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Matthew 12:7

7 If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ayou would not have condemned the innocent.

Read Matthew 12:7 Using Other Translations

But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
And if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless.
But you would not have condemned my innocent disciples if you knew the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’

What does Matthew 12:7 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Matthew 12:7

But if ye had known what this meaneth,
&c,] The passage of Scripture in ( 6:6 )

I will have mercy, and not sacrifice;
of the sense of which, (See Gill on Matthew 9:13)

ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
Our Lord taxes the Pharisees both with ignorance of the Scriptures, in which they pretended to be very knowing, and took upon them to be the interpreters of; and with inhumanity, for condemning innocent persons, the apostles, for rubbing a few ears of corn, for the refreshment of nature; which they would never have done, had they understood the word, and will of God; who prefers acts of humanity, compassion, and mercy, to the observance of rites and ceremonies; or had they the common affections of human nature, and those bowels of compassion which one man ought to show to another.

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