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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - Matthew 5:3

    CHAPTERS: Matthew 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28     

    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48




    King James Bible - Matthew 5:3

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

    World English Bible

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Douay-Rheims - Matthew 5:3

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

    Webster's Bible Translation

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

    Greek Textus Receptus

    3107 A-NPM οι 3588 T-NPM πτωχοι 4434 A-NPM τω 3588 T-DSN πνευματι 4151 N-DSN οτι 3754 CONJ αυτων 846 P-GPM εστιν 2076 5748 V-PXI-3S η 3588 T-NSF βασιλεια 932 N-NSF των 3588 T-GPM ουρανων 3772 N-GPM

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (3) -
    :4-11; 11:6; 13:16; 24:46 Ps 1:1; 2:12; 32:1,2; 41:1; 84:12; 112:1

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 5:3

    ¶ Bienaventurados los pobres en espíritu; porque de ellos es el Reino de los cielos.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - Matthew 5:3

    Verse 3.
    Blessed are the poor in spirit, &c.] Or, happy, makarioi from ma or mh, not, and khr, fate, or death: intimating, that such persons were endued with immortality, and consequently were not liable to the caprices of fate. Homer, Iliad i, 330, calls the supreme gods, qewn makarwn, the ever happy and IMMORTAL gods, and opposes them to qnhtwn anqrwpwn, mortal men.

    tw d autw marturoi estwn, prov te qewn makarwn, prov te qnhtwn anqropwn "Be ye witnesses before the immortal gods, and before mortal men." From this definition we may learn, that the person whom Christ terms happy is one who is not under the influence of fate or chance, but is governed by an all-wise providence, having every step directed to the attainment of immortal glory, being transformed by the power into the likeness of the ever-blessed God. Though some of the persons, whose states are mentioned in these verses, cannot be said to be as yet blessed or happy, in being made partakers of the Divine nature; yet they are termed happy by our Lord, because they are on the straight way to this blessedness.

    Taken in this light the meaning is similar to that expressed by the poet when describing a happy man.

    FELIX, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas: Atque metus omnes et inexorabile FATUM Subjecit pedibus; strepitumque Acherontis avari! Virg. Geor. ii. v. 490 Which may be thus paraphrased:-" Happy is he who gains the knowledge of the first cause of all things; who can trample on every fear, and the doctrine of inexorable FATE; and who is not terrified by death, nor by the threatened torments of the invisible world!" Poor in spirit] One who is deeply sensible of his spiritual poverty and wretchedness. ptwcov, a poor man, comes from ptwssw, to tremble, or shrink with fear. Being destitute of the true riches, he is tremblingly alive to the necessities of his soul, shrinking with fear lest he should perish without the salvation of God. Such Christ pronounces happy, because there is but a step between them and that kingdom which is here promised.

    Some contend, that makarioi should be referred to, pneumati, and the verse translated thus: Happy, or blessed in spirit, are the poor. But our Lord seems to have the humiliation of the spirit particularly in view.

    Kingdom of heaven.] Or, twn ouranwn, of the heavens. A participation of all the blessings of the new covenant here, and the blessings of glory above. See this phrase explained, "Matthew iii. 2". Blessed are the poor! this is God's word; but who believes it? Do we not say, Yea, rather, Blessed is the rich? The Jewish rabbins have many good sayings relative to that poverty and humility of spirit which Christ recommends in this verse. In the treatise called Bammidbar Rabbi, s. 20, we have these words: There were three (evils) in Balaam: the evil eye, (envy,) the towering spirit, (pride,) and the extensive mind (avarice.) Tanchum, fol. 84. The law does not abide with those who have the extensive mind, (avarice,) but with him only who has a contrite heart.

    Rabbi Chanina said, "Why are the words of the law compared to water? Because as waters flow from heights, and settle in low places, so the words of the law rest only with him who is of an humble heart." See Schoettgen.

