Matthew 5:43
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

Two things that I would like to know :

A. Jack punches Jay.
Then in the point of view of Jay, Jack is his enemy
Instead of Jay hates Jack then punches back to Jack, Jay pray for Jack or will help Jack if Jay see Jack is in trouble.

B. Jack a gentile is an enemy of Jay a Jew
(There is no punch event from Jack to Jay)
So, instead of Jay hates Jack, Jay pray for Jack or will help Jack if Jay see Jack is in trouble.

The A example is coming from "an Eye for an Eye" in Matthew 5:38-42
The B example is coming from "The Good Samaritan" in Luke 10:25-37

I realize that it doesn't matter whether it's like the A example or B example, Christians are asked to do the same things. But the condition which I would like to know is about when someone is an enemy.

In A example, it's after Jack punches Jay then Jack is Jay's enemy in Jay's point of view.

In B example, without the need Jack punches Jay, in Jay's point of view, Jack is already his enemy.

Because from those two examples, my own conclusion can be :
A. Love someone who is actually you should hate (an enemy). If you love him/her then he/she can not be called your enemy or if you don't hate him/her then he/she can not be called your enemy.

B. Do a good things to someone whom you hate (an enemy). But although you do that, he/she is still your enemy or he/she is still a someone whom you hate.

So, the question in number one is :
What did Jesus mean in "love your enemy" ?

I frequently hear/read something like this :
The Old Testament teach to love your your neighbor and hate your enemy, but the New Testament teach to love your your neighbor and love your enemy. That's the difference between OT and NT.

(I understand that it came from Matthew 5:43-44).

Since the "eye for an eye" as mentioned in Matthew 5:38 and "shall not commit adultery" as mentioned in Matthew 5:27 and "shall not murder" in Matthew 5:21, I can find the verse in OT, so my question number two is:
In what verse of OT that say to hate your enemy ?


I'm going to give you an answer without enough citations because I don't have the time to find them. I apologize for that.

Love your neighbor and hate your enemy

That isn't found anywhere in the Old Testament. It comes from the oral law, "the hedge" created over time to both guarantee Israelites wouldn't transgress the law and determine what limits the law had in an imperfect world. What Jesus is doing is challenging (Matt 5:44-45) the beliefs of the time that allowed people to excuse themselves from loving everyone.

That challenge, especially verse 44, is important (and here's where I don't have the time to hunt down the citations). He gives three commands:

  • Love your enemies
  • Bless those that curse you
  • Pray for them that despitefully use/persecute you

Those three types of people: your enemies (people that hate you), those that curse you, and those that use or persecute you... just happen to be the oral law's three justifications for not loving people. Jesus is literally telling people that to be true followers of God you must love those you've been taught all your life you don't need to love. There are no excuses. There can be no excuses.

He then makes the point (Matt 5:46-47) that it's easy to love people who love you. And He's right.

But the fun is that last verse — 48. Most people read that verse ("Be ye therefore perfect...") in isolation and ask themselves how anyone can be as perfect as a God. But in context with the story, what is being commanded is very possible: love people as perfectly as God loves people. God, indeed, loves everyone. He may not be happy with what we do from time to time and we may not love Him at all, but He loves us nonetheless.

Finally, let me point out that the World tends to teach a very two-dimensional view of "love." Indeed, 99.9% of the time, from the World's perspective, love=sex. What Jesus is asking you to do is not feel an emotion, but to make a choice. Love is the choice to seek the best welfare of others before your own. This is epitomized in John 3:16... "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son..." and John 15:13... "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

  • You wrote : _ It comes from the oral law, "the hedge" created over time_. I'm sorry I don't understand because if I'm consistent, then the "it's said" from Jesus in Matthew 5: 27,31,33,38,43 are comes from the oral law, "the hedge" created over time (???). – karma Sep 27 '18 at 11:24
  • You wrote : _ your enemies (people that hate you)_. This one is in my first question which I don't quite understand what Jesus mean. Is it "don't hate the one you actually should hate but love him/her instead" ? or Is it "show compassion to the one you hate" ? – karma Sep 27 '18 at 11:40
  • To me, my enemy is more about the one I hate (it doesn't matter he/she hates me also or not). So, on the other side, one can say to someone else, pointing at me "he is my enemy" (because he/she hates me) but it doesn't automatically means that I also hate him or consider him/her as my enemy (although I know that he/she hates me and thought me as his/her enemy). – karma Sep 27 '18 at 11:42
  • (a) "It's said" identifies a Judaic teaching regardless of its source: Torah, Tanach, Midrash, or anywhere else. Your rule isn't wrong, but your view of sources isn't broad enough. I recommend a study of Judaism as it is the foundation of Christianity. (b) It's your first idea. You've been commanded not to hate, therefore "show compassion to the one you hate" is in error. Your hate is your problem and you've been commanded to fix the problem. (c) Jesus' basic perspective is, "you don't have an excuse to hate anyone." Your perspective must change to comply with His perspective. – JBH Sep 27 '18 at 15:23
  • (c) Jesus' basic perspective is, "you don't have an excuse to hate anyone. I'm sorry, I think the problem is within me - because to me it might become like this : "you don't have an excuse to hate anyone - even if he/she is your enemy". LOL :). – karma Oct 11 '18 at 8:00

Jesus’ counsel to love one’s enemies is in full harmony with the spirit of the Hebrew Scriptures (Matt. 5:44). Faithful servant Job recognized that any feeling of malicious joy over the calamity of one intensely hating him would have been wrong (Job 31:29).

The Mosaic Law enjoined upon the Israelite people the responsibility to come to the aid of other Israelites whom they might view as their enemies (Exo. 23:4, 5). Instead of rejoicing over the disaster of an enemy, God’s servants are instructed that if the one hating you is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink(Prov. 24:17, 18; 25:21).

The idea that enemies were to be hated was one of the things added to God’s law by the Jewish teachers of tradition. Since the Law directed that the Israelites love their neighbors (Le 19:18), these teachers inferred that this implied hating their enemies. “Friend” and “neighbor” came to be viewed as applying exclusively to Jews, whereas all others were considered to be natural enemies.

In their traditional understanding of “neighbor” and in view of tradition that fostered enmity toward others, like the Gentiles, it can readily be seen why they added the unauthorized words “and hate your enemy” to the statement in God’s law as we read Matt. 5:43.

Other than that, I am very tired and do not have access to my full note and information to better focus this, so that is what I can say for now.

  • The reason I ask, because (for example) : "It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.' I thought it's the same thing in Deuteronomy 24:1. And about the oath in verse 33, I thought it's the same thing in Numbers 30:2. So, I thought when Jesus say "it's said" - it's the same thing with "it's written". That's why I'm looking where is the verse from OT which can be concluded "hate your enemy". – karma Sep 27 '18 at 11:16
  • It isn't the same thing, but I can see what you are trying to say. Anything that is indeed written can be traced back to the Hebrew Text, the only thing tracing back to the Hebrew text regarding Matthew 5:43 is the part to where it says [Thou shalt love thy neighbor], which means [You must love your neighbor]. For this part of the text is traced back to Leviticus 19:18, which reads: [Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people; but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am Jehovah.] So far, nothing in the Old Law can points to hating your enemy. – Mystery Man with a Dark Hood Oct 4 '18 at 23:54
  • "So far, nothing in the Old Law can points to hating your enemy". OK, thank you Mystery Man. – karma Oct 11 '18 at 8:05

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