Matthew 5:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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

Darby Bible Translation
Blessed [are] the poor in spirit, for *theirs* is the kingdom of the heavens.

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

Young's Literal Translation
'Happy the poor in spirit -- because theirs is the reign of the heavens.

Matthew 5:3 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Blessed are the poor in spirit, etc. - Or, happy, μακαριοι from μα or μη, not, and κηρ, 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, Θεων μακαρων, the ever happy and Immortal gods, and opposes them to θνητων ανθρωπων, mortal men.

τω δ' αυτω μαρτυροι εστων

Προς τε Θεων μακαρων, προς τε θνητων ανθροπων

"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. Πτωχος, a poor man, comes from πτωσσω, 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 μακαριοι should be referred to πνευματι, 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, των ουρανων, 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 3:2 (note). 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).

continued...

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

blessed.

Matthew 5:4-11 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted...

Matthew 11:6 And blessed is he, whoever shall not be offended in me.

Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

Matthew 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing.

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners...

Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little...

Psalm 32:1,2 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered...

Psalm 41:1 Blessed is he that considers the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

Psalm 84:12 O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusts in you.

Psalm 112:1 Praise you the LORD. Blessed is the man that fears the LORD, that delights greatly in his commandments.

Psalm 119:1,2 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD...

Psalm 128:1 Blessed is every one that fears the LORD; that walks in his ways.

Psalm 146:5 Happy is he that has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

Proverbs 8:32 Now therefore listen to me, O you children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

Isaiah 30:18 And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious to you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy on you...

Luke 6:20,21 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be you poor: for yours is the kingdom of God...

*etc:

Luke 11:28 But he said, Yes rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

John 20:29 Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Romans 4:6-9 Even as David also describes the blessedness of the man, to whom God imputes righteousness without works...

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life...

Revelation 19:9 And he said to me, Write, Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me...

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life...

the poor.

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth...

Matthew 18:1-3 At the same time came the disciples to Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven...

Leviticus 26:41,42 And that I also have walked contrary to them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies...

Deuteronomy 8:2 And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, and to prove you...

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways...

2 Chronicles 33:12,19,23 And when he was in affliction, he sought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers...

2 Chronicles 34:27 Because your heart was tender, and you did humble yourself before God, when you heard his words against this place...

Job 42:6 Why I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit.

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Proverbs 16:19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

Proverbs 29:23 A man's pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.

Isaiah 57:15 For thus said the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place...

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek...

Isaiah 66:2 For all those things has my hand made, and all those things have been, said the LORD: but to this man will I look...

Jeremiah 31:18-20 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; You have chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke...

Daniel 5:21,22 And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys...

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy...

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted...

Luke 6:20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be you poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalts himself shall be abased...

James 1:10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.

James 4:9,10 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness...

for.

Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 8:11 And I say to you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob...

Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said to them, Suffer the little children to come to me, and forbid them not...

James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brothers, Has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith...

Library
Agree with Thine Adversary
Eversley, 1861. Windsor Castle, 1867. St. Matthew v. 25, 26. "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." This parable our Lord seems to have spoken at least twice, as He did several others. For we find it also in the 12th
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

Salt Without Savour
'Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.'--MATT. v. 13. These words must have seemed ridiculously presumptuous when they were first spoken, and they have too often seemed mere mockery and irony in the ages since. A Galilean peasant, with a few of his rude countrymen who had gathered round him, stands up there on the mountain, and says to them, 'You,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Lamp and the Bushel
'Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.'--Matt. v. 14-16. The conception of the office of Christ's disciples contained in these words is a still bolder one than that expressed by the preceding metaphor, which
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The New Form of the Old Law
'Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20. For I say
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Cross References
Isaiah 66:2
Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the LORD. "These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.

Matthew 5:10
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 19:14
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Matthew 25:34
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

Mark 10:14
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

Luke 6:20
Looking at his disciples, he said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

Luke 22:29
And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me,

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