Matthew 5

Matthew 5


When Jesus sawI the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down,II his disciplesIII came to him. Then he began to speak,IV and taughtV them, saying:

Notes on verses 1-2

I “saw” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.
II “sat down” = kathizo. From kathezomai (to sit down, be seated); {from kata (down, against, according to, among) + hezomai (to sit); {from aphedron (a seat, a base)}}. This is to sit, set, appoint, stay, rest.
III “disciples” = mathetes. From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from manthano (to learn key facts, gain knowledge from experience; generally implies reflection as part of the learning process); from math– (thinking things through). This is a disciple, learner, or student. It is where we get “mathematics” from.
IV “began to speak” = anoigo + ho + stoma + autos. Literally “opening his mouth.” Anoigo is from ana (up, back, again, among, between, anew) + oigo (to open). This is to open or open up in a literal or figurative sense – to speak freely. Stoma is perhaps from tomoteros (sharp, keener); from temno (to cut). This is mouth, speech, language, the tip of a sword, an opening in the ground.
V “taught” = didasko. From dao (learn). This is to teach, direct, instruct, or impart knowledge. In the New Testament, this is almost always used for teaching scripture.

“BlessedVI are the poorVII in spirit,VIII for theirs is the kingdomIX of heaven.X

Notes on verse 3

VI “blessed” = makarios. From makar (happy); from mak– (to become long or large). This is blessed, happy, fortunate. It is when God’s grace/abundance is extended.
VII “poor” = ptochos. From ptosso (to crouch or cower as a beggar does). This is poor or destitute – someone who is extremely poor and bowed down because of a long struggle under poverty. Properly, it means bent over so figuratively it is someone who is deeply destitute and lacking tangible resources. This is a beggar – as extremely opposite a wealthy person as possible.
VIII “spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.
IX “kingdom” = basileia. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.
X “heaven” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill) with the notion of height. This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.

“Blessed are those who mourn,XI for they will be comforted.XII

“Blessed are the meek,XIII for they will inheritXIV the earth.

Notes on verses 4-5

XI “mourn” = pentheo. 10x in NT. From penthos (mourning, sorrow, sadness, grief); perhaps from pascho (to be acted on for good or ill; often used for negative treatment; properly, feeling strong emotions – especially suffering; can also be the ability to feel suffering). This is used for grieving a death, but also figuratively for loss of hope or end of a relationship. This is embodied grief that is readily apparent. This is grief as a feeling or the act of grieving.
XII “comforted” = parakaleo. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + kaleo (to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud) {related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on)}. This is to call to, summon, invite, request, or beg. It can also be exhort or admonish. Also, this can be encourage, comfort, or console. This word has legal overtones and is used of one’s advocate in a courtroom. It is the root of the name of the Holy Spirit “paraclete” is our advocate and comforter.
XIII “meek” = praus. 4x in NT. Related to praios (meek, gentle, kind); related to praotes (mildness kindness, meekness; being temperate – gentle, but strong; implies humility). This is gentle, meek, which implies humility.
XIV “inherit” = kleronomeo. 18x in NT. From kleronomos (heir); {from kleros (lot, portion, heritage; that share assigned to you; also a lot used to determine something by fate, chance, or divine will); {perhaps from klero (casting a lot) or from klao (to break in pieces as one breaks bread)} + the same as nomos (what is assigned – usage, law, custom, principle; used for the law in general or of God’s law; sometimes used to refer to the first five books of the Bible or the entire Old Testament; also used to refer to theology or the practice and tradition of interpreting and implementing the law of God); {from nemo (to parcel out, assign)}}. This is to acquire or get by inheriting.

“Blessed are those who hungerXV and thirstXVI for righteousness,XVII for they will be filled.XVIII

Notes on verse 6

XV “hunger” = peinao. From peina (hunger); related to penomai (working for a living; laborer, poor person; to work for daily bread); from peno (to toil to survive day by day). This is to hunger, be needy, or desire earnestly. It can be being famished in a definitive sense or in comparison to someone or something else. Figuratively, this means to crave.
XVI “thirst” = dipsao. 16x in NT. From dipsa (thirst); from dipsos (thirst). This is thirst in a literal or figurative sense. Can also mean keenly desire.
XVII “righteousness” = dikaiosune. From dikaios (correct, righteous – implies innocent; this is that which conforms to God’s notion of justice, uprightness); from dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known). This is judicial or divine approval of character or action. This is righteousness, justice, justness, divine righteousness.
XVIII “filled” = chortazo. 16x in NT. From chortos (food, grass, grain, hay; a place for feeding, a court, garden; by implication, a pasture or vegetation). This is to feed, fodder, fill, or satisfy. It carries the sense of abundantly supplied food – even gorging on food.

