Matthew 5:44
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

New Living Translation
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

English Standard Version
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Berean Study Bible
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Berean Literal Bible
But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those persecuting you,

New American Standard Bible
"But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

King James Bible
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

International Standard Version
But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,

NET Bible
But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you,

New Heart English Bible
But I tell you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But I say to you, love your enemies and bless the one who curses you, and do what is beautiful to the one who hates you, and pray over those who take you by force and persecute you.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But I tell you this: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.

New American Standard 1977
“But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you

Jubilee Bible 2000
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for those who speak evil about you, and persecute you;

King James 2000 Bible
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you;

American King James Version
But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you;

American Standard Version
but I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you;

Douay-Rheims Bible
But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you:

Darby Bible Translation
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, [bless those who curse you,] do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who [insult you and] persecute you,

English Revised Version
but I say unto you, Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you;

Webster's Bible Translation
But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Weymouth New Testament
But I command you all, love your enemies, and pray for your persecutors;

World English Bible
But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,

Young's Literal Translation
but I -- I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those cursing you, do good to those hating you, and pray for those accusing you falsely, and persecuting you,
Study Bible
Love Your Enemies
43You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.…
Cross References
1 Samuel 24:17
He said to David, "You are more righteous than I; for you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt wickedly with you.

Proverbs 19:11
A man's discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.

Proverbs 25:21
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;

Luke 6:27
But to those of you who will listen, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

Luke 6:28
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Luke 23:34
Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up His garments by casting lots.

John 13:34
A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another.

Acts 7:60
Falling on his knees, he cried out in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Romans 12:14
Bless those who persecute you. Bless and do not curse.

Romans 12:20
On the contrary, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. For in so doing, you will heap burning coals on his head."
Treasury of Scripture

But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you;

Exodus 23:4,5 If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall …

2 Kings 6:22 And he answered, You shall not smite them: would you smite those …

2 Chronicles 28:9-15 But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded: and he …

Psalm 7:4 If I have rewarded evil to him that was at peace with me; (yes, I …

Psalm 35:13,14 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I …

Proverbs 25:21,22 If your enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, …

Luke 6:27,28,34,35 But I say to you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which …

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they …

Acts 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this …

Romans 12:14,20,21 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not…

1 Corinthians 4:12,13 And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being …

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity braggs …

1 Peter 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he …

1 Peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise …

(44) Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you.--The latter words are omitted in so many of the most ancient MSS. that most recent editors hold that they were inserted in the fourth or fifth century, so as to bring the verse into verbal agreement with Luke 6:28. Taking it as it stands here, we note (1) the extension of the command to love our neighbour (Leviticus 19:18), so that it includes even those whom natural impulse prompts us to hate; (2) the stress laid on prayer as the highest utterance of that love. In such cases, circumstances may preclude acts which would be rejected, and words that would be met with scorn, but the prayer that they too may be delivered from the evil which has been their curse is always in our power, and in so praying we are drawing near to the mind of God, and asking that our wills may be as His.

Verse 44. - Parallel passage: Luke 6:27, 28. But I say unto you, Love your enemies. Of all kinds, whether personal or opponents of you as Christians. Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you. Rightly omitted by the Revised Version as interpolated from Luke, (For the thought, cf. 1 Corinthians 4:12; Romans 12:14.) And pray. In fullest contrast to the continual ill-wishing of the enemy. "They who can pray for their enemies can accomplish the rest" (Weiss, 'Life,' 2:154). Thus to pray is to come very near to the spirit of Christ (cf. Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60). As a modern example: "Some persons had never had a particular place in my prayers, but for the injuries they have done to me" (Burkitt, ' Diary,' in Ford, on ver. 5). For them that despitefully use you, and persecute you. The words, "that despitefully use you and," are to be omitted, with the Revised Version, as in effect interpolated from Luke. But I say unto you, love your enemies,.... That is, as the Apostle Paul may be thought to interpret the words of Christ, Romans 12:20. "If thine enemy hunger, feed him: if he thirst, give him drink": unless our Lord should be supposed rather to regard the internal affection of the mind; since outward expressions of love, by words and works, are urged in the following exhortations: the actions of a man may be hated, and just indignation be expressed against them, and yet his person be loved, tenderness be used to him, and pity shown him: all men, even enemies, are to be loved with a natural love, as men; though they cannot be loved with a spiritual affection, as brethren in Christ: and in natural affection there are degrees, according to the relation and circumstances that persons stand in to one another.

