a A prince of the Israelitish tribe of Manasseh (Num. 2:20). b a Pharisee, a doctor of the Jewish law. He advised the council of Jews, who had taken Peter and other apostles prisoners, to be lenient with them and to let them prove by their fruits whether their doctrine was true or not (Acts 5:34; 22:3).
Meta. Gamaliel, the "doctor of the law" who advocates that Truth be tested by its fruits, was a leader among the most conservative Pharisees; he recommended common sense and reason. Prejudice and bigotry often blind us to real merit. There is in every one that spirit of fairness which will give every idea a chance to prove itself. "If this counsel or this work be of men, it will be overthrown: but if it is of God, ye will not be able to overthrow them" (Acts 5:38, 39). This is the conclusion of every well-balanced mind, and we should listen to every doctrine with this good judgment to the front.