2 Baruch 48:19Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch
15 For lo! by Thy gift do we come into the world, And we depart not of our own will. 16 For we said not to our parents, "Beget us," Nor did we send to Sheol and say, "Receive us." 17 What therefore is our strength that we should bear Thy wrath Or what are we that we should endure Thy judgement? 18 Protect us in Thy compassions, And in Thy mercy help us. 19 Behold the little ones that are subject unto Thee, And save all that draw nigh unto Thee: And destroy not the hope of our people, And cut not short 'the times of our aid. 20 For this is the nation which Thou hast chosen, And these are the people, to whom Thou findest no equal. 21 But I will speak now before Thee, And I will say as my heart thinketh.
9 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into fiery hell. 10 “See that you do not disdain one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. 12 What do you think? If someone owns a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go look for the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that one of these little ones be lost. 15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault when the two of you are alone. If he listens to you, you have regained your brother.
Notes and References
"... In an attempt to exclude the possibility of an identificationn of μικροί with παιδία in the passages above, Luz wonders why a statement about leading the 'little ones' astray appears at the beginning of the discourse on community. A possible answer to this, I shall suggest, is that this statement appears there because its main purpose was to strongly warn those with a relatively high spiritual status (i.e., the spiritually mature members of the church) about how they were to behave vis-à-vis and relate to the weaker members (i.e., the spiritually immature members) of the church. This proposal may find support in Judaism, where the socially weak, the childish and immature could be designated as 'little ones'. (Cf. Michel, 'μικρός', 4.648; 2 Baruch 48:19; this fact is also recognized by Luz, who then distances himself from it; Matthew, 2.121) An understanding of the 'little ones' of 18:6-14 (cf. 'little children', esp. in vv. 3, 5) in their Matthean context as referring to all ordinary Christians in Matthew’s church is open to debate ..."
Mbabazi, Isaac Kahwa The Significance of Interpersonal Forgiveness in Matthew’s Gospel (p. 54) The University of Manchester, 2011
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