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Bible Commentaries

Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Matthew 5

Verse 1

seeing. App-133 .

a mountain = the mountain. Well known and therefore unnamed, but corresponds with the Mount of Olives in the Structure of the Gospel as a whole. There is a reference also to Sinai.

set. The posture of the Oriental teacher today.

Verse 2

opened His mouth. Hebrew idiom. Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6 , for speaking (Job 3:1 , Daniel 10:16 , Acts 8:35 ).

taught them. See note on Mat 7:39 , and the Structure, above. The Structure is the commentary showing that this teaching is connected with the proclamation of the kingdom (Matthew 5:3 ), and is to be interpreted by it. As the kingdom was rejected and is now in abeyance, so likewise this discourse is in abeyance with all its commands, &c, until "the gospel of the kingdom" is again proclaimed, to herald its drawing nigh. Parts of this address were repeated at different times and on different occasions. Luke nowhere professes to give the whole address in its chronological setting or entirety. Only some thirty separate verses are so repeated by Luke out of 107 verses in Matthew. The later repetitions in Luke were given in "a plain" (Luke 6:17 ) and after the calling of the Twelve (Luke 6:13 ); here the whole is given before the calling of the Twelve (Matthew 9:9 ). These are marks of accuracy, not of "discrepancy" as alleged. Modern critics first assume that the two accounts are identical, and then say: "No one now expects to find chronological accuracy in the evangelical records"! For the relation of the Sermon on the Mount to Psalms 15:0 , see App-70 ; and to the seven "woes" of Matthew 23:0 , see App-126 .

Verse 3

Blessed = Happy, representing the Hebrew 'ashrey (not baruk, blessed). 'Ashrey (Figure of speech Beatitudo, not Benedictio) occurs in nineteen Psalms twenty-six times; elsewhere only in eight books (Deuteronomy, 1Kings, 2 Chronicles, Isaiah, Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, and Daniel) The Aramaic equivalent for 'ashrey is tob (singular, plural, or dual). See App-94 ., and App-63 . Greek. makarios = happy (not eulogetos, which = blessed, and is used only of God (Mark 14:61 .Luke 1:68 . Romans 1:25 ; Romans 9:5 ; 2 Corinthians 1:3 ; 2 Corinthians 11:31 .Ephesians 1:3 . 1 Peter 1:3 ).

poor in spirit. The equivalent for the Aramaic ( App-94 ., p. 135) 'anaiyim (Hebrew. 'anah. See note on Proverbs 1:11 ) = poor in this world (as in Luke 6:20 ), in contrast with the promise of the kingdom. Compare James 2:5 .

spirit. Greek. pneuma. See App-101 .

the kingdom of heaven. Then proclaimed as having drawn nigh (Matthew 3:2 ; Matthew 4:17 ). See App-114 .

heaven = the heavens. See notes on Matthew 6:9 , Matthew 6:10 .

Verse 4

Blessed. Note the Figure of speech Anaphora ( App-6 ). The eight Beatitudes are to be contrasted with and understood by the eight "woes" of Matthew 23:13-40.23.33 . See App-126 .

Verse 5

meek. Compare Psalms 37:11 .

the earth: or, the land. Greek. ge. See App-129 .

Verse 6

hunger and thirst, &c. The idiom for a strong desire. Compare Psalms 42:1 , Psalms 42:2 ; Psalms 119:103 .

Verse 7

merciful = compassionate. Compare Psalms 41:1 .

mercy. Not merely now, but in the manifestation of the kingdom, James 2:13 (compare Hebrews 4:16 ; Hebrews 8:12 ; Hebrews 10:28 ).

Verse 8

pure in heart. Compare Psalms 24:4 ; Psalms 73:1 .

Verse 9

peacemakers. Compare Psalms 133:1 . Greek. eirenopoios. Occurs only here.

children = sons. Greek. huios.

Verse 10

a re persecuted = have been persecuted. Compare Psalms 37:39 , Psalms 37:40 .

for = on account of.

for righteousness'sake. Not otherwise.

Verse 11

revile = reproach.

evil = harmful thing. Greek. poneros. App-128 .

falsely. This is another condition of the happiness of Matthew 5:3 .

Verse 12

Rejoice, &c. See 1 Peter 4:13 . Compare Acts 16:25 .

for = because. Not the same as in Matthew 5:3 , &c.

