Jesus: Love, Not Hate, Your Enemy

“Jesus there says to the multitude, ‘You have heard it said…hate thine enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies’ (Matt. 5:43-44). This passage is somewhat of an enigma. Who is it that has said, ‘Hate your enemy’? We are not told. There is no such doctrine in any Jewish writing. But, as Schubert has shown, in one of the basic texts of the Qumran community called the Manual of Discipline, new members of the sect swear an oath of allegiance to love the Sons of Light (that is, the members of the Essene community) and to hate for all eternity the Sons of Darkness. The reference in the Sermon on the Mount to those who advise hating your enemies may well be to the Essenes and would thus reflect Jesus’ own anti-Essene stance.” (Yigael Yadin in Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls edited by Hershel Shanks, pg. 105)