Matthew 5

Listen to Matthew 5

The Sermon on the Mount

1 Seeing the crowds, 1he went up on the mountain, and when he 2sat down, his disciples came to him.

The Beatitudes

2 And 3he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 4"Blessed are 5the poor in spirit, for 6theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 "Blessed are 7those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 "Blessed are the 8meek, for they 9shall inherit the earth.
6 "Blessed are those who hunger and 10thirst 11for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 "Blessed are 12the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 "Blessed are 13the pure in heart, for 14they shall see God.
9 "Blessed are 15the peacemakers, for 16they shall be called 17sons[a] of God.
10 18"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for 19theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 20"Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely 21on my account.
12 22Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for 23so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light

13 "You are the salt of the earth, 24but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.
14 25"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 26Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so 27that they may see your good works and 28give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

17 29"Do not think that I have come to abolish 30the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but 31to fulfill them.
18 For truly, I say to you, 32until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
19 33Therefore whoever relaxes 34one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least 35in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great 36in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds 37that of the scribes and Pharisees, you 38will never enter the kingdom of heaven.


21 39"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 40'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable 41to judgment.'
22 But I say to you that 42everyone who is angry with his brother[b] will be liable 43to judgment; whoever insults[c] his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to 44the hell[d] of fire.
23 45So if 46you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
25 47Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.
26 Truly, I say to you, 48you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.[e]


27 49"You have heard that it was said, 50'You shall not commit adultery.'
28 But I say to you that 51everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29 52If your right eye 53causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into 54hell.
30 55And if your right hand 56causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into 57hell.


31 58"It was also said, 59'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'
32 60But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and 61whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.


33 "Again 62you have heard that it was said to those of old, 63'You shall not swear falsely, but 64shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.'
34 But I say to you, 65Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for 66it is the throne of God,
35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is 67the city of the great King.
36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
37 Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; 68anything more than this comes from evil.[f]


38 69"You have heard that it was said, 70'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'
39 But I say to you, 71Do not resist the one who is evil. But 72if anyone 73slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And 74if anyone would sue you and take your tunic,[g] let him have your cloak as well.
41 And if anyone 75forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
42 76Give to the one who begs from you, and 77do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Love Your Enemies

43 78"You have heard that it was said, 79'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
44 But I say to you, 80Love your enemies and 81pray for those who persecute you,
45 82so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and 83sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 84For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 And if you greet only your brothers,[h] what more are you doing than others? Do not even 85the Gentiles do the same?
48 86You therefore must be 87perfect, 88as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Images for Matthew 5

Matthew 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

Christ's sermon on the mount. (1,2) Who are blessed. (3-12) Exhortations and warnings. (13-16) Christ came to confirm the law. (17-20) The sixth commandment. (21-26) The seventh commandment. (27-32) The third commandment. (33-37) The law of retaliation. (38-42) The law of love explained. (43-48)

Verses 1-2 None will find happiness in this world or the next, who do not seek it from Christ by the rule of his word. He taught them what was the evil they should abhor, and what the good they should seek and abound in.

Verses 3-12 Our Saviour here gives eight characters of blessed people, which 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. They 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. Those that mourn are happy. That godly sorrow which worketh true repentance, watchfulness, a humble mind, and continual dependence for acceptance on 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 scarcely keep possession of anything else. These meek ones are happy, even in this world. Meekness promotes wealth, comfort, and safety, even in this world. 4. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are happy. Righteousness is here put for all spiritual blessings. These are 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 desire 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 bear our own afflictions patiently, but we must do all we can to help those who are in misery. We must have compassion on the souls of others, and help them; pity those who are in sin, and seek to snatch them as brands out of the burning. 6. The pure in heart are happy; for they shall see God. Here holiness and happiness are fully described and put together. The heart must be purified by faith, and kept for God. Create in me such a clean heart, O 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, and recover it when it is broken. If the peace-makers are blessed, woe to the peace-breakers! 8. Those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake are happy. This saying is peculiar to Christianity; and it is more largely insisted upon than any of the rest. Yet there is nothing in our sufferings that can merit of God; but God will provide that those who 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 this 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 these enjoyments and hopes, we may cheerfully welcome low or painful circumstances.

Verses 13-16 Ye are the salt of the earth. Mankind, lying in ignorance and wickedness, were as a vast heap, ready to putrify; but Christ sent forth his disciples, by their lives and doctrines to season it with knowledge and grace. If they are not such as they should be, they are as salt that has lost its savour. If a man can take up the profession of Christ, and yet remain graceless, no other doctrine, no other means, can make him profitable. Our light must shine, by doing such good works as men may see. What is between God and our souls, must be kept to ourselves; but that which is of itself open to the sight of men, we must study to make suitable to our profession, and praiseworthy. We must aim at the glory of God.

