New International Version
Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?
King James Bible
Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Darby Bible Translation
Now therefore why tempt ye God, by putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?
World English Bible
Now therefore why do you tempt God, that you should put a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Young's Literal Translation
now, therefore, why do ye tempt God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Acts 15:10 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Now therefore why tempt ye God - A God, by giving the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles, evidently shows he does not design them to be circumcised, in order to become debtors to the law, to fulfill all its precepts, etc., why will ye provoke him to displeasure by doing what he evidently designs shall not be done?
A yoke - which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? - This does not refer to the moral law - that was of eternal obligation - but to the ritual law, which, through the multitude of its sacrifices, ordinances, etc., was exceedingly burthensome to the Jewish people. And had not God, by an especial providence, rendered both their fields and their flocks very fruitful, they could not possibly have borne so painful a ritual.
There is a curious story in Midrash Shochar, told in Yalkut Simeoni, part i. fol. 229, where Korah is represented as showing the oppressive nature of the law, and avarice of its priests, in justification of his rebellion. "There was," said he, "a widow in our neighbourbood who had two orphan children: she had one field; and, when she began to plough it, one came and said, Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together. When she went to sow it, he said, Thou shalt not sow thy field with divers seeds. When she began to reap, and to gather the sheaves together, he said, Leave a handful and the corners of the field for the poor. When she prepared to thresh it, he said, Give me the wave-offering, and the first and second tithes. She did as she was commanded, and then went and sold her field, and bought two ewes, that she might clothe herself and family with the wool, and get profit by the lambs. When they brought forth their lambs, Aaron came and said, Give me the firstlings, for the holy blessed God hath said, All the first born, whatsoever openeth the womb, shall be thine. She yielded to his demands, and gave him two lambs. When shearing time came, he said, Give me the first fruits of the wool. When the widow had done this, she said, I cannot stand before this man; I will kill my sheep and eat them. When she had killed the sheep, Aaron came and said, Give me the shoulder, and the jaws, and the ventricle. The widow said, Though I have killed my sheep, I am not delivered from this man; I therefore consecrate the whole to God. Then Aaron said, All belongs to me, for the holy blessed God hath said, Every thing that is consecrated in Israel shall be his, i.e. the priest's. He therefore took the whole carcasses, and marched off, leaving the widow and her orphan daughters overwhelmed with affliction." This is a terrible picture of the requisitions of the Mosaic ritual; and, though exaggerated, it contains so many true features that it may well be said, This is a yoke which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear. See Schoettgen. In the same vexatious way may the tithes of the national Church in this country be exacted, and in this very way is the exaction frequently exercised. It is high time that these abuses should be corrected.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryThe Breaking Out of Discord
'And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 2. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. 3. And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts
A Message from the Crowned Christ
The Figurative Language of Scripture.
The Council at Jerusalem.
Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"
They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
Peter said to her, "How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also."
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
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