Matthew 5:44
Parallel Verses
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;

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,

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,

Matthew 5:44 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Love your enemies - There are two kinds of love, involving the same general feeling, or springing from the same fountain of good-will to all mankind, but differing so far as to admit of separation in idea. The one is that feeling by which we approve of the conduct of another, commonly called the love of complacency; the other, that by which we wish well to the person of another, though we cannot approve his conduct. This is the love of benevolence, and this love we are to bear toward our enemies. It is impossible to love the conduct of a person who curses and reviles us, who injures our person or property, or who violates all the laws of God; but, though we may hate his conduct, and suffer keenly when we are affected by it, yet we may still wish well to the person; we may pity his madness and folly; we may speak kindly of him and to him; we may return good for evil; we may aid him in the time of trial; we may seek to do him good here and to promote his eternal welfare hereafter, Romans 12:17-20. This seems to be what is meant by loving our enemies; and this is a special law of Christianity, and the highest possible test of piety, and probably the most difficult of all duties to be performed.

Bless them that curse you - The word "bless" here means to "speak well of" or "speak well to:" - not to curse again or to slander, but to speak of those things which we can commend in an enemy; or, if there is nothing that we can commend, to say nothing about him. The word "bless," spoken of God, means to regard with favor or to confer benefits, as when God is said to bless his people. When we speak of our "blessing God," it means to praise Him or give thanks to Him. When we speak of blessing people, it "unites" the two meanings, and signifies to confer favor, to thank, or to speak well of.

Despitefully use you - The word thus translated means, first, to injure by prosecution in law; then, wantonly and unjustly to accuse, and to injure in any way. This seems to be its meaning here.

Persecute - See the notes at Matthew 5:10.

Matthew 5:44 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Eighth Beatitude
'Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'--MATT. v. 10. We have seen the description of the true subjects of the kingdom growing into form and completeness before our eyes in the preceding verses, which tell us what they are in their own consciousness, what they are in their longings, what they become in inward nature by God's gift of purity, how they move among men as angels of God, meek, merciful, peace-bringing. Is anything more needed
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Second Beatitude
'Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.'--MATT. v. 4. An ordinary superficial view of these so-called Beatitudes is that they are simply a collection of unrelated sayings. But they are a great deal more than that. There is a vital connection and progress in them. The jewels are not flung down in a heap; they are wreathed into a chain, which whosoever wears shall have 'an ornament of grace about his neck.' They are an outgrowth from a common root; stages in the evolution of Christian
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Law of Love
'Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44. 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; 45. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Redemption
"Ye shall therefore be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect."--MATT. V. 48. "Wretched man that I am! who shall deliver from the body of this death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord."--ROM. VII. 24, 25. We have studied the meaning of reconciliation through the Cross. We have said that to be reconciled to God means to cease to be the object of the Wrath of God, that is, His hostility to sin. We can only cease to be the objects of this Divine Wrath by identifying ourselves
J. H. Beibitz—Gloria Crucis

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 I say to you who hear, 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
But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

John 13:34
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

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