Matthew 5:44
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But I tell 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
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Love your enemies - This is the most sublime piece of morality ever given to man. Has it appeared unreasonable and absurd to some? It has. And why? Because it is natural to man to avenge himself, and plague those who plague him; and he will ever find abundant excuse for his conduct, in the repeated evils he receives from others; for men are naturally hostile to each other. Jesus Christ design's to make men happy. Now he is necessarily miserable who hates another. Our Lord prohibits that only which, from its nature, is opposed to man's happiness. This is therefore one of the most reasonable precepts in the universe. But who can obey it? None but he who has the mind of Christ. But I have it not. Seek it from God; it is that kingdom of heaven which Christ came to establish upon earth. See on Matthew 3:2 (note). This one precept is a sufficient proof of the holiness of the Gospel, and of the truth of the Christian religion. Every false religion flatters man, and accommodates itself to his pride and his passions. None but God could have imposed a yoke so contrary to self-love; and nothing but the supreme eternal love can enable men to practice a precept so insupportable to corrupt nature. Sentiments like this are found among Asiatic writers, and in select cases were strongly applied; but as a general command this was never given by them, or any other people. It is not an absolute command in any of the books which they consider to be Divinely inspired. Sir William Jones lays by far too much stress on the casual introduction of such sentiments as this in the Asiatic writers. See his Works, vol. i. p. 168, where the sentiment is connected with circumstances both extravagant and unnatural; and thus it is nullified by the pretended recommendation.

Bless them that curse you - Ευλογειτε, give them good words for their bad words. See the note on Genesis 2:3.

Do good to them that hate you - Give your enemy every proof that you love him. We must not love in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Pray for them which despitefully use you - Επηρεαζοντων from επι against, and Αρης Mars, the heathen god of war. Those who are making continual war upon you, and constantly harassing and calumniating you. Pray for them - This is another exquisitely reasonable precept. I cannot change that wicked man's heart; and while it is unchanged he will continue to harass me: God alone can change it: then I must implore him to do that which will at once secure the poor man's salvation, and contribute so much to my own peace.

And persecute you - Διωκοντων, those who press hard on and pursue you with hatred and malice accompanied with repeated acts of enmity.

In this verse our Lord shows us that a man may be our enemy in three different ways.

First, in his heart, by hatred.

Secondly, in his words by cursing or using direful imprecations (καταρωμενους) against us.

Thirdly, in his actions, by continually harassing and abusing us.

He shows us also how we are to behave to those.

The hatred of the first we are to meet with love.

The cursings or evil words of the second, we are to meet with good words and blessings.

And the repeated injurious acts of the third, we are to meet with continual prayer to God for the man's salvation.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Exodus 23:4,5 If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again...

2 Kings 6:22 And he answered, You shall not smite them: would you smite those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow?...

2 Chronicles 28:9-15 But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out before the host that came to Samaria, and said to them...

Psalm 7:4 If I have rewarded evil to him that was at peace with me; (yes, I have delivered him that without cause is my enemy:)

Psalm 35:13,14 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting...

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

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

Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Acts 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

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 persecuted, we suffer it...

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity braggs not itself, is not puffed up...

1 Peter 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judges righteously:

1 Peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that you are thereunto called...

Library
Agree with Thine Adversary
Eversley, 1861. Windsor Castle, 1867. St. Matthew v. 25, 26. "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." This parable our Lord seems to have spoken at least twice, as He did several others. For we find it also in the 12th
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

Salt Without Savour
'Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.'--MATT. v. 13. These words must have seemed ridiculously presumptuous when they were first spoken, and they have too often seemed mere mockery and irony in the ages since. A Galilean peasant, with a few of his rude countrymen who had gathered round him, stands up there on the mountain, and says to them, 'You,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Lamp and the Bushel
'Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.'--Matt. v. 14-16. The conception of the office of Christ's disciples contained in these words is a still bolder one than that expressed by the preceding metaphor, which
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The New Form of the Old Law
'Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20. For I say
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Cross References
1 Samuel 24:17
"You are more righteous than I," he said. "You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly.

Proverbs 19:11
A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense.

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

Luke 6:27
"But to you who are listening 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
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

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

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