Qal wahomer: light to heavy

The first of Hillel's rabbinic rules of exegesis is well-known by its transliterated Hebrew: qal wahomer, "light to heavy." A form of argumentation common to many different traditions, this rule can be known generally as a lesser-to-greater argument. Qal wahomer has some similarities to the subset of the a fortiori argument known as a minore ad maius, but it's not an exact replica. Essentially this rule posits that what applies in a less important case (the "light" or "lesser") will also apply in a more important case (the "heavy" or "greater"). There are numerous examples of this in the New Testament. Jesus uses this form of argument to clarify God's character as a heavenly father to his people. In Matthew 7:11, Jesus states,

If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

The lesser part of the argument comes first: Even an evil father gives good gifts to his children. Through the rule of qal wahomer, Jesus asserts that the greater is thus true: God as heavenly father will give good gifts to his children. Stated a different way, the principle is that fathers give good gifts to their children. If this principle is true in the lesser case of evil fathers, it is certainly true in the greater case of our good heavenly father. Jesus with this argument confirms God's good intentions towards those who are his children and encourages them to trust in his provision and care.