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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 15 - Verse 10

Verse 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 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 Ga 5:1, "a yoke of bondage." See Barnes "Mt 23:4".

A yoke is an emblem of slavery or bondage, 1 Ti 6:1 or of affliction, La 3:27; or of punishment, La 1:14; or of oppressive and burdensome ceremonies, as in this place; or of the restraints of Christianity, Mt 11:29,30. In this place they 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 men free from such rites and ceremonies. The yoke here referred to is not the moral law, and the just restraints of religion; but the ceremonial laws and customs of the Jews.

Which neither our fathers, etc. 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.

{b} "a yoke on the neck" Ga 5:1

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