“Blessed are the merciful,XIX for they will receive mercy.XX

8 “Blessed are the pureXXI in heart,XXII for they will see God.XXIII

Notes on verses 7-8

XIX “merciful” = eleemon. 2x in NT. From eleeo (to have pity on, show mercy to, be compassionate; often used for God’s grace); from eleos (mercy, pity, tender mercy, or compassion; generally understood in action by word or deed). This is merciful, compassionate, full of pity for another.
XX “receive mercy” = eleeo. Related to “merciful” in v7. See note XIX above.
XXI “pure” = katharos. This is clean, clear, pure, unstained; clean in a literal, ritual, or spiritual sense; so, also guiltless, innocent or upright; something that is pure because it has been separated from the negative substance or aspect; spiritually clean because of God’s act of purifying.
XXII “heart” = kardia. Literally the heart, but figuratively mind, character, inner self, will, intention, thoughts, feelings. Also, the center of something. The word heart is only used figuratively in the Old and New Testaments. This is where “cardiac” comes from.
XXIII “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

“Blessed are the peacemakers,XXIV for they will be calledXXV childrenXXVI of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecutedXXVII for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Notes on verses 9-10

XXIV “peacemakers” = eirenopoios. 1x in NT. From eirene (one, peace, quietness, rest, peace of mind, harmony; a common farewell among Jews (i.e. shalom) as a well-wishing that included a blessing of health and wholeness for the individual; indicates when everything that is essential is joined together properly; peace literally or figuratively; by implication, it is prosperity –not in the sense of excessive wealth, but having enough from day to day); {perhaps from eiro (to join, tie together to form a whole)} + poieo (to make, do, construct, cause). This is literally peacemaker or peace-doer – someone who loves peace and works to bring it about.
XXV “called” = kaleo. Related to “comforted” in v4. See note XII above.
XXVI “children” = huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.
XXVII “persecuted” = dioko. From dio (put to flight). This is chase or pursue in an aggressive fashion. By implication, it is to persecute. It can also be used positively for eagerly pursuing something.

11 “Blessed are you when people revileXXVIII you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evilXXIX against you falsely on my account. 12 RejoiceXXX and be glad,XXXI for your rewardXXXII is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophetsXXXIII who were before you.

Notes on verses 11-12

XXVIII “revile” = oneidizo. 9x in NT. From oneidos (a personal disgrace that leads to harm to one’s reputation, a taunt or reproach); perhaps from the base of onoma (name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation); perhaps from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is to disgrace, insult, mock, blame, or curse someone so as to create shame. This is when a person or thing is considered guilty and deserving punishment. So, it can be denounce, revile, defame, or chide.
XXIX “evil” = poneros. Related to “hunger” in v6. From poneo (to toil); related to ponos (pain, trouble, labor, distress, suffering; toil, which implies anguish); from the base of penes (a laborer, poor person, starving or indigent person; someone who works for their living); from pernomai (see note XV above). This is bad, evil, wicked, malicious, grievous, or toilsome. Properly, it is something that bears pain – it emphasizes the miseries and pains that come with evil. By contrast, the Greek kakos refers to evil as part of someone’s core character. Also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue. This word can mean ill, diseased, morally culpable, derelict, vicious, malicious, or guilt. It can also refer to the devil or sinners.
XXX “rejoice” = chairo. From char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is to rejoice, be glad or cheerful; a greeting. This is the root verb that the Greek word for “grace” comes from (charis).
XXXI “be glad” = agalliao. 11x in NT. From agallomai (to exalt, make glorious) {from agan (much, very) + hallomai (to leap or leap up; when referring to water, springing up or bubbling up; to jump or figuratively to gush)}. This is properly joy that prompts you to jump up. It is a full body experience of joy: exulting, rejoicing, or even boasting from joy.
XXXII “reward” = misthos. This is wages, pay, or salary. It can also be reward, recompense, or punishment. It is pay for services rendered in a literal or figurative way, either good or bad.
XXXIII “prophets” = prophetes. From pro (before, in front of, earlier than) + phemi (to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear)}. This is a prophet or poet – one who speaks with inspiration from God.

13 “You are the saltXXXIV of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste,XXXV how can its saltiness be restored?XXXVI It is no longer goodXXXVII for anything, but is thrown out and trampledXXXVIII under foot.XXXIX

Notes on verse 13

XXXIV “salt” = halas. 8x in NT. From hals (salt or a body of salt water). This is salt, figurative for prudence.
XXXV “lost its taste” = moraino. 4x in NT. From moros (dull, stupid, foolish, flat; literally, not having an edge; used figuratively for someone whose understanding is dull, is sluggish, acts in a brainless way, or does not fully have a grip on reality). This is being foolish or making something foolish. It an also mean to taint, make something useless, or make it tasteless. The root of this word is where “moron” comes from.
XXXVI “saltiness be restored” = halizo. Related to “salt” in v13. 3x in NT. From halas (see note XXXIV above). This is to salt or make salty. Could be salt as part of the ritual to make sacrifice or as applied to keep something fresh.
XXXVII “good” = ischuo. From ischus (strength, might, power, force, ability; power that engages immediate resistance). This is to be strong or have power. It can also refer to being healthy and vigorous. Further, it can mean to prevail. It is strength in action against resistance, exercising force in a literal or figurative sense.
XXXVIII “trampled” = katapateo. 5x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + pateo (to read, trample on; to trample literally or figuratively); {from patos (trodden) OR from paio (to strike, smite, sting; a hit like a single blow)}. This is to trample, step on. Figuratively, it is to spurn or reject.
XXXIX “under foot” = hupo + ho + anthropos. Literally “by people.” Anthropos is probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.

