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Matthew 5:41

And whosoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him two.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
And this, certainly, not so much in the sense that you should do it on foot, as that you should be prepared in mind to do it. For in the Christian history itself, which is authoritative, you will find no such thing done by the saints, or by the Lord Himself when in His human nature, which He condescended to assume, He was showing us an example of how to live; while at the same time, in almost all places, you will find them prepared to bear with equanimity whatever may have been wickedly forced upon them. But are we to suppose it is said for the sake of the mere expression, Go with him other two; or did He rather wish that three should be completed—the number which has the meaning of perfection; so that every one should remember when he does this, that he is fulfilling perfect righteousness by compassionately bearing the infirmities of those whom he wishes to be made whole? It may seem for this reason also that He has recommended these precepts by three examples: of which the first is, ...

Chromatius of Aquileia

AD 407
Some believe that this section, “He who is pressed into service for one mile, let him go with that man as far as another two,” is to be understood spiritually in this fashion: If a nonbeliever, or one who has not yet followed the knowledge of the truth, makes mention of the one God the Father, the founder of all things, as if coming to God by the way of the law, go with that one the second mile. That is, after his profession of God the Father, lead this same person, by the way of truth, to the knowledge of the Son and the Holy Spirit, showing that one is to believe not only in the Father but also in the Son and the Holy Spirit. . ...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Ye have heard, &c. It has been asked, where is it said, "Thou shalt hate thine enemy?" Maldonatus replies, in Deuteronomy 25:19, "Thou shalt blot out his name from under heaven." God had commanded Joshua and the Hebrews utterly to destroy the impious Canaanites, and to seize their land. But the Law bade only the Canaanites to be slain, not other nations, and even them, not out of hatred: just as a judge might order a guilty person to be put to death, not because he hated him, but even one whom he loved. I Maintain, therefore, that this saying was not in the Law, but was said by the Scribes who interpreted the Law. For they, because they found in Leviticus 29:18, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour," or "thy friend," as the Vulgate translates, inferred from thence that they should hate their enemies. Wherefore Christ here corrects this interpretation of theirs, and explains the Law, that by neighbour or friend every man is meant, even a foreigner, a Gentile, and an enemy. For all men are ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Go with him other two. I know many interpreters would have it to signify no more than two in all. But the literal sense of the Latin, and also of the best Greek manuscripts. (as Dr. Wells takes notice in his amendments to the Prot. translation) express two more, i.e. not only as far again, but twice as far. And thus it is expounded by St. Augustine, Serm. Domini in monte. t. iii. p. 193. Ed Ben. (Witham) Continue to be his guide sooner than lose patience, or be wanting in charity. (Haydock) ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
And if you think this a great thing, wait, and you will see clearly, that neither yet have you attained to perfection. For not even here does He stop with you, who is laying down the laws of patient endurance, but He proceeds even further, thus saying, If any one shall compel you to go one mile, go with him two. Matthew 5:41 Do you see the height of self-denial? In this at least, that after giving your coat, and your cloak, not even if your enemy should wish to use your naked body for hardships and labors, not even so (says He), must thou forbid him. For He would have us possess all things in common, both our bodies and our goods, as with them that are in need, so with them that insult us: for the latter comes of manliness, the former of mercifulness. Because of this, He said, If any one shall compel you to go one mile, go with him two: again leading you higher up, and commanding you to show forth the same kind of ambition. For if the things of which He spoke at the beginni...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Do you grasp the excellence of a Christian disposition? After you give your coat and your cloak, even if your enemy should wish to subject your naked body to hardships and labors, not even then, Jesus says, must you forbid him. For he would have us possess all things in common, both our bodies and our goods, as with them that are in need, so with them that insult us. For the latter response comes from a courageous spirit, the former from mercy. Because of this, Jesus said, “If any one shall compel you to go one mile, go with him two.” Again he leads you to higher ground and commands you to manifest the same type of aspiration. For if the lesser things he spoke of at the beginning receive such great blessings, consider what sort of reward awaits those who duly perform these and what they become even before we hear of receiving rewards. You are winning full freedom from unworthy passions in a human and passible body. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily ...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
"Why should I speak of cloaks and tunics?" the Lord is saying. Give even your body to him who wrongfully compels you, and do more than he wants you to do.

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

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