Matt5-1-12-Chapter 5  -  Read Chapter - Click for Chapter Audio

Matthew 5:1-2 - [Verse 1 in Original Greek]

1 When R98 Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the R99 mountain; F56 and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 2 He R100 opened His mouth and {began} to teach them, saying,


Matthew 5:3-12 - [Verse 3 in Original Greek]

3 "Blessed R101 are the poor F58 in spirit, for theirs R102 is the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Blessed R103 are those R104 who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 "Blessed R105 are the R106 gentle, F59 for they shall inherit the earth. 6 "Blessed R107 are those R108 who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 "Blessed R109 are the R110 merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 "Blessed R111 are the R112 pure in heart, for they R113 shall see God. 9 "Blessed R114 are the peacemakers, for they R115 shall be called sons of God. 10 "Blessed R116 are those who have been persecuted R117 for the sake of righteousness, for theirs R118 is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed R119 are you when {people} insult R120 you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 "Rejoice R121 and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in R122 the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

                                      Chapter 5 Matt 2001 Translation                   

3 ‘The spiritually poor  Open

 4 The sad are  blest  See Below  Blest or Happy? Open Burton Coffman And the others Below.

5  meek inherit the earth  Open

1 When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he climbed a mountain and sat down, and his disciples came to him. 2 Then he started teaching them, saying, 3 ‘The spiritually poor are blest, because the Kingdom of the Heavens belongs to them. 4 The sad are blest for they will be comforted. 5 The meek are blest because they will inherit the earth. 6 Those hungering and thirsting for righteousness are blest, because they will be satisfied. 7 The merciful are blest, for they will in turn be shown mercy. 8 Those with pure hearts are are blest, because they will see God. 9 The peacemakers are blest, for they will be called Sons of God. 10 Those persecuted for doing what’s right are blest, because theirs is the Kingdom of the Heavens.

11 ‘You’re blest when people say bad things about you, persecute you; when they lie about you, or say wicked things about you for my sake. 12 Shout happily and jump for joy, for you have a huge reward in the heavens, because this is the same way they treated the Prophets before you.

13 ‘You are the salt of the earth, but if salt loses its strength, in what will it thereafter taste salty? In nothing will it be strong, so it’ll be thrown outside and walked on.

14 ‘You are the light of the world. And a city can’t be hidden on top of a mountain, 15 nor do [people] light a lamp and set it under a basket. They put it on a lampstand instead, where it can shine on all in the house. 16 So you should let your light shine before men, then they can see your good deeds, and give glory to your Father in heaven.

17 ‘Don’t think that I came to destroy the Law or the [words of the] Prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but [I came] to fulfill. 18 I tell you the truth; it’s more likely that heaven and earth would pass away, than for an iota or a part of one letter, pass from the Law before these things happen. 19 That’s why he who breaks the least of the Commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called the least in the Kingdom of the Heavens. But all who teach and follow [the Law], will be called great in the Kingdom of the Heavens.

20 ‘I tell you this; if you aren’t more righteous than the Scribes and Pharisees, you won’t stand a chance of [receiving] the Kingdom of the Heavens.

21 ‘You heard it was said long ago not to murder; because a murderer must answer to the courts. 22 However, I tell to you that whoever stays angry with his brother, will have to answer in the Judgment [Day]. Anyone who calls his brother worthless, will have to answer to the Sanhedrin. And anyone who [calls his brother] a moron, will be sentenced to the fre of the garbage dump.

23 ‘If you bring a gift to [God’s] altar, but while you’re on the way you remember, that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift before the altar and go. First, make peace with your brother, then return to offer your gift.

25 ‘If anyone has a lawsuit against you, settle it quickly before it goes to court. That way there’ll be no chance, of your falling into the hands of the judge, and from the judge to the bailiff, and you end up being thrown into prison. 26 I tell you this for a fact: If that happens, you won’t be released, until you’ve paid your last cent.

27 ‘You’ve heard that it was said; Don’t commit adultery. 28 But I tell you that he who keeps on looking at a woman, and develops a desire for her, has already committed adultery in his heart.

29 ‘If your right eye is a trap, pull it out and throw it away, for it’s better to lose a piece of your [body], than to lose your whole body in the garbage dump. 30 Also, if your right hand is a trap, cut it off and throw it away, for it’s better to lose a piece of your [body], than to lose your whole body in the garbage dump.

