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A17. Being Humble & Not Prideful.    [Make a Comment]

We are to walk in humility and eschew pride.

This precept is derived from His Word (blessed be He):

Sections in This Mitzvah

Key Scriptures

Proverbs 8:13
The fear of ADONAI is hatred of evil. I hate pride and arrogance, evil ways and duplicitous speech.

Proverbs 16:18
Pride goes before destruction, and arrogance before failure.

Matthew 23:11-12
The greatest among you must be your servant, for whoever promotes himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be promoted.

Ephesians 4:2
Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, ...

Philippians 2:5-8
Let your attitude toward one another be governed by your being in union with the Messiah Yeshua: Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be possessed by force. On the contrary, he emptied himself, in that he took the form of a slave by becoming like human beings are. And when he appeared as a human being, he humbled himself still more by becoming obedient even to death - death on a stake as a criminal!

Colossians 3:12
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with feelings of compassion and with kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

James 4:10
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Supportive Scriptures - Yeshua's Humility Prophesied

Isaiah 50:6
I offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who plucked out my beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.

Isaiah 53:7
Though mistreated, he was submissive - he did not open his mouth. Like a lamb led to be slaughtered, like a sheep silent before its shearers, he did not open his mouth.

Zechariah 9:9
Rejoice with all your heart, daughter of Tziyon! Shout out loud, daughter of Yerushalayim! Look! Your king is coming to you. He is righteous, and he is victorious. Yet he is humble - he's riding on a donkey, yes, on a lowly donkey's colt.

Psalms 22:7-8(6-7)
But I am a worm, not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me jeer at me; they sneer and shake their heads:

Supportive Scriptures - Yeshua's Humility Exhibited

Matthew 3:13-15
Then Yeshua came from the Galil to the Yarden to be immersed by Yochanan. But Yochanan tried to stop him. "You are coming to me? I ought to be immersed by you!" However, Yeshua answered him, "Let it be this way now, because we should do everything righteousness equires." Then Yochanan let him.

Matthew 11:29
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 20:28
For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve - and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Matthew 21:5
Say to the daughter of Tziyon, &Look! Your King is coming to you, riding humbly on a donkey, and on a colt, the offspring of a beast of burden!&

Luke 22:27
For who is greater? The one reclining at the table? or the one who serves? It's the one reclining at the table, isn't it? But I myself am among you like one who serves.

John 6:38
For I have come down from heaven to do not my own will but the will of the One who sent me.

John 13:4-5
So he [Yeshua] rose from the table, removed his outer garments and wrapped a towel around his waist. Then he poured some water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the talmidim and wipe them off with the towel wrapped around him.

Philippians 2:6-8
Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be possessed by force. On the contrary, he emptied himself, in that he took the form of a slave by becoming like human beings are. And when he appeared as a human being, he humbled himself still more by becoming obedient even to death - death on a stake as a criminal!

Supportive Scriptures - Parables & Teachings on Humility

Luke 14:7-11
When Yeshua noticed how the guests were choosing for themselves the best seats at the table, he told them this parable: "When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, don't sit down in the best seat; because if there is someone more important than you who has been invited, the person who invited both of you might come and say to you, 'Give this man your place.' Then you will be humiliated as you go to take the least important place. Instead, when you are invited, go and sit in the least important place; so that when the one who invited you comes, he will say to you, 'Go on up to a better seat.' Then you will be honored in front of everyone sitting with you. Because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but everyone who humbles himself will be exalted."

Luke 18:9-14
Also, to some who were relying on their own righteousness and looking down on everyone else, he told this parable: "Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Parush and the other a tax-collector. The Parush stood and prayed to himself, 'O God! I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity - greedy, dishonest, immoral, or like this tax-collector! I fast twice a week, I pay tithes on my entire income,...' But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes toward heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God! Have mercy on me, sinner that I am!' I tell you, this man went down to his home right with God rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but everyone who humbles himself will be exalted."

