The Beatitudes
Matthew 5:3-12
Citizens of God’s kingdom go through hard times but are blessed because they will receive the blessings of the kingdom.
#joy
#kingdomofgod
Published November 10th, 2020; Updated November 10th, 2020
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Arc
Notes about Arc
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Markup and related passages
Notes about cross references
Observations and Questions
notes
Main point summary
Blessed are those who are humble and do good to others, often enduring persecution due to following Jesus, are citizens of the new society that is under God’s rule and care and will enjoy the future blessings of this new society.
Arc
editing
NT
Matthew 5:3-12
esv
mine
r “Blessed are s the poor in spirit,
Favored by God and fortunate are the poor in spirit,
for u theirs is the kingdom of heaven .
because right now they are citizens of the place where God rules and are beneficiaries of all of the rights and privileges therein.
ground
“Blessed are v those who mourn,
Now here are some of the benefits of being part of the kingdom of heaven, which you will receive when Jesus comes back . Favored and fortunate are those who are saddened by their own sin as well as the fallenness of the world,
for they shall be comforted.
because God will console them completely.
“Blessed are the w meek,
Favored and fortunate are the gentle,
for they w shall inherit the earth.
because they will finally own their own land. In fact they will become owner’s of the ultimate promised land, the new creation.
series
“Blessed are those who hunger and x thirst y for righteousness,
Favored and fortunate are those who want to be more righteousness — in themselves and in terms of justice done on earth — as much as they want food and drink,
for they shall be satisfied.
because they will be completely righteous themselves and justice will be perfectly done on earth.
“Blessed are z the merciful,
Favored and fortunate are those who sacrificially show mercy to others,
for they shall receive mercy.
because God will show final and complete mercy to them.
“Blessed are a the pure in heart,
Favored and fortunate are those who have a pure devotion to God, resulting in pure life,
for b they shall see God.
because they will see him face to face.
“Blessed are c the peacemakers,
Favored and fortunate are those who work to make peace between God and man and between man and man,
for d they shall be called e sons 1 of God.
because they will have the full status as sons and daughters of God the Father.
f “Blessed are those who are persecuted
Favored and fortunate are those people who are treated badly by others
for righteousness’ sake,
due to their commitment to stand up for what is right,
for u theirs is the kingdom of heaven .
because, again, right now they are citizen’s of the place where God rules and are beneficiaries of all of the rights and privileges therein.
g “Blessed are you
Let me encourage you who are persecuted : favored and fortunate are you
when others revile you and persecute you
when people hate you and say bad things about you and treat you badly
and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely
and falsely accuse you of all kinds of evil
h on my account.
because you follow me.
temporal
i Rejoice
Therefore , be joyful
and be glad,
and be happy
progression
for your reward is great in heaven,
because you will be rewarded in the end times when you are living under God’s rule,
for j so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
and take heart that you are not alone in your persecution: the prophets sent long ago to give God’s message were treated badly also.
ideaexplanation
inference
Inclusio series
coord
IS
Probably a reference to Psalm 37 (verse 11).
Verses 3 and 10 form an inclusio around 4-9.
These three beatitudes seem to all relate to doing good to others.
These two beatitudes seem to relate to relate to our opinion of ourself.
This beatitude about being hungry and thirsty for righteousness seems to relate to our opinion of ourself as well as how we treat others. Maybe it is a bridge between verses 4-5 and verses 7-9?
Inclusio-Series: a custom relationship in which the the first item in the list relates to the third item in the list, bracketing the second item.
