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Matthew 5Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Sermon on the Mount

When He saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain, and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. Then[a] He began to teach them, saying:

The Beatitudes

“The poor in spirit are blessed,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
Those who mourn are blessed,
for they will be comforted.
The gentle are blessed,
for they will inherit the earth.
Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed,
for they will be filled.
The merciful are blessed,
for they will be shown mercy.
The pure in heart are blessed,
for they will see God.
The peacemakers are blessed,
for they will be called sons of God.
10 Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

11 “You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. 12 Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Believers Are Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket,[b] but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine[c] before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Christ Fulfills the Law

17 “Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter[d] or one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all things are accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches people to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Murder Begins in the Heart

21 “You have heard that it was said to our ancestors,[e] Do not murder,[f] and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. 22 But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother[g] will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Fool!’[h] will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, ‘You moron!’ will be subject to hellfire.[i] 23 So if you are offering your gift on the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Reach a settlement quickly with your adversary while you’re on the way with him, or your adversary will hand you over to the judge, the judge to[j] the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 I assure you: You will never get out of there until you have paid the last penny![k]

Adultery in the Heart

27 “You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery.[l] 28 But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell!

Divorce Practices Censured

31 “It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce.[m] 32 But I tell you, everyone who divorces his wife, except in a case of sexual immorality,[n] causes her to commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Tell the Truth

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to our ancestors,[o] You must not break your oath, but you must keep your oaths to the Lord.[p] 34 But I tell you, don’t take an oath at all: either by heaven, because it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, because it is His footstool; or by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither should you swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black. 37 But let your word ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’[q] Anything more than this is from the evil one.

Go the Second Mile

38 “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.[r] 39 But I tell you, don’t resist[s] an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt,[t] let him have your coat[u] as well. 41 And if anyone forces[v] you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Love Your Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor[w] and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you, love your enemies[x] and pray for those who[y] persecute you, 45 so that you may be[z] sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary?[aa] Don’t even the Gentiles[ab] do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 5:2 Lit Then opening His mouth
  2. Matthew 5:15 A large basket used to measure grain
  3. Matthew 5:16 Or way, your light must shine
  4. Matthew 5:18 Or not one iota; iota is the smallest letter of the Gk alphabet.
  5. Matthew 5:21 Lit to the ancients
  6. Matthew 5:21 Ex 20:13; Dt 5:17
  7. Matthew 5:22 Other mss add without a cause
  8. Matthew 5:22 Lit Raca, an Aram term of abuse similar to “airhead”
  9. Matthew 5:22 Lit the gehenna of fire
  10. Matthew 5:25 Other mss read judge will hand you over to
  11. Matthew 5:26 Lit quadrans, the smallest and least valuable Roman coin, worth 1⁄64 of a daily wage
  12. Matthew 5:27 Ex 20:14; Dt 5:18
  13. Matthew 5:31 Dt 24:1
  14. Matthew 5:32 Gk porneia = fornication, or possibly a violation of Jewish marriage laws
  15. Matthew 5:33 Lit to the ancients
  16. Matthew 5:33 Lv 19:12; Nm 30:2; Dt 23:21
  17. Matthew 5:37 Say what you mean and mean what you say
  18. Matthew 5:38 Ex 21:24; Lv 24:20; Dt 19:21
  19. Matthew 5:39 Or don’t set yourself against, or don’t retaliate against
  20. Matthew 5:40 Lit tunic; = inner garment
  21. Matthew 5:40 Or garment; lit robe; = outer garment
  22. Matthew 5:41 Roman soldiers could require people to carry loads for them.
  23. Matthew 5:43 Lv 19:18
  24. Matthew 5:44 Other mss add bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you,
  25. Matthew 5:44 Other mss add mistreat you and
  26. Matthew 5:45 Or may become, or may show yourselves to be
  27. Matthew 5:47 Or doing that is superior; lit doing more
  28. Matthew 5:47 Other mss read tax collectors

Matthew 5Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The Sermon on the Mount

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on the side of a mountain and sat down.[a]

Blessings

Jesus' disciples gathered around him, and he taught them:

God blesses those people
    who depend only on him.
They belong to the kingdom
    of heaven![b]
God blesses those people
who grieve.
    They will find comfort!
God blesses those people
    who are humble.
The earth will belong
    to them!
God blesses those people
who want to obey him[c]
    more than to eat or drink.
They will be given
    what they want!
God blesses those people
    who are merciful.
They will be treated
    with mercy!
God blesses those people
whose hearts are pure.
    They will see him!
God blesses those people
    who make peace.
They will be called
    his children!
10 God blesses those people
who are treated badly
    for doing right.
They belong to the kingdom
    of heaven.[d]

11 God will bless you when people insult you, mistreat you, and tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of me. 12 Be happy and excited! You will have a great reward in heaven. People did these same things to the prophets who lived long ago.

