Matthew 12:7
Parallel Verses
New International Version
If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent.

New Living Translation
But you would not have condemned my innocent disciples if you knew the meaning of this Scripture: 'I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.'

English Standard Version
And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.

New American Standard Bible
"But if you had known what this means, 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,' you would not have condemned the innocent.

King James Bible
But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If you had known what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent.

International Standard Version
If you had known what 'I want mercy and not sacrifice' means, you would not have condemned the innocent,

NET Bible
If you had known what this means: 'I want mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But if you had known what this is, 'I want mercy and not a sacrifice', you would not have condemned those who are blameless.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
If you had known what 'I want mercy, not sacrifices' means, you would not have condemned innocent people.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But if ye knew what this means, I will have mercy and not sacrifice, ye would not condemn the innocent.

King James 2000 Bible
But if you had known what this means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless.

American King James Version
But if you had known what this means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless.

American Standard Version
But if ye had known what this meaneth, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And if you knew what this meaneth: I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: you would never have condemned the innocent.

Darby Bible Translation
But if ye had known what is: I will have mercy and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

English Revised Version
But if ye had known what this meaneth, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

Webster's Bible Translation
But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

Weymouth New Testament
And if you knew what this means, 'It is mercy I desire, not sacrifice', you would not have condemned those who are without guilt.

World English Bible
But if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless.

Young's Literal Translation
and if ye had known what is: Kindness I will, and not sacrifice -- ye had not condemned the blameless,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:1-8 Being in the corn-fields, the disciples began to pluck the ears of corn: the law of God allowed it, De 23:25. This was slender provision for Christ and his disciples; but they were content with it. The Pharisees did not quarrel with them for taking another man's corn, but for doing it on the sabbath day. Christ came to free his followers, not only from the corruptions of the Pharisees, but from their unscriptural rules, and justified what they did. The greatest shall not have their lusts indulged, but the meanest shall have their wants considered. Those labours are lawful on the sabbath day which are necessary, and sabbath rest is to froward, not to hinder sabbath worship. Needful provision for health and food is to be made; but when servants are kept at home, and families become a scene of hurry and confusion on the Lord's day, to furnish a feast for visitors, or for indulgence, the case is very different. Such things as these, and many others common among professors, are to be blamed. The resting on the sabbath was ordained for man's good, De 5:14. No law must be understood so as to contradict its own end. And as Christ is the Lord of the sabbath, it is fit the day and the work of it should be dedicated to him.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 7. - Matthew only. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I wilt have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless (on the quotation, see Matthew 9:13, note). Had you learned the simple Bible truth that God places the exercise of your moral faculties, particularly those of kindness, above merely external observances, you would not have committed this sin of taking up the position of wrong judges. He traces their error up to its true source, ignorance of the first principles of religion, ignorance of what God really desires. Condemned. Formally and officially (καταδικάζω). The guiltless. As were the very priests (ver. 5).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But if ye had known what this meaneth, The passage of Scripture in Hosea 6:6

I will have mercy, and not sacrifice; of the sense of which, see Gill on Matthew 9:13.

ye would not have condemned the guiltless. Our Lord taxes the Pharisees both with ignorance of the Scriptures, in which they pretended to be very knowing, and took upon them to be the interpreters of; and with inhumanity, for condemning innocent persons, the apostles, for rubbing a few ears of corn, for the refreshment of nature; which they would never have done, had they understood the word, and will of God; who prefers acts of humanity, compassion, and mercy, to the observance of rites and ceremonies; or had they the common affections of human nature, and those bowels of compassion which one man ought to show to another.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

7. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice—(Ho 6:6; Mic 6:6-8, &c.). See on [1270]Mt 9:13.

ye would not have condemned the guiltless—that is, Had ye understood the great principle of all religion, which the Scripture everywhere recognizes—that ceremonial observances must give way before moral duties, and particularly the necessities of nature—ye would have refrained from these captious complaints against men who in this matter are blameless. But our Lord added a specific application of this great principle to the law of the sabbath, preserved only in Mark: "And he said unto them, the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" (Mr 2:27). A glorious and far-reaching maxim, alike for the permanent establishment of the sabbath and the true freedom of its observance.

Matthew 12:7 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Lord of the Sabbath
6"But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. 7"But if you had known what this means, 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,' you would not have condemned the innocent. 8"For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
Cross References
1 Samuel 15:22
But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

Hosea 6:6
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

Matthew 9:13
But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Mark 12:33
To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
Treasury of Scripture

But if you had known what this means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless.

if.

Matthew 9:13 But go you and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not …

Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said to them, You do err, not knowing the scriptures, …

Acts 13:27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not…

I will. That is, I desire, or require mercy, or acts of humanity, rather than sacrifice.

Isaiah 1:11-17 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to me? said the …

Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God …

Micah 6:6-8 With which shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the …

condemned.

Job 32:3 Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they …

Psalm 94:21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, …

Psalm 109:31 For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from …

Proverbs 17:15 He that justifies the wicked, and he that comdemns the just, even …

James 5:6 You have condemned and killed the just; and he does not resist you.

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