Acts 20:34

New Testament

32 And now I entrust you to God and to the message of his grace. This message is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I have desired no one’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine provided for my needs and the needs of those who were with me. 35 By all these things, I have shown you that by working in this way we must help the weak, and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” 36 When he had said these things, he knelt down with them all and prayed.

Pirkei Avot 4:5


5 Rabbi Ishmael his son said: He who learns in order to teach, it is granted to him to study and to teach; But he who learns in order to practice, it is granted to him to learn and to teach and to practice. Rabbi Zadok said: Do not separate yourself from the community. Do not act as a counselor-at-law (when serving as a judge). Do not make them a crown for self-exaltation, nor a spade with which to dig. So too Hillel used to say, “And he that puts the crown to his own use shall perish.” Thus you have learned, anyone who derives worldly benefit from the words of the Torah, removes his life from the world. 6 Rabbi Yose said: whoever honors the Torah is himself honored by others, and whoever dishonors the Torah is himself dishonored by others. 7 Rabbi Ishmael his son said: he who refrains himself from judgment, rids himself of enmity, robbery and false swearing; But he whose heart is presumptuous in giving a judicial decision, is foolish, wicked and arrogant.

 Notes and References

"... The Mishnah states that no one should use the Torah as a 'spade' for the digging of wealth (Abot 4:5). Hence, teachers and sages are often linked with various occupations and trades. These include that of woodchopper (Hillel), surveyor (Shammai), blacksmith (Joshua), tanner (Ishmael), and water-carrier (Huna) (compare Abot 2:2). Paul's activity as a leather-worker (Acts 18:3) reflects this custom of not receiving payment for religious teaching (compare Acts 20:34; 2 Cor. 11:7-8; 1 Thess. 2:9; 2 Thess. 3:8) ..."

Wilson, Marvin R. Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith (p. 300) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989

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