discourse
Notes about Arc
What does “blessed” mean? Matthew 5:3 (ESVSB): More than a temporary or circumstantial feeling of happiness, this is a state of well-being in relationship to God that belongs to those who respond to Jesus’ ministry Matthew 5:3 (EBC Mt-Mk (Rev)): As for “happy” (TEV), it will not do for the beatitudes, having been devalued in modern usage. The Greek “describes a state not of inner feeling on the part of those to whom it is applied, but of blessedness from an ideal point of view in the ju dgment of others” (Allen) Matthew 5:3 (Matthew (PNTC)): For blessed many translations use expressions of a somewhat secular nature, such as “fortunate” (AB) or “happy” (JB). These bring out the joy that is conveyed by Jesus’ word, but not its full religious content. There is more to blessedness than happiness. Bruner has “God bless,” but this sounds too much like a prayer, while Jesus is making a strong affirmation NICNT: Fortunate” gets closer to the sense, but has inappropriate connotations of luck. “Congratulations to …” would convey much of the impact of a “macarism”, but perhaps sounds too colloquial. (France, TDNT): Blessed’ is a misleading translation of makarios, which does not denote one whom God blesses (which would be eulogētos, reflecting Heb. bārûk), but represents the Hebrew ’ašrê, ‘fortunate’, and is used, like ’ašrê, almost entirely in the formal setting of a beatitude. It introduces someone who is to be congratulated, someone whose place in life is an enviable one. ‘Happy’ is better than ‘blessed’, but only if used not of a mental state but of a condition of life. ‘Fortunate’ or ‘well off’ is less ambiguous. It is not a psychological description, but a recommendation. Boice, Expositional commentary: What does blessed mean? The Greek word is sometimes rendered “happy,” but that is not good enough in our day since “happy” has become so debased. The Greek word for blessed is makarios, and it is used to describe a person who is especially favored by God and who is therefore in some sense happy or fortunate because of it. Our use of the word happy has to do with how we feel about something, and that is not the idea here at all. Besides, happy is based on the old Anglo Saxon word hap, which means chance, as in “whatever happens” or “happenstance.” Happiness is circumstantial; therefore, it is uncertain, temporary, and insecure. The blessedness of the Christian is not temporary or uncertain. It is unshakable. What does “theirs is the kingdom...” mean? Carson, EBC: The kingdom of heaven (see comments at 3:2; 4:17) belongs to the poor in spirit. It is they who enjoy Messiah’s reign and the blessings he brings. They joyfully accept his rule and participate in the life of the kingdom (7:14)
Key for highlighting
Colors represent similarity within the passage Underline represents contrast within the passage Dashed represents similarity with other passages Zigzag represents contrast with other passages Outline represents something notable or something that stands out
Markup and related passages
Matthew 5:3-12
3 r “ Blessed are s the poor in spirit , for u theirs is the kingdom of heaven . 4 “ Blessed are v those who mourn , for they shall be comforted. 5 “ Blessed are the w meek, for they w shall inherit the earth. 6 “ Blessed are those who hunger and x thirst y for righteousness , for they shall be satisfied . 7 “ Blessed are z the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 “ Blessed are a the pure in heart, for b they shall see God . 9 “ Blessed are c the peacemakers, for d they shall be called e sons 1 of God . 10 f “ Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness ’ sake, for u theirs is the kingdom of heaven . 11 g “ Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely h on my account. 12 i Rejoice and be glad , for your reward is great in heaven , for j so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Luke 6:20-23
The Beatitudes 20 And z he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, a and said: “ Blessed are you who are poor , for b yours is the kingdom of God . 21 c “ Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied . d “ Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. 22 “ Blessed are you when e people hate you and when they f exclude you and revile you and g spurn your name as evil , h on account of the Son of Man! 23 i Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for j so their fathers did to the prophets.
OT
Isaiah 61:1
The Year of the Lord ’s Favor 61 1 s The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has t anointed me to bring good news to the poor ; 1 he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and u the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2
Isaiah 66:2
2 c All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord . d But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word .
Luke 12:32
32 r “Fear not, little s flock, for t it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you u the kingdom .
2 Corinthians 7:10
10 For x godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas y worldly grief produces death.
Isaiah 61:2-3
2 v to proclaim the year of the Lord ’s favor, w and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn ; 3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion— x to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes , y the oil of gladness instead of mourning , the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit ; z that they may be called oaks of righteousness , the planting of the Lord , a that he may be glorified. 1
2 Corinthians 1:7
7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you l share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
John 16:20
20 Truly, truly, I say to you, h you will weep and lament , but i the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but j your sorrow will turn into joy .
Revelation 21:4
4 h He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and i death shall be no more, j neither shall there be mourning , nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
James 4:9-10
9 k Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 l Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Psalms 42:2
2 u My soul thirsts for God, for v the living God. When shall I come and w appear before God? 1
Isaiah 55:1-2
The Compassion of the Lord 55 1 d “Come, everyone who thirsts , come to the waters; and he who has no money, e come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 f Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy ? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.
Psalms 37:11
11 But o the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in p abundant peace.
John 7:37
Rivers of Living Water 37 y On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, z “If anyone thirsts , let him a come to me and drink.
2 Timothy 2:22
22 So m flee n youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with o those who call on the Lord p from a pure heart.
Matthew 6:33
33 But n seek first o the kingdom of God and his righteousness , p and all these things will be added to you.
Revelation 21:6
6 And he said to me, n “It is done! o I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. p To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.
Matthew 18:33
33 i And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’
Matthew 25:34-36
34 Then o the King will say to p those on his right, ‘Come, you q who are blessed by my Father, r inherit s the kingdom t prepared for you u from the foundation of the world. 35 For v I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you w gave me drink, x I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 v I was naked and you clothed me, y I was sick and you z visited me, a I was in prison and you came to me.’
Proverbs 19:17
17 c Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord , and he d will repay him for his e deed.
Luke 6:36
36 g Be merciful , even as h your Father is merciful .
2 Timothy 1:16
16 May the Lord grant mercy to q the household of Onesiphorus, for he often r refreshed me and was not ashamed of s my chains,
Hebrews 6:10
10 For z God is not unjust so as to overlook a your work and the love that you have shown for his name in b serving the saints, as you still do .
Psalms 24:4
4 a He who has b clean hands and c a pure heart, who does not d lift up his soul to e what is false and does not swear deceitfully.
