Matthew Poole Commentary - Matthew 5:43 - 5:43

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Matthew Poole Commentary - Matthew 5:43 - 5:43


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Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, was the old law of God, Lev_19:18; the other part, and hate thine enemy, was the Pharisees’ addition, or rather their collection, because the law only commanded them to love their neighbour. un signifies sometimes a friend, sometimes more largely any other person; they took it in the strict sense, yet they could not be so blind as not to extend it to all those of their own nation, for Mat_5:17 there are two words used, one signifying thy brother, the other thy countryman, whom they are commanded in that verse not to hate in their hearts. But it appeareth by Luk_10:29, that they did not very well know their neighbour. The lawyer asked, Who is my neighbour? Christ instructs him by the parable of him that was fallen among thieves, that they ought not to look upon those of their own country only as neighbours, for a Samaritan might deserve the name better than a priest or Levite. But they generally looked upon all the uncircumcised as not their neighbours, but their enemies, whom the precept did not oblige them to love.