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! 15 “Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles, are they? 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.
Berakhot 28bBabylonian Talmud
He said to them: I cry in fear of heavenly judgment, as the judgment of the heavenly court is unlike the judgment of man. If they were leading me before a flesh and blood king whose life is temporal, who is here today and dead in the grave tomorrow; if he is angry with me, his anger is not eternal and, consequently, his punishment is not eternal; if he incarcerates me, his incarceration is not an eternal incarceration, as I might maintain my hope that I would ultimately be freed. If he kills me, his killing is not for eternity, as there is life after any death that he might decree. Moreover, I am able to appease him with words and even bribe him with money, and even so I would cry when standing before royal judgment. Now that they are leading me before the supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, Blessed be He, Who lives and endures forever and all time; if He is angry with me, His anger is eternal; if He incarcerates me, His incarceration is an eternal incarceration; and if He kills me, His killing is for eternity. I am unable to appease Him with words and bribe him with money. Moreover, but I have two paths before me, one of the Garden of Eden and one of Gehenna, and I do not know on which they are leading me; and will I not cry?
Notes and References
"... The 'Two Ways' theme familiar from scripture and both Jewish (Wisd. 5.6-7, 1QS 3.18-25, 1 Enoch 94.1-5, Berachot 28a) and early Christian sources (Matthew 7.13-14, Didache 106, Barnasus 18-21) is employed, for instance, to highlight the idea that many sinners are on the road to eternal destruction ..."
Docherty, Susan E. The Jewish Pseudepigrapha: An Introduction to the Literature of the Second Temple Period (p. 118) Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2014
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