Quotations about   enemies

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I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them:
     neither did I turn again till they were consumed.
I have wounded them that they were not able to rise:
     they are fallen under my feet.
For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle:
     thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.
Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies;
     that I might destroy them that hate me.
They cried, but there was none to save them:
     even unto the Lord, but he answered them not.
Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind:
     I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Psalm 18:37-42 [KJV]
    (Source)


Alternate translations:

I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
     and did not turn back until they were consumed.
I struck them down, so that they were not able to rise;
     they fell under my feet.
For you girded me with strength for the battle;
     you made my assailants sink under me.
You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
     and those who hated me I destroyed.
They cried for help, but there was no one to save them;
     they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
I beat them fine, like dust before the wind;
     I cast them out like the mire of the streets.
[NRSV]

I pursue my enemies and catch them;
     I do not stop until I destroy them.
I strike them down, and they cannot rise;
     they lie defeated before me.
You give me strength for the battle
     and victory over my enemies.
You make my enemies run from me;
     I destroy those who hate me.
They cry for help, but no one saves them;
     they call to the Lord, but he does not answer.
I crush them, so that they become like dust
     which the wind blows away.
I trample on them like mud in the streets.
[GNT]

I pursue my enemies and overtake them,
     nor turn back till an end is made of them;
I strike them down, and they cannot rise,
     they fall, they are under my feet:
You have girt me with strength for the fight,
     bent down my assailants beneath me,
made my enemies turn their backs to me;
     and those who hate me I destroy.
They cry out, there is no one to save,
     to Yahweh, but there is no reply;
I crush them fine as dust before the wind,
     trample them like the mud of the streets.
[Jerusalem]

Persequar inimicos meos, et comprehendam illos;
     et non convertar donec deficiant.
Confringam illos, nec poterunt stare;
     cadent subtus pedes meos.
Et praecinxisti me virtute ad bellum,
     et supplantasti insurgentes in me subtus me.
Et inimicos meos dedisti mihi dorsum,
     et odientes me disperdidisti.
Clamaverunt, nec erat qui salvos faceret;
     ad Dominum, nec exaudivit eos.
Et comminuam eos ut pulverem ante faciem venti;
     ut lutum platearum delebo eos.
[Vulgate, 17:38-43]

 
Added on 31-May-22 | Last updated 13-Jun-22
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If fifty bands of men surrounded us
and every sword sang for your blood,
you could make off still with their cows and sheep.

[εἴ περ πεντήκοντα λόχοι μερόπων ἀνθρώπων
νῶϊ περισταῖεν, κτεῖναι μεμαῶτες Ἄρηϊ,
καί κεν τῶν ἐλάσαιο βόας καὶ ἴφια μῆλα.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 20, l. 49ff (20.49) [Athena to Odysseus] (c. 700 BC) [tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]


(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

If there were
Of divers-languag’d men an army here
Of fifty companies, all driving hence
Thy sheep and oxen, and with violence
Offer’d to charge us, and besiege us round,
Thou shouldst their prey reprise, and them confound.
[tr. Chapman (1616)]

Though fifty bands of men should us oppose,
You should their herds of cattle drive away.
[tr. Hobbes (1675), l. 37ff]

Were we hemm’d around
By fifty troops of shouting warriors bent
To slay thee, thou should’st yet securely drive
The flocks away and cattle of them all.
[tr. Cowper (1792), l. 54ff]

Though fifty bands stood threatening thee and me,
All breathing slaughter, their fat kine and sheep
Thou shouldst drive off, and take their wealth in fee.
[tr. Worsley (1861), st. 6]

If fifty troops of men, as good as thou
Surround us twain, and strive to slay in battle,
Of their fat kine and sheep should'st thou be captor!
[tr. Bigge-Wither (1869)]

Though fifty bands of mortals that in speech
Articulate use their tongues around us rose
In conflict fierce to kill us both intent,
Still should'st though prove the man that all those beeves
And fatten'd flocks should to thye homestall drive.
[tr. Musgrave (1869), l. 70ff]

