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Matthew 12:11

11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?

Read Matthew 12:11 Using Other Translations

And he said unto them,What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
He said to them, "Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out?
And he answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out? Of course you would.

What does Matthew 12:11 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Matthew 12:11

And he said unto them
Well knowing their intentions, and also their usages and customs, which he was able to produce and object to them; in which, through covetousness, they showed more regard to their beasts, than they did humanity to their fellow creatures:

what man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if
it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it,
and lift it out?
Christ appeals to them in a case which was usually done among them, and which, without delay, no man would scruple to do; though their present rule of direction, in such a case, is this {f}:

``if a beast fall into a ditch, or a pool of water, if food can be given it, where it is, they feed it till the going out of the sabbath; but if not, bolsters and pillows may be brought, and put under it, and if it can come out: it may come out:''

and which is elsewhere F7 a little differently expressed;

``if a beast fall into a ditch, or pool of water, it is forbidden a man to bring it out with his hand; but if he can give it food where it is, it may be fed till the going out of the sabbath:''

which seems to have been made since the times of Christ, and in opposition to this observation of his.


FOOTNOTES:

F6 Maimon. Hilchot Sabbat, c. 25. sect. 26.
F7 Kotsensis Mitzvot Tora pr. neg. 65.
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