Verses 17-20 Let none suppose that Christ allows his people to trifle with any commands of God's holy law. No sinner partakes of Christ's justifying righteousness, till he repents of his evil deeds. The mercy revealed in the gospel leads the believer to still deeper self-abhorrence. The law is the Christian's rule of duty, and he delights therein. If a man, pretending to be Christ's disciple, encourages himself in any allowed disobedience to the holy law of God, or teaches others to do the same, whatever his station or reputation among men may be, he can be no true disciple. Christ's righteousness, imputed to us by faith alone, is needed by every one that enters the kingdom of grace or of glory; but the new creation of the heart to holiness, produces a thorough change in a man's temper and conduct.

Verses 21-26 The Jewish teachers had taught, that nothing except actual murder was forbidden by the sixth commandment. Thus they explained away its spiritual meaning. Christ showed the full meaning of this commandment; according to which we must be judged hereafter, and therefore ought to be ruled now. All rash anger is heart murder. By our brother, here, we are to understand any person, though ever so much below us, for we are all made of one blood. "Raca," is a scornful word, and comes from pride: "Thou fool," is a spiteful word, and comes from hatred. Malicious slanders and censures are poison that kills secretly and slowly. Christ told them that how light soever they made of these sins, they would certainly be called into judgment for them. We ought carefully to preserve Christian love and peace with all our brethren; and if at any time there is a quarrel, we should confess our fault, humble ourselves to our brother, making or offering satisfaction for wrong done in word or deed: and we should do this quickly; because, till this is done, we are unfit for communion with God in holy ordinances. And when we are preparing for any religious exercises, it is good for us to make that an occasion of serious reflection and self-examination. What is here said is very applicable to our being reconciled to God through Christ. While we are alive, we are in the way to his judgement-seat; after death, it will be too late. When we consider the importance of the case, and the uncertainty of life, how needful it is to seek peace with God, without delay!

Verses 27-32 Victory over the desires of the heart, must be attended with painful exertions. But it must be done. Every thing is bestowed to save us from our sins, not in them. All our senses and powers must be kept from those things which lead to transgression. Those who lead others into temptation to sin, by dress or in other ways, or leave them in it, or expose them to it, make themselves guilty of their sin, and will be accountable for it. If painful operations are submitted to, that our lives may be saved, what ought our minds to shrink from, when the salvation of our souls is concerned? There is tender mercy under all the Divine requirements, and the grace and consolations of the Spirit will enable us to attend to them.

Verses 33-37 There is no reason to consider that solemn oaths in a court of justice, or on other proper occasions, are wrong, provided they are taken with due reverence. But all oaths taken without necessity, or in common conversation, must be sinful, as well as all those expressions which are appeals to God, though persons think thereby to evade the guilt of swearing. The worse men are, the less they are bound by oaths; the better they are, the less there is need for them. Our Lord does not enjoin the precise terms wherein we are to affirm or deny, but such a constant regard to truth as would render oaths unnecessary.

Verses 38-42 The plain instruction is, Suffer any injury that can be borne, for the sake of peace, committing your concerns to the Lord's keeping. And the sum of all is, that Christians must avoid disputing and striving. If any say, Flesh and blood cannot pass by such an affront, let them remember, that flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God; and those who act upon right principles will have most peace and comfort.

Verses 43-48 The Jewish teachers by "neighbour" understood only those who were of their own country, nation, and religion, whom they were pleased to look upon as their friends. The Lord Jesus teaches that we must do all the real kindness we can to all, especially to their souls. We must pray for them. While many will render good for good, we must render good for evil; and this will speak a nobler principle than most men act by. Others salute their brethren, and embrace those of their own party, and way, and opinion, but we must not so confine our respect. It is the duty of Christians to desire, and aim at, and press towards perfection in grace and holiness. And therein we must study to conform ourselves to the example of our heavenly Father, 1Pe. 1:15, 1Pe. 1:16 . Surely more is to be expected from the followers of Christ than from others; surely more will be found in them than in others. Let us beg of God to enable us to prove ourselves his children.

