Matthew 5:39

Resist not him that is evil (me antisthnai twi ponhrwi). Here again it is the infinitive (second aorist active) in indirect command. But is it "the evil man" or the "evil deed"? The dative case is the same form for masculine and neuter. Weymouth puts it "not to resist a (the) wicked man," Moffatt "not to resist an injury," Goodspeed "not to resist injury." The examples will go with either view. Jesus protested when smitten on the cheek ( John 18:22 ). And Jesus denounced the Pharisees ( Matthew 23 ) and fought the devil always. The language of Jesus is bold and picturesque and is not to be pressed too literally. Paradoxes startle and make us think. We are expected to fill in the other side of the picture. One thing certainly is meant by Jesus and that is that personal revenge is taken out of our hands, and that applies to "lynch-law." Aggressive or offensive war by nations is also condemned, but not necessarily defensive war or defence against robbery and murder. Professional pacifism may be mere cowardice.