Wednesday, May 25, 2016


 Gifford Haddock asked about a word that appears in Acts 26:14. The word is goads, and it appears in this context: And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’” (The King James Version uses the old-fashioned word pricks.)

A goad was a prod to control oxen. It could be as simple as a stout pointed stick, eight to ten feet long, or it could be made a bit more sophisticated and punishing by adding a metal point.

An animal that kicked against the goad would be startled by getting punctured. In addition, the ploughman would only repeat the assault against a recalcitrant animal. (Recalcitrant, appropriately, comes from a Latin word that means to kick backward.)

Judges 3:31 also speaks of the goad as a formidable weapon: “After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an ox goad. He, too, saved Israel.”

“To kick against the goads,it turns out, was a relatively common proverb in the ancient world, and it spoke to useless resistance to a superior force.

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.


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