    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 3. Blessed are the poor in spirit , etc.] Not the poor in purse, or who are so with respect to things temporal: for though God has chosen and called many, who are in such a condition of life, yet not all; the kingdom of heaven cannot be said to belong to them all, or only; but such as are poor in a spiritual sense. All mankind are spiritually poor; they have nothing to eat that is fit and proper; nor any clothes to wear, but rags; nor are they able to purchase either; they have no money to buy with; they are in debt, owe ten thousand talents, and have nothing to pay; and in such a condition, that they are not able to help themselves. The greater part of mankind are insensible of this their condition; but think themselves rich, and increased with goods: there are some who are sensible of it, who see their poverty and want, freely acknowledge it, bewail it, and mourn over it; are humbled for it, and are broken under a sense of it; entertain low and mean thoughts of themselves; seek after the true riches, both of grace and glory; and frankly acknowledge, that all they have, or hope to have, is owing to the free grace of God. Now these are the persons intended in this place; who are not only poor, but are poor in spirit; in their own spirits, in their own sense, apprehension, and judgment: and may even be called beggars, as the word may be rendered; for being sensible of their poverty, they place themselves at the door of mercy, and knock there; their language is, God be merciful; their posture is standing, watching, and waiting, at wisdoms gates, and at the posts of her door; they are importunate, will have no denial, yet receive the least favour with thankfulness. Now these are pronounced blessed, for this reason, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven ; not only the Gospel, and the ministration of it, which belongs to them. The poor have the Gospel preached: it not only reaches their ears, but their hearts; it enters into them, is applied unto them, they receive and embrace it with the utmost joy and gladness; but eternal glory, this is prepared for them, and given to them; they are born heirs of it, have a right unto it, are making meet for it, and shall enjoy it.

    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 3-12 - Our Saviour here gives eight characters of
    blessed people, whic represent to us the principal graces of a Christian. 1. The poor in spirit are happy. These bring their minds to their condition, when it is a low condition. They are humble and lowly in their own eyes. The see their want, bewail their guilt, and thirst after a Redeemer. The kingdom of grace is of such; the kingdom of glory is for them. 2. Thos that mourn are happy. That godly sorrow which worketh true repentance watchfulness, a humble mind, and continual dependence for acceptance of the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, with constant seeking the Holy Spirit, to cleanse away the remaining evil, seems here to be intended Heaven is the joy of our Lord; a mountain of joy, to which our way is through a vale of tears. Such mourners shall be comforted by their God 3. The meek are happy. The meek are those who quietly submit to God who can bear insult; are silent, or return a soft answer; who, in their patience, keep possession of their own souls, when they can scarcel keep possession of anything else. These meek ones are happy, even in this world. Meekness promotes wealth, comfort, and safety, even in thi world. 4. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are happy Righteousness is here put for all spiritual blessings. These ar purchased for us by the righteousness of Christ, confirmed by the faithfulness of God. Our desires of spiritual blessings must be earnest. Though all desires for grace are not grace, yet such a desir as this, is a desire of God's own raising, and he will not forsake the work of his own hands. 5. The merciful are happy. We must not only bea our own afflictions patiently, but we must do all we can to help thos who are in misery. We must have compassion on the souls of others, an help them; pity those who are in sin, and seek to snatch them as brand out of the burning. 6. The pure in heart are happy; for they shall se God. Here holiness and happiness are fully described and put together The heart must be purified by faith, and kept for God. Create in m such a clean heart, Of God. None but the pure are capable of seeing God nor would heaven be happiness to the impure. As God cannot endure to look upon their iniquity, so they cannot look upon his purity. 7. The peace-makers are happy. They love, and desire, and delight in peace and study to be quiet. They keep the peace that it be not broken, an recover it when it is broken. If the peace-makers are blessed, woe to the peace-breakers! 8. Those who are persecuted for righteousness' sak are happy. This saying is peculiar to Christianity; and it is mor largely insisted upon than any of the rest. Yet there is nothing in ou sufferings that can merit of God; but God will provide that those wh lose for him, though life itself, shall not lose by him in the end Blessed Jesus! how different are thy maxims from those of men of thi world! They call the proud happy, and admire the gay, the rich, the powerful, and the victorious. May we find mercy from the Lord; may we be owned as his children, and inherit his kingdom. With thes enjoyments and hopes, we may cheerfully welcome low or painfu circumstances.

    Greek Textus Receptus

    3107 A-NPM οι 3588 T-NPM πτωχοι 4434 A-NPM τω 3588 T-DSN πνευματι 4151 N-DSN οτι 3754 CONJ αυτων 846 P-GPM εστιν 2076 5748 V-PXI-3S η 3588 T-NSF βασιλεια 932 N-NSF των 3588 T-GPM ουρανων 3772 N-GPM

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    Blessed (makarioi). As this word and its cognates occur at least fifty-five times in the New Testament, it is important to understand its history, which is interesting because it is one of those numerous words which exhibit the influence of Christian association and usage in enlarging and dignifying their meaning. It is commonly rendered blessed, both in the A.V. and Rev., and that rendering might properly be given it in every instance.

