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 Additional TranslationsClarke'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.
Acts 26:9 I truly thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
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?
Acts 9:5 Parallel CommentariesAttacking Goads Hard Jesus Kick Lord Persecute Persecutest Persecuting Pricks SaulAttacking Goads Hard Jesus Kick Lord Persecute Persecutest Persecuting Pricks SaulTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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