In Genesis 21:22-24, Abimelek offers a treaty to Abraham based on honesty and kindness. "Treat us with the same kindness we treated you." In Matthew 7:12, Jesus says "Do to others as you want done to yourself." These verses are almost identical, but they are not linked in any bible. Why?

  • "Hermeneutics" is "the branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts." Your question, while very interesting does not relate to hermeneutics. (-1)
    – user10231
    Nov 21 '16 at 15:09

In the vast majority of cases when Old Testament Scriptures are recalled in the New Testament, it is the Greek (Septuagint) version and not the Hebrew that is recalled. The Septuagint version reads (in Brenton's translation):

Now therefore swear to me by God that thou wilt not injure me, nor my seed, nor my name, but according to the righteousness which I have performed with thee thou shalt deal with me, and with the land in which thou hast sojourned.

Greek - κατὰ τὴν δικαιοσύνην, ἣν ἐποίησα μετὰ σοῦ, ποιήσεις μετʼ ἐμοῦ

whereas the reader of the Greek version of Matthew reads:

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Πάντα οὖν ὅσα ἂν θέλητε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι, οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς·

Given the difference in Greek phrasing, a reader would not have immediately recognized any parallel with Genesis 21:22-24. Furthermore, Abimelech's request of Abraham is a request that Abraham do no harm to him in the future, more or less out of fear - a much different sense than the precept Jesus taught.

All that having been said, I think your point is interesting. One might see in Abimelech's request out of fear that he be treated fairly a foreshadowing of Jesus' more perfect teaching of treating others fairly out of love.

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