Matthew 5: This chapter contains what is popularly called the Sermon on the Mount. (Or the beatitudes, or the “supreme blessedness”)
The teaching here is a discourse on Torah. That will be evident when we see the source of the Words of Yeshua.
(Mat 5:1 NASB) And when He saw the multitudes, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
(Mat 5:2 NASB) And opening His mouth He began to teach them, saying,
(Mat 5:3 NASB) “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The Kingdom of Heaven is the land of redeemed Israel. Who are the “poor in spirit?” They are ones who are humble. They will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven (Lev. 26:41-42, Deut. 8:2-3, 6-9).
(Mat 5:4 NASB) “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Mat 5:4: We all mourn when we lose a loved one. But that is not to what this passage is referring. This is referring to mourning for one’s disobedience to Elohim (Isa. 51:11-12, 57:15-18, 61:2-3).
(Mat 5:5 NASB) “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
Mat 5:5: This should read “blessed are the meek, or humble, for they shall inherit the land. The Greek word for “gentle” is G4239. praus, prah-ooce’; appar. a prim. word; mild, i.e. (by impl.) humble:–meek. See also G4235. The Greek word for “earth” is G1093. I word; the earth, land:– country(2), earth(164), Earth(1), earthly(1), ground(20), land(46), soil(16). This is picking up the same theme that the meek and humble will inherit the Kingdom of Elohim.
This is a quote from Psalm 37:11. Those who would inherit the kingdom is the theme of that Psalm (Psalm 37:9, 22, 29, 34).
(Mat 5:6 NASB) “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Mat 5:6: Yeshua is again quoting the Tanakh (Psalm 107:8-9, Isa. 55:1-3).
(Mat 5:7 NASB) “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Mat 5:7: We are to be merciful to others and we will receive the mercy of the Father (Psalm 41:1-4, Prov. 15:17).
(Mat 5:8 NASB) “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Mat 5:8: The Greek word for “pure” should be “clean.” G2513. katharos, kath-ar-os’; of uncert. affin.; clean (lit. or fig.):–clean, clear, pure.
This is a quote from the Tanakh once again (Psalm 51:10-13, Ezek. 36:25-27, Psalm 24:4-6).
(Mat 5:9 NASB) “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Mat 5:9: This is essentially a way of saying to love your neighbor as yourself (Lev. 19:18, 1 John 3:10, 1 John 4:21-5:3).
(Mat 5:10 NASB) “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:10: With keeping righteousness often comes persecution. Keep in mind the definition of righteousness (Deut. 6:25). John tells us that if we practice righteousness, we are born of Him and we are righteous just as Messiah is righteous (1 John 2:29, 3:6-7).
(Mat 5:11 NASB) “Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.
(Mat 5:12 NASB) “Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Mat 5:12: The prophets were virtually all persecuted and suffered greatly for their righteousness. Yeshua says that by keeping Torah, the reward will be great (Psalm 19:7-11, 58:11, Prov. 11:18-19).
(Mat 5:13 NASB) “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
Mat 5:13: Yeshua says that we are the salt of the earth. What does that mean? For the answer to this, let’s look at the offerings made to Elohim. Leaven and honey were forbidden in the offerings and salt was commanded in the offerings (Lev. 2:11-13). Leaven is a bacteria that corrupts. Honey is a sweetener that makes food more palatable for man. Elohim did not allow corruptions of what is pleasing to man to be offered to Him.
On the other hand, salt is a preservative. Israel was instructed to put salt on all the offerings to demonstrate the covenant of salt (permanence) His people have with Him. We are to be the salt of the earth by keeping and preserving His Word that was given to us in His Torah. “Salt” is a reference to keeping our covenant with Him (Num. 18:19).
Going back to the Words of Yeshua, if salt loses its saltiness (its purpose), then what good is it? It is good for nothing except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
(Mat 5:14 NASB) “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Mat 5:14: Yeshua says that those who are righteous are the light of the world. This comes from the Tanakh (Isa. 60:1-3, Prov. 4:18). His Word is the light that for the path of His people (Psalm 119:105, Isa. 8:20).
(Mat 5:15 NASB) “Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house.
(Mat 5:16 NASB) “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Mat 5:16: We are to let our obedience to His Torah shine to others (Isa. 58:8, Psalm 37:3-6).
(Mat 5:17 NASB) “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.
Mat 5:17: This is one of the many, many misinterpreted passages used by Christianity. They claim that since He has “fulfilled” the Law and the Prophets, He has abolished it, even though He says He did not come to abolish it. That is patently absurd. He has just been speaking of how His people need to be obedient to Torah and how they will be blessed by it.
First of all, look at the Greek term for “fulfill.” Fulfill – 4137. pleroo, play-ro’-o; from G4134; to make replete, i.e. (lit.) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (fig.) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.:–accomplish, X after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfill, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.
