Acts 9:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied.

King James Bible
And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Darby Bible Translation
And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And he [said], *I* am Jesus, whom *thou* persecutest.

World English Bible
He said, "Who are you, Lord?" The Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

Young's Literal Translation
And he said, 'Who art thou, Lord?' and the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom thou dost persecute; hard for thee at the pricks to kick;'

Acts 9:5 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Who art thou, Lord? - Τις ει, Κυριε; Who art thou, Sir? He had no knowledge who it was that addressed him, and would only use the term Κυριε, as any Roman or Greek would, merely as a term of civil respect.

I am Jesus whom thou persecutest - "Thy enmity is against me and my religion; and the injuries which thou dost to my followers I consider as done to myself." The following words, making twenty in the original, and thirty in our version, are found in no Greek MS. The words are, It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks: and he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? and the Lord said unto him. It is not very easy to account for such a large addition, which is not only not found in any Greek MS. yet discovered, but is wanting in the Itala, Erpen's Arabic, the Syriac, Coptic, Sahidic, and most of the Slavonian. It is found in the Vulgate, one of the Arabic, the Ethiopic, and Armenian; and was probably borrowed from Acts 26:14, and some marginal notes. It is wanting also in the Complutensian edition, and in that of Bengel. Griesbach also leaves it out of the text.

It is hard for thee, etc. - Σκληρον σοι προς κεντρα λακτιζειν. This is a proverbial expression, which exists, not only in substance, but even in so many words, both in the Greek and Latin writers. Κεντρον, kentron, signifies an ox goad, a piece of pointed iron stuck in the end of a stick, with which the ox is urged on when drawing the plough. The origin of the proverb seems to have been this: sometimes it happens that a restive or stubborn ox kicks back against the goad, and thus wounds himself more deeply: hence it has become a proverb to signify the fruitlessness and absurdity of rebelling against lawful authority, and the getting into greater difficulties by endeavoring to avoid trifling sufferings. So the proverb, Incidit in Scyllam qui vult vitare Charybdim. Out of the cauldron into the fire. "Out of bad into worse." The saying exists, almost in the apostolic form, in the following writers. Euripides, in Bacch. ver. 793: -

Θυοιμ' αν αυτῳ μαλλον, η θυμουμενος

Προς κεντρα λακτιζοιμι, θνητος ων, Θεῳ.

"I, who am a frail mortal, should rather sacrifice to him who is a God, than, by giving place to anger, kick against the goads."

And Aeschylus, in Agamemnon, ver. 1633: -

Προς κεντρα μη λακτιζε.

Kick not against the goads.

And again in Prometh. Vinct. ver. 323: -

Προς κεντρα κωλον εκτενεις, ὁρων ὁτι

Τραχυς μοναρχος ουδ' ὑπευθυνος κρατει.

"Thou stretchest out thy foot against goads, seeing the fierce monarch governs according to his own will."

Resistance is of no use: the more thou dost rebel, the more keenly thou shalt suffer. See the Scholiast here.


Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


1 Samuel 3:4-10 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I...

1 Timothy 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

I am.

Acts 26:9 I truly thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

it is.

Acts 5:39 But if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it; lest haply you be found even to fight against God.

Deuteronomy 32:15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: you are waxen fat, you are grown thick, you are covered with fatness...

Job 9:4 He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who has hardened himself against him, and has prospered?

Job 40:9,10 Have you an arm like God? or can you thunder with a voice like him...

Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little...

Isaiah 45:9 Woe to him that strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth...

1 Corinthians 10:22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?

'This Way'
'Any of this way.'--ACTS ix. 2 The name of 'Christian' was not applied to themselves by the followers of Jesus before the completion of the New Testament. There were other names in currency before that designation--which owed its origin to the scoffing wits of Antioch--was accepted by the Church. They called themselves 'disciples,' 'believers, 'saints,' 'brethren,' as if feeling about for a title. Here is a name that had obtained currency for a while, and was afterwards disused. We find it five times
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Copies of Christ's Manner
'And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed.... 40. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down and prayed; and, turning him to the body, said, Tabitha, arise.--ACTS ix. 34, 40. I have put these two miracles together, not only because they were closely connected in time and place, but because they have a very remarkable and instructive feature in common. They are both evidently moulded upon Christ's miracles; are distinct imitations of what Peter had
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Sharon. Caphar Lodim. The Village of those of Lydda.
Between Lydda and the sea, a spacious valley runs out, here and there widely spreading itself, and sprinkled with villages. The holy page of the New Testament [Acts 9:35] calls it Saron: and that of the Old calls the whole, perhaps, or some part of it, 'the plain of Ono,' Nehemiah 6:2, 11:35; 1 Chronicles 8:12... The wine of Sharon is of great fame, with which they mixed two parts water: and remarkable is that they say concerning the houses of Sharon. R. Lazar saith, "He that builds a brick house
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Caphar Tebi.
And this village neighboured upon Lydda, situate on the east of it. "R. Eleazar had a vineyard of four years' growth; on the east of Lydda, near Caphar Tebi." Of it there is this mention also:-- "They sometime brought a chest full of bones from Caphar Tebi, and they placed it openly in the entrance to Lydda. Tudrus the physician and the rest of the physicians go forth"--(namely, that they might judge, whether they were the bones of men or no; and thereby, whether they were to be esteemed clean or
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

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 9:6
"Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."

Acts 10:14
"Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."

Acts 26:14
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.'

Philippians 3:12
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

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