Tobit 4:9


7 give alms from your possessions, and do not let your eye begrudge the gift when you make it. Do not turn your face away from anyone who is poor, and the face of God will not be turned away from you. 8 If you have many possessions, make your gift from them in proportion; if few, do not be afraid to give according to the little you have. 9 So you will be laying up a good treasure for yourself against the day of necessity. 10 For almsgiving delivers from death and keeps you from going into the Darkness. 11 Indeed, almsgiving, for all who practice it, is an excellent offering in the presence of the Most High.

4 Ezra 6:5

2 Esdras

3 nor were its fair flowers there to see; the powers that move the stars were not established, nor the countless hosts of angels assembled, 4 nor the vast tracts of air setup on high; the divisions of the firmaments had not received their names. Zion had not yet been chosen as God’s own footstool; 5 the present age had not been planned; the schemes of its sinners had not yet been outlawed, nor had God’s seal yet been set on those who have stored up a treasure of fidelity. 6 Then I considered these things; and the whole world was created through me and through me alone. In the same way, through me and through me alone the end shall come.’ 7 ‘Tell me’, I went on, ‘about the interval that divides the ages. When will the first age end and the next age begin?’

 Notes and References

"... This verse contains the command: 'Habitually store up as treasure for yourselves treasures in heaven.' How would the Matthean Jesus' auditors have understood this? Consider the following: Tobit 4:8-9, regarding giving of one's possessions, says, 'So you will be laying up good treasure for yourself'; Sirach 29:10-12, regarding helping a poor man (verse 9), says, 'Lay up your treasure according to the commandments of the Most High'; 4 Ezra 6:5 - 'before those who stored up treasures of faith were sealed'; 2 Baruch 24:1 - 'the treasuries in which are brought together the righteousness of all, those who have proven themselves to be righteous'; mishnah Peah 1:1 - 'These are things whose fruits a man enjoys in this world while the capital is laid up for him in the world to come: honoring father and mother, deeds of loving kindness, making peace between a man and his fellow; and the study of the Law is equal to them all"; tosefta Peah 4: 18:0-"My ancestors stored up treasures for this lower world, but I, through giving charity, have stored up treasures for the heavenly world above." (Compare Matthew 19:21; Luke 12:21; Hebrews 11:26) The treasure that is laid up in heaven is one's generosity toward others. This has permanence. Moth, rust, and thieves cannot touch generosity toward others ..."

Talbert, Charles H. Reading the Sermon on the Mount: Character Formation and Decision Making in Matthew 5-7 (pp. 121-122) University of South Carolina Press, 2004

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