Psalm 139:20

Hebrew Bible

17 How difficult it is for me to fathom your thoughts about me, O God! How vast is their sum total. 18 If I tried to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. Even if I finished counting them, I would still have to contend with you. 19 If only you would kill the wicked, O God! Get away from me, you violent men! 20 They rebel against you and act deceitfully; your enemies lie. 21 O Lord, do I not hate those who hate you and despise those who oppose you? 22 I absolutely hate them; they have become my enemies. 23 Examine me, O God, and probe my thoughts. Test me, and know my concerns. 24 See if there is any idolatrous way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.

Matthew 5:44

New Testament

42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not reject the one who wants to borrow from you. 43You 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?

 Notes and References

"... it has to be noted that there are grave limitations in the Psalms concerning the scope of forgiveness. If, as we have seen, there are only a few places where it is suggested that we should forgive others, there are unfortunately many other passages in which the Psalmist curses his enemies and prays for their destruction. God is invoked as a God of vengeance (Psalms 54:1; 94:1). We are to hate our enemies with a ‘perfect hatred’ (Psalm 139:22) ... When we turn, however, from the Old Testament to the new, we are at once impressed by a manifest and remarkable contrast. nowhere in the Gospels does Christ instruct us to hate our enemies: He tells us, on the contrary, ‘love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’ (Matt. 5:44) ..."

Coakley, Sarah "On Fearfulness of Forgiveness: Psalm 130.4 and its Theological Implications" in Louth, Andrew, et al., editors. Meditations of the Heart: The Psalms in Early Christian Thought and Practice: Essays in Honour of Andrew Louth (pp. 61-62) Brepols, 2011

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