Failure to know Hebrew could lead to horrid consequences, e.g., St. Paul who knew Hebrew, in Romans 9:13 quoted Malachi 1:2 in which God said: “I have loved Jacob, but hated Esau.” But poor St. Augustine thought this meant God really hated Esau! and destined him to hell without even looking to see how he would live (Ad Simplicianum 1. 14). But at the bottom is a Hebrew way of speaking. Hebrew and Aramaic both lack the degrees of comparison, such as: good, better, best, or, clear, clearer, clearest. Not having such forms, when they have such ideas, they are forced to use other devices. One of them is to speak of hate vs. love. In our language we would say: I love one more than the other. In Luke 14:26 Jesus says we must hate our parents. But that is the same Semitic pattern. Matthew 10:37 softened it, using the western way of speaking, and said: “He who loves father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me.” We recall that we saw earlier some striking texts from Isaiah 13:9-0 and 34:4 as well as Ezekiel 32:7-8 in which the apocalyptic way of speaking could be very misleading if one did not recognize the genre.
Most, William G., Fr., Basic Scripture, kap. 5, “How to Interpret Inspired Scripture” (22.08.2007)