts 9:4
He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?"

Acts 9:7
The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless. They heard the voice but did not see anyone.

Acts 21:40
Having received permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the crowd. A great hush came over the crowd, and he addressed them in Hebrew:

Acts 26:13
About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and my companions.

Acts 26:15
Who are You, Lord?' I asked. 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,' the Lord replied.


Treasury of Scripture

And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking to me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecute you me? it is hard for you to kick against the pricks.

in.

Acts 21:40
And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying,

Acts 22:2
(And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)

Saul.

Acts 9:4,5
And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? …

Acts 22:7-9
And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? …

hard.

Proverbs 13:15
Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.

Zechariah 2:8
For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

Zechariah 12:2
Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.









(14) It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.--See Note on Acts 9:5. Here there is no doubt as to the genuineness of the reading.

Verse 14. - Saying unto me in the Hebrew language for speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, A.V. and T.R.; goad for pricks, A.V. I heard a voice saying, etc. (see Acts 9:7, note). In the Hebrew language. This is an additional detail not mentioned in Acts 9:4 or Acts 22:8; but recalled here, as tending to confirm St. Paul's claim to be a thorough Jew, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, and, moreover, to represent Christianity as a thing not alien from, but rather in thorough harmony with, the true national life and spirit of Israel. It is hard for thee to kick, etc. This, also, according to the best manuscripts, is an additional detail not mentioned before. The proverb Πρὸς κέντρα λακτίζειν, to kick against the ox-goads, as the unbroken bullock does to his own hurt, instead of quietly submitting, as he must do at last, to go the way and the pace his master chooses he should go, is found in Pindar, AEschylus, Euripides, Plautus, Terence, etc. The passages are given in Bochart, 'Hierozoicon.,' part 1. lib. it. Acts 39; in Kninoel, and in Bishop Wordsworth. The passage in Eurip., 'Baach,' 1. 793, 794 (750, 751), brings out the force of the proverb, viz. fruitless resistance to a superior power, most distinctly: "Better to sacrifice to him, than, being mortal, by vainly raging against God, to kick against the goads." Saul had better yield at once to the constraining grace of God, and no longer do despite to the Spirit of grace. It does not appear clearly that the proverb was used by the Hebrews. Dr. Donaldson ('Christian Orthodoxy,' p. 293) affirms that" there is no Jewish use of this proverbial expression." And this is borne out by Lightfoot, who adduces the two passages, Deuteronomy 32:15 and 1 Samuel 2:9, as the only evidences of the existence of such a proverb, together with a rabbinical saying, "R. Bibai sat and taught, and R. Isaac Ben Cahna kicked against him" ('Exereit. on Acts,' 9:5). It is, therefore, a curious question how this classical phrase came to be used here. Bishop Wordsworth says, "Even in heaven our Lord did not disdain to use a proverb familiar to the heathen world." But, perhaps, we may assume that such a proverb was substantially in use among the Jews, though no distinct evidence of it has been preserved; and that St. Paul, in rendering the Hebrew words of Jesus into Greek, made use of the language of Euripides, with which he was familiar, in a case bearing a strong analogy to his own, viz. the resistance of Pentheus to the claims of Bacchus. This is to a certain extent borne out by the use of the words θεομάχος and θεομαχεῖν (Acts 5:39; Acts 23:9); the latter of which is twice used in the 'Bacchae' of Euripides, though not common elsewhere. It is, however, found in 2 Macc. 7:19.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Greek
We
ἡμῶν (hēmōn)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 1st Person Plural
Strong's 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

all
πάντων (pantōn)
Adjective - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's 3956: All, the whole, every kind of. Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.

fell
καταπεσόντων (katapesontōn)
Verb - Aorist Participle Active - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's 2667: To fall down, fall prostrate. From kata and pipto; to fall down.

to
εἰς (eis)
Preposition
Strong's 1519: A primary preposition; to or into, of place, time, or purpose; also in adverbial phrases.

the
τὴν (tēn)
Article - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

ground,
γῆν (gēn)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's 1093: Contracted from a primary word; soil; by extension a region, or the solid part or the whole of the terrene globe.

[and] I heard
ἤκουσα (ēkousa)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's 191: To hear, listen, comprehend by hearing; pass: is heard, reported. A primary verb; to hear.

a voice
φωνὴν (phōnēn)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's 5456: Probably akin to phaino through the idea of disclosure; a tone; by implication, an address, saying or language.

say
λέγουσαν (legousan)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's 3004: (a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.

to
πρός (pros)
Preposition
Strong's 4314: To, towards, with. A strengthened form of pro; a preposition of direction; forward to, i.e. Toward.

me
με (me)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative 1st Person Singular
Strong's 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

in
τῇ (tē)
Article - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

Aramaic,
Ἑβραΐδι (Hebraidi)
Adjective - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's 1446: The Hebrew language, or rather: Aramaic. From Eber; the Hebraistic or Jewish language.

‘Saul,
Σαοὺλ (Saoul)
Noun - Vocative Masculine Singular
Strong's 4549: Of Hebrew origin; Saul, the Jewish name of Paul.

Saul,
Σαούλ (Saoul)
Noun - Vocative Masculine Singular
Strong's 4549: Of Hebrew origin; Saul, the Jewish name of Paul.

why
τί (ti)
Interrogative / Indefinite Pronoun - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's 5101: Who, which, what, why. Probably emphatic of tis; an interrogative pronoun, who, which or what.

do you persecute
διώκεις (diōkeis)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's 1377: To pursue, hence: I persecute. A prolonged form of a primary verb dio; to pursue; by implication, to persecute.

Me?
με (me)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative 1st Person Singular
Strong's 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

[It is] hard
σκληρόν (sklēron)
Adjective - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's 4642: Hard, violent, harsh, stern. From the base of skelos; dry, i.e. Hard or tough.

for you
σοι (soi)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Dative 2nd Person Singular
Strong's 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

to kick
λακτίζειν (laktizein)
Verb - Present Infinitive Active
Strong's 2979: To kick. From adverb lax; to recalcitrate.

against
πρὸς (pros)
Preposition
Strong's 4314: To, towards, with. A strengthened form of pro; a preposition of direction; forward to, i.e. Toward.

[the] goads.?
κέντρα (kentra)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's 2759: A sting, goad; met: of death. From kenteo; a point, i.e. A sting or goad.


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