Matthew 7:12

12 "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

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Matthew 7:12 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 7:12

Therefore all things whatsoever
These words are the epilogue, or conclusion of our Lord's discourse; the sum of what he had delivered in the two preceding chapters, and in this hitherto, is contained in these words; for they not only respect the exhortation about judging and reproving; but every duty respecting our neighbour; it is a summary of the whole. It is a golden rule, here delivered, and ought to be observed by all mankind, Jews and Gentiles. So the Karaite Jews F12 say,

``all things that a man would not take to himself, (wyxal) (Mtwvel ywar Nya) , "it is not fit to do them to his brethren".''

And Maimonides F13 has expressed it much in the same words our Lord here does;

``all things whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, (says he,) do you the same to your brethren, in the law, and in the commandments:''

only there seems to be a restriction in the word "brethren"; the Jews, perhaps, meaning no other than Israelites; whereas our Lord's rule reaches to all without exception, "all things whatsoever"

ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them:
let them be who they will, whether brethren, or kinsmen, according to the flesh, or what not; "for this is the law and the prophets": the sum of the law and the prophets; not the whole sum of them, or the sum of the whole law: but of that part of it which respects our neighbours. Remarkable is the advice given by Hillell F14 to one who came to be made a proselyte by him;

``whatsoever is hateful to thee, that do not thou to thy neighbour; (hlwk hrwth lk ayh wz) , "this is all the whole law", and the rest is an explication of it, go and be perfect:''

yea, this rule is not only agreeable to the law of Moses, and the prophets, but even to the law and light of nature. Aristotle being asked, how we ought to carry ourselves to our friends, answered F15, as we would wish they would carry it to us. Alexander Severus, a Heathen emperor, so greatly admired this rule of Christ's, that he ordered it to be written on the walls of his closet.


F12 R. Eliahu Addaret, c. 3. apud Trigland de sect. Karaeorum, c. 10. p. 166. Vid. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 146. 4.
F13 Hilch. Ebel. c. 14. sect. 1.
F14 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 31. 1. Maimon. in Misn. Peah, c. 1. sect. 1.
F15 Diog. Laert. in Vit. Aristotel. l. 5.

Matthew 7:12 In-Context

10 Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake?
11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
12 "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
13 "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it.
14 For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

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