Letter of Aristeas 1:207Letter of Aristeas to Philocrates
The king received the answer with great delight and looking at another said, 'What is the teaching of wisdom?' And the other replied, 'As you wish that no evil should befall you, but to be a partaker of all good things, so you should act on the same principle towards your subjects and offenders, and you should mildly admonish the noble and good. For God draws all men to himself by his benignity.'
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. 13 “Enter 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
"... The Golden Rule is known usually only through Jesus’ saying in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31 (cf. Matt. 19:19; Mark 12:31). Some may know that it is also attributed to Hillel in the Babylonian Talmud (b. Shabbat 31a; also see Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Lev. 19:18). The maxim is found even earlier in Herodotus (and later Greek and Latin works) and also in Ahiqar (Armenian recension 8.88), Tobit 4:15, and notably mirrored in the Letter of Aristeas 207; Pseudo-Philo, Biblical Antiquities 11.12; and stated clearly in Syriac Menander 250–251. Thus, the Jewish apocryphal works are mines for maxims familiar from other, usually later, sources that may have been influenced by the earlier Greek or Jewish insights ..."
Charlesworth, James H. "Writings Ostensibly outside the Canon" in Evans, Craig A., and Emanuel Tov (eds.) Exploring the Origins of the Bible: Canon Formation in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective (pp. 57-85) Baker Academic, 2008
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