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Israelites were under an obligation to respect and assist their neighbours (fellow citizens) in the community; it was what was implied by membership of a ‘holy nation’ (Exod. 19: 6). This was also required by the laws listed in Lev. 19 and Deut. 22. In the age to come at the End neighbours will live in peace and love each other (Zech. 3: 10), which implies that the laws in the Pentateuch were often not observed. Jesus quoted Lev. 19: 18 (e.g. Luke 10: 27) but extended loving one's neighbour beyond the commonly accepted limitation that it did not apply to foreigners, still less to enemies. (Although Matt. 5: 43 quotes the OT as ordering hatred of enemies, it is nowhere to be found in the OT. However, it is a fair summary of many passages, such as the merciless injunction of Deut. 20: 16.) The parable of the Good Samaritan represents the anti‐racist teaching of Jesus; it was shocking to Jesus' contemporaries that a despised Samaritan should have behaved as a good neighbour.

Subjects: Biblical Studies.

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