Verse 13

ye. Representing the kingdom of Matthew 5:3 with Matthew 4:17 .

are = represent. Figure of speech Metaphor. App-6 .

salt. Compare Mark 9:50 . Luke 14:34 , Luke 14:35 .

if. See App-118 . b, expressing a real contingency; for, if the salt is stored on the bare earth, or is exposed to the air or sun, it does lose its savour and is fit for no place but the streets (see Thomson's Th e Land and the Book, Lond., 1869, p. 381).

his = its.

of = by. Greek. hupo.

of men. Belongs to former clause, as well, by Figure of speech Ellipsis , App-6 .

Verse 14

light. Greek. phos = light. See App-130 .

world. Greek. kosmos. See App-129 .

A city. Safed, so placed, was within sight.

Verse 15

Neither = and not (Greek. ou) . App-105 .

candle = lamp. Greek. luchcnos.

a bushel = the measure. Greek. modion = a dry measure: i.e. any measure there may happen to be in the house.

on = upon. Greek. epi .

a candlestick = the lampstand. Greek. luchnia . App-130 .

Verse 16

so = thus.

that = so that.

Verse 17

Think not, &c. = Deem not for a moment. A very necessary warning against making this mount another Sinai, and promulgating the laws of the kingdom proclaimed in and from Matthew 4:17 .

I am come = I have come. Implying former existence. Compare Matthew 8:10 .

destroy = pull down, as in Matthew 26:61 .

the law. The first of fifteen references to the Law by Christ (Matthew 5:17 , Matthew 5:18 ; Matthew 7:12 ; Matthew 11:13 ; Matthew 12:5 ; Matthew 22:40 ; Matthew 23:23 .Luke 10:26 ; Luke 16:6 , Luke 16:17 ; Luke 24:44 .John 7:19 , John 7:19 , John 7:23 ; John 8:17 ; John 10:34 ; John 15:25 ), five of these coupled with "Moses".

Verse 18

verily. Greek. amen . Used only by the Lord. Same as Hebrew. 'amen, preserved in all languages. Should be so given at the beginning of sentences. Always (except once) double in John; twenty-five times. with the earth. (See notes on Matthew 6:9 , Matthew 6:10 .)

earth = the earth. App-129 .

jot = yod . Greek. iota . Occurs only here. The smallest Hebrew letter (= Y). The Massorites numbered 66,420.

tittle = the merest ornament. Not the difference between two similar Hebrew letters, e.g. ( Resh = R) and ( Daleth = D), or ( Beth = B) and ( Kaph - K), as alleged, but a small ornament placed over certain letters in the Hebrew text. See App-93 . The Eng. "tittle" is diminutive of title (Latin. titulus) = a small mark placed over a word for any purpose: e.g. to mark an abbreviation.

in no wise. Greek. ou me.

Verse 19

Whosoever = every one that (with Greek. an. Supposing the case). See note on "Till", Matthew 5:18 . Note the Figure of speech Anaphora ( App-6 ).

these least = these shortest. Referring not to what men might thus distinguish, but to the difference made by the Lord between the whole Law and its minutiae.

Verse 20

the righteousness. Supply "[that]".

Pharisees. See App-120 .

in no case. See App-105 .

Verse 21

heard. In the public reading of the Law.

it was said. Opposite to "I say". Compare Matthew 19:8 , Matthew 19:9 , where the "I" is not emphatic (as it is here). See Exodus 20:13 .Deuteronomy 5:17 . App-117 .

by them = or to them.

Verse 22

brother. An Israelite by nation and blood; while a neighbour was an Israelite by religion and worship (= a Proselyte). Both distinct from the heathen. So the Talmud defines them.

without a cause. Omitted by LT [Trm. A], WH R.

in danger of = liable to.

judgment. The council of three in the local synagogue. See App-120 .

Raca. In 1611 edition spelled "Racha"; changed in 1638 edition to "Raca". An Aramaic word, see App-94 .; not a contumelious epithet, but a contemptuous interjection, expressing the emotion or scorn of a disdainful mind (so Augustine), like Eng. "You! "Compare Latin. Heus tu, Greek. raka. Occurs only here.

in danger of = liable to.

the council = the Sanhedrin. The supreme national court. See App-120 .

Thou fool. Greek. mores . Hebrew. nabal. Always = a wicked reprobate, destitute of all spiritual or Divine knowledge (compare John 7:49 ).

of = to or unto. Greek. eis. App-104 .

hell fire = the gehenna of fire, from Hebrew. gey Hinnom = the valley of Hinnom, profaned by the fires of Moloch worship (2 Chronicles 33:6 ), and defiled by Hezekiah. Also called "Tophet", Isaiah 30:33 . Here the refuse of Jerusalem was continually being burnt up by the perpetual fires (compare Jeremiah 7:31-24.7.33 . 2 Kings 23:10 . Mark 9:48 . Isaiah 66:24 ). See App-131 .

