Matthew 7:2

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. 6 Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs; otherwise they will trample them under their feet and turn around and tear you to pieces.

Sanhedrin 100a

Babylonian Talmud

In a related matter, it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Meir says: In accordance with the measure that a person metes out for others the heavenly court metes out for him, i.e., the response is commensurate with the action, as it is written: “In full measure [besasse’a] when You send her away do You contend with her” (Isaiah 27:8). The term besasse’a is interpreted as bese’a se’a, meaning that one receives a measure [se’a] commensurate with the measure [bese’a] that he meted out.

 Notes and References

"... Although the matter of forgiveness as it is expressed here seems to belong to a kind of “theology of reciprocity”—that is, as we have forgiven others, so may God forgive us—in fact it does not. The idea that one receives good for having done good or, conversely, receives ill for having done that, might seem sufficient to understand what is being said here in the prayer. Indeed there are numerous passages in the ancient literature in which the concept of “measure for measure” is spoken of (e.g., Matthew 7:2, m. Sotah 1:7, and others). But Matthew’s point here (and many Talmudic passages concur with this) is that the showing of mercy represents an exceptional case, for the one who shows mercy to others receives mercy not from others but from God. That is, the act of showing mercy to others overrides the theology of reciprocity, which states that because I have injured another, I now deserve to be injured by another in turn. But if I have forgiven either what another owes me, or else what another has done to me, then it is God who shows mercy on me. If we were to choose a Semitic term for what Matthew’s Jesus means here by “forgive,” it would likely be “meḥillah,” which is also the word used in expressions concerning the forgiving or foregoing of collection of loans. Later Jewish prayer did not ask for forgiveness in the way it is asked for in Jesus’ prayer. Rather the “Eighteen Blessing” prayer simply requests, “Forgive us, for we have sinned.” Matthew says more about this theme of forgiveness in verses 14–15 ..."

Basser, Herbert W. The Gospel of Matthew and Judaic Traditions: A Relevance-Based Commentary (pp. 187-188) Brill, 2015

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