14 “You are the lightXL of the world.XLI A cityXLII builtXLIII on a hillXLIV cannot be hid.XLV 

Notes on verse 14

XL “light” = phos. Related to “prophets” in v12. From phao (to shine or make visible, especially with rays of light); from the same as phaino (see note XXXIII above). This is light, a source of light, fire, or radiance. This is light with specific reference to what it reveals. It is luminousness whether natural or artificial, abstract or concrete, literal or figurative.
XLI “world” = kosmos. Perhaps from the base of komizo (to carry, convey, recover); from komeo (to take care of). This is order, the world, the universe, including its inhabitants. Literally, this is something that is ordered so it can refer to all creation. It can also refer to decoration in the sense that something is better ordered and, thus, made more beautiful. This is where “cosmos” and “cosmetics” come from.
XLII “city” = polis. This is a city or its inhabitants. It is a town of variable size, but one that has walls. This is where “metropolis” and “police” come from.
XLIII “built” = keimai. This is to lie, recline, be set, appointed, destined. It is to lie down literally or figuratively.
XLIV “hill” = oros. Same as “mountain” in v1.
XLV “hid” = krupto. 18x in NT. This is to hide by covering, secret, hidden things. This is the root of the word “cryptography.”

15 No one after lightingXLVI a lampXLVII puts it under the bushel basket,XLVIII but on the lampstand,XLIX and it gives lightL to all in the house.LI 

Notes on verse 15

XLVI “lighting” = kaio. 11x in NT. This is to kindle, light, blaze. It is light in a literal or figurative sense.
XLVII “lamp” = luchnos. 14x in NT. Perhaps from the base of leukos (bright, white, brilliant); from luke (light). This is a lamp that is portable and fueled by oil. It can mean light in a literal or figurative sense.
XLVIII “bushel basket” = modios. 3x in NT – in this and its parallel passages in Mark and Luke. From Latin modius (modius, a unit of measurement that is about the same as a peck); from modus (measure, limit, way, method, mode); from Proto-Indo-European mod-os (measure) {from med (to measure) + ius (suffix that makes adjectives)}. This is modius, a unit of measurement for dry goods that is about the same as a peck or two English gallons. It is also a container for dry goods holding tis amount. See
XLIX “lampstand” = luchnia. Related to “lamp” in v15. 12x in NT. From luchnos (see note XLVII above). This is lampstand or candlestick.
L “gives light” = lampo. 7x in NT. This is to give light or shine literally or figuratively. This is where the word “lamp” comes from.
LI “house” = oikia. From oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple). This is a house, household, goods, property, family, or means.

16 In the same way, let your light shineLII before others,LIII so that they may see your goodLIV worksLV and give gloryLVI to your Father in heaven.

Notes on verse 16

LII “shine” = lampo. Same as “gives light” in v15. See note L above.
LIII “others” = anthropos. Same as “under foot” in v13. See note XXXIX above.
LIV “good” = kalos. This is good, noble, beautiful, correct, or worthy. This is external signs of goodness like beauty, demonstrations of honorable character, showing moral virtues. A different word, agathos, speaks of intrinsic good.
LV “works” = ergon. From ergo (to work, accomplish, do). This is work, task, deed, labor, effort.
LVI “give glory” = doxazo. From doxa (glory, opinion, praise, honor, renown; particularly used as a quality of God or manifestation of God – splendor); from dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is to render or hold something as glorious, to glorify, honor, magnify, or celebrate. This is ascribing weight to something by recognizing its true value or essence.

17 “Do not thinkLVII that I have come to abolishLVIII the lawLIX or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.LX 

Notes on verse 17

LVII “think” = nomizo. Related to “inherit” in v5. 15x in NT. From nomos (see note XIV above). This is to practice, think, consider, suppose, hold by custom. This is thinking that something applies given precedent and practice – to do by law.
LVIII “abolish” = kataluo. 17x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + luo (to loose, release, untie; figuratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld). Literally, this means thoroughly loosening. It can mean unharnessing or unyoking animals and so to lodge somewhere for a night. It can also mean to disintegrate or demolish in a literal or figurative sense. So, it can be destroy, overthrow, abolish, or tear down.
LIX “law” = nomos. Related to “inherit” in v5 & “think” in v17. See note XIV above.
LX “fulfill” = pleroo. From pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is to fill, make full or complete. Properly, this is filling something up to the maximum extent that it can be filled – an appropriate amount for its individual capacity. So, this is used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill.

18 For trulyLXI I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away,LXII not one letter,LXIII not one stroke of a letter,LXIV will pass from the law until all is accomplished.LXV 

Notes on verse 18

LXI “truly” = amen. From Hebrew amen (verily, truly, amen, truth, so be it, faithfulness); from aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This word is literally firmness, but figuratively fidelity, faithfulness, honesty, responsibility, trust, truth, steadfastness. Properly, it is to be sure, certain, or firm. This is a word of emphasis indicating that something crucial follows.
LXII “pass away” = parerchomai. Related to “came” in v1 & “come” in v17. From para (from beside, by) + erchomai (to come, go). This is pass by, neglect, disregard. Figuratively, it can mean to perish or to become void.
LXIII “letter” = iota. 1x in NT. From Phoenician yod (tenth letter of their alphabet). This is the smallest letter of the Greek alphabet – used here to indicate the smallest portion of the Law. See
LXIV “stroke of a letter” = keraia. 2x in NT. From keras (a horn or a projection that sticks out like a horn from the altar; horns symbolized power). This is little horn or little hook – to indicate a stroke of a letter, accents and diacritical marks. Figuratively, this is the smallest part of a letter of the law.
LXV “accomplished” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another. This is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.