    Its root is supposed to be a word meaning great, and its earlier meaning appears to be limited to outward prosperity; so that it is used at times as synonymous with rich. It scarcely varies from this meaning in its frequent applications to the Grecian gods, since the popular Greek ideal of divine blessedness was not essentially moral. The gods were blessed because of their power and dignity, not because of their holiness. "In general," says Mr. Gladstone ("Homer and the Homeric Age") "the chief note of deity with Homer is emancipation from the restraints of moral law. Though the Homeric gods have not yet ceased to be the vindicators of morality upon earth, they have personally ceased to observe its rules, either for or among themselves. As compared with men, in conduct they are generally characterized by superior force and intellect, but by inferior morality."

    In its peculiar application to the dead, there is indicated the despair of earthly happiness underlying the thought of even the cheerful and mercurial Greek. Hence the word was used as synonymous with dead. Only the dead could be called truly blessed. Thus Sophocles ("Oedipus Tyrannus"):

    "From hence the lesson learn ye To reckon no man happy till ye witness The closing day; until he pass the border Which severs life from death, unscathed by sorrow."

    And again ("Oedipus at Colonus"):

    "Happiest beyond compare, Never to taste of life: Happiest in order next, Being born, with quickest speed Thither again to turn From whence we came."

    Nevertheless, even in its pagan use, the word was not altogether without a moral background. The Greeks recognized a prosperity which waited on the observance of the laws of natural morality, and an avenging Fate which pursued and punished their violation. This conception appears often in the works of the tragedians; for instance, in the "Oedipus Tyrannus" of Sophocles, where the main motive is the judgment which waits upon even unwitting violations of natural ties. Still, this prosperity is external, consisting either in wealth, or power, or exemption from calamity.

    With the philosophers a moral element comes definitely into the word. The conception rises from outward propriety to inward correctness as the essence of happiness. But in all of them, from Socrates onward, virtue depends primarily upon knowledge; so that to be happy is, first of all, to know. It is thus apparent that the Greek philosophy had no conception of sin in the Bible sense. As virtue depended on knowledge, sin was the outcome of ignorance, and virtue and its consequent happiness were therefore the prerogative of the few and the learned.

    The biblical use of the word lifted it into the region of the spiritual, as distinguished from the merely intellectual, and besides, intrusted to it alone the task of representing this higher conception. The pagan word for happiness (eujdaimonia, under the protection of a good genius or daemon) nowhere occurs in the New Testament nor in the Scriptures, having fallen into disrepute because the word daemon, which originally meant a deity, good or evil, had acquired among the Jews the bad sense which we attach to demon. Happiness, or better, blessedness, was therefore represented both in the Old and in the New Testament by this word makariov. In the Old Testament the idea involves more of outward prosperity than in the New Testament, yet it almost universally occurs in connections which emphasize, as its principal element, a sense of God's approval founded in righteousness which rests ultimately on love to God.

    Thus the word passed up into the higher region of Christian thought, and was stamped with the gospel signet, and laden with all the rich significance of gospel blessedness. It now takes on a group of ideas strange to the best pagan morality, and contradictory of its fundamental positions. Shaking itself loose from all thoughts of outward good, it becomes the express symbol of a happiness identified with pure character. Behind it lies the clear cognition of sin as the fountain-head of all misery, and of holiness as the final and effectual cure for every woe. For knowledge as the basis of virtue, and therefore of happiness, it substitutes faith and love. For the aristocracy of the learned virtuous, it introduces the truth of the Fatherhood of God and the corollary of the family of believers. While the pagan word carries the isolation of the virtuous and the contraction of human sympathy, the Gospel pushes these out with an ideal of a world-wide sympathy and of a happiness realized in ministry. The vague outlines of an abstract good vanish from it, and give place to the pure heart's vision of God, and its personal communion with the Father in heaven. Where it told of the Stoic's self-sufficiency, it now tells of the Christian's poverty of spirit and meekness. Where it hinted at the Stoic's self-repression and strangling of emotion, it now throbs with a holy sensitiveness, and with a monition to rejoice with them that rejoice, and to weep with them that weep. From the pagan word the flavor of immortality is absent. No vision of abiding rest imparts patience and courage amid the bitterness and struggle of life; no menace of the destiny of evil imposes a check on human lusts. The Christian word blessed is full of the light of heaven. It sternly throws away from itself every hint of the Stoic's asserted right of suicide as a refuge from human ills, and emphasizes something which thrives on trial and persecution, which glories in tribulation, which not only endures but conquers to world, and expects its crown in heaven.

