Matthew 7:1

New Testament

1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive. 3 Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while there is a beam in your own? 5 You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Berakhot 55a

Babylonian Talmud

Anyone who prolongs his prayer and expects it to be answered, will ultimately come to heartache, as it is stated: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). Similarly, Rabbi Yitzḥak said: Three matters evoke a person’s sins, and they are: Endangering oneself by sitting or standing next to an inclined wall that is about to collapse, expecting prayer to be accepted, as that leads to an assessment of his status and merit, and passing a case against another to Heaven, as praying for Heaven to pass judgment on another person causes one’s own deeds to be examined and compared with the deeds of that other person. This proves that prolonging prayer is a fault.

 Notes and References

"... The principle “with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” mirrors the social exchange in a village and reflects a socio-historical reality. Neighbours exchange goods, gifts and compliments. This exchange has to do with reciprocity, the very theme in Matt 7,1–12. The right self-measuring in honour-and-shame societies is crucial: measuring of your own and your neighbour’s transgressions will be done simultaneously. Matt 7,2 reflects this well-known general code. The ethical usage was launched even before Hesiod, but Hesiod was a starting point in many philosophical treatises on this theme. The philosophical reflections were often formulated in maxims and these maxims used measure metaphorically. H. P. Rüger found the origin of the maxim in Matthew 7,2 rather in the OT (Isaiah 27,8; Exodus 18,11; Genesis 37,32 or 38,25). Rabbinic texts made the theme of measure into a broader topic, and the Mishnah gave a nearly classical formulation: “All measures will cease, but measure for measure will never cease.” Rabbinic writings formulated the maxim more briefly, like “measure against measure” or “with the measure you measure will you be measured” ..."

Baasland, Ernst Parables and Rhetoric in the Sermon on the Mount: New Approaches to a Classical Text (pp. 426-428) Mohr Siebeck, 2015

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