In the famous vision on the road to Damascus the unseen voice said to Saul: "Why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the goad" (Acts 9:4; 26:14). The words are omitted from the best manuscripts in Acts 9:4. This was a familiar proverb in both Greek and Latin literature, and refers to the severer goading received by an ox which kicks back at the goad used to guide or urge him on. The words seem to mean that Paul's paroxysm of persecution was a painful as well as profitless resistance to the pricks of conscience by which God was leading him into the light.
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