Matt 7:1-12

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Home > The New Testament > Matthew > Chapters 5-7 > Verses 7:1-12
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This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →

  • Matt 7:2. The idea that we will be judged with the same standard which we apply to others would mean that God may judge us with a faulty standard if we judge others with a faulty standard. Since clearly God cannot judge with a faulty standard something else must be going on here. Or to state the problem using a specific example...imagine a person who lives a terrible life doing evil and who, when judges evil in others as good. Obviously the fact that they judge evil as good, is itself a bad thing (see Moro 7:14-18). Would God then judge such a person as good by applying the same principle of judgement they used (i.e. evil is good) to judge them? Surely not.
The interpretation that makes more sense of these verses is to read judgment as meaning something more like our word condemnation making the meaning of the verse something like: condemn not others that ye be not condemned.
  • Matt 7:7: Ask, seek, knock. It is possible to draw distinctions between asking, seeking, and knocking, and between being given something, finding, or having it opened to you. But in such parallel constructions, it is often the case that the point is to find the similarities between all three, that no one expression of the idea, nor even all three expressions of the idea are complete and definitive, but rather that they all serve as examples of the same principle. This can be analogized to impressionist painting where a painting makes no sense if you look too hard at the details, but makes perfect sense if you step back and pay more attention to the overall picture rather than the details.
This concept is one of the most frequent in all of the scriptures, although the phrasing is not always exactly the same.
  • Matt 7:9: Bread and stone. A similarity between bread and a stone is that they are both round, the former is a basic necessity of life that provides sustenance whereas the latter does not.
  • Matt 7:10: Fish and serpent. The serpent referred to here is likely a water snake, making the similarity between a fish and a "serpent" that they both are water-dwelling. Like the pairing of bread and stone, the former provides sustenance whereas the latter does not. (Cf. Luke 11:11.)

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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  • Matt 7:1: JST. In the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible, this verse contains the phrase "Judge not unrighteously, that ye be not judged: but judge righteous judgment." What is righteous judgment? (Notice however that there is no change in 3 Ne 14:1.)
  • Matt 7:1. Showing mercy and not judging. In the preceding chapter, Jesus has advocated showing mercy and being reconciled to our brother. How does not judging (unrightouesly) relate to these previous teachings?
  • Matt 7:12. Jesus prefaces the golden rule here with "therefore." What is he connecting this with and why?


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Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.

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