Matthew 8 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 533)

Matthew 8New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

III. Ministry and Mission in Galilee[a]

Chapter 8

The Cleansing of a Leper. When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And then a leper[b] approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately. [c]Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”

The Healing of a Centurion’s Servant.[d] When he entered Capernaum,[e] a centurion approached him and appealed to him,saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply,[f] “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel[g] have I found such faith. 11 I say to you,[h] many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven, 12 but the children of the kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” 13 And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour [his] servant was healed.

The Cure of Peter’s Mother-in-Law.[i] 14 Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.

Other Healings. 16 When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word[j] and cured all the sick, 17 to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:[k]

“He took away our infirmities
    and bore our diseases.”

The Would-be Followers of Jesus.[l] 18 When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side.[m] 19 A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher,[n] I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man[o] has nowhere to rest his head.” 21 Another of [his] disciples said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”22 [p]But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”

The Calming of the Storm at Sea. 23 [q]He got into a boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a violent storm[r] came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep.25 They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us![s] We are perishing!”26 He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”[t] Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm.27 The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?”

The Healing of the Gadarene Demoniacs. 28 When he came to the other side, to the territory of the Gadarenes,[u] two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. 29 They cried out, “What have you to do with us,[v]Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” 30 Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding.[w]31 The demons pleaded with him, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.” 32 And he said to them, “Go then!” They came out and entered the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned. 33 The swineherds ran away, and when they came to the town they reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. 34 Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.

Footnotes:

  1. 8:1–9:38 This narrative section of the second book of the gospel is composed of nine miracle stories, most of which are found in Mark, although Matthew does not follow the Marcan order and abbreviates the stories radically. The stories are arranged in three groups of three, each group followed by a section composed principally of sayings of Jesus about discipleship. Mt 9:35 is an almost verbatim repetition of Mt 4:23. Each speaks of Jesus’ teaching, preaching, and healing. The teaching and preaching form the content of Mt 5–7; the healing, that of Mt 8–9. Some scholars speak of a portrayal of Jesus as “Messiah of the Word” in Mt 5–7 and “Messiah of the Deed” in Mt 8–9. That is accurate so far as it goes, but there is also a strong emphasis on discipleship in Mt 8–9; these chapters have not only christological but ecclesiological import.
  2. 8:2 A leper: see note on Mk 1:40.
  3. 8:4 Cf. Lv 14:2–9. That will be proof for them: the Greek can also mean “that will be proof against them.” It is not clear whether them refers to the priests or the people.
  4. 8:5–13 This story comes from Q (see Lk 7:1–10) and is also reflected in Jn 4:46–54. The similarity between the Q story and the Johannine is due to a common oral tradition, not to a common literary source. As in the later story of the daughter of the Canaanite woman (Mt 15:21–28) Jesus here breaks with his usual procedure of ministering only to Israelites and anticipates the mission to the Gentiles.
  5. 8:5 A centurion: a military officer commanding a hundred men. He was probably in the service of Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee; see note on Mt 14:1.
  6. 8:8–9 Acquainted by his position with the force of a command, the centurion expresses faith in the power of Jesus’ mere word.
  7. 8:10 In no one in Israel: there is good textual attestation (e.g., Codex Sinaiticus) for a reading identical with that of Lk 7:9, “not even in Israel.” But that seems to be due to a harmonization of Matthew with Luke.
  8. 8:11–12 Matthew inserts into the story a Q saying (see Lk 13:28–29) about the entrance of Gentiles into the kingdom and the exclusion of those Israelites who, though descended from the patriarchs and members of the chosen nation (the children of the kingdom), refused to believe in Jesus. There will be wailing and grinding of teeth: the first occurrence of a phrase used frequently in this gospel to describe final condemnation (Mt 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30). It is found elsewhere in the New Testament only in Lk 13:28.
  9. 8:14–15 Cf. Mk 1:29–31. Unlike Mark, Matthew has no implied request by others for the woman’s cure. Jesus acts on his own initiative, and the cured woman rises and waits not on “them” (Mk 1:31) but on him.
  10. 8:16 By a word: a Matthean addition to Mk 1:34; cf. 8:8.
  11. 8:17 This fulfillment citation from Is 53:4 follows the MT, not the LXX. The prophet speaks of the Servant of the Lord who suffers vicariously for the sins (“infirmities”) of others; Matthew takes the infirmities as physical afflictions.
  12. 8:18–22 This passage between the first and second series of miracles about following Jesus is taken from Q (see Lk 9:57–62). The third of the three sayings found in the source is absent from Matthew.
  13. 8:18 The other side: i.e., of the Sea of Galilee.
  14. 8:19 Teacher: for Matthew, this designation of Jesus is true, for he has Jesus using it of himself (Mt 10:24, 25; 23:8; 26:18), yet when it is used of him by others they are either his opponents (Mt 9:11; 12:38; 17:24; 22:16, 24, 36) or, as here and in Mt 19:16, well-disposed persons who cannot see more deeply. Thus it reveals an inadequate recognition of who Jesus is.
  15. 8:20 Son of Man: see note on Mk 8:31. This is the first occurrence in Matthew of a term that appears in the New Testament only in sayings of Jesus, except for Acts 7:56 and possibly Mt 9:6 (// Mk 2:10; Lk 5:24). In Matthew it refers to Jesus in his ministry (seven times, as here), in his passion and resurrection (nine times, e.g., Mt 17:22), and in his glorious coming at the end of the age (thirteen times, e.g., Mt 24:30).
  16. 8:22 Let the dead bury their dead: the demand of Jesus overrides what both the Jewish and the Hellenistic world regarded as a filial obligation of the highest importance. See note on Lk 9:60.
  17. 8:23 His disciples followed him: the first miracle in the second group (Mt 8:23–9:8) is introduced by a verse that links it with the preceding sayings by the catchword “follow.” In Mark the initiative in entering the boat is taken by the disciples (Mk 4:35–41); here, Jesus enters first and the disciples follow.
  18. 8:24 Storm: literally, “earthquake,” a word commonly used in apocalyptic literature for the shaking of the old world when God brings in his kingdom. All the synoptics use it in depicting the events preceding the parousia