Salt and Light

13 You are like salt for everyone on earth. But if salt no longer tastes like salt, how can it make food salty? All it is good for is to be thrown out and walked on.

14 You are like light for the whole world. A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden, 15 and no one would light a lamp and put it under a clay pot. A lamp is placed on a lampstand, where it can give light to everyone in the house. 16 Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven.

The Law of Moses

17 Don’t suppose that I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets.[e] I did not come to do away with them, but to give them their full meaning. 18 Heaven and earth may disappear. But I promise you that not even a period or comma will ever disappear from the Law. Everything written in it must happen.

19 If you reject even the least important command in the Law and teach others to do the same, you will be the least important person in the kingdom of heaven. But if you obey and teach others its commands, you will have an important place in the kingdom. 20 You must obey God’s commands better than the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law obey them. If you don’t, I promise you that you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.

Anger

21 You know that our ancestors were told, “Do not murder” and “A murderer must be brought to trial.” 22 But I promise you that if you are angry with someone,[f] you will have to stand trial. If you call someone a fool, you will be taken to court. And if you say that someone is worthless, you will be in danger of the fires of hell.

23 So if you are about to place your gift on the altar and remember that someone is angry with you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. Make peace with that person, then come back and offer your gift to God.

25 Before you are dragged into court, make friends with the person who has accused you of doing wrong. If you don’t, you will be handed over to the judge and then to the officer who will put you in jail. 26 I promise you that you will not get out until you have paid the last cent you owe.

Marriage

27 You know the commandment which says, “Be faithful in marriage.” 28 But I tell you that if you look at another woman and want her, you are already unfaithful in your thoughts. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, poke it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body, than for your whole body to end up in hell. 30 If your right hand causes you to sin, chop it off and throw it away! It is better to lose one part of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

Divorce

31 You have been taught that a man who divorces his wife must write out divorce papers for her.[g] 32 But I tell you not to divorce your wife unless she has committed some terrible sexual sin.[h] If you divorce her, you will cause her to be unfaithful, just as any man who marries her is guilty of taking another man’s wife.

Promises

33 You know that our ancestors were told, “Don’t use the Lord’s name to make a promise unless you are going to keep it.” 34 But I tell you not to swear by anything when you make a promise! Heaven is God’s throne, so don’t swear by heaven. 35 The earth is God’s footstool, so don’t swear by the earth. Jerusalem is the city of the great king, so don’t swear by it. 36 Don’t swear by your own head. You cannot make one hair white or black. 37 When you make a promise, say only “Yes” or “No.” Anything else comes from the devil.

Revenge

38 You know that you have been taught, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” 39 But I tell you not to try to get even with a person who has done something to you. When someone slaps your right cheek,[i] turn and let that person slap your other cheek. 40 If someone sues you for your shirt, give up your coat as well. 41 If a soldier forces you to carry his pack one mile, carry it two miles.[j] 42 When people ask you for something, give it to them. When they want to borrow money, lend it to them.

Love

43 You have heard people say, “Love your neighbors and hate your enemies.” 44 But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you. 45 Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong. 46 If you love only those people who love you, will God reward you for that? Even tax collectors[k] love their friends. 47 If you greet only your friends, what’s so great about that? Don’t even unbelievers do that? 48 But you must always act like your Father in heaven.

Footnotes:

  1. 5.1 sat down: Teachers in the ancient world, including Jewish teachers, usually sat down when they taught.
  2. 5.3 They belong to the kingdom of heaven: Or “The kingdom of heaven belongs to them.”
  3. 5.6 who want to obey him: Or “who want to do right” or “who want everyone to be treated right.”
  4. 5.10 They belong to the kingdom of heaven: See the note at 5.3.
  5. 5.17 the Law and the Prophets: The Jewish Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament.
  6. 5.22 someone: In verses 22-24 the Greek text has “brother,” which may refer to people in general or to other followers.
  7. 5.31 write out divorce papers for her: Jewish men could divorce their wives, but the women could not divorce their husbands. The purpose of writing these papers was to make it harder for a man to divorce his wife. Before this law was made, all a man had to do was to send his wife away and say that she was no longer his wife.
  8. 5.32 some terrible sexual sin: This probably refers to the laws about the wrong kinds of marriages that are forbidden in Leviticus 18.6-18 or to some serious sexual sin.
  9. 5.39 right cheek: A slap on the right cheek was a bad insult.
  10. 5.41 two miles: A Roman soldier had the right to force a person to carry his pack as far as one mile.
  11. 5.46 tax collectors: These were usually Jewish people who paid the Romans for the right to collect taxes. They were hated by other Jews who thought of them as traitors to their country and to their religion.
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