19 Therefore, whoever breaksLXVI one of the leastLXVII of these commandments,LXVIII and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceedsLXIX that of the scribesLXX and Pharisees,LXXI you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Notes on verses 19-20

LXVI “breaks” = luo. Related to “abolish” in v17. See note LVIII above.
LXVII “least” = elachistos. 13x in NT. From elachus (short); used as a superlative for mikros (small). This is smallest or littlest in the sense of size, amount, rank, dignity, and so on.
LXVIII “commandments” = entole. From entellomai (to charge, command, give orders or instructions) {from en (in, on, at, by, with) + tellomai (to accomplish) [from telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax; going through the steps to complete a stage or phase and then moving on to the next one)]}. This is an order, command, ordinance, or law. It focuses on the purpose of the command and its end result.
LXIX “exceeds” = perisseuo. From perissos (abundant, more, excessive, advantage, vehemently); from peri (all-around, encompassing, excess). This is more than what is ordinary or necessary. It is abounding, overflowing, being leftover, going above and beyond. It is super-abounding in number or quality.
LXX “scribes” = grammateus. From gramma (what is drawn or written so a letter of the alphabet, correspondence, literature, learning); from grapho (to write). This is a writer, scribe, or secretary. Within Judaism, it was someone learned in the Law, a teacher. Also used in the Bible of the town-clerk of Ephesus. See Sirach 38:24-39:11 for a lengthier, positive passage about who scribes were and what they meant in society.
LXXI “Pharisees” = pharisaios. From Aramaic peras (to divide, separate) and from Hebrew parash (to make distinct, separate, scatter). This is a Pharisee, a member of a Jewish sect active in the 1st century. Their name meant separate in the sense of wanting to live a life separated from sin. Whereas the Sadducees were part of the priestly line and inherited their religious position and responsibilities, Pharisees were regular people who studied the scriptures and offered guidance to regular folk. Sadducees were often wealthier and willing to sacrifice their identity to rub elbows with Roman society. Pharisees were often more concerned with what it meant to follow God without compromising what made them different as followers of God. Sadducees primarily believed in that which was written down (the first five books of the Bible) and Pharisees believed in the Bible and the traditions of the elders. Pharisees had a very wide range of interpretations and diversity of opinion. Their standard mode of religion engagement was lively debate with one another. To argue religion with another teacher was to recognize that they had something of value to offer.

21 “You have heardLXXII that it was said to those of ancientLXXIII times, ‘You shall not murder’;LXXIV and ‘whoever murders shall be liableLXXV to judgment.’LXXVI 

Notes on verse 21

LXXII “heard” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
LXXIII “ancient” = archaios. 11x n NT– 3x in this discourse in Mt 5, to describe an early disciple in Acts 21:16, in 2 Cor 5:17 “if anyone if in Christ, there is a new creation – everything old has passed away,” also used to call the dragon “that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil” (Rev 12:9; Rev 20:2). From arche (origin, beginning, rule; can refer to the power of a magistrate or a king; it is the first thing as being the starting point or the most important); {from archomai (to begin or rule); from archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). This is original, ancient, or old. It is where the word “archaic” comes from.
LXXIV “murder” = phoneuo. 12x in NT. From phoneus (a murderer); from phonos (killing, murder, or slaughter; one of the crimes that Barabbas and Saul are accused of); from pheno (to slay). This is to kill or murder. It is killing on purpose without justification.
LXXV “liable” = enochos. 10x in NT– 4x in this discourse in Mt 5. From enecho (to hold in, ensnare, hold a grudge, be entangled); {from en (in, on, at, by, with) + echo (have, hold, possess)}. This is bound by, deserving, guilty, subject to; liable to a condition, penalty, or imputation.
LXXVI “judgment” = krisis. From krino (to judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue; judging whether in court or in a private setting; properly, mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty; can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging). This is a judging or a sentence. It is often used of God’s judgment, but can also be any accusation or condemnation. This is where the word “crisis” comes from.

22 But I say to you that if you are angryLXXVII with a brotherLXXVIII or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insultLXXIX a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council;LXXX

Notes on verse 22a

LXXVII “are angry” = orgizo. 8x in NT. From orge (impulse, wrath, anger, passion, punishment); from orgao (something that teems or stews; this is anger rising from prolonged personal contact that is fixed rather than an angry outburst; it can also be anger that stems from an individual’s sense of right and wrong, justice, etc.). This is being angry, enraged, exasperated. It is a fixed, sustained anger.
LXXVIII “brother” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
LXXIX “insult” = rhaka. Literally “whoever now shall say to his brother Raca.” 1x in NT. Related to Aramaic roq (empty); from Hebrew reqam (emptily, empty-handed, without cause, in vain, ineffectually, or undeservedly); from riq (this is to be empty or to make empty; also vanity, emptiness, something worthily, in vain); from ruq (to pour out in a literal or figurative sense, hence, to be or make empty). This is empty, foolish, or senseless – used to show contempt.
LXXX “council” = sunedrion. Related to “sat down” in v1. From sun (with, together with) + hedra (convening, siting together, being firm and faithful); {from aphedron (see note II above)}. This is Sanhedrin – literally a sitting together. It was the high court for Jews and had 71 members. This term could also mean council or meeting place and was used for the lower courts that were throughout the land and had 23 members.

 and if you say, ‘You fool,’LXXXI you will be liable to the hellLXXXII of fire.LXXXIII 

Notes on verse 22b

LXXXI “fool” = moros. Related to “lost its taste” in v13. 12x in NT. See note XXXV above.
LXXXII “hell” = geenna. 12x in NT. From Hebrew Gehinnom (valley of Hinnom); from gay (valley; a gorge that is not a winter torrent) + Hinnom (most likely of foreign origin, perhaps from the Jebusites). This is Gehenna or hell, referring to a valley outside of Jerusalem and used figuratively for hell.
LXXXIII “fire” = pur. This is fire, lightning, heat from the sun. Figuratively, it can refer to strife or trials.