    The poor (oi ptwcoi). Three words expression poverty are found in the New Testament. Two of them, penhv and penicrov, are kindred terms, the latter being merely a poetic form of the other, and neither of these occurs more than once (Luke xxi. 2; 2 Cor. ix. 9). The word used in this verse is therefore the current word for poor, occurring thirty-four times, and covering every gradation of want; so that it is evident that the New Testament writers did not recognize any nice distinctions of meaning which called for the use of other terms. Luke, for instance (xxi. 2, 3), calls the widow who bestowed her two mites both penicran and ptwch. Nevertheless, there is a distinction, recognized by both classical and eccleciastical writers. While oJ penhv is one of narrow means, one who "earns a scanty pittance," ptwcov is allied to the verb ptwssein, to crouch or cringe, and therefore conveys the idea of utter destitution, which abjectly solicits and lives by alms. Hence it is applied to Lazarus (Luke xvi. 20, 22), and rendered beggar. Thus distinguished, it is very graphic and appropriate here, as denoting the utter spiritual destitution, the consciousness of which precedes the entrance into the kingdom of God, and which cannot be relieved by one's own efforts, but only by the free mercy of God. (See on 2 Cor. vi. 10; viii. 9.)

    Robertson's NT Word Studies

    5:3 {Blessed} (makarioi). The English word "blessed" is more exactly represented by the Greek verbal eulogtoi as in #Lu 1:68 of God by Zacharias, or the perfect passive participle eulogemenos as in #Lu 1:42 of Mary by Elizabeth and in #Mt 21:9. Both forms come from eulogew, to speak well of (eu, logos). The Greek word here (makarioi) is an adjective that means "happy" which in English etymology goes back to hap, chance, good-luck as seen in our words haply, hapless, happily, happiness. "Blessedness is, of course, an infinitely higher and better thing than mere happiness" (Weymouth). English has thus ennobled "blessed" to a higher rank than "happy." But "happy" is what Jesus said and the _Braid Scots New Testament_ dares to say "Happy" each time here as does the _Improved Edition of the American Bible Union Version_. The Greek word is as old as Homer and Pindar and was used of the Greek gods and also of men, but largely of outward prosperity. qen it is applied to the dead who died in the Lord as in #Re 14:13. Already in the Old Testament the Septuagint uses it of moral quality. "Shaking itself loose from all thoughts of outward good, it becomes the express symbol of a happiness identified with pure character. Behind it lies the clear cognition of Sin as the fountain-head of all misery, and of holiness as the final and effectual cure for every woe. For knowledge as the basis of virtue, and therefore of happiness, it substitutes faith and love" (Vincent). Jesus takes this word "happy" and puts it in this rich environment. " this is one of the words which have been transformed and ennobled by New Testament use; by association, as in the Beatitudes, with unusual conditions, accounted by the world miserable, or with rare and difficult" (Bruce). It is a pity that we have not kept the word "happy" to the high and holy plane where Jesus placed it. "If you know these things, happy (makarioi) are you if you do them" (#Joh 13:17). "Happy (makarioi) are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (#Joh 20:29). And Paul applies this adjective to God, "according to the gospel of the glory of the happy (makariou) God" (#1Ti 1:11. Cf. also #Tit 2:13). The term "Beatitudes" (Latin _beatus_) comes close to the meaning of Christ here by makarioi. It will repay one to make a careful study of all the "beatitudes" in the New Testament where this word is employed. It occurs nine times here (#3-11), though the beatitudes in verses 10 and 11 are very much alike. The copula is not expressed in either of these nine beatitudes. In each case a reason is given for the beatitude, "for" (hoti), that shows the spiritual quality involved. Some of the phrases employed by Jesus here occur in the Psalms, some even in the Talmud (itself later than the New Testament, though of separate origin). That is of small moment. "The originality of Jesus lies in putting the due value on these thoughts, collecting them, and making them as prominent as the Ten Commandments. No greater service can be rendered to mankind than to rescue from obscurity neglected moral commonplaces " (Bruce). Jesus repeated his sayings many times as all great teachers and preachers do, but this sermon has unity, progress, and consummation. It does not contain all that Jesus taught by any means, but it stands out as the greatest single sermon of all time, in its penetration, pungency, and power. {The poor in spirit} (hoi pt"choi t"i pneumati). Luke has only "the poor," but he means the same by it as this form in Matthew, "the pious in Israel, for the most part poor, whom the worldly rich despised and persecuted" (McNeile). The word used here (pt"choi) is applied to the beggar Lazarus in #Lu 16:20,22 and suggests spiritual destitution (from ptwssw to crouch, to cower). The other word penes is from penomai, to work for one's daily bread and so means one who works for his living. The word ptwcos is more frequent in the New Testament and implies deeper poverty than penes. "The kingdom of heaven" here means the reign of God in the heart and life. this is the _summum bonum_ and is what matters most.

    CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48


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