31 ‘It was said that he who divorces his wife, should give her a certificate of rejection. 32 However, I say that he who divorces his wife, for reasons other than sexual immorality, leaves her open to adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman, thereafter commits adultery.

33 ‘Again, you heard it was said long ago, You shouldn’t swear an oath in falsehood. You must do what you vow before [Jehovah]. 34 However, I say: Don’t swear an oath by anything at all; don’t swear by heaven, because that’s Gods throne, 35 or by the earth, for that’s His footstool, nor by Jerusalem, for that’s the city of the great king. 36 Don’t swear by your head, for you can’t turn a hair white or black. 37 Just let your yes mean yes, and let your no mean no, because anything beyond that is from the wicked one.

38 ‘You heard it was said, Eye for eye and tooth for tooth. 39 However, I say: Don’t fight a wicked man. If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 And if someone takes you to court, to sue for your underwear, give him the rest of your clothes. 41 Or if someone forces you in service for a mile, work with him for two miles. 42 Give freely to all those who ask, and don’t turn down those who wish to borrow.

43 ‘You heard it was said, that you must love your neighbor, and your enemy dislike. 44 However, I say: Love all those who are your enemies, and pray for those who would persecute you. 45 By doing this, you’ll prove yourselves to be, the sons of your Father in heaven. For, He allows the sun to arise, on both the wicked and good, and on the righteous and unrighteous He sends rain.

46 ‘If you only love those who love you, where then is your reward? Don’t those who collect taxes do the same thing? 47 And if you only greet your brothers, what’s unusual about that? Don’t the people of the nations do the same thing? 48 Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.’




Burton Coffman
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 · The Fourfold Gospel
 · Treasury of Scripture
 · Wesley's Explanatory Notes


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The Spiritually Poor

While most people think that what are called ‘the Beatitudes’ (Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount) are quite simple and straight forward, some of the things he said there are very complicated and difficult to translate accurately. A good example is the words found at Matthew 5:3, which we most recently translated as ‘The spiritually poor are blest, because the Kingdom of the Heavens belongs to them.’

In the Greek text this reads, ‘Makarioi oi ptochoi to pneumati, hoti auton e Basilea ton ouranon,’ or, ‘Blest the poor/ones to/the breath that of/them is the Kingdom of/the heavens.’ And in Aramaic it reads, ‘Tuwâyhon Lmiskéné Brukh. D-dheelhonee mâlkutha dâshmây-ya,’ or, ‘Blest are they; the people poor in the breath of life. For theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.’

The first translating problem that arises here is with the word that is translated as breath or spirit (pneumati in Greek). For both the Greek and Aramaic words used there just mean breath, wind, or unseen force… which is what the Latin word spirit also means. And notice that in the Aramaic text it is referred to as the ‘breath (spirit) of life,’ which seems to imply the life force that God once breathed into Adam. So, much greater things may be implied here than most suspect.

And regardless of the meanings of the words, the question we must next ask is, why would those who don’t have much ‘spirit’ or ‘breath’ be given the Kingdom of the heavens? Wouldn’t such a reward require a great depth of spirituality?

Now, while most Bibles render the words ‘ptochoi to pneumati’ as ‘poor in spirit,’ one Bible translates it as ‘conscious of their spiritual need,’ which makes more sense, but the words just aren’t in the original text. And we once translated it as ‘who beg for [God’s] Breath,’ implying that they are poor and begging for more of His Spirit, which also makes sense. However, we no longer think that is what Jesus meant.

After much discussion among our contributors, we have concluded that our latest rendering (that the ‘spiritually poor’ would be given the ‘Kingdom of heaven’) is most likely correct. But if so, then what did Jesus mean by this?

Well, while most people think of Jesus’ famous sermon as just good words to live by (that’s why they call them Beatitudes, which means Happinesses), he apparently didn’t say them for that reason. Rather, if you read the next verse, for example, you’ll notice that he was actually foretelling a change in opportunities. For it says there, ‘The sad are blest because they will be comforted.’

Now, Jesus wasn’t implying that all sad people would be blest, nor was he saying that all those who are spiritually poor would be blest. Rather, he was telling the common people who listened to him that their lives could be changed if they listened to his words and became his followers. And if they did that, their poor spiritual condition would be changed to a life of total spirituality (the Kingdom of the heavens), and they would be given comfort from their sadness.