23 So when you are offeringLXXXIV your giftLXXXV at the altar,LXXXVI if you rememberLXXXVII that your brother or sister has something against you, 

Notes on verse 23

LXXXIV “offering” = prosphero. From pros (at, to, with, towards, advantageous for) + phero (to bear, bring, lead, make known publicly; to carry in a literal or figurative sense). This is to offer gifts or sacrifices, to bring up.
LXXXV “gift” = doron. 19x in NT. From didomi (to give in a literal or figurative sense). This is gift, offering, sacrifice; emphasizes that the gift is given freely, voluntarily
LXXXVI “altar” = thusiasterion. From thusia (a sacrifice or offering; the act of sacrifice or the thig being sacrificed; a sacrifice in a literal or figurative sense.); from thuo (to breathe violently, seethe, rage; properly, to rush as breathing heavy; so smoke as in offering an animal sacrifice by fire; by extension, killing or slaying in general). This is altar that is used for sacrifice.
LXXXVII “remember” = mimnesko. From mnaomai (to remember; by implication give reward or consequence); perhaps from meno (to stay, abide, wait, endure). This is to remind or remember. It is memory through an active, intentional process or being mindful of. It is not incidentally or accidentally remembering.

24 leaveLXXXVIII your gift there before the altar and go;LXXXIX first be reconciledXC to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.

Notes on verse 24

LXXXVIII “leave” = aphiemi. From apo (from, away from) + hiemi (to send). This is send away, release, permit, forgive, allow to depart, discharge, or send forth.
LXXXIX “go” = hupago. From hupo (by, under, under the authority of) + ago (lead, bring, guide, spend, drive, carry). This is to lead under so to depart, go away, or die. It is to lead away under the command of someone else, being given a mission or objective to carry out.
XC “reconciled” = diallasso. 1x in NT. From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + allasso (to change, transform) {from allos (other, another; another of a similar kind or type)}. This is to change or reconcile – making an enemy into a friend.

25 Come to termsXCI quicklyXCII with your accuserXCIII while you are on the wayXCIV to court with him,

Notes on verse 25a

XCI “come to terms” = eunoeo. Literally “be favorable.” 1x in NT. From eu (good, well, well done) + noeo (to perceive, think, understand); {from nous (mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect); from noos (mind); probably from the base as ginosko (to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn; gaining knowledge through personal experience)}. This is to be favorable or well disposed towards.
XCII “quickly” = tachu. 12x in NT. From tachus (quickly, promptly; without unreasonable delay). This is quickly, but not immediately. It is without undue delay.
XCIII “accuser” = antidikos. Related to “righteousness” in v6. 5x in NT. From anti (opposite, instead of, against) + dike (see note XVII above). This is an opponent or adversary, whether in court or the devil. It is someone bringing former charges and seeking damages.
XCIV “way” = hodos. This is way, road, path, or journey. It can imply progress along a route.

or your accuser may hand you overXCV to the judge,XCVI and the judge to the guard,XCVII and you will be thrown into prison.XCVIII 26 Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paidXCIX the last penny.C

Notes on verses 25b-26

XCV “hand…over” = paradidomi. Related to “gift” in v23. From para (from beside, by) + didomi (see note LXXXV above). This is literally to hand over – hence to deliver, abandon, or betray. It implies a personal involvement.
XCVI “judge” = krites. Related to “judgment” in v21. 19x in NT. From krino (see note LXXVI above). This is judge or ruler.
XCVII “guard” = huperetes. From huper (by, under, under the authority of another) + eresso (to row). Originally, this was a rower or someone who worked the oars on the lower deck of a boat. It is used figuratively of someone under the authority of another who follows their commands. So this could be servant, attendant, or office. It could also be someone who is a minister of the Gospel.
XCVIII “prison” = phulake. From phulasso (to guard something so that it doesn’t escape – to watch over it vigilantly; being on guard in a literal or figurative sense); related to phulaks (military guard, sentry, watcher). This is the act of guarding, the person who guards, the place where guarding occurs (i.e. a prison), or the times of guarding (the various watches).
XCIX “paid” = apodidomi. Related to “gift” in v23 & “hand…over” in v25. From apo (from, away from) + didomi (see note LXXXV above). This is to give back, return, give away. It is to restore as when one makes payment – to rend what is due, to sell.
C “penny” = kodrantes. 2x in NT – also the widow’s two coins are worth a penny in Mk 12:42. Of Latin origin – quadrans; from quattuor (four). This word is quardrans; one fourth of an “as” or “assarion,” which was the smallest Roman unit of money – a copper coin that was 1/16 of a sesterius and equaled two leptas (in KJV translated “mites”).

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’CI 28 But I say to you that everyone who looksCII at a womanCIII with lustCIV has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 

Notes on verses 27-28

CI “commit adultery” = moicheuo. 15x in NT. From moichos (adulterer; a man who has been with a married woman; used figuratively of an apostate). This is committing adultery or adultery itself. Used of a man with a married woman or a married man with anyone other than his wife.
CII “looks” = blepo. This is literally to see – it is primarily used in the physical sense. However, figuratively it can be seeing, which includes attention and so to watchfulness, being observant, perceiving, and acting on the visual information. It can also mean beware.
CIII “woman” = gune. Related to “accomplished” in v18. Perhaps from ginomai (see note LXV above). This is woman, wife, or bride. This is where the word “gynecologist” comes from.
CIV “lust” = epithumeo. Related to “altar” in v23. 16x in NT. From epi (on, upon, fitting) + thumos (passion, wrath; actions emerging from passion or impulse) {from thuo (see note LXXXVI above)}. This is desire, lust, longing for, setting one’s heart on. It is a longing whether good or bad. In either case, passion and yearning is set on the object of desire.

