Luke 14:11

New Testament

7 Then when Jesus noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. He said to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor because a person more distinguished than you may have been invited by your host. 9 So the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your place.’ Then, ashamed, you will begin to move to the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, go and take the least important place, so that when your host approaches he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up here to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who share the meal with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.

Leviticus Rabbah 1:5


R. Joshua of Siknin, in the name of R. Levi, expounded the verse, For better is it that it be said to thee: Come up hither, than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince (Prov. xxv, 7). R. Akiba taught in the name of R. Simeon b. ‘Azzai: Go two or three seats lower and take your seat, until they say to you, ‘Come up,’ rather than that you should go up and they should say to you, ‘Go down.’ Better that people say to you ‘come up, come up,’ and not say to you, ‘Go down, go down’; and so used Hillel to say: ‘To be humbled is my exaltation, my exaltation is to be humbled.’ What is the proof? He that raiseth himself ts to [be made to] sit down, he that abaseth himself is to be [raised so that he is] seen (Ps. cxull, 5 f.). You find that when the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed Himself to Moses from the midst of the thorn-bush, the latter hid his face from Him, as it is said, And Moses hid his face, etc. (Ex. II, 6). Because of this, the Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh.

 Notes and References

"... There was a general pool of literary motifs, stock stories. phrases and words from which the ancient teachers of Israel chose. Although a saying was transmitted in the name of a sage who lived several generations after Jesus, the sage may have independently preserved a rabbinic tradition that predates Jesus, perhaps the very same tradition upon which Jesus drew. According to Luke 14:11, Jesus said: 'Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.' Rabbinic literature preserves very similar statements in at least two places. Hillel, who lived a generation before Jesus, used to say: 'My humiliation is my exaltation and my exaltation is my humiliation' (Leviticus Rabbah 1:5). Hillel's disciples and the disciples of his disciples, referred to collectively as 'the house of Hillel' were noted for their humility ..."

Biven, David A Measure of Humility (pp. 5-7) Jerusalem Perspective, Vol. 4, No. 6, 1991

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