On revenge and enemies.

Matthew 5.38-48 = Luke 6.27-36.

Current mode: View.

Notes and quotes.

§ The phrase ποιειτε... ομοιως (do... likewise) in Luke 6.31 is repeated in Luke 3.11; 10.37. (It also appears in John 5.19.)

§ This pericope utilizes an early catechismal catena.

§ Didache 1.2b-6:

Παντα δε οσα εαν θελησης μη γινηεσθαι σοι, και συ αλλω μη ποιει. τουτων δε των λογων η διδαχη εστιν αυτη· Ευλογειτε τους καταρωμενους υμιν και προσευχεσθε υπερ των εχθρων υμων, νηστευετε δε υπερ των διωκοντων υμας. ποια γαρ χαρις εαν αγαπατε τους αγαπωντας υμας; ουχι και τα εθνη το αυτο ποιουσιν; υμεις δε αγαπατε τους μισουντας υμας, και ουχ εξετε εχθρον. απεχου των σαρκικων και σωματικων επιθυμιων. εαν τις σοι δω ραπισμα εις την δεξιαν σιαγονα, στρεψον αυτω και την αλλην, και εση τελειος. εαν αγγαρευση σε τις μιλιον εν, υπαγε μετ αυτου δυο. εαν αρη τις το ιματιον σου, δος αυτω και τον χιτωνα. εαν λαβη τις απο σου το σον, μη απαιτει, ουδε γαρ δυνασαι. παντι τω αιτουντι σε διδου και μη απαιτει. πασι γαρ θελει διδοσθαι ο πατηρ εκ των ιδιων χαρισματων. μακαριος ο διδους κατα την εντολην, αθωος γαρ εστιν. ουαι τω λαμβανοντι, ει μεν γαρ χρειαν εχων λαμβανει τις, αθωος εσται, ο δε μη χρειαν εχων δωσει δικην, ινατι ελαβε και εις τι, εν συνοχη δε γενομενος εξετασθησεται περι ων επραξε, και ουκ εξελευσεται εκειθεν μεχρις ου αποδω τον εσχατον κοδραντην. αλλα και περι τουτου δε ειρηται· Ιδρωσατω η ελεημοσυνη σου εις τας χειρας σου, μεχρις αν γνως τινι δως.

And as many things, if you should wish not to happen to you, also you do not do to another. And of these words the teaching is this: Bless those who curse you and pray on behalf of your enemies, and fast on behalf of those who persecute you. For what kind of grace is it if you love those who love you? Do not even the gentiles do the same? But you, love those who hate you, and you will not have an enemy. Abstain from fleshly and bodily desires. If someone should give you a slap upon the right cheek, turn to him also the other, and you will be perfect. If someone should press you for one mile, go with him two. If someone should take your cloak, give him also your tunic. If someone should take what is yours away from you, do not take it away, for you are unable. To him who asks you give and do not take back. For the father wishes that to all should be given from your own graces. Blessed is he who gives according to the commandment, for he is blameless. Woe to him who receives, for if someone receives who has need, he is blameless, but if he does not have need he shall give justice, why he received and for what, and coming in imprisonment he shall be examined concerning the things that he did, and shall not go out from there until he gives back the last quadrans. But also about this it has been said: Let your mercy-gift* sweat into your hands until you know to whom to give.

* Or alms.

§ Acts 20.35b:

...μνημονευειν τε των λογων του κυριου Ιησου οτι αυτος ειπεν· Μακαριον εστιν μαλλον διδοναι η λαμβανειν.

...and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said: It is blessed rather to give than to receive.

§ Clement in 1 Clement 2.1a:

Παντες τε εταπεινοφρονειτε, μηδεν αλαζονευομενοι, υποτασσομενοι μαλλον η υποτασσοντες, ηδιον διδοντες η λαμβανοντες, τοις εφοδιοις του θεου αρκουμενοι.

And you were all humble-minded, in no way arrogant, submitting rather than demanding submission, more pleased to give than to receive, content with the provisions of God.

