Matthew 7:7

New Testament

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. 7Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Is there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?

Megillah 6b

Babylonian Talmud

§ Rabbi Yitzḥak said in the style of a previous passage: If a person says to you: I have labored and not found success, do not believe him. Similarly, if he says to you: I have not labored but nevertheless I have found success, do not believe him. If, however, he says to you: I have labored and I have found success, believe him. The Gemara comments: This applies only to matters of Torah, as success with respect to Torah study is in accordance with the toil and effort invested. But with regard to success in business, it all depends upon assistance from Heaven, as there is no correlation between success and effort. And even with regard to matters of Torah, we said this only with regard to sharpening one’s understanding of Torah, as the more one labors, the deeper the understanding of the material he achieves. However, to preserve what one has learned, it is dependent upon assistance from Heaven. Not everyone achieves this, even with much effort.

 Notes and References

"... Verses 7-11 tell what God will do: God will supply wisdom to enable this discernment. Is this another self-contained unit having no connection with the material that precedes or follows it or should it be taken as an integral part of the larger context? The latter is preferable, if possible. The unit is held together by an inclusion (verse 1 - ask ... given - and verse 2 - given ... ask). It opens with an exhortation (verse 7): ask ... be given, search ... find, knock ... be opened. This language is typical of speech about prayer. Compare Jeremiah 29:12-14-call ... hear; search ... find; seek ... find; Isaiah 65:1 - sought ... ask ... found ... seek; b. Megillah 12b - 'he knocked at the gates of mercy and they were opened to him.' The basis is then given (verse 8): 'Everyone who asks receives, everyone who searches finds, to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.' Just as all six sentences of the Lord's Prayer are petitions, so here prayer is understood as asking. It is assumed that disciples appear before God as 'humble receivers from a generous Father.' Is this an affirmation of the efficacy of unrestricted prayer? Or is its meaning more restricted by the context? The latter, I think, in this context ..."

Talbert, Charles H. Reading the Sermon on the Mount: Character Formation and Decision Making in Matthew 5-7 (p. 134) University of South Carolina Press, 2004

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