Even should fifty companies of mortal men compass us about eager to slay us in battle, even their kine shouldst thou drive off and their brave flocks.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]

If fifty bands of menfolk, word-speaking wights that are,
Stood round about us, eager for our slaying in the war,
Yet their kine shouldst though be driving and their goodly fatted sheep.
[tr. Morris (1887)]

Should fifty troops of mortal men stand round about us, eager in the fight to slay, you still might drive them away from their oxen and sturdy sheep.
[tr. Palmer (1891)]

Even though there were fifty bands of men surrounding us and eager to kill us, you should take all their sheep and cattle, and drive them away with you.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

If fifty troops of mortal men should stand about us, eager to slay us in battle, even their cattle and goodly sheep shouldest thou drive off.
[tr. Murray (1919)]

Though fifty troops of humans hemmed us round, all mad to kill outright, yet shuld you win through to lift their flocks and herds.
[tr. Lawrence (1932)]

If you and I were surrounded by fifty companies of men-at-arms, all thirsting for your blood, you could drive away their cows and sheep beneath their very noses.
[tr. Rieu (1946)]

Even though there were fifty battalions of mortal people
standing around us, furious to kill in the spirit of battle,
even so you could drive away their cattle and fat sheep.
[tr. Lattimore (1965)]

Even if fifty bands of mortal fighters
closed around us, hot to kill us off in battle,
still you could drive away their herds and sleek flocks!
[tr. Fagles (1996)]

Even if there were fifty squadrons of armed men
All around us, doing their mortal best to kill us,
You would still be able to run off with their cattle!
[tr. Lombardo (2000)]

If in fact there were fifty battalions of men who are mortal
Standing around us, eagerly striving to kill us in battle,
even from them you would drive their cattle away and their fat sheep.
[tr. Merrill (2002)]

You and I could be surrounded by fifty companies of men-at-arms, all thirsting for our blood, but you would still drive away their cows and sheep.
[tr. DCH Rieu (2002)]

If we were ambushed, surrounded by not one but fifty gangs of men who hoped to murder us -- you would escape, and even poach their sheep and cows.
[tr. Wilson (2017)]

If there were fifty troops of mortal men in ambush all around us, firmly determined to kill us, nevertheless even then you'd drive off their cattle and fattened sheep.
[tr. Green (2018)]

Even were fifty troops around us, to kill us, you'd end by driving off their cattle!
[tr. Green (2018), summary]

If there were fifty groups
of other men standing here around us,
intent on slaughter, even so, I say,
you’d still drive off their cattle and fine sheep.
[tr. Johnston (2019), l. 55ff]

 
Added on 20-Oct-21 | Last updated 1-Dec-21
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We injure ourselves more than our enemies, by indulging hatred towards them.

Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington (1789-1849) Irish novelist [Lady Blessington, b. Margaret Power]
Desultory Thoughts and Reflections (1839)
    (Source)
 
Added on 3-Jun-21 | Last updated 3-Jun-21
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Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
Stride Toward Freedom, “Three Ways of Meeting Oppression” (1958)
    (Source)
 
Added on 2-Sep-17 | Last updated 2-Sep-17
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If you rejoice in revenge, torture, and war […] you cannot say you’re a follower of the guy who explicitly said “love your enemies” and “do good to those who hate you”. The next line isn’t, “And if that doesn’t work, send a titanium-fanged dog to rip his nuts off”. Jesus lays on that hippie stuff pretty thick! He has lines like, “do not repay evil with evil”, and “do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you.” Really! It’s in that book you hold up when you scream at gay people.

William "Bill" Maher (b. 1956) American comedian, political commentator, critic, television host.
Real Time with Bill Maher, “New Rules” (13 May 2011)
 
Added on 18-May-16 | Last updated 18-May-16
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If you want to make enemies, try to change something.

