5:1But having seen the crowds he ascended into the mountain. And (after) his having sat-down his learning-disciples came-towards him, .2and having opened his mouth he used-to teach them saying, .3"Happy (are) the poor-people relative-to spirit because the kingdom of the heavens is of them. .4Happy (are) the (people) mourning because they will be encouraged. .5Happy (are) the meek-people because they will inherit the land. .6Happy (are) the (people) hungering and thirsting the righteousness because they will be fed. .7Happy (are) the merciful-people because they will be shown-mercy. .8Happy (are) the clean relative-to heart because they will see God. .9Happy (are) the peacemakers because they will be called sons of God. .10Happy (are) the (people) having been persecuted2 by-reason-of righteousness because the kingdom of the heavens is of them.
When Jesus saw (perceived) the throngs of people he went-up into the mountain (mount, hill). After he had sat down his learning-disciples (students) came towards him, and having opened his mouth to speak, he used-to teach them.
The tense of the verb translated "used-to teach" is imperfect, and in this context it tells us that Jesus was teaching, he spent time teaching, his action of teaching continued during a past time that is now finished, not that it was a quick one-time occurrence. This tense is also used for actions that were repeated on several occasions during a period of time that has ended, and to historically describe past events relating what happened. Jesus taught them taking time to teach, and he repeated his teaching at different times and in different ways throughout his ministry before his ascension into heaven recorded in Luke 24:51 and Acts 1:9. We have already seen this tense in Matthew, and we will see the usage of this imperfect tense throughout Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The word translated "happy" means that those spoken about are pronounced happy, felicitous; they are happy people from God's viewpoint, not that they felt happy at that time necessarily, but because of the reason that Jesus explains. Jesus was instructing them by saying:
- The people who are poor relative-to spirit (the people who are figuratively beggarly, crouching in the begging position, knowing that they are in need of certain things at this time with respect to spirit, humble pertaining to their spiritual condition which affects their whole being and living) are happy because the kingdom of the heavens is of them (God's spiritual kingdom presently and actively is pertaining-to them; these are the people who are eligible to belong to the kingdom of the heavens at a future time when God via the Lord Jesus Christ will make holy spirit available to them).
- The people presently mourning (lamenting) are happy because they will be encouraged (will be exhorted, will be called-beside as a father and mother invites their children near them to help them to do that-which is right).
- The people who are meek (have a tender-receptiveness or receptivity towards God and the things of God) are happy because they will inherit the land (will become inheritors or heirs of the allotted-portion which is the land/earth promised to Abraham and his seed).
- The people who are presently hungering and thirsting the righteousness (being hungry and thirsty for/after the only true justness, justice, the attributes of justification, the quality of being and doing what is just/right from God's point of view) are happy because they will be fed (will be filled similar to being filled with food, as the animals eat fodder, the hay or grass that is made available to them, whenever they want to, and become fat being satisfied with enough eaten at that time).
- The people who are merciful (those who show active-relief because of withholding merited judgment) are happy because they will be shown-mercy (merited judgment will be withheld by God from them).
- The people who are clean relative-to heart (the people who are figuratively free from any bad foreign-mixture with respect to heart, clean pertaining to the center or core of their beings, the seat of their whole personal selves and lives) are happy because they will see God (God will present Himself to be perceived with their eyes and known by them; this is how they will see God, not that they will see a physical form because God Himself is unseen by physical mankind).
- The people who are peacemakers (those who bring-about or produce peace, which is tranquility and harmony, wholesomeness, without any strife or disagreement) are happy because they will be called sons of God (will be called God's sons, will be invited being sons of God).
- The people who have been persecuted and are still being persecuted (being pursued as enemies with hostility) by-reason-of righteousness (for the sake of justness, justice) are happy because the kingdom of the heavens is of them (God's spiritual kingdom presently and actively is pertaining-to them; these are the people who are eligible to belong to the kingdom of the heavens at a future time when God via the Lord Jesus Christ will make His righteousness available to them).
[Reference: Genesis 15:17, 17:1-8; Psalm 24:4 and 5, 37:11; Isaiah 61:1-3; Matthew 11:4-6; John 6:35; Acts 2:1-4; Romans 4:5-13; II Corinthians 8:8 and 9; Galatians 4:13-15; Colossians 1:15; James 3:18; I Peter 3:14; Revelation chapters 21 and 22. Note: verbs with a superscript 2 (2) immediately following them indicate the "perfect" tense - details are provided in the "Relevant Notes" link of this study.]A printed paperback book of the complete study of Matthew may be purchased at:
True Bible Study - Matthew