Luke 22:24-27
An argument arose among them as to which of them should be considered the greatest. But Yeshua said to them, "The kings of the Goyim lord it over them; and those in authority over them are given the title, 'Benefactor.' But not so with you! On the contrary, let the greater among you become like the younger, and one who rules like one who serves. For who is greater? The one reclining at the table? or the one who serves? It's the one reclining at the table, isn't it? But I myself am among you like one who serves."

Supportive Scriptures - Humility & the Avoidance of Pride

Isaiah 2:11-12
The proud looks of man will be humiliated; the arrogance of men will be bowed down; and when that day comes, ADONAI alone will be exalted. Yes, ADONAI-Tzva'ot has a day in store for all who are proud and lofty, for all who are lifted high to be humiliated;

Isaiah 13:11
I will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their iniquity. I will end the arrogance of the proud and humble the insolence of tyrants.

Jeremiah 9:22(23)
Here is what ADONAI says: "The wise man should not boast of his wisdom, the powerful should not boast of his power, the wealthy should not boast of his wealth;.

Micah 6:8
Human being, you have already been told what is good, what ADONAI demands of you - no more than to act justly, love grace and walk in purity [NKJ: "humbly"] with your God.

Zephaniah 3:11
When that day comes, you will not be ashamed of everything you have done, committing wrongs against me; for then I will remove from among you those of you who take joy in arrogance; you will no longer be full of pride on my holy mountain.

Psalms 18:28(27)
People afflicted, you save; but haughty eyes, you humble.

Psalms 25:8-9
ADONAI is good, and he is fair; this is why he teaches sinners the way [to live], leads the humble to do what is right and teaches the humble [to live] his way.

Psalms 101:5
If someone slanders another in secret, I will cut him off. Haughty eyes and proud hearts I cannot abide.

Psalms 138:6
For though ADONAI is high, he cares for the lowly; while the proud he perceives from afar.

Psalms 147:6
ADONAI sustains the humble but brings the wicked down to the ground.

Proverbs 3:34
The scornful he scorns, but gives grace to the humble.

Proverbs 11:2
First comes pride, then disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom.

Proverbs 15:33
The discipline of wisdom is fear of ADONAI, so before being honored, a person must be humble.

Proverbs 16:5
ADONAI detests all those with proud hearts; be assured that they will not go unpunished.

Proverbs 16:18-19
Pride goes before destruction, and arrogance before failure. Better to be humble among the poor than share the spoil with the proud.

Proverbs 18:12
Before being ruined, a person's heart is proud; before being honored, a person must be humble.

Proverbs 21:4
Haughty looks, a proud heart - what the wicked plow is sin.

Proverbs 21:24
"Scoffer" is what you call a proud, insolent person who acts with overweening conceit.

Porverbs 22:4
The reward for humility is fear of ADONAI, along with wealth, honor and life.

Proverbs 26:12
Do you see someone who thinks himself wise? There is more hope for a fool than for him!

Proverbs 27:2
Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth, a stranger and not your own lips.

Proverbs 29:23
The proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored.

Ecclesiastes 7:8
The end of something is better than its beginning, so the patient are better than the proud.

2 Chronicles 7:14
... then, if my people, who bear my name, will humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.

Matthew 5:3
How blessed are the poor in spirit! for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

Matthew 18:2-4
He called a child to him, stood him among them, and said, "Yes! I tell you that unless you change and become like little children, you wont even enter the Kingdom of Heaven! So the greatest in the Kingdom is whoever makes himself as humble as this child.'

Matthew 20:25-27
But Yeshua called them and said, "You know that among the Goyim, those who are supposed to rule them become tyrants, and their superiors become dictators. Among you, it must not be like that. On the contrary, whoever among you wants to be a leader must become your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave!

Mark 9:35
He sat down, summoned the Twelve and said to them, "If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all."

Mark 10:43-44
But among you, it must not be like that! On the contrary, whoever among you wants to be a leader must be your servant; and whoever wants to be first among you must become everyone's slave!

Luke 9:48
... and said to them, "Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the One who sent me. In other words, the one who is least among you all - this is the one who is great."

