Testament of Benjamin 4:3

Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs

See ye, therefore, my children, the end of the good man? Be followers of his compassion, therefore, with a good mind, that ye also may wear crowns of glory. For the good man hath not a dark eye; for he showeth mercy to all men, even though they be sinners. And though they devise with evil intent concerning him, by doing good he overcometh evil, being shielded by God: and he loveth the righteous as his own soul. If any one is glorified, he envieth him not; if any one is enriched, he is not jealous; if any one is valiant, he praiseth him; the virtuous man he laudeth, on the poor man he hath mercy; on the weak he hath compassion; unto God he singeth praises. As for him who hath the fear of God, he protecteth him as with a shield; him that loveth God he helpeth; him that rejecteth the Most High he admonisheth and turneth back; and him that hath the grace of a good spirit he loveth as his own soul.

Romans 12:19

New Testament

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people. 19 Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head. 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 Notes and References

"... When reading Matthew 5:38-42 in the context of the New Testament as a whole, two things must be noted. First, Romans 12:17, 19; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; and 1 Peter 3:9 continue the theme of non-retaliation. Second, Matthew 5:39 must be heard in connection with Romans 13:1-7, where the state is given the power of the sword (power oflife and death) to deal with wrongdoers. In fact, if Romans 12:19 exhorts individual Christians never to avenge themselves but to leave it to God's wrath, Romans 13:4 says the state is ordained by God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer in this age before the resurrection ... The Matthean Jesus here sets forth his interpretation of "Love your neighbor."lOo The roots for this sentiment may be found in Exodus 23:4-5; Deuteronomy 22:4; and Proverbs 25:21. Post-biblical Judaism sometimes voiced a similar perspective (compare Testament of Benjamin 4:3-"The good man loves all those who wrong him as he loves his own life"; 2 Enoch 50:4; 2 Baruch 52:6- "Why do you look for the decline of your enemies?") ..."

Talbert, Charles H. Reading the Sermon on the Mount: Character Formation and Decision Making in Matthew 5-7 (pp. 92-94) University of South Carolina Press, 2004

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