2 Clement 13.4:

Οταν γαρ ακουωσιν παρ ημων οτι λεγει ο θεος· Ου χαρις υμιν ει αγαπατε τους αγαπωντας υμας, αλλα χαρις υμιν ει αγαπατε τους εχθρους και τους μισουντας υμας, ταυτα οταν ακουσωσιν, θαυμαζουσιν την υπερβολην της αγαθοτητος. οταν δε ιδωσιν οτι ου μονον τους μισουντας ουκ αγαπωμεν, αλλ οτι ουδε τους αγαπωντας, καταγελωσιν ημων, και βλασφημειται το ονομα.

But when they hear from us that God says: There is no grace for you if you love those that love you, but there is grace for you if you love your enemies and those that hate you, when they hear these things they wonder at the excess of the goodness. But when they see that we not only do not love those that hate us, but that neither do we love those that love us, they ridicule us, and the name is blasphemed.

§ Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 1224, fragment 2 recto, column 2 (page [1]76):

  1. [...ρ]ος
  2. [...κ]αι̣ π̣[ρ]οσευχεσθε υπερ
  3. [των εχθ]ρων υμων. ο γαρ μη ων
  4. [κατα υμ]ων υπερ υμων εστιν.
  5. [ο σημερον ω]ν μακραν αυριον
  6. [εγγυς υμων γ]ενησεται, και εν
  7. [...] του αντιδι[κου]
  8. [...]ινενων[...]
  1. [...]
  2. [...a]nd pray on behalf of
  3. [the ene]mies of yours. For he who is not
  4. [against y]ou is for you.
  5. [He who today i]s far away tomorrow
  6. [close at hand to you will] be, and in
  7. [...] the adver[sary]
  8. [....]

§ Thomas 95:

[ΠΕϪΕ ΙC ϪΕ] ΕϢΩΠΕ ΟΥΝΤΗΤΝ ϨΟΜΤ ΜΠΡϮ ΕΤΜΗCΕ ΑΛΛΑ Ϯ [ΜΜΟϤ Μ]ΠΕ[ΤΕ] ΤΝΑϪΙΤΟΥ ΑΝ ΝΤΟΟΤϤ.

[...] If you have money, do not give it at interest. Rather give to him from whom you will not receive from his hand.

§ Ignatius to Polycarp 2.1a:

Καλους μαθητας εαν φιλης, χαρις σοι ουκ εστιν.

If you love good disciples, it is not grace to you.

§ Polycarp to the Philippians 12.3:

Pro omnibus sanctis orate. orate etiam pro regibus et potestatibus et principibus, atque pro persequentibus et odientibus vos et pro inimicis crucis, ut fructus vester manifestus sit in omnibus, ut sitis in illo perfecti.

Pray for all the saints. Pray also for kings and powers and princes, as well as for those that persecute and hate you and for the enemies of the cross, that your fruit may be manifest among all men, that you may be perfect in him.

§ Justin Martyr, Apology 1.15.9-10, 13:

Περι δε του στεργειν απαντας ταυτα εδιδαξεν· Ει αγαπατε τους αγαπωντας υμας, τι καινον ποιετε; και γαρ οι πορνοι τουτο ποιουσιν. εγω δε υμιν λεγω· Ευχεσθε υπερ των εχθρων υμων και αγαπατε τους μισουντας υμας και ευλογειτε τους καταρωμενους υμιν και ευχεσθε υπερ των επηρεαζοντων υμας. εις δε το κοινωνειν τοις δεομενοις και μηδεν προς δοξαν ποιειν ταυτα εφη· Παντι το αιτουντι διδοτε και τον βουλομενον δανεισασθαι μη αποστραφητε. ει γαρ δανειζετε παρ ων ελπιζετε λαβειν, τι καινον ποιετε; τουτο και οι τελωναι ποιουσιν.

And of our loving everyone he taught these things: If you love those that love you, what new thing are you doing? For even fornicators do this. But I say to you: Pray on behalf of your enemies and love those that hate you and bless those that curse you and pray on behalf of those that spite you. And, that we should communicate to the needy and do nothing for glory, he said: Give to everyone who asks, and do not turn away him that wants to borrow. For, if you lend to them from whom you hope to receive, what new thing are you doing? Even the tax-collectors do this.