The word in the Greek means to “make full,” “fill up,” or “to verify.” Look at other passages that use the term (Matt. 13:47-48, 23:31-32, Luke 2:40).
Yeshua did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to verify and make them more full than was the teaching of that day. That becomes increasing evident in the next passage.
(Mat 5:18 NASB) “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished.
Mat 5:18: A jot or tittle refers to the smallest letter or mark written. Not one little mark of the Torah will pass away until heaven and earth pass away. He said this in Luke also (Luke 16:17).
Yeshua is paraphrasing the Tanakh (Isa. 51:6-8, Psalm 102:25-27). The Father and His Torah is never changing, permanent, forever…
(Mat 5:19 NASB) “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:19: This passage is often used to justify entrance of the kingdom even though they ignore the Torah of Elohim. However, the passage says quite the opposite. The Greek preposition used for “in” in the passage also means “by.” That totally changes the power and meaning of the verse (Deut. 27:26, Psalm 119:127-128, Deut. 12:32).
Elohim had warned the leaders of Israel of this hundreds of years before (Malachi 2:8-9).
(Mat 5:20 NASB) “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:20: Yeshua is very clear about this. His people are to be doers of righteousness. The scribes and Pharisees were the teachers of Torah in that day, but they were hopelessly corrupt and power hungry men.
Another popular misconception of Christianity is that the scribes and Pharisees were zealous for Torah and were obedient. They were not. Yeshua exposed them as hypocrites later in Matthew (Matt. 23:23-27). Make no mistake, Yeshua is saying that our righteousness is to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees or you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
(Mat 5:21 NASB) “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’
(Mat 5:22 NASB) “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
Mat 5:22: The passage in verse 21 “whoever commits murder shall be liable in the court” is not a quote from the Tanakh, but that was a tradition for hundreds of years. “You shall not commit murder” is the fifth of the Ten Words given by Elohim to the people.
Yeshua speaks of murder, and then He speaks in progression of the feelings and reactions that lead to murder. Also, He includes a level of guiltiness to each one.
Yeshua says if you are angry with your brother, you are guilty before the court. The Greek word for “court” is krisis which essentially means “tribunal.”
Then He says if one calls his brother “raca” shall be guilty before the Supreme Court. (Raca means stupid, empty-headed, or fool). The Greek word for Supreme Court there is Sanhedrin.
Yeshua then says whoever says “you fool” shall be guilty into the fiery hell. The Aramaic term for “fool” is “ moros” which is likely a transliteration of the Hebrew term “moreh”, which means “rebel.” This term is used by Moses of Israel when his disobedience prevented him from entering the Promised Land.
To call someone “you fool” is to not only say that person is rebellious (as in disobedient to Elohim) but it is saying that person does not believe there is an Elohim and hates the Torah (Psalm 14:1, Prov. 1:7, 22).
(Mat 5:23 NASB) “If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
(Mat 5:24 NASB) leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
Mat 5:24: Above the tithe, men were to present offerings, as they were able to Elohim three times a year (Deut. 16:16-17).
Yeshua says that we are to be reconciled with our brother before we present our required offerings to the Father. We cannot be at peace with the Father and at odds with others who are chosen of the Father also.
(Mat 5:25 NASB) “Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, in order that your opponent may not deliver you to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.
(Mat 5:26 NASB) “Truly I say to you, you shall not come out of there, until you have paid up the last cent.
Mat 5:26: This passage is a continuation of the previous one. The Greek word for “truly” here is the Greek word “amen” meaning “so be it.” This is a paraphrase of Prov. 25:8-9.
Yeshua says to settle your dispute with your neighbor as soon as possible. Do not wait. Start now obeying His Torah by loving your neighbor. If we do not do that, we will pay the penalty before the Father.
(Mat 5:27 NASB) “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’;
(Mat 5:28 NASB) but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Mat 5:28: Yeshua is focusing on the source of our sin, which is the heart. He is NOT saying the looking at a pretty girl is the same thing as committing adultery. Had David stopped after he looked at Bathsheba, he would not have sinned. But instead, he planned his actions and committed adultery, and eventually murder (2 Sam. 11:1-4).
Yeshua is saying that looking at a woman to lust after her is the source of adultery. Just as in the case with having a anger against your brother, that lust must be quenched and forgotten and not dwelt upon or it will lead to adultery (Prov. 6:23-29).
James tells us that when lust is conceived, it bring forth sin. Attraction to the opposite sex is natural and is not sin. But we cannot let lust be conceived in our hearts because it will give birth to sin (James 1:14-15). If we let our desires lead us to a plan of sin in our hearts, then we have committed sin in our hearts.