29 If your rightCV eyeCVI causes you to sin,CVII tear it outCVIII and throw it away;

Notes on verse 29a

CV “right” = dexios. Perhaps from dechomai (to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome; to receive in a literal or figurative sense). This is right, right side, or the right hand.
CVI “eye” = ophthalmos. From optanomai (to appear, be seen by). This is eye or sight. It is used figuratively for the mind’s eye, a vision, or for envy.
CVII “causes…to sin” = skandalizo. From skandalon (the bait or portion of the trap that closes down on the victim – the trap’s trigger; a stumbling block, offense, or cause for error; something that sets into motion a negative cause and effect; something that causes one to stumble); perhaps from kampto (to bend or bow). This is to put a stumbling block in someone’s way. Figuratively, causing someone to sin or preventing them from good action. It can also mean to shock or offend. Literally, this is falling into a trap or tripping someone up. So, here, enticing someone to sin or apostasy.
CVIII “tear…out” = exaireo. 8x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + haireo (to take, choose, or prefer) {probably related to airo (raise, take up, lift, remove)}. This is to remove, pluck, tear, or choose. Properly, it refers to a complete removal or a complete rescue.

it is betterCIX for you to loseCX one of your membersCXI than for your wholeCXII bodyCXIII to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right handCXIV causes you to sin, cut it offCXV and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.

Notes on verses 29b-30

CIX “is better” = sumphero. Related to “offering” in v23. 17x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + phero (see note LXXXIV above). This is to collect, bring together, or be profitable to. It is combining things such that there is gain or profit or advantage.
CX “lose” = apollumi. From apo (from, away from) + ollumi (to destroy or ruin; the loss that comes from a major ruination). This is to destroy, cut off, to perish – perhaps violently. It can also mean to cancel or remove.
CXI “members” = melos. This is a limb or an organ of the body. So, it is a member of a greater whole. It is used figuratively for the body of Christ.
CXII “whole” = holos. This is whole, complete, or entire. It is a state where every member is present and functioning in concert. This is the root of the word “whole.”
CXIII “body” = soma. Perhaps from sozo (to save, heal, rescue); from sos (safe, well, rescued). This is body or flesh. It can be body in a literal or figurative sense (as the body of Christ). This is where the word “somatic” comes from.
CXIV “hand” = cheir. This is the hand in a literal sense. Figuratively, the hand is the means a person uses to accomplish things so it can also mean power, means, or instrument.
CXV “cut…off” = ekkopto. 10x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + kopto (to cut, strike, cut off; beating the chest to lament and so to mourn). This is to cut off, down, out, or away. It can also mean to remove, prevent, hinder, or frustrate.

31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorcesCXVI his wife, let him giveCXVII her a certificate of divorce.’CXVIII 

Notes on verse 31

CXVI “divorces” = apoluo. Related to “abolish” in v17. From apo (from, away from) + luo (see note LVIII above). This is letting go, setting free, or releasing. So, it can be to discharge, dismiss, divorce, pardon, or set at liberty.
CXVII “give” = didomi. Related to “gift” in v23 & “hand…over” in v25 & “paid” in v26. See note LXXXV above.
CXVIII “certificate of divorce” = apostasion. 3x in NT. From aphistemi (to depart from, withdraw, repel, remove, lead away, desert); {from apo (from, away from) + histemi (to stand, place, establish, appoint, stand ready, be steadfast)}. This is a forsaking or divorce – something that separates. It shares a root with the word “apostasy.”

32 But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the groundCXIX of unchastity,CXX causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marriesCXXI a divorced woman commits adultery.CXXII

Notes on verse 32

CXIX “ground” = logos. Related to “saying” in v2. From lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.
CXX “unchastity” = porneia. From porneuo (to fornicate – used figuratively for practicing idolatry or doing immoral things); from porne (prostitute, whore); from pornos (fornicator or immoral person); perhaps from pernemi (to sell off or export); related to piprasko (to sell with travel involved; to sell into slavery; to be devoted to); from perao (to travel); from peran (over, beyond). This is sexual immorality or unchastity. It could include adultery or incest.
CXXI “marries” = gameo. From gamos (a wedding, whether the ceremony, the feast, or the marriage itself). This is to marry.
CXXII “commits adultery” = moichao. Related to “commit adultery” in v27. 5x in NT. From moichos (see note CI above). This is to commit adultery.

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely,CXXIII but carry outCXXIV the vowsCXXV you have made to the Lord.’CXXVI 

Notes on verse 33

CXXIII “swear falsely” = epiorkeo. 1x in NT. From epiorkos (perjure, swear a false oath); {from epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + horkos (oath, vow; a sacred limit); {akin to erkos (fence, enclosure); akin to horion (boundary, territory); from horos (limit, boundary)}}. This is to perjure, make false vows.
CXXIV “carry out” = apodidomi. Same as “paid” in v26. See note XCIX above.
CXXV “vows” = horkos. Related to “swear falsely” in v33. See note CXXIII above.
CXXVI “Lord” = kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.

