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Matthew 5:39

But I say unto you, That you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Hence, between that first course which goes beyond the law, that a greater evil should be inflicted in return for a lesser, and this to which the Lord has given expression for the purpose of perfecting the disciples, that no evil at all should be inflicted in return for evil, a middle course holds a certain place, viz. that as much be paid back as has been received; by means of which enactment the transition is made from the highest discord to the highest concord, according to the distribution of times. See, therefore, at how great a distance any one who is the first to do harm to another, with the desire of injuring and hurting him, stands from him who, even when injured, does not pay back the injury. That man, however, who is not the first to do harm to any one, but who yet, when injured, inflicts a greater injury in return, either in will or in deed, has so far withdrawn himself from the highest injustice, and made so far an advance to the highest righteousness; but still he does no...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Not to resist evil; i.e. not to resist or revenge thyself of him that hath done evil to thee. Turn him the other cheek. Let him have also thy cloak. These are to be understood as admonitions to Christians, to forgive every one, and to bear patiently all manner of private injuries. But we must not from hence conclude it unlawful for any one to have recourse to the laws, when a man is injured, and cannot have justice by any other means. (Witham) What is here commanded, is a Christian patience under injuries and affronts, and to be willing even to suffer still more, rather than to indulge the desire of revenge; but what is further added does not strictly oblige according to the letter, for neither did Christ, nor St. Paul, turn the other cheek. (St. John xviii. and Acts xxiii.) (Challoner) Hence also the Anabaptists infer, that it is not lawful to go to law even for our just rights; and Luther, that Christians ought not to resist the Turks. (Bristow) ...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
The Lord wishes that the hope of our faith, extending into eternity, be tested by these things, so that the very toleration of a hidden injury should be a witness of our future judgment. The law used to hold unfaithful Israel within a boundary of fear and contained the desire for injury by the threat of injury returned. Faith, however, does not permit resentment for injuries, nor does it wish for revenge. … There is in the judgment of God a greater consolation for those who have suffered injury and a punishment more dreadful than injuries returned. Therefore the Gospels not only warn us away from iniquities but also drive out the latent desire for vengeance. For if we have received a blow, we ought to offer the other cheek. … The Lord who accompanies us on our journey offers his own cheek to slaps and his shoulders to whips, to the increase of his glory. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
What then? it is said, ought we not to resist the evil one? Indeed we ought, but not in this way, but as He has commanded, by giving one's self up to suffer wrongfully; for thus shall you prevail over him. For one fire is not quenched by another, but fire by water. And to show you that even under the old law he that suffered rather prevails, that he it is who wins the crown; examine just what is done, and you will see that his advantage is great. For as he that has begun with unjust acts, will have himself destroyed the eyes of both, his neighbor's and his own (wherefore also he is justly hated of all, and ten thousand accusations are aimed at him): so he that has been injured, even after his equal retaliation, will have done nothing horrible. Wherefore also he has many to sympathize with him, as being clear from that offense even after he has retaliated. And though the calamity be equal to both parties, yet the sentence passed on it is not equal, either with God, or with men. It shoul...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
For this reason Jesus has also added, “But I say to you, do not resist the evil one.” He did not say “do not resist your brother” but “the evil one”! We are authorized to dare to act in the presence of evil through Christ’s influence. In this way he relaxes and secretly removes most of our anger against the aggressor by transferring the censure to another. “What then?” one asks. “Should we not resist the evil one at all?” Indeed we should, but not in this way. Rather, as Jesus has commanded, we resist by surrendering ourselves to suffer wrongfully. In this way you shall prevail over him. For one fire is not quenched by another, but fire by water. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily ...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. "The evil one" here means the devil, who works through man. We ought not, then, to resist the devil? Yes, we should, but not by striking back at our neighbor, but through patient endurance. For fire is not extinguished by fire but by water. Do not think that the Lord is speaking only of a blow on the cheek, but of any and every other kind of affliction. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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