Bless them that curse you: when wicked men curse you, as Shimei cursed David, do not "render evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing"; give good words, use kind language, mild and soft expressions; such as may either win upon them, or put them to shame and silence: "bless, and curse not"; the latter belongs to them, the former to you; "let them curse, but bless thou": curses better fit their mouths, and blessings thine. Blessing here, does not signify praising them, for that would be sinful, which is sometimes the sense of the word; nor wishing, or praying for a blessing on them, which is right and good; but this is mentioned afterwards, as distinct from blessing; wherefore, it is better to understand it of a sweet and engaging address unto, and behaviour and conduct towards such, whose mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.

Do good to them that hate you; such as hate you in their hearts, and discover their hatred by their actions; do not make returns in the same way, but on the contrary, do them all the good you can; perform all the kind offices that lie in your power; let them partake of your bounty and liberality; if poor, feed, clothe, and supply them, as you are able, with the necessaries of life; and give them wholesome advice for the good of their souls: by "so doing", you will "heap coals of fire on their heads"; of enemies, make them friends; engage their affections to you, and you may be happy instruments in doing them good, both in soul and body:

and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you. What Christ here commands and advises to, he himself did; for as he hung upon the cross, he prayed for his crucifiers, who were then using him in the most despiteful, as well as cruel manner; saying, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do": and in this he has left us an example, that we should tread in his steps; and here in he was quickly followed by his holy martyr Stephen; who, whilst he was being stoned, prayed for his persecutors and murderers, saying, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge". This breathes out the true spirit of Christianity, and is peculiar to it. The whole of this is directly opposite to the tenets of the Jews, particularly the Scribes and Pharisees; who allowed of revenge, and keeping anger against any person that had done them an injury, as has been observed: and which were also the sentiments of the Karaites, or Scripturarians, another sect among them who kept to the letter of the Scriptures, and rejected the traditions of the elders, which the Pharisees held: but in this they agreed with them,

"that it was right to do good to their friends, and to forgive them that asked pardon of them; but to such men who rendered evil, and did not return to do well, that they might receive forgiveness, , "it is not forbidden to revenge, and to keep anger against them" (s).''

It is indeed said (t) of their former holy men, "Hasideans", which some have thought to be the same with the "Essenes", and a sort of Christians; however, were a better sort of Jews; that these

"heard their reproach, but did not return it; and not only so, but they pardoned him that reproached them, and forgave him.''

And it is reported of these men, that they used to pray to God to pardon and forgive all that disturbed them. But the Pharisees, whom Christ had to do with, and against whom he inveighs, were men of another complexion.

(s) R. Eliahu in Adderet, c. 3. apud Trigland. de Sect. Karaeorum, c. 10. p. 166, 167. (t) Maimon. Hilch. Talmud Tora. c. 7. sect. 13. 44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies—The word here used denotes moral love, as distinguished from the other word, which expresses personal affection. Usually, the former denotes "complacency in the character" of the person loved; but here it denotes the benignant, compassionate outgoings of desire for another's good.

bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you—The best commentary on these matchless counsels is the bright example of Him who gave them. (See 1Pe 2:21-24; and compare Ro 12:20, 21; 1Co 4:12; 1Pe 3:9). But though such precepts were never before expressed—perhaps not even conceived—with such breadth, precision, and sharpness as here, our Lord is here only the incomparable Interpreter of the law in force from the beginning; and this is the only satisfactory view of the entire strain of this discourse.5:43-48 The Jewish teachers by neighbour understood only those who were of their own country, nation, and religion, whom they were pleased to look upon as their friends. The Lord Jesus teaches that we must do all the real kindness we can to all, especially to their souls. We must pray for them. While many will render good for good, we must render good for evil; and this will speak a nobler principle than most men act by. Others salute their brethren, and embrace those of their own party, and way, and opinion, but we must not so confine our respect. It is the duty of Christians to desire, and aim at, and press towards perfection in grace and holiness. And therein we must study to conform ourselves to the example of our heavenly Father, 1Pe 1:15,16. Surely more is to be expected from the followers of Christ than from others; surely more will be found in them than in others. Let us beg of God to enable us to prove ourselves his children.
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