34 But I say to you, Do not swearCXXVII at all,CXXVIII either by heaven, for it is the throneCXXIX of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool,CXXX or by Jerusalem,CXXXI for it is the city of the great King.CXXXII 

Notes on verses 34-35

CXXVII “swear” = omnuo. This is to swear or make an oath.
CXXVIII “at all” = holos. Related to “whole” in v29. 4x in NT. From holos (see note CXII above). This is wholly, utterly, completely, altogether, everywhere, actually.
CXXIX “throne” = thronos. Probably from thanos (bench); from thrao (to sit). This is throne or seat – the place where the king sits. So, it is used figuratively to mean power, dominion, or a potentate. This is where the word “throne” comes form.
CXXX “footstool” = hupopodion. 7x in NT. From hupo (by, under, about, under one’s authority) + pous (foot in a figurative or literal sense). This is literally under the feet. So, it is a footstool or footrest. It is also used figuratively to depict a king as one who has conquered his enemies. This is the same root that “podium” comes from.
CXXXI “Jerusalem” = hierosoluma. From Hebrew yerushalaim (probably foundation of peace); {from yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalem (to make amends, to be complete or sound)}. This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.
CXXXII “King” = basileus. Probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is king, emperor, or sovereign.

36 And do not swear by your head,CXXXIII for you cannot make one hair whiteCXXXIV or black.CXXXV 37 Let your wordCXXXVI be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more thanCXXXVII this comes from the evil one.

Notes on verses 36-37

CXXXIII “head” = kephale. This is head or chief. It can be a literal head or, figuratively, a ruler or lord. It can also refer to a corner stone. This is where the word “cephalic” comes from.
CXXXIV “white” = leukos. Related to “lamp” in v15. Related to luke (light). This is bright, white, or brilliant.
CXXXV “black” = melas. 3x in NT. This is black or ink. It is the root of the word “melanin.”
CXXXVI “word” = logos. Same as “ground” in v32. See note CXIX above.
CXXXVII “more than” = perissos. Related to “exceeds” in v20 & “unchastity” in v32. From peri (about, concerning, all around, encompassing); related to perisseuo (see note LXIX above). This is abundant, preeminence, greater, beyond what is expected, violent, vehement.

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resistCXXXVIII an evildoer. But if anyone strikesCXXXIX you on the right cheek,CXL turnCXLI the otherCXLII also; 

Notes on verses 38-39

CXXXVIII “resist” = anthistemi. Related to “certificate of divorce” in v31. 14x in NT. From anti (opposite, instead of, against) + histemi (see note CXVIII above). This is to stand against, to take an entirely opposite stance, resist, oppose, or withstand. Figuratively, it is publicly holding your ground. It has its roots as a military term for resisting one’s enemy.
CXXXIX “strikes” = rhapizo. 2x in NT– in the turn the other cheek teaching (Mt 5:39) and when Jesus is before he High Priest during Holy Week (Mt 26:67). From the root rhabdos (staff, rod, cudgel; a staff that denotes power, royalty, or authority); from rhepo (to let fall, to rap). This is to hit with a rod or to slap.
CXL “cheek” = siagon. 2x in NT. This is cheek, jaw, side of the face, or jawbone.
CXLI “turn” = strepho. From trope (turning, shifting, a revolution; figuratively, a variation); from trepo (to turn). This is to turn, change, turn back, be converted; to turn around completely to take the opposite path or a completely different one.
CXLII “other” = allos. This is other, another. Specifically, it is another of a similar kind or type. There is a different word in Greek that speaks of another as a different kind (heteros).

40 and if anyone wantsCXLIII to sueCXLIV you and take your coat,CXLV giveCXLVI your cloakCXLVII as well; 

Notes on verse 40

CXLIII “wants” = thelo. This is to wish, desire, will, or intend. It is to choose or prefer in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean inclined toward or take delight in. It can have a sense of being ready to act on the impulse in question.
CXLIV “sue” = krino. Related to “judgment” in v21 & “judge” in v25. See note LXXVI above.
CXLV “coat” = chiton. 11x in NT. From a Semitic language – see Hebrew kethoneth (tunic). Root means to cover. This is the garment worn beneath the cloak or robe – the one that is closest to the skin.
CXLVI “give” = aphiemi. Same as “leave” in v24. See note LXXXVIII above.
CXLVII “cloak” = himation. From heima (garment) OR from ennumi (to put on). This is the outer garment, cloak, robe, or mantle. It is worn loosely over a tunic.

41 and if anyone forcesCXLVIII you to go one mile,CXLIX go also the second mile. 42 Give to everyone who begsCL from you, and do not refuseCLI anyone who wants to borrowCLII from you.

Notes on verses 41-42

CXLVIII “forces” = aggareuo. 3x in NT– 2x of Simon the Cyrene & 1x “if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile” from Matthew 5:41. From Persian, but compare Aramaic iggerah (a letter); corresponding to Hebrew iggereth (letter); from the same as Agur (hired, gathered, received from the sages); from agar (to gather or harvest). This means to impress into service, to force. It can also mean send someone on an errand, particularly as a courier or other public service.
CXLIX “mile” = million. 1x in NT. From Latin mille (a thousand). This is a Roman mile, which was a thousand steps or about 1,618 yards.
CL “begs” = aiteo. This is to ask, demand, beg, desire.
CLI “refuse” = apostrepho. Related to “turn” in v39. 9x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + strepho (see note CXLI above). This is to turn away from so it could be to leave, to reject, remove, or even desert. It places a focus on one’s personal commitment to this turning back and rejecting.
CLII “borrow” = danizo. Perhaps related to “gift” in v23 & “hand…over” in v25 & “paid” in v26 & “give” in v31. 4x in NT. From danos (loan, gift) OR daneion (loan, debt); {probably related to didomi (see note LXXXV above)}. This is to lend or borrow – it implies interest.

