The Exposition of the Commandment
17. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart.
17. Ne oderis fratrem tuum in corde tuo.
I doubt not but that this part of the verse should be taken separately, nor do I approve of the introduction of the adversative particle but, by which translators1 connect it with what follows. We know that we are not always to trust to the division of verses; and, since it is clear that whatever precepts we meet with in the writings of Moses for the regulation of our lives depend on the Decalogue, this sentence sufficiently proves that murder was forbidden, not only in order that none should slay his brother by his ]land, or by a weapon, but also that he should not indulge in wrong-doing, by cherishing in himself hatred and ill-will. Hence the statement of Paul is confirmed, that "the Law is spiritual," (Romans 7:14;) and their folly is refuted who pretend that Moses was an earthly lawgiver to the Jews, like Lycurgus or Solon, since he thus penetrates even to the secret affections. It is also probable that John derived from this passage his saying, "He that hateth his brother is a murderer," (1 John 3:15;) for the word heart is here used emphatically; since, although no outward signs of hatred may appear, yet the internal feeling is accounted murder before God.