There are two ways, the one of life and the one of death; the difference between the ways is great. Now the way of life is this. First you shall love the God who made you, secondly your neighbor as yourself, and whatever you would not wish done to you, do not do to anyone else.
The instruction of these maxims is this: Bless those who curse you and pray for your enemies, fast on behalf of those who persecute you. For what is the merit of loving those who love you? Do not even the gentiles do the same? But love those who hate you, and you shall have no enemy.
Abstain from fleshly and worldly lusts. If anyone gives you a blow to your right cheek, turn the other to him also, and you will be perfect. If anyone obliges you to go a mile, go with him two; if anyone takes away your cloak, give him your coat also. If anyone takes what is yours from you, do not ask for it back, for you are unable.
Give to everyone who ask from you, and do not ask it back;for the Father wishes to give to all from his own graces. Whoever gives in accordance with the commandment is blessed, for he is free of guilt; but woe to anyone who receives. For anyone in need who receives is free of guilt; but anyone who receives when not in need shall stand trial as to why he received and for what purpose; and when in prison shall be examined concerning the things that he has done, and shall not depart thence until he has paid back the last cent. But on this it was also said; “Let your alms sweat in your hands until you know to whom you are giving”
The second commandment of the instruction: you shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not despoil a child, you shall not fornicate, you shall not steal, you shall not practice sorcery, you shall not make potions, you shall not murder a child through abortion nor kill it once born, you shall not covet what is your neighbor’s, you shall not swear falsely, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not speak evil, you shall not store up wrongs, you shall not be doubleminded or double-tongued. For being double-tongued is a snare of death. Your words shall not be false, nor empty, but shall be matched by action. You shall not be grasping, nor rapacious, nor hypocritical, nor malicious, nor arrogant. You shall not plot evil against your neighbor. You shall not hate any person, but some you shall rebuke, for some you shall pray, and some you shall love more than your own life.
My child, shun every evil person and all who are like them. Do not be quick-tempered, for anger leads to murder, nor jealous nor quarrelsome, nor aggressive. For murder is begotten from these. My child, do not be given over to passion, for lusts leads to fornication, nor a speaker of base words, nor immodestly curious. For from all these adulteries are begotten….
Be generous, since the generous shall inherit the earth (Ps 36.11). Be patient, merciful, guileless and peaceable, good and fearing always the words which you heard. You shall not make yourself haughty, nor give your life over to presumption. Do not spend your life with the exalted but associate with the righteous and lowly. Whatever befall you, accept these experiences as good, knowing that nothing occurs without God.
He says to me, “You know that you who are the servants of God dwell in a strange land; for your city is far away from this one. If, then,” he continues, “you know your city in which you are to dwell, why do ye here provide lands, and make expensive preparations, and accumulate dwellings and useless buildings? He who makes such preparations for this city cannot return again to his own. Oh foolish, and unstable, and miserable man! Dost thou not understand that all these things belong to another, and are under the power of another? For the Lord of this city will say, ‘I do not wish thee to dwell in my city; but depart from this city, because thou obeyest not my laws.’ Thou, therefore, although having fields and houses, and many other things, when cast out by him, what wilt thou do with thy land, and house, and other possessions which thou hast gathered to thyself? For the Lord of this country justly says to thee, ‘Either obey my laws or depart from my dominion.’