Matthew 5:45

New Testament

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? 47 And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don’t they? 48 So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Taanit 7a

Babylonian Talmud

§ The Gemara cites statements in praise of rainfall. Rabbi Abbahu said: The day of rain is greater than the resurrection of the dead. The reason is that while the resurrection of the dead benefits only the righteous, rain benefits both the righteous and the wicked. The Gemara comments: And this statement disagrees with the opinion of Rav Yosef, as Rav Yosef said: Since rainfall is equivalent to the resurrection of the dead, the Sages established its recitation in the second blessing of the Amida, the blessing of the resurrection of the dead. According to Rav Yosef, rainfall is the equivalent to, but not superior to, the resurrection of the dead.

 Notes and References

"... In verse 43 Jesus says to love your neighbor and your enemy; there are no limits to love. There is no biblical commandment to hate our enemies. “Pray for the wicked that they should repent,” said the rabbis, “and there will be no more wicked.” Some Qumranites were instructed to hate “the sons of darkness,” and some apocalyptic passages (including those in the Gospels) have winners gloating over losers. Jesus’ saying in verse 45 that God “sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous” also reflects Jewish teaching. The Talmud records this saying as “Greater is the day of rainfall than the day of resurrection, for the latter benefits only the pious, whereas the former benefits pious and sinners alike” (b. Ta’anith 7a) ..."

Allen, Ronald J. Preaching the Gospels without Blaming the Jews: A Lectionary Commentary (p. 22) Westminster John Knox Press, 2004

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