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Blest or Happy?

There is quite a debate as to whether the Greek word makarios found in the Beatitudes of Matthew the Fifth Chapter (as well as in many other places) should be translated blessed or happy.

According to Zodhiates’ Complete Word Study Dictionary, the word should never translated happy, because happy is derived from the words happen, happening, or happenstance (luck). His reasoning (which we agree with) is that, when someone suffers for the sake of righteous principles, his/her reward isn’t just happiness (which can come from any source of good luck or fortune), but rather, it is a joy that comes from gaining a better relationship with God.

In other words, there is no exact word in English to use here, but blest seems to be a closer alternative than happy.

Notice that we have chosen an older spelling of the word blessed (blest instead of bless-ed) to get rid the affected pronunciation that was likely introduced by early preachers.

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God’s Promise of an Inheritance

At Matthew 5:5 we read, ‘The meek are blest, because they will inherit the earth.’

What Jesus said at Matthew 5:5 is a direct quotation from Psalm 37:11. The Greek word that was used for inherit here, kleronomesousi, means to receive by lot. The term reminds us of the way things were handled just before the Israelites entered the Promised Land. Some type of ‘lots’ were cast to determine which family would receive each portion of land as their allotment or inheritance. We don’t know how this was done, but it was obviously by some form of chance.

So, the inference at Matthew 5:5 is that ‘the meek’ would receive an ‘inheritance’ over a portion of the earth, which will be assigned in a ‘lottery,’ not arbitrarily.

Notice, for example, the way the inheritance of God’s people is described at Isaiah 34:16, 17 (LXX), ‘For [Jehovah will] command them and gather them with His Breath. He will cast lots for them with His hand and assign them pastures, [saying], You will inherit through the ages and rest there through all generations.’

And again at Isaiah 57:13, ‘But those who stick with Me will own the earth and inherit My holy mountain.’

And again, at Isaiah 60:21, ‘Your people will all be righteous and they’ll inherit the earth through the ages.’

So, the question is; who make up the class that Jesus referred to as the meek? Since one of the primary reasons for Jesus coming to earth was to select the Israel of God, this group was the focus of many of his words. And the surrounding verses that discuss blessings in the first portion of Matthew Chapter Five appear to be directed toward this class who many believe will rule the earth. But, the question then arise, will the rule the earth from heaven, as many have been taught?

The Promise to ‘the Sheep’

Well, Psalm 37:11, 29 (the scriptures that Matthew 5:5 is based on), as well as the verses quoted (above) from Isaiah, indicate that those who ‘inherit the earth’ will also ‘live on the earth for ages of ages.’ And this idea is reinforced by Jesus’ words at Matt 25:34-36, where he was talking about ‘the last days’ and the separating of ‘the sheep and the goats.’

When he was talking about the ‘sheep’ (in Matthew 25:34-36), Jesus said, ‘Then the king will tell those on his right, Come, you who have been praised by my Father, inherit the Kingdom that has been prepared for you from the founding of the world.

So, notice that the promise to the sheep was that they would ‘inherit the Kingdom,’ because they had done good things for Jesus’ brothers. Yet, it appears as though the ‘sheep’ that Jesus spoke of there have an earthly calling, because they are being separated from ‘the goats,’ who obviously weren’t in heaven. And thereafter, there’s no mention of the sheep being taken to heaven. There’s just the promise of ‘inheriting the Kingdom,’ which likely means the same as ‘inheriting the earth.’

A Contradiction?

However, there does seem to be a Biblical contradiction to the thought that the ‘sheep’ who ‘inherit the Kingdom’ have an earthly hope. For, notice the words of Paul that are found at 1 Corinthians 15:49-54, ‘So, just as we’ve worn the image of the one who was made from the dust, we will also wear the image of the Heavenly One. I tell you this, brothers: Flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s Kingdom, nor can [something that’s] decaying inherit cleanliness. Look, I tell you a mystery: Not all of us will be laid to rest, but we will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, during the last trumpet. The trumpet will blow and the dead will be raised clean, and we will be changed. Then that which is corruptible will put on incorruptibility, and that which is dying will put on immortality. But, when that which is dying puts on immortality, then the words that were written are fulfilled, Death is swallowed in victory.’

