For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)With what judgment ye judge. . . .—Here again truth takes the form of a seeming paradox. The unjust judgment of man does not bring upon us a divine judgment which is also unjust; but the severity which we have unjustly meted out to others, becomes, by a retributive law, the measure of that which is justly dealt out to us.2 Samuel 22:27; Mark 4:24; James 2:13.
it shall be measured to you again—This proverbial maxim is used by our Lord in other connections—as in Mr 4:24, and with a slightly different application in Lu 6:38—as a great principle in the divine administration. Unkind judgment of others will be judicially returned upon ourselves, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ. But, as in many other cases under the divine administration, such harsh judgment gets self-punished even here. For people shrink from contact with those who systematically deal out harsh judgment upon others—naturally concluding that they themselves may be the next victims—and feel impelled in self-defense, when exposed to it, to roll back upon the assailant his own censures.1 Corinthians 11:31: Nor is that judgment of our neighbour’s opinions or actions here forbidden which terminates in ourselves, in our satisfaction as to the truth or falsehood of the former, or the goodness or badness of the latter; we ought so to prove all things in order to our holding fast that which is good. Nor is all judgment of our neighbour’s actions with reference to him forbidden: how can we reprove him for his errors, or restore him that is fallen, without a previous judgment of his actions? But that which is here forbidden, is either,
1. A rash judgment of his state, or a judging him for doing his duty: such was Simon’s judging the woman, or the disciples’ judgment of that woman, Matthew 26:8,9. Or:
2. A judging of others for things which they judge to be indifferent, forbidden Romans 14:1-3. Or:
3. A judging them for secret things, such as inward habits of grace, when no apparent fruits to the contrary are seen. Or,
4. Condemning others for single acts, of a public censuring and condemning others for private failings. Or:
5. Finally, Any open and public censuring the actions of others, when and where it cannot conduce either to God’s glory or our brother’s good.
That ye be not judged: this is expounded in the next verse, telling us either the ordinary temper of men, or the just judgment of God, repaying such uncharitable actions per legem talionis, with suffering others to do the like to us, Luke 6:37.
"He that judgeth his neighbour according to the balance of righteousness, or innocence, they judge him according to righteousness.''
(w) And a little after,
"As ye have judged me according to the balance of righteousness, God will judge you according to the balance of righteousness.''
Hence that advice of Joshua ben Perachiah (x), who, by the Jewish writers, is said to be the master of Christ;
"Judge every man according to the balance of righteousness.''
Which their commentators explain thus (y); when you see a man as it were in "equilibrio", inclining to neither part, it is not clear from what he does, that he is either good or evil, righteous or unrighteous; yet when you see him do a thing which may be interpreted either to a good or a bad sense, it ought always to be interpreted to the best.
And with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again. This was an usual proverb among the Jews; it is sometimes delivered out thus, , "measure against measure" (z); but oftener thus, and nearer the form of it here, , "with what measure a man measures, they measure to him": one might fill up almost a page, in referring to places, where it is used in this form: besides those in the (a) margin, take the following, and the rather, because it gives instances of this retaliation (b):
""With what measure a man measures, they measure to him"; so the woman suspected of adultery, she adorned herself to commit sin, and God dishonoured her; she exposed herself to iniquity, God therefore stripped her naked; the same part of her body in which her sin begun, her punishment did. Samson walked after his eyes, and therefore the Philistines plucked out his eyes. Absalom was lifted up in his mind, with his hair, and therefore he was hanged by it; and because he lay with his father's ten concubines, they therefore pierced him with ten lances; and because he stole away three hearts, the heart of his father, the heart of the sanhedrim, and the heart of Israel, therefore he was thrust with three darts: and so it is with respect to good things; Miriam waited for Moses one hour, therefore the Israelites waited for her seven days in the wilderness; Joseph, who was greater than his brethren, buried his father; and Moses, who was the greatest among the Israelites took care of the bones of Joseph, and God himself buried Moses.''
(w) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 127. 2.((x) Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 6. (y) Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. (z) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 9. fol. 7. 4. (a) T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 12. 2. Sota, fol. 8. 2. Sanhedrim, fol. 100. 1. Zohar in Gen. fol. 87. 4. & in Lev. fol. 36. 1. & 39. 3. & in Num. fol. 67. 3. Bemidbar Rabba, fol. 194. 1. Misn. Beracot, c. 9. sect. 5. (b) Misn. Sota, c. 1. sect. 7, 8, 9. Vid. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 99. 1, 2.For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 7:2. Ἐν] Instrumental repetition of the same thought: Sota, ed. Wagenseil, p. 52. Comp. Schoettgen, p. 78. The second ἐν is also instrumental, by means of, and μέτρον is to be understood as a measure of capacity (Luke 6:38).Matthew 7:2. ἐν ᾧ γὰρ, etc.: Vulgatissimum hoc apud Judaeos adagium, says Lightfoot (Hor. Heb.). Of course; one would expect such maxims, based on experience, to be current among all peoples (vide Grotius for examples). It is the lex talionis in a new form: character for character. Jesus may have learned some of these moral adages at school in Nazareth, as we have all when boys learned many good things out of our lesson books with their collections of extracts. The point to notice is what the mind of Jesus assimilated—the best in the wisdom of His people—and the emphasis with which He inculcated the best, so as to ensure for it permanent lodgment in the minds of His disciples and in their records of His teaching.2. judgment] The same Greek word is used Romans 2:2-3 of the divine sentence or decision: see that passage and context which are closely parallel to these verses: cp. also Mark 12:40, where the same word is translated “damnation.”Matthew 7:2. Ἐν ᾧ μέτρῳ, with what measure) The principle of the lex talionis.
 So it is not hard to judge, what retribution hereafter each one is likely to have.—V. g.Verse 2. - Parallels to the second clause in Luke 6:38 and Mark 4:24, For. Explanatory of" that ye be not judged." The principle of your own judgment will be applied in turn to yourselves. With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. The judgment (κρίμα) is the verdict; the measure is the severity or otherwise of the verdict. In both clauses (cf. ver. 1, note) the passives refer to judgment by God, as is even more clear in Mark 4:24. The saying, "with what measure," etc., is found in Mishua, 'Sotah,' 1:7 ("With the measure with which a man measures do they measure to him"), where it is applied to the jus talionis in the case of a woman suspected of adultery (Numbers 5:11-31). Again. Omitted by the Revised Version, with the manuscripts. It was naturally inserted by the copyists, either as an unconscious deduction or from the parallel passage in Luke; but it is absent in the characteristically Jewish form of the saying found in the Mishna.
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