“But love your enemies!
Will be great!
You will be
Of the Most-High!”
πλὴν ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν καὶ ἀγαθοποιεῖτε καὶ δανίζετε μηδὲν ἀπελπίζοντες· καὶ ἔσται ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολύς, καὶ ἔσεσθε υἱοὶ Ὑψίστου,
Matthew, chapter 5:44 was more forceful when Jesus said that they were to love their enemies (ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν) and even pray for those who were persecuting them. Here Luke indicated that Jesus said that they were to love their enemies (πλὴν ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν), as in Matthew. However, they were to do good (καὶ ἀγαθοποιεῖτε). They were expected to lend to others (καὶ δανίζετε), expecting nothing in return (μηδὲν ἀπελπίζοντες). This was based on Exodus, chapter 22:25 that if they lent money, they should not charge interest to the poor. Leviticus, chapter 25:27, said that if any of their relatives fall into difficulties and become dependent on them, they should support them as though they were resident aliens. They were not to take interest or profit from them while they are living and eating in their house. Yahweh would provide. Their reward would be great (καὶ ἔσται ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολύς) because they would be children of the Most-High God (καὶ ἔσεσθε υἱοὶ Ὑψίστου). Have you ever lent money to relatives?
“The people of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the festival of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness. The Levites and the priests praised Yahweh day by day, accompanied by loud instruments for Yahweh. King Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who showed good skill in the service of Yahweh. So the people ate the food of the festival for seven days, sacrificing offerings of well-being and giving thanks to Yahweh the God of their ancestors. Then the whole assembly agreed together to keep the festival for another seven days. So they kept it for another seven days with gladness. King Hezekiah of Judah gave the assembly a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep for offerings. The officials gave the assembly a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep. The priests sanctified themselves in great numbers. The whole assembly of Judah, the priests, the Levites, the whole assembly that came out of Israel, the resident aliens who came out of the land of Israel, and the resident aliens who lived in Judah, rejoiced. So there was great joy in Jerusalem. Not since the time of King Solomon, son of King David of Israel, had there been anything like this in Jerusalem. Then the priests and the Levites stood up and blessed the people. Their voice was heard. Their prayer came to his holy dwelling in heaven.”
This passage seems to indicate that the people of Judah and Israel with the northern tribes celebrated the 7 day festival of Unleavened Bread with great joy. The Levites and priests praised God with musical instruments. They continued the festival for another week. King Hezekiah encouraged people by giving more animals to slaughter. He gave 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep as offerings. Then the other officials gave another 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep. So the festival continued because there was enough food for everyone. They not only invited the Israelites of the north, but the resident aliens in both Israel and Judah. This was the biggest celebration in Jerusalem since the days of King David and King Solomon. Here both the priests and Levites bless the people. However, it was usually the priests and not the Levites who blessed the people.
“You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice. You shall not take a widow’s garment in pledge. Remember that you were a slave in Egypt and Yahweh your God redeemed you from there. Therefore I command you to do this. When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it. It shall be left for the alien, the orphan, and the widow. Thus Yahweh your God may bless you in all your undertakings. When you beat your olive trees, do not strip what it left. It shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean what is left. It shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow. Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt. Therefore I command you to do this.”
You must be mindful of the foreigners, orphans, and widows when you gather your crop. This is reminiscent of Exodus, chapter 22, and Leviticus, chapter 19. You leave some of the harvest of the field, some of the olives, and some of your grapes on the ground for the aliens, the orphans, and widows. These three groups of people were considered the poor, the marginalized in society. They were not male Israelites.
“For six years you shall sow you land and gather in its yield. But the seventh year you shall let it rest and be fallow, so that the poor of your people may eat. What they leave, the wild animals may eat. You shall do the same with your vineyard and with your olive orchard. Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. Thus your ox and your donkey may have relief. Your house born slaves and the resident aliens may be refreshed. Be attentive to all that I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods. Do not let them be heard on your lips.”
For six years you work hard, but on the seventh year you let the land rest. The Sabbath belongs to the land also. The poor and animals can go free in the fields on the seventh year. If you have a vineyard or olive orchard, the same applies. You work for six days and rest on the seventh. This way the oxen and donkeys get rest. Your slaves and the resident aliens can also be refreshed.