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall loveCLIII your neighborCLIV and hateCLV your enemy.’CLVI 

Notes on verse 43

CLIII “love” = agapao. Perhaps from agan (much). This is love, longing for, taking pleasure in. It is divine love or human love that echoes divine love.
CLIV “neighbor” = plesion. 17x in NT. From pelas (near). This is near, nearby, or neighboring. As one nearby, it can also refer to a neighbor, a member of one’s country, a Christian, or a friend.
CLV “hate” = miseo. From misos (hatred). This word is used in two ways in the New Testament. One has to do with how we prioritize. In order to prioritize something the highest, it means we have to rank other things lower. We cannot have 10 number one priorities. So, the nine that are not number 1, we love less or we value them lower. We make a moral choice the springs from our values about where we put our time, efforts, energy, etc. The other way is detesting or hatred as we normally think of it. This sense has a particular affinity with persecuting the one we hate.
CLVI “enemy” = echthros. From echthos (hatred). This is an openly hostile person so an enemy, a foe, or a hated person. This speaks of irreconcilable hostility. It can also mean adversary and/or refer to Satan.

44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and prayCLVII for those who persecute you,CLVIII 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun riseCLIX on the evil and on the good,CLX

Notes on verses 44-45a

CLVII “pray” = proseuchomai. From pros (advantageous for, at, toward) + euchomai (to wish, make a request, pray). This is to pray or pray for, to worship or supplicate. It is more literally exchanging one’s own wishes for God’s.
CLVIII Some manuscripts add “bless those who curse you, do good to those who persecute you and who hate you.” “Bless” = eulogeo. Related to “saying” in v2 & “ground” in v32. From eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + logos (see note CXIX above). Properly, this is speaking well of – speaking so that the other is benefited. It can mean praise, bless, thank, or call for a blessing. This is where “eulogy” comes from. “Curse” = kataraomai. 6x in NT. From katara (curse, accursed; a curse as penalty); {from kata (down, against, throughout, among) + ara (prayer, curse, imprecation; a pray for evil); {probably from airo (raise, take up, lift, remove)}}. This is to curse, execrate, doom. “Good” = kalos. Related to “good” in v16. From kalos (see note LIV above). This is nobly, rightly, well-perceived, seen as appealing, morally pleasing, honorably. “Persecute” = epereazo. 2x in NT. From epereia (spiteful abuse) OR from epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + areia (threats). This is to insult, mistreat, or slander. It includes making threats or smearing another’s reputation. It is reviling that is tailored to someone in particular.
CLIX “makes…rise” = anatello. Perhaps related to “commandments” in v19. 9x in NT. From ana (up, again, back, anew) + tello (to cause to arise); {from telos (see note LXVIII above}. This is rise, shine, or dawn. It is most often used of the sun. Figuratively, it can mean achieving a goal or reaching consummation after completing the needed steps.
CLX “good” = agathos. This is good, a benefit, or a good thing. It is good by its very nature, intrinsically good. A different word, kalos, refers to external signs of goodness.

and sends rainCLXI on the righteousCLXII and on the unrighteous.CLXIII 

Notes on verse 45b

CLXI “sends rain” = brecho. 7x in NT. This is to rain, moisten, wash, fall.
CLXII “righteous” = dikaios. Related to “righteousness” in v6 & “accuser” in v25. From dike (see note XVII above). This is correct, righteous, just, or a righteous person. It implies innocent or conforming to God’s standard of justice.
CLXIII “unrighteous” = adikos. Related to “righteousness” in v6 & “accuser” in v25 & “righteous” in v45. 12x in NT. From a (not, without) + dike (see note XVII above). This is unjust, unrighteous, wicked, treacherous.

46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectorsCLXIV do the same? 47 And if you greetCLXV only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the GentilesCLXVI do the same? 48 Be perfect,CLXVII therefore, as your heavenlyCLXVIII Father is perfect.

Notes on verses 46-48

CLXIV “tax collectors” = telones. Related to “commandments” in v19 &”makes…rise” in v45. From telos (see note LXVIII above). This is tax collector, one who worked for the Romans taking taxes from Jews. It also meant the toll house. Literally, this is “paying at the end.”
CLXV “greet” = aspazomai. Perhaps from a (with, together with) + a form of spao (to draw, draw out, pull). This is to welcome, salute, or greet. It can also be to embrace or acclaim.
CLXVI “Gentiles” = ethnikos. 4x in NT. From ethnos (people who are united by having similar customs or culture; a tribe, race, nation, or Gentiles in general); probably from etho (custom, culture). This is ethnic, national, foreign, or referring to a Gentile. This is the root that the word “ethnicity” comes from.
CLXVII “perfect” = teleios. Related to “commandments” in v19 & “makes…rise” in v45 & “tax collectors” in v46. 19x in NT. From telos (see note LXVIII above). This is going through the steps to complete a stage or phase and then moving on to the next one. This is reaching an end and so being complete or “perfect.” It is also full grown or mature.
CLXVIII “heavenly” = ouranios. Related to “heaven” in v3. 9x in NT. From ouranos (see note X above). This is heavenly or celestial. It can mean in, belonging to, or coming from heaven or the sky.

Image credit: “Sun” by Edvard Munch, 1912-1913.

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