Cross References 88

  • 1. Matthew 15:29
  • 2. Luke 4:20
  • 3. Psalms 78:2
  • 4. For ver. 3-12, [Luke 6:20-23]
  • 5. [Isaiah 61:1; Isaiah 66:2]
  • 6. [Luke 12:32]
  • 7. Isaiah 61:2, 3; John 16:20; 2 Corinthians 1:7; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Revelation 21:4; [James 4:9, 10]
  • 8. Psalms 37:11
  • 9. Psalms 37:11
  • 10. Psalms 42:2; Isaiah 55:1, 2; John 7:37
  • 11. 2 Timothy 2:22; [Matthew 6:33]
  • 12. Matthew 18:33; Matthew 25:34-36; Proverbs 19:17; Luke 6:36; 2 Timothy 1:16; Hebrews 6:10
  • 13. Psalms 24:4; 2 Timothy 2:22; [1 Peter 1:22]
  • 14. Hebrews 12:14; 1 John 3:2, 3; Revelation 22:4; [1 Corinthians 13:12]
  • 15. James 3:18
  • 16. 1 John 3:1
  • 17. Romans 8:14
  • 18. 2 Timothy 2:12; James 5:11; 1 Peter 3:14
  • 19. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 20. Hebrews 11:26; 1 Peter 4:14
  • 21. John 15:21
  • 22. Acts 5:41; Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 12:10; Colossians 1:11, 24; Hebrews 10:34; James 1:2; 1 Peter 4:13
  • 23. See Matthew 21:35
  • 24. Mark 9:50; Luke 14:34
  • 25. Ephesians 5:8; Philippians 2:15; [John 8:12]
  • 26. Mark 4:21; Luke 8:16; Luke 11:33
  • 27. Philemon 6; 1 Peter 2:12
  • 28. John 15:8; 2 Corinthians 9:13; Philippians 1:11; [Matthew 9:8]
  • 29. Romans 3:31
  • 30. Matthew 7:12
  • 31. [Romans 10:4; Romans 13:8; Galatians 3:24]
  • 32. Luke 16:17; [Matthew 24:35]
  • 33. [1 Corinthians 3:12-15]
  • 34. [Galatians 3:10; James 2:10]
  • 35. Matthew 11:11; Matthew 18:1-4
  • 36. Matthew 11:11; Matthew 18:1-4
  • 37. [Romans 10:3; Philippians 3:9]
  • 38. John 3:5
  • 39. ver. 33; [ver. 27, 31, 38, 43]
  • 40. Cited from Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17; [Matthew 19:18; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Romans 13:9; James 2:11]
  • 41. [Deuteronomy 16:18]
  • 42. 1 John 3:15
  • 43. [See ver. 21 above]
  • 44. Matthew 18:9; Mark 9:43; James 3:6; [ver. 29]
  • 45. [Matthew 6:15; Mark 11:25]
  • 46. Matthew 8:4; Matthew 23:18
  • 47. Luke 12:58, 59
  • 48. [Matthew 18:34, 35]
  • 49. See ver. 21
  • 50. Cited from Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18
  • 51. Job 31:1; Proverbs 6:25; [2 Samuel 11:2]
  • 52. Matthew 18:8, 9; Mark 9:43-48
  • 53. [Matthew 13:41; Luke 17:1]
  • 54. Matthew 10:28; Matthew 23:15, 33; Luke 12:5; [ver. 22]
  • 55. [See ver. 29 above]
  • 56. [See ver. 29 above]
  • 57. [See ver. 29 above]
  • 58. [See ver. 27 above]
  • 59. Matthew 19:7; Jeremiah 3:1; Cited from Deuteronomy 24:1
  • 60. Matthew 19:9; Mark 10:11, 12; Luke 16:18; [1 Corinthians 7:10, 11]
  • 61. Romans 7:3
  • 62. [See ver. 27 above]
  • 63. Leviticus 19:12; 1 Timothy 1:10
  • 64. Numbers 30:2; Deuteronomy 23:21; Ecclesiastes 5:4
  • 65. James 5:12
  • 66. Matthew 23:22; Isaiah 66:1; Acts 7:49; See Revelation 4:2
  • 67. Psalms 48:2
  • 68. [Proverbs 10:19]
  • 69. [See ver. 27 above]
  • 70. Cited from Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy 19:21
  • 71. 1 Peter 2:23
  • 72. For ver. 39-42, see Luke 6:29, 30; [Romans 12:17]
  • 73. Matthew 26:67; Isaiah 50:6; Lamentations 3:30
  • 74. [See ver. 39 above]
  • 75. Matthew 27:32
  • 76. Psalms 37:21; Proverbs 21:26
  • 77. Deuteronomy 15:8; Psalms 37:26; Psalms 112:5; Luke 6:34, 35
  • 78. See ver. 21
  • 79. Cited from Leviticus 19:18; See Matthew 19:19
  • 80. Luke 6:27, 28; Romans 12:20; [Exodus 23:4; Job 31:29, 30; Psalms 7:4]
  • 81. Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60; 2 Timothy 4:16; 1 Peter 3:9
  • 82. Luke 6:35; [Ephesians 5:1; Philippians 2:15]
  • 83. Acts 14:17
  • 84. Luke 6:32
  • 85. Matthew 6:7, 32
  • 86. [Luke 6:36]
  • 87. Matthew 19:21; 1 Corinthians 2:6(Gk.); Philippians 3:15(Gk.); Colossians 1:28; Colossians 4:12(Gk.); James 1:4; James 3:2; See Genesis 17:1
  • 88. [Leviticus 19:2; 1 Peter 1:15]

Footnotes 8

  • [a]. Greek huioi; see preface
  • [b]. Some manuscripts insert without cause
  • [c]. Greek says Raca to (a term of abuse)
  • [d]. Greek Gehenna; also verses 29, 30
  • [e]. Greek kodrantes, Roman copper coin (Latin quadrans) worth about 1/64 of a denarius (which was a day's wage for a laborer)
  • [f]. Or the evil one
  • [g]. Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin
  • [h]. Or brothers and sisters. The plural Greek word adelphoi (translated "brothers") refers to siblings in a family. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, adelphoi may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters

Matthew 5 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.