Where is the contradiction? Well, these words of Paul – that Christians will ‘wear the image of the holy one,’ that they will be instantly ‘changed,’ and that they will ‘put on immortality (gr. athanasia)’ – have always been thought of as conclusive proof that those who Paul was addressing were being promised life in heaven. But if that was the meaning of Paul’s words, then the ‘sheep’ of Matthew 25:34-36 must also have a heavenly calling, for, as Paul said, ‘Flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s Kingdom.’ So, the sheep cannot possibly inherit the Kingdom as flesh-and-blood if Paul was talking about a heavenly hope at First Corinthians Chapter Fifteen.

Could it be that Paul was writing about something other than a heavenly resurrection at 1 Corinthians 15:35-54?

Possible Meaning of 1 Corinthians 15:35-54

Notice that there is a problem with the timeframe mentioned by Paul… when ‘the trumpet’ blows and the dead’ are raised.’ In Revelation Chapters Nineteen and Twenty we learn that the time when ‘the dead’ are raised comes after the ‘marriage of the Lamb’ (which is the heavenly uniting of Jesus with his ‘faithful slave’) and after the battle of Armageddon. Look up those Chapters and read the sequence of events yourself if you doubt this.

So, since God’s righteous servants are never referred to as ‘the dead’ in the Bible, it appears as though Paul’s words at 1 Corinthians 15:49-54 may be referring to those who receive an earthly resurrection.

Also notice that whereas Paul spoken spoke unsurely of his resurrection to an ‘upward calling’ at Philippians 3:11-14, he did speak very positively about his hope that he would receive some sort of a resurrection in First Corinthians Chapter Fifteen. What sort? Well, read what Paul had just written about the resurrection just a few verses earlier (in 1 Corinthians 15:35-38), ‘Now, some [are sure to] ask, Just how will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they return in?’ You senseless person! Those who plant [seeds] know that the [seeds] can’t live unless they die first. And what you are planting isn’t the body that it’s going to become – it is just a naked grain of wheat, or whatever. God will give it whatever body He wishes, the same as He gives each seed its body.’

So, what was Paul saying here? He was saying that the types of bodies we will receive in the resurrection won’t be decided until after we die, so he was discussing both resurrections (as heavenly bodies and earthly bodies).

The ‘Soulical’ Body

However, he went on to say (at 1 Corinthians 15:42-45), ‘That’s how the resurrection of the dead is. It is planted in a decaying condition and it is raised clean. It is planted without honor, but it is raised in glory. It is planted as weak, but it is raised in power. It is planted as a human body, and it is raised as a body of breath. If there’s a human body, there’s also one of breath. As it is written, The first man Adam became a living human. However, the last Adam became a breath that brings life.’

So, isn’t Paul saying that humans will be resurrected as breaths (or spirits) here?

Well, let’s look at the words that we have translated as human body in this scripture. The Greek words are soma psychikon, or body soulical. And while we have translated these words as fleshly body, they mean the body of the inner person. So, what the words imply is that the thing that dies is the imperfect (fleshly) person, and it will be resurrected not as a spirit, but in the perfect body of a spiritual person. That this is the correct meaning is verified by what Paul had just said (at 1 Corinthians 15:42), ‘It is planted in a decaying condition and it is raised clean.’

So, can these words of Paul also be speaking of an earthly resurrection? Yes, because those faithful who die with an earthly hope are obviously resurrected clean and spiritual also, not in a decaying condition. They will no longer be living as fleshly people, but as spiritual people.

For example, notice how Paul’s words, ‘The dead will be raised clean,’ and ‘Death is swallowed in victory’ match with the promise of an earthly resurrection found at Revelation 20:13, 14, where we read, ‘Death and the grave gave up those dead in them, and ‘Death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire.’

Bearing ‘the Image of the Holy One’

But, how would it be possible for humans (as Paul said) to ‘bear the image of the Holy One?’ Don’t those words imply that faithful humans will be given bodies like God and live in the heavens?

Well, notice the words that were once used to describe Adam, as found at Genesis 1:27 (LXX), ‘So, God made man. He made him in the image of God.’

As you can see, Adam started out by bearing the image of the Holy One (God) as a human here on the earth. And he lost this image for future generations by his sin in Eden. So, it appears as though bearing ‘the image of the Holy One’ is a gift that men will regain here on the earth. However, Paul’s words (that the faithful dead will be ‘raised as a body of Breath’) seem to imply that they will be raised as something we have never known before, with a type of spirituality and life that is much greater than anything most of us have conceived