Acts 5:39
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."

New Living Translation
But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!"

English Standard Version
but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice,

New American Standard Bible
but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God."

King James Bible
But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even be found fighting against God." So they were persuaded by him.

International Standard Version
However, if it's from God, you won't be able to stop them, and you may even discover that you are fighting against God!" So they were convinced by him.

NET Bible
but if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them, or you may even be found fighting against God." He convinced them,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“But if it is from God, you have no power to destroy it, lest you be found opposing God.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
However, if it's from God, you won't be able to stop them. You may even discover that you're fighting against God."

Jubilee Bible 2000
but if it is of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest ye be found fighting against God.

King James 2000 Bible
But if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it; lest perhaps you be found even to fight against God.

American King James Version
But if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it; lest haply you be found even to fight against God.

American Standard Version
but if it is of God, ye will not be able to overthrow them; lest haply ye be found even to be fighting against God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest perhaps you be found even to fight against God. And they consented to him.

Darby Bible Translation
but if it be from God, ye will not be able to put them down, lest ye be found also fighters against God.

English Revised Version
but if it is of God, ye will not be able to overthrow them; lest haply ye be found even to be fighting against God.

Webster's Bible Translation
But if it is from God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

Weymouth New Testament
But if it is really from God, you will be powerless to put them down--lest perhaps you find yourselves to be actually fighting against God."

World English Bible
But if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow it, and you would be found even to be fighting against God!"

Young's Literal Translation
and if it be of God, ye are not able to overthrow it, lest perhaps also ye be found fighting against God.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:34-42 The Lord still has all hearts in his hands, and sometimes directs the prudence of the worldly wise, so as to restrain the persecutors. Common sense tells us to be cautious, while experience and observation show that the success of frauds in matters of religion has been very short. Reproach for Christ is true preferment, as it makes us conformable to his pattern, and serviceable to his interest. They rejoiced in it. If we suffer ill for doing well, provided we suffer it well, and as we should, we ought to rejoice in that grace which enabled us so to do. The apostles did not preach themselves, but Christ. This was the preaching that most offended the priests. But it ought to be the constant business of gospel ministers to preach Christ: Christ, and him crucified; Christ, and him glorified; nothing beside this, but what has reference to it. And whatever is our station or rank in life, we should seek to make Him known, and to glorify his name.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 39. - Is for be, A.V.; will not be able to for cannot, A.V.; them for it, A.V. and T.R.; to be fighting for to fight, A.V.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But if it be of God,.... If it is according to the counsel of his will; if it is a scheme of his forming, and a work to which he has called these men, and they proceed in it on good principles, and with a view to the honour and glory of God:

ye cannot overthrow it; it will proceed and get ground, and stand, maugre all the opposition of hell and earth; therefore do nothing to them, or hinder them from going on. Some copies read, "ye cannot overthrow them"; and add, "neither you, nor kings, nor tyrants; wherefore refrain from these men"; so Beza's Cambridge copy.

Lest haply ye be found even to fight against God; which to do is downright madness, and which no man in his senses can expect to succeed in. There are some sayings of the Jewish doctors which seem to agree with these reasonings of Gamaliel (p).

"Says R. Jochanan the shoemaker, every congregation, which is for the name of heaven (or God) at length shall be established, but that which is not for the glory of God shall not be established in the end.''

Which one of the commentators (q) interprets in words still nearer to Gamaliel's language, thus:

"it shall be that that counsel which is for God shall stand and prosper, but that which is not for God shall cease.''

And in another place it is said (r),

"all contention (or dispute) which is for God, at length shall be established, but that which is not for God shall not in the end be established: what is contention that is for God? the contention of Hillell and Shammai, (two famous doctors among the Jews,) but that which is not for God is the contention of Korah, and his whole company.''

Some have thought from this advice of Gamaliel, that he was a Christian, or greatly inclined to Christianity; but when it is considered what respect was shown him at his death by the Jews, before observed on Acts 5:34 it will appear that he died a Pharisee; and especially it cannot be thought he had any favourable sentiments of the Christians, since a little before his death he ordered a prayer to be made against them. Maimonides says (s), that

"in the days of Rabban Gamaliel, the Epicureans (so the Amsterdam edition reads, but former editions read "heretics", by whom are meant Christians) increased in Israel; and they distressed the Israelites, and seduced them to turn aside from God; and when he saw that this was greater than all the necessities of the children of men, he stood up, and his council or sanhedrim, and composed another prayer, in which there was a request to God to destroy the Epicureans,''

or heretics, meaning the Christians: and though this prayer is sometimes ascribed to Samuel the little, yet it was composed by him at the hint and instigation of Gamaliel; for so it is said (t), R. Gamaliel said to the wise men,

"is there no man that knows how to compose a prayer for the Sadducees? (R. Asher reads "heretics";) Samuel the little stood up and composed one.''

And it is also said (u), that

"Samuel the little composed, , "the prayer for the heretics", before, or in the presence of Gamaliel the elder.''

continued...



Acts 5:39 Additional Commentaries
Context
Gamaliel's Counsel
38"So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; 39but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God." 40They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them.…
Cross References
Proverbs 21:30
There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD.

Isaiah 46:10
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, 'My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.'

Acts 11:17
So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God's way?"
Treasury of Scripture

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

if.

Acts 6:10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spoke.

Genesis 24:50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceeds from …

2 Samuel 5:2 Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, you were he that led …

1 Kings 12:24 Thus said the LORD, You shall not go up, nor fight against your brothers …

Job 34:29 When he gives quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hides …

Isaiah 43:13 Yes, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver …

Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the …

Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and …

Matthew 16:18 And I say also to you, That you are Peter, and on this rock I will …

Luke 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries …

1 Corinthians 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness …

Revelation 17:12-14 And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received …

to fight.

Acts 7:51 You stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always …

Acts 9:5 And he said, Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom …

Acts 23:9 And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' …

Exodus 10:3-7 And Moses and Aaron came in to Pharaoh, and said to him, Thus said …

2 Kings 19:22 Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? and against whom have you …

Job 15:25-27 For he stretches out his hand against God, and strengthens himself …

Job 40:9-14 Have you an arm like God? or can you thunder with a voice like him…

Isaiah 45:9 Woe to him that strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with …

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

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