(Mat 5:29 NASB) “And if your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
(Mat 5:30 NASB) “And if your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to go into hell.
Mat 5:30: I have heard preachers speak on this passage for years and they all claim this is symbolic and not literal. They use the example that virtually all men lust, therefore all men would be blind. But this is not a reference to your thought life. It is referring to your actions. Certainly blind men can lust also; therefore the problem would not be solved.
However, Yeshua does mean what He says. If we cannot keep from sin due to some obstacle, we are to remove that obstacle regardless of what it is.
(Mat 5:31 NASB) “And it was said, ‘WHOEVER SENDS HIS WIFE AWAY, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE’;
(Mat 5:32 NASB) but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Mat 5:32: Yeshua started by telling us who will enter the Kingdom of Heaven and why. Then He tells us the importance of our relationship with our brother and spouse. Now He is focusing on the importance of keeping our covenants with one another.
Yeshua is not really discussing the details of divorce here. He is telling them the importance of a covenant. Elohim’s words are forever, and our covenants with one another should be likewise. Yeshua brings this up again in Matthew chapter 19.
Elohim hates divorce (Mat. 2:15-16). It is the breaking of a covenant. Paul makes the case that if an unbelieving spouse leaves, that person is no longer bound to that spouse. But, once again, Yeshua is not teaching about adultery, He is telling us to keep our covenants with one another.
(Mat 5:33 NASB) “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.’
Mat 5:33: This is a quote from Lev. 19:11-12 which tells us we are not to lie to one another also. To make a false vow in His name is to take His Name in vain, which is unforgivable (Deut. 5:11).
(Mat 5:34 NASB) “But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
(Mat 5:35 NASB) or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING.
(Mat 5:36 NASB) “Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
Mat 5:36: We cannot make an oath by heaven or earth, or by Jerusalem because they are not our ours. We are making claims to that which is not our own. We cannot even make an oath by our own head, because we do not even have the ability to make our hair white or black except on a temporary basis.
Since we are told that we cannot lie to one another, what is the purpose of making an oath?
(Mat 5:37 NASB) “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; and anything beyond these is of evil.
Mat 5:37: If we are not allowed to lie, why should be make an oath upon things which we have no control, or upon His Name? All we are doing is either making claims that are a lie, or blaspheming His Name, which compounds the sin.
(Mat 5:38 NASB) “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’
Mat 5:38: Yeshua is quoting the Torah (Lev. 24:19-21). This is a command in Torah that the guilty will pay their punishment. However, this must take place before a court of Law (Deut. 19:15-19).
Yeshua is going to speak against taking revenge on your brother.
(Mat 5:39 NASB) “But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.
(Mat 5:40 NASB) “And if anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.
(Mat 5:41 NASB) “And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two.
Mat 5:41: Yeshua is not giving us a treatise against self-defense. He is telling us how to deal with our brother. We are not to take revenge (Romans 12:17-20).
(Mat 5:42 NASB) “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
Mat 5:42: Yeshua is reminding them of the teaching of the Torah of the Father (Duet. 15:7-11).
(Mat 5:43 NASB) “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR, and hate your enemy.’
Mat 5:43: Much of the teaching of that day corrupted the Torah by adding “and hate your enemy.” That part is not in Torah. This whole treatise is on the subject of one major passage in Torah (Lev. 19:16-18).
(Mat 5:44 NASB) “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you
Mat 5:44: The Ryrie Study Bible says “Vs. 5:44 A new teaching, found nowhere in the OT.”
However, in keeping in subject and not just phrase-plucking, Yeshua is speaking of those who are His people (Lev. 19:16-18).
And to say this teaching is not found in the Tanakh is wrong (Prov. 25:21-22, Ex. 23:4-5, Deut. 22:1-4).
We are told to “love our neighbor.” Who is our neighbor? Yeshua told us it is the one who follows the Torah of the Father is our neighbor (Luke 10:29-37). We are to “love our brother.” Who is our brother? It is the one who follows the Torah of the Father (Mark 3:32-35).
(Mat 5:45 NASB) in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
(Mat 5:46 NASB) “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same?
(Mat 5:47 NASB) “And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
Mat 5:47: While some may disagree with how I see this passage, Yeshua is speaking of those among His people who are your enemies. He is not telling us to pray for those that are the enemies of Elohim that despise Him and His people.
The catch also, is this; do we know who are His and who are not?
Paul taught that same thing in his letters because there was much strife in the assemblies. Even the Gentiles greet their brothers that they love. If we have enemies amongst ourselves, how are we different from them?
(Mat 5:48 NASB) “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Mat 5:48: We are to be perfect (or complete), as our heavenly Father is perfect. This is a quote from the Tanakh (Lev. 19:2). This quote comes from the passage in Torah from which Yeshua has been teaching (Lev. 19:16-18)
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas