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5. Sermon on the Mount

1And seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain: and when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him: 2and he opened his mouth and taught them, saying,

3Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God.

10Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you.

13Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men. 14Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. 15Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house. 16Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

17Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfil. 18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished. 19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.

21Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire. 23If therefore thou art offering thy gift at the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, 24leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art with him in the way; lest haply the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou have paid the last farthing.

27Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28but I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29And if thy right eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body be cast into hell. 30And if thy right hand causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body go into hell. 31It was said also, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32but I say unto you, that every one that putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, maketh her an adulteress: and whosoever shall marry her when she is put away committeth adultery.

33Again, ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34but I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by the heaven, for it is the throne of God; 35nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, for thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37But let your speech be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: and whatsoever is more than these is of the evil one.

38Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39but I say unto you, resist not him that is evil: but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 41And whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two. 42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

43Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy: 44but I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; 45that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. 46For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the Gentiles the same? 48Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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Same Subject—Love to Enemies (Mt 5:43-48).

43. Ye have heard that it hath been said—(Le 19:18).

Thou shalt love thy neighbour—To this the corrupt teachers added,

and hate thine enemy—as if the one were a legitimate inference from the other, instead of being a detestable gloss, as Bengel indignantly calls it. Lightfoot quotes some of the cursed maxims inculcated by those traditionists regarding the proper treatment of all Gentiles. No wonder that the Romans charged the Jews with hatred of the human race.

44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies—The word here used denotes moral love, as distinguished from the other word, which expresses personal affection. Usually, the former denotes "complacency in the character" of the person loved; but here it denotes the benignant, compassionate outgoings of desire for another's good.

bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you—The best commentary on these matchless counsels is the bright example of Him who gave them. (See 1Pe 2:21-24; and compare Ro 12:20, 21; 1Co 4:12; 1Pe 3:9). But though such precepts were never before expressed—perhaps not even conceived—with such breadth, precision, and sharpness as here, our Lord is here only the incomparable Interpreter of the law in force from the beginning; and this is the only satisfactory view of the entire strain of this discourse.

45. That ye may be the children—sons.

of your Father which is in heaven—The meaning is, "that ye may show yourselves to be such by resembling Him" (compare Mt 5:9; Eph 5:1).

for he maketh his sun—"your Father's sun." Well might Bengel exclaim, "Magnificent appellation!"

to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust—rather, (without the article) "on evil and good, and on just and unjust." When we find God's own procedure held up for imitation in the law, and much more in the prophets (Le 19:2; 20:26; and compare 1Pe 1:15, 16), we may see that the principle of this surprising verse was nothing new: but the form of it certainly is that of One who spake as never man spake.

46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?—The publicans, as collectors of taxes due to the Roman government, were ever on this account obnoxious to the Jews, who sat uneasy under a foreign yoke, and disliked whatever brought this unpleasantly before them. But the extortion practiced by this class made them hateful to the community, who in their current speech ranked them with "harlots." Nor does our Lord scruple to speak of them as others did, which we may be sure He never would have done if it had been calumnious. The meaning, then, is, "In loving those who love you, there is no evidence of superior principle; the worst of men will do this: even a publican will go that length."

47. And if ye salute your brethren only—of the same nation and religion with yourselves.

what do ye more than others?—what do ye uncommon or extraordinary? that is, wherein do ye excel?

do not even the publicans so?—The true reading here appears to be, "Do not even the heathens the same?" Compare Mt 18:17, where the excommunicated person is said to be "as an heathen man and a publican."

48. Be ye therefore—rather, "Ye shall therefore be," or "Ye are therefore to be," as My disciples and in My kingdom.

perfect—or complete. Manifestly, our Lord here speaks, not of degrees of excellence, but of the kind of excellence which was to distinguish His disciples and characterize His kingdom. When therefore He adds,

even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect—He refers to that full-orbed glorious completeness which is in the great Divine Model, "their Father which is in heaven."




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