Wilson - try to change something - wist_info quote

Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) US President (1913-20), educator, political scientist
Speech, Detroit (10 Jul 1916)
 
Added on 5-May-16 | Last updated 5-May-16
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There is a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.

Ronald D. Moore (b. 1964) American screenwriter, television producer
Battlestar Galactica, 1×02 “Water” [Adama] (2004)
 
Added on 8-Dec-15 | Last updated 8-Dec-15
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We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and these interests it is our duty to follow.

Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (1784-1865) British statesman, Prime Minister (1855-58, 1859-65) [Lord Palmerston]
Speech, House of Commons (1 Mar 1848)
 
Added on 6-Oct-15 | Last updated 6-Oct-15
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No matter how unpredictable the future may be, we don’t win freedom through security systems, cryptography, interrogations and spot searches. We win freedom by having the courage and the conviction to live every day freely and to act as a free society, no matter how great the threats are on the horizon.

Cory Doctorow (b. 1971) Canadian-British blogger, journalist, activist, author
Little Brother (2008)
 
Added on 22-Sep-15 | Last updated 22-Sep-15
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Institutions like to continue doing what they have been doing, always on a grander scale, if possible. When old enemies disappear, mellow, or turn into allies, as frequently happens in international relations, new enemies must be found and new threats must be discovered. The failure to replenish the supply of enemies is the supreme threat facing any national security bureaucracy.

Richard J. Barnet (1929-2004) American scholar, writer, activist
Roots of War, 5.1 (1971)
 
Added on 18-Aug-15 | Last updated 18-Aug-15
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I have never made but one prayer to God, and very short one: “O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.” And God granted it.

Voltaire (1694-1778) French writer [pseud. of Francois-Marie Arouet]
Letter to M. Damilaville (16 May 1767)
 
Added on 21-Apr-15 | Last updated 21-Apr-15
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Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it. But the temper and folly of our enemies may not leave this in our choice.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to C. W. F. Dumas (6 May 1786)
    (Source)
 
Added on 3-Feb-15 | Last updated 8-Jul-22
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Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.

Antisthenes (c. 445 - c. 365 BC) Greek Cynic philosopher
In Diogenes Laërtius, Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, VI, xii
 
Added on 19-Nov-14 | Last updated 19-Nov-14
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He who has the most friends and the fewest enemies is the strongest.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son (11 Nov 1752)
 
Added on 30-Sep-14 | Last updated 30-Sep-14
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You will usually find that the enemy has three courses open to him, and of these he will adopt the fourth.

Helmuth von Moltke (1800-1891) Prussian soldier
(Attributed)
 
Added on 11-Sep-14 | Last updated 11-Sep-14
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The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.

Clara Lucas Balfour (1808-1878) English novelist, lecturer, temperance campaigner
Sunbeams for All Seasons: Counsels, Cautions, and Precepts (1861 ed.)
 
Added on 29-May-13 | Last updated 8-Jul-16
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The lack of objectivity, as far as foreign nations are concerned, is notorious. From one day to another, another nation is made out to be utterly depraved and fiendish, while one’s own nation stands for everything that is good and noble. Every action of the enemy is judged by one standard — every action of oneself by another. Even good deeds by the enemy are considered a sign of particular devilishness, meant to deceive us and the world, while our bad deeds are necessary and justified by our noble goals, which they serve.

Erich Fromm (1900-1980) American psychoanalyst and social philosopher
The Art of Loving, ch. 5 (1956)
    (Source)
 
Added on 15-Nov-12 | Last updated 21-Sep-20
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A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.

[Al varón sabio más le aprovechan sus enemigos que al necio sus amigos.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 84 (1647) [tr. Jacobs (1892)]
    (Source)


Alt. trans.: "The wise man finds enemies more useful than the fool does friends." [tr. Maurer (1992)]
 
Added on 25-Jul-07 | Last updated 4-Apr-22
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In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“The Trumpet of Conscience,” Steeler Lecture (Nov 1967)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 7-Dec-15
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