2 Timothy 2:22
22 So m flee n youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with o those who call on the Lord p from a pure heart .
1 Peter 1:22
22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for b a sincere brotherly love, c love one another earnestly from a pure heart ,
Hebrews 12:14
14 s Strive for peace with everyone, and for the t holiness u without which no one will see the Lord .
Revelation 22:4
4 g They will see his face , and h his name will be on their foreheads.
1 Corinthians 13:12
12 For p now we see in a mirror dimly, but q then face to face . Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as r I have been fully known.
James 3:18
18 And w a harvest of righteousness x is sown in peace by those who make peace .
1 John 3:1-3
3 1 See y what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called z children of God ; and so we are. The reason why a the world does not know us is that b it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are z God’s children c now, and what we will be d has not yet appeared; but we know that e when he appears 1 f we shall be like him, because g we shall see him as he is . 3 And everyone who h thus hopes in him i purifies himself as he is pure .
Romans 8:14
14 For all who are e led by the Spirit of God are f sons 1 of God .
2 Timothy 2:12
12 t if we endure, we will also reign with him; u if we deny him, he also will deny us;
James 5:11
11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of r the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen s the purpose of the Lord, how t the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
1 Peter 3:14
14 d But even if you should suffer for righteousness ’ sake, you will be blessed . e Have no fear of them, f nor be troubled,
Hebrews 11:26
26 v He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to w the reward .
1 Peter 4:14
14 c If you are insulted d for the name of Christ , you are blessed , because the Spirit of glory 1 and of God rests upon you.
John 15:21
21 But j all these things they will do to you k on account of my name , l because they do not know him who sent me.
Acts 5:41
41 Then they left the presence of the council, e rejoicing that they were counted worthy f to suffer dishonor for g the name .
Romans 5:3
3 Not only that, but we f rejoice in our sufferings , knowing that suffering g produces endurance ,
2 Corinthians 12:10
10 m For the sake of Christ, then, n I am content with weaknesses , insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities . For o when I am weak, then I am strong.
Colossians 1:11
11 y May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for z all endurance and patience a with joy ,
Colossians 1:24
Paul’s Ministry to the Church 24 Now j I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh k I am filling up l what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions m for the sake of his body, that is, the church,
Hebrews 10:34
34 For u you had compassion on those in prison, and v you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had w a better possession and an abiding one .
James 1:2
Testing of Your Faith 2 e Count it all joy , my brothers, 1 when you meet trials f of various kinds ,
1 Peter 4:13
13 But rejoice a insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings , that you may also rejoice and be glad b when his glory is revealed.
Psalms 34:11-14
11 e Come, O children, listen to me; f I will teach you the fear of the Lord . 12 g What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may h see good? 13 i Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from j speaking deceit. 14 k Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and l pursue it.
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Notes about cross references
In John 16:20 Jesus says that we will have joy in the future; so perhaps we “rejoice” now about persecution because we look forward to a future joy? 2 Corinthians 1:7 also speaks of hardship now and consolation later 2 Corinthians 7:10 has a similar pattern of hardship now (even due to our sin), which leads to consolation later In a similar vein, James 4:9-10 talks about how if we humble ourselves before God, which can include an attitude of somberness and mourning, God will exalt us, and we will have reward and consolation. Proverbs 19:17: one way of being merciful is to be generous to the poor, which God will remember. Hebrews 6:10: God will also reward our service of others 2 Tim 2:12: The Christian life is one of endurance through trials and persecution until we receive our reward when Christ comes back. Heb 11:26, 1 Pet 4:14, John 15:21, Acts 5:41, Rom 5:3, 2 Cor 12:10, Col 1:11 , Col 1:24 Heb 10:34 , James 1:2 , 1 Pet 4:13 , Matt 21:35
Observations and Questions
Repeated words, phrases. Things I notice. Questions I have, etc. Observations Two of the beatitudes are present realities (verse 3 and verse 4), while the rest are consolations that occur in the future, whether in this life or in the life to come While verses 3-10 bestow blessing on people who are characterized by different hardships and virtues, verse 11 refers to blessing that occurs in the moment (“when others revile you”). The blessed hunger and thirst for righteousness, while at the same time being persecuted for righteousness Matthew says “poor in spirit” and “hunger and thirst for righteousness” while Luke says “poor” and “hungry” The pattern in this next (and in other texts such as 2 Cor 1:7) is that even though things are hard now, they will get batter. We will have a consolation. Q uestions Are the first three beatitudes similar? (Poor in spirit, mourn, meek) The “merciful” and the “peacemakers” are both people who do good. Are the “pure in heart” also people who do good? Are verses 4-9 bracketed by verse 3 and verse 10? Are verses 11-12 significantly different than 3-10? Or are verses 3-12 all one list? What does “meek mean in verse 5? What does it mean that the meek will “inherit” (verse 5)? Will the meek literally receive land? Or is the land metaphorical?
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Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.