Verse 23

bring = offer, as in Matthew 5:24 .

gift: i.e. sacrifice.

to = up to. Greek. epi .

Verse 24

Leave. An unusual practice.

be reconciled. Greek. dialattomai. Occurs only here.

Verse 25

Agree = Be well-minded. Greek. eunoeo. Occurs only here. adversary = opponent (in a lawsuit).

with. Greek. meta.

officer. Here = the tax-collector, as shown by the Papyri. See note on Luke 12:58 .

Verse 26

by no means. Greek. on me. Compare App-105 .

uttermost = last.

farthing: which shows it to be a case of debt. See App-51 .

Verse 27

THE LAW OF ADULTERY. Thou, &c. Quoted from Exodus 20:14 .Deuteronomy 5:18 . App-117 .

Verse 28

whosoever = every one that.

looketh = keeps looking See App-133 .

a woman = a married woman.

Verse 29

thy right eye: i.e. thy choicest possession. Figure of speech Hypocatastasis. App-6 .

offend = causeth thee to stumble (morally). Compare Matthew 18:6 . 1 Corinthians 1:23 .

Verse 30

thy right. See note on Matthew 5:29 .

Verse 31

It hath been said. It was said. See Deuteronomy 24:1 .

Verse 33

THE LAW OF PERJURY. it hath been said = it was said. See Leviticus 19:12 ; also App-107 .

Thou shalt not, &c. Quoted from Exodus 20:7 . Numbers 30:2 .Deuteronomy 23:21 .

forswear = swear falsely. Greek. epiorkeo. Occurs only here.

the LORD. See App-98 .

Verse 34

at all. Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Genus), App-6 ;. not lightly. The particulars given in verses: Matthew 5:35 , Matthew 5:36 .

by. Greek. en.

God's. App-98 .

Verse 35

the city of the great King. Only here in N.T. Compare Psalms 48:2 , referring to Zion. Contrast 2 Kings 18:19 , 2 Kings 18:28 . See note on Matthew 4:5 .

Verse 37

communication = word Greek. logos. Omit "be". Yea, yea = Yes, [be] yes. Figure of speech Epizeuxis. App-6 .

Nay, nay = Nay, [be] nay.

whatsoever = what.

cometh = is.

of = out of. Greek. ek. App-104 .

Verse 38

THE LAW OF RETALIATION. it hath been said = it was said. Quoted from Exodus 21:24 . Compare Lev 24:24 .Deuteronomy 19:21 . See App-107 .:2 and 117.

Verse 39

smite. Greek. rapizo. Occurs only in Matthew (here and Matthew 26:67 ).

Verse 40

if any man, &c. = to him who, wishing to go to law with thee.

will = wishing. Greek. thelo. See App-102 .

coat = now called the sulta = an outer jacket or tunic, Greek. chiton.

cloke. The jibbeh, juteh, or benish, a long robe or mantle, full, with short sleeves, Greek. himation. See Matthew 27:32 .Mark 15:21 . Compare Luke 3:14 .

Verse 41

to go: i.e. to carry his baggage. Compare Luke 3:14 .

a mile. Greek. million (from Latin. miliarium) . Occurs only here.

Verse 42

would = would fain. Greek. thelo . App-102 .

of = from. Grr. apo.

Verse 43

THE LAW OF LOVE. it hath been said = it was said. Quoted from Leviticus 19:18 .

thine enemy = thy foe. Personal, political, or religious.

Verse 44

bless them . . . hate you . This clause is omitted by all the critical Greek texts. See App-94 .

pray. Greek. proseuchomai. App-134 .

for = on behalf of. Greek. huper.

Verse 45

be = become.

Verse 46

what reward, &c. The Lord varies the wording of this when repeating it later in Luke 6:35 .

not. Greek. ouchi. A strengthened form of ou. App-105 .

Publicans = tax-gatherers. Hence, extortioners. Latin. = publicani.

Verse 47

publicans. L. with Vulgate and some codices read "Gentiles". The publican was despised; Gentiles were detested.

Verse 48

perfect. In thus acting on the principles of grace, in conformity with the laws of the kingdom here promulgated. Greek. teleios. See App-125 .

your . . . heaven. All the texts read "your heavenly Father". See note on Matthew 6:14 .

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Matthew 5". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.