Where in the Old Testament do we find the idea of loving our enemies?


#1

I’m trying to find a way to reconcile what appears to be a great deal of anger and vengeance in the Old Testament with the forgiveness of the New. Where do we find passages that support loving your enemies and praying for them? I see four verses, generally coming from Exodus, a Psalm, and two proverbs, but that appears to be it. Those of you who are more versed in the Old Testament than I am, please assist me?


#2

Your question made me chuckle…interesting to see my mind immediately associate the OT with carnage. Looked up the question, however, and things are not quite so grave: :wink:

Exo 23:4,5 If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his *** going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. If thou see the *** of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.

Pro 25:21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:

Pro 24:17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:

Pro 29:10 The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.

biblethingsinbibleways.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/does-the-old-testament-teach-us-to-love-our-enemies-or-hate-them/

And a few more here:

pauldouglaswalker.blogspot.com/2013/05/loving-your-enemy-part-3-old-testament.html

Thanks for the question as I had never thought to connect OT and NT on that concept.

PJ


#3

Well maybe one should consider why one should love their enemy, and just how does God love someone? If it’s the Lord God’s instructions then it should be the way God loves, and not man’s understanding thereof. I do believe the Lord God said that He will have Grace and Mercy on whom He sees fit to have Mercy and Grace on.

In the case through and in His Son Jesus Christ that could be anyone, jew or gentile, but back in the day that was so with a select of the Israelites. So without Jesus coming into the world and doing what He has done, you may not be able to love your enemy as He has said. Without Jesus the Apostles had no Gospel and had not power to do things like heal. All provision is from God wisely. The food was in and on the earth before that which needed it to survive was on or in the earth.

So through Jesus His Son the instruction is, love your enemy, and it is God’s Grace and Mercy to mankind in the Lord Jesus Christ. So in the Kingdom of God’s view loving someone would be to guide them or support them in the Way to know Christ Jesus and receive fulfillment in the Life of Christ which is the Grace and Mercy of God to them that saves their very soul.


#4

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.