Και· Γινεσθε δε χρηστοι και οικτιρμων ως και ο πατηρ υμων χρηστος εστι και οικτιρμων, και τον ηλιον αυτου ανατελλει επι αμαρτωλους και δικαιους και πονηρους.

And: But be kind and compassionate as your father also is kind and compassionate, and causes his sun to rise upon sinners and the just and the evil.

Apology 1.16.1-2a:

Περι δε του ανεξικακους ειναι και υπηρετικους πασι και αοργητους α εφη ταυτα εστι· Τω τυπτοντι σου την σιαγονα παρεχε και την αλλην, και τον αιροντα σου τον χιτωνα η το ιματιον μη κωλυσης. ος δ αν οργισθη ενοχος εστιν εις το πυρ. παντι δε αγγαρευοντι σε μιλιον ακολουθησον δυο.

And, concerning our being patient of evils and serviceable of all and free from anger, these things are what he said: To him that strikes you upon the cheek hold out the other also, and do not withhold from him who takes your cloak or tunic. And whoever shall be angry is guilty unto the fire. And everyone that presses you for a mile follow for two.

Dialogue with Trypho 96.3:

Και προς τουτοις πασιν ευχομεθα υπερ υμων ινα ελεηθητε υπο του Χριστου. ουτος γαρ εδιδαξεν ημας και υπερ των εχθρων ευχεσθαι, ειπων· Γινεσθε χρηστοι και οικτιρμονες, ως και ο πατηρ υμων ο ουρανιος. και γαρ τον παντοκρατορα θεον χρηστον και οικτιρμονα ορωμεν, τον ηλιον αυτου ανατελλοντα επι αχαριστους και δικαιους, και βρεχοντα επι οσιους και πονηρους, ους παντας οτι και κρινειν μελλει εδιδαξε.

And in addition to all this we pray on your behalf that you might be shown mercy by Christ. For he taught us also to pray on behalf of our enemies, saying: Become kind and compassionate, as also your heavenly father is. For we also see that the almighty God is kind and compassionate, causing his sun to rise upon the ungrateful and the just, and raining upon the holy and the evil, all of whom he has taught that he is about to judge.

§ From Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus 3.14:

Το δε ευαγγελιον· Αγαπατε, φησιν, τους εχθρους υμων και προσευχεσθε υπερ των επηρεαζοντων υμας. εαν γαρ αγαπατε τους αγαπωντας υμας, ποιον μισθον εχετε; τουτο και οι λησται και οι τελωναι ποιουσιν. τους δε ποιουντας το αγαθον διδασκει μη καυχασθαι, ινα μη ανθρωπαρεσκοι ωσιν. Μη γνωτω, γαρ φησιν, η χειρ σου η αριστερα τι ποιει η χειρ σου η δεξια. ετι μην και περι του υποτασσεσθαι αρχαις και εξουσιαις, και ευχεσθαι υπερ αυτων, κελευει ημας ο θειος λογος, οπως ηρεμον και ησυχιον βιον διαγωμεν. και διδασκει αποδιδοναι πασιν τα παντα, τω την τιμην την τιμην, τω τον φοβον τον φοβον, τω τον φορον τον φορον, μηδενι μηδεν οφελειν η μονον το αγαπαν παντας.

And the gospel says: Love your enemies, and pray on behalf of those who revile you. For, if you love those who love you, what kind of reward do you have? Even the thieves and tax-collectors do this. And it teaches those who do good not to boast, lest they become pleasers of men. For it says: Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.1 Moreover, also concerning subjection to rulers and authorities, and prayer on their behalf, the divine word gives us orders, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life.2 And it teaches to render all things to all, honor to whom honor, fear to whom fear, tax to whom tax, [and] to owe nothing to anyone except only to love all.3

1 Refer to Matthew 6.3.
2 Refer to 1 Timothy 2.2.
3 Refer to Romans 13.7-8.