John 13:14-16
Now if I, the Lord and Rabbi, have washed your feet, you also should wash each other's feet. For I have set you an example, so that you may do as I have done to you. Yes, indeed! I tell you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is an emissary greater than the one who sent him.

Romans 11:18
... then don't boast as if you were better than the branches! However, if you do boast, remember that you are not supporting the root, the root is supporting you.

Romans 12:3
For I am telling every single one of you, through the grace that has been given to me, not to have exaggerated ideas about your own importance. Instead, develop a sober estimate of yourself based on the standard which God has given to each of you, namely, trust.

Romans 12:16
Be sensitive to each other's needs - don't think yourselves better than others, but make humble people your friends. Don't be conceited.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs.

2 Corinthians 3:5
It is not that we are competent in ourselves to count anything as having come from us; on the contrary, our competence is from God.

Galatians 5:13
For, brothers, you were called to be free. Only do not let that freedom become an excuse for allowing your old nature to have its way. Instead, serve one another in love.

Galatians 5:26
Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Galatians 6:3
For if anyone thinks he is something when he is really nothing, he is fooling himself.

Philippians 2:3
Do nothing out of rivalry or vanity; but, in humility, regard each other as better than yourselves

James 3:13
Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him demonstrate it by his good way of life, by actions done in the humility that grows out of wisdom.

James 4:6
But the grace he gives is greater, which is why it says, "God opposes the arrogant, but to the humble he gives grace."

James 4:10
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

1 Peter 3:8
Finally, all of you, be one in mind and feeling; love as brothers; and be compassionate and humble-minded, ...

1 Peter 5:5-6
Likewise, you who are less experienced, submit to leaders. Further, all of you should clothe yourselves in humility toward one another, because God opposes the arrogant, but to the humble he gives grace. Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that at the right time he may lift you up.

Supportive Scripture - Paul's Thorn in the Flesh

2 Corinthians 12:7
Therefore, to keep me from becoming overly proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from the Adversary to pound away at me, so that I wouldn't grow conceited.


There are some words in the Scriptures supporting this Mitzvah that are sufficiently similar as to warrant explanation. "Humility" and "humbleness" are the same, and refer to persons who do not elevate themselves in their own eyes. "Pride" is the opposite, in that a prideful person attributes self-value, abilities, qualities, and virtues to himself, whereas, even if they truly exist, they are not something he should be bragging about because they were given to him by God. "Haughtiness" and "arrogance" are similar, except that they refer to one's outward manifestation of pride, whereas pride is largely internal.

The reason that humility is lauded and pride is hated by God, is that pride is essentially a rejection of God, and is the sin that was behind Satan's fall from grace. The sin of pride can manifest in several ways, the most obvious of which results in brash boasting. Motivating such a person is often the delusion that he is a "self-made man", forgetting or denying that God is the one who made him, and made him what he is. The opposite, humility, gives credit to God and also to others that have contributed to who we are, and what we have become.

There is a more subtle way that pride can manifest. We sometimes come across it in a person that has a sour and complaining disposition, even bordering on self-deprecation. When we encounter it, we sometimes conclude that the person has a low opinion of his self-worth, whereas it is exactly the opposite. Instead of being boastful of his self-worth, such a person turns inward and resents that others do not adequately see it. "I deserved to get that job over my competitor" he might say to himself, or "they never give me credit for how valuable I really am." He may withdraw from social interactions by assuming in advance that he will be rejected, and may justify it by saying to himself something like: "I'm worth more than the way they treat me, so I won't give them the benefit and pleasure of what I have to offer them."

Perhaps I should not have to say this, but there is a way that we can experience pride that is not sinful. It is when pleasure is evoked in us by something of quality or by someone doing well, in which we have an interest. An example would be expressing pride in one's son or daughter who is doing well in school, or in one's hometown sports team that is winning most of its games. We need to be careful, however, because even such innocuous excursions into pride can cross the line of holy propriety if we begin thinking that our child's or team's successes are mainly due to us.

Classical Commentators

This Mitzvah is not addressed by any of the Jewish classical commentators.


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