Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Acts 15:10

    Acts 15:10 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Now therefore why tempt you God, to put a yoke on the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Now therefore why make ye trial of God, that ye should put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Why then are you testing God, by putting on the neck of the disciples a yoke so hard that not even our fathers or we were strong enough for it?

    Webster's Revision

    Now therefore why make ye trial of God, that ye should put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were 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?

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Now therefore why tempt ye God, that ye should put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 15:10

    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.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 15:10

    Why tempt ye God? - Why provoke him to displeasure? Why, since he has shown his determination to accept them without such rites, do you provoke him by attempting to impose on his own people rites without his authority, and a against his manifest will? The argument is, that God had already accepted them. To attempt to impose these rites would be to provoke him to anger; to introduce observances which he had shown it was his purpose should now be abolished.

    To put a yoke - That which would be burdensome and oppressive, or which would infringe on their just freedom as the children of God. It is called in Galatians 5:1, "a yoke of bondage." Compare the notes on Matthew 23:4. A "yoke" is an emblem of slavery or bondage 1 Timothy 6:1; or of affliction Lamentations 3:27; or of punishment Lamentations 1:14; or of oppressive and burdensome ceremonies, as in this place, or of the restraints of Christianity, Matthew 11:29-30. In this place those rites are called a yoke, because:

    (1) They were burdensome and oppressive; and,

    (2) Because they would be an infringement of Christian freedom. One design of the gospel was to set people free from such rites and ceremonies.

    Which neither our fathers ... - Which have been found burdensome at all times. They were expensive, and painful, and oppressive; and as they had been found to be so, it was not proper to impose them on the Gentile converts, but should rather rejoice at any evidence that the people of God might be delivered from them.

    Were able to bear - Which are found to be oppressive and burdensome. They were attended with great inconvenience and many transgressions, as the consequence.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 15:10

    15:10 Now therefore - Seeing these things are so: why tempt ye God? - Why do ye provoke him to anger, by putting so heavy a yoke on their neck?