Matthew 5:43

Matthew 5:43

Ye have heard that it hath been said
By, or to them of old time. This law has been delivered to them,

thou shalt love thy neighbour,
with this appendage to it, or false gloss upon it,

and hate thine enemy;
for the first of these only is the law of Moses, ( Leviticus 19:18 ) , the other is the addition, or wrong interpretation of the Scribes and Pharisees: wherefore the Jew F15 has no reason to charge Christ, or the Evangelist, with a false testimony, as he does, because the latter is no where written in the law, nor in the prophets: nor does Christ say it is; he only observes, that it had been traditionally handed down to them from the ancients, by the masters of the traditions of the elders, that the law of loving the neighbour was so to be understood as to allow, and even enjoin, hatred of enemies: in proof of which, take the following instances F16.

``When one man sins against another, he may not hate him in his heart, and be silent, as is said of the wicked; Absalom spoke not with Amnon: but it is commanded to make it known to him, and to say to him, why hast thou done to me so and so? As it is said, "rebuking, thou shalt rebuke thy neighbour"; and if he returns, and desires him to pardon him, he shall not be implacable and cruel; but if he reproves him many times, and he does not receive his reproof, nor turn from his sin, then (wtwanvl rtwm) , "it is lawful to hate him".''

Again, they say F17,

``Every disciple of a wise man, (vxnk rjwnw Mqwn wnyav) , "who does not revenge, and keep as a serpent"; that is, as the gloss explains it, "enmity in his heart", as a serpent, is no disciple of a wise man.''

And so Maimonides F18, one of their better sort of writers, says;

``A disciple of a wise man, or a scholar, whom a man despises and reproaches publicly, it is forbidden him to forgive him, because of his honour; and if he forgives him, he is to be punished, for this is a contempt of the law; but "he must revenge, and keep the thing as a serpent", until the other asks pardon of him, and then he may forgive him.''

Thus they bred their scholars in hatred and malice against their enemies. This arises from a mistaken sense of the word "neighbour", which they understood only of a friend; and concluded, that if a friend was to be loved, an enemy was to be hated; not the Gentiles only, but anyone, among themselves, which could come under that name.


FOOTNOTES:

F15 R. Isaac Chizuk Emunah, par. 2. c. 11. p. 402.
F16 Moses Kotsensis Mitzvot Tora precept. neg. 5. Vid. Maimon. Hilchot Rotseach, c. 13. sect. 14.
F17 T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 22. 2. & 23. 1.
F18 Maimon. Hilch. Talmud Tora, c. 7. sect. 13.
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