19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God! 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, being jealous of one another.
Pirkei Avot 6:1Mishnah
1 The sages taught in the language of the mishnah. Blessed be He who chose them and their teaching. Rabbi Meir said: Whoever occupies himself with the Torah for its own sake, merits many things; not only that but he is worth the whole world.He is called beloved friend; one that loves God; one that loves humankind; one that gladdens God; one that gladdens humankind. And the Torah clothes him in humility and reverence, and equips him to be righteous, pious, upright and trustworthy; it keeps him far from sin, and brings him near to merit. And people benefit from his counsel, sound knowledge, understanding and strength, as it is said, “Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, strength is mine” (Proverbs 8:14). And it bestows upon him royalty, dominion, and acuteness in judgment. To him are revealed the secrets of the Torah, and he is made as an ever-flowing spring, and like a stream that never ceases. And he becomes modest, long-suffering and forgiving of insult. And it magnifies him and exalts him over everything.
Notes and References
"... The metaphor of moral fruit is frequent in the Gospel tradition (Matthew 3:8, 10; 7:16–20; 12:33; Luke 3:8–9; 6:43–44; 13:6–9; John 15:2–8, 16; probably Mark 11:14; 12:2) and is often developed by early Christian writers (Philippians 1:11; Ephesians 5:9; Colossians 1:10; Hebrews 12:11; James 3:18; Jude 12). Yet the image was also a natural one in antiquity. Thus in Hosea, Israel yielded fruit for idolatry (10:1, 4, 13), but God would make them sow and reap righteousness (10:11–12); God would cause Israel to blossom and bear fruit (14:5–7), and he would be the source of their fruit (14:8). Likewise, Jewish people could speak of the Torah as a seed that would bear fruit in God’s people (4 Ezra 3:20; 9:31, 33). (Compare Pirkei Avot 3:17; cf. the “fruit of righteousness” in the later Apoc. Sedrach 12:5; good works as fruit in Numbers Rabbah 3:1. The results of Torah learning as fruit (Numbers Rabbah 21:15) may be simply like any profit as fruit.) Given their proximity to agrarian life, even urban hearers in antiquity would be able to comprehend fruit in a figurative sense. One could compare with fruit a person’s gifts, the products of one’s mind, or other characteristics consistent with one’s nature. Thus, for example, the “fruit” of hatred is bitter; a Stoic expounds on the fruit of reason; Socrates reportedly wanted to cultivate Alcibiades as a plant so his “fruit” would not be destroyed; the fruit of knowledge is a deeper intellectual life; the fruits of education are great ..."
Keener, Craig S. "A Comparison of the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22–23 with Ancient Thought on Ethics and Emotion" in Porter, Stanley E., and Lois K. Fuller Dow (eds.) The Language and Literature of the New Testament: Essays in Honor of Stanley E. Porter’s 60th Birthday (pp. 574-598) Brill, 2017
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