"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.