Matthew 5:47

New Testament

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.

Berakhot 17a

Babylonian Talmud

Abaye was wont to say: One must always be shrewd and utilize every strategy in order to achieve fear of Heaven and performance of mitzvot. One must fulfill the verse: “A soft answer turns away wrath” (Proverbs 15:1) and take steps to increase peace with one’s brethren and with one’s relatives, and with all people, even with a non-Jew in the marketplace, despite the fact that he is of no importance to him and does not know him at all (Me’iri), so that he will be loved above in God’s eyes, pleasant below in the eyes of the people, and acceptable to all of God’s creatures. Tangentially, the Gemara mentions that they said about Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai that no one ever preceded him in issuing a greeting, not even a non-Jew in the marketplace, as Rabban Yoḥanan would always greet him first.

 Notes and References

"... The Greek word 'ethné ' (singular 'ethnos') corresponds to Hebrew goyim (singular goy), also translated in the Jewish New Testament as 'Gentiles,' 'nations,' 'pagans' or 'non-Jews': The King James Version sometimes renders it 'heathen.' Jews who speak English often use the Hebrew (and Yiddish) word 'goyim' to refer to non-Jews. Although today 'goyim' sometimes carries a mildly pejorative tone linked to the idea that a goy is not 'one of us', Jesus here is referring to the fact that the goyim had not received God's revelation as had the Jews, and therefore less was to be expected of them; since this was God's doing, there is no defamatory connotation ..."

Stern, David H. Jewish New Testament Commentary (p. 30) Jewish New Testament Publications, 1994

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.