Matthew 23:23

New Testament

18 You are blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 19 So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 20 And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and the one who dwells in it. 21 And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and the one who sits on it. 22 “Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You give a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you neglect what is more important in the law—justice, mercy, and faithfulness! You should have done these things without neglecting the others. 23 Blind guides! You strain out a gnat yet swallow a camel! 24 “Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 25 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside may become clean too!

Pirkei Avot 2:1


1 Rabbi Said: which is the straight path that a man should choose for himself? One which is an honor to the person adopting it, and [on account of which] honor [accrues] to him from others. And be careful with a light commandment as with a grave one, for you did know not the reward for the fulfillment of the commandments. Also, reckon the loss [that may be sustained through the fulfillment] of a commandment against the reward [accruing] thereby, and the gain [that may be obtained through the committing] of a transgression against the loss [entailed] thereby. Apply your mind to three things and you will not come into the clutches of sin: Know what there is above you: an eye that sees, an ear that hears, and all your deeds are written in a book.

 Notes and References

"... See also the following instances: "Rabbi said: ' ... And be heedful of a light precept as of a weighty one (i17lr.JnJJ) for you know not the recompense of reward of each precept; ... ';" Pirkei Avot 2:1; compare b. Menachot 44a; b. Nedarim 39b; y. Pe'ah 1.15d. The midrash in Sifre Deuteronomy 79 states to Deuteronomy 12:28 ('all these words which I command you'): 'that a light precept is as dear to you as a weighty precept' and the same clause occurs in Sifre Deuteronomy 82 to Deuteronomy 13:1 and in Sifre Deuteronomy 96 to Deuteronomy 13:19 ... An echo of the rabbinic usage of 'light' and 'weighty' precepts is also found in the wording of Jesus: '... and you have neglected the weightier matters of the Law ....' (Matthew 23:23b) ..."

Sandt, Hubertus W., and David Flusser The Didache: Its Jewish Sources and Its Place in Early Judaism and Christianity (p. 169) Royal Van Gorcum, 2002

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