Deuteronomy 30:15

Hebrew Bible

15Look! I have set before you today life and prosperity on the one hand, and death and disaster on the other. 16 What I am commanding you today is to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to obey his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances. Then you will live and become numerous and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are about to possess. 17 However, if you turn aside and do not obey, but are lured away to worship and serve other gods, 18 I declare to you this very day that you will certainly perish! You will not extend your time in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess. 19 Today I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set life and death, blessing and curse, before you. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live!

Matthew 7:13

New Testament

9 Is there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets. 13Enter through the narrow gate because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it!

 Notes and References

"... In Matthew 7:13–14, Jesus mentions in two perfectly balanced lines two ways leading to two opposite destinations: one to destruction [εἰς τὴν ἀπώλειαν] and the other to life [εἰς τὴν ζωήν]. The theme of two ways is set in Jewish moral tradition, as is apparent in passages from the First Testament, for example, in Psalm 1:6, Psalm 119:29–32 and Proverbs 28:6, 18. Jewish texts, especially those with eschatological orientations (Keener 1999:250), also refer to two ways. The Second Book of Enoch, a pseudepigraphic text in the apocalyptic genre dating from the first century AD, tells that God showed Adam ‘the two ways, the light and the darkness, and God told him: “this is good and that is bad”’ (2 Enoch 30:15). The Berakot, a Babylonian tractate of the Mishnah and Talmud, composed by the end of the Mishnaic period (c. 200 AD), also refers to two ways: ‘There are two ways before me, one leading to Paradise and the other to Gehinnom’ (b. Berakhot 28b). The Mekhilta of Rabbi Ishmael, which reflects Scriptural exegesis in Judaism, interprets Exodus 14:28 by stating that God put before Adam ‘two ways, the way of life and the way of death’ (Mekhilta on Exodus 14:28). In line with these traditions, Jesus in Matthew 7:13–14 exhorts his listeners to enter through the small gate and to follow the narrow road in order to reach eschatological life, in contrast to the wide gate and broad road that leads to eschatological destruction ..."

Viljoen, Francois P. "Life in the Synoptic Gospels" in Viljoen, Francois P., and Albert Johannes Coetsee, (eds.) Biblical Theology of Life in the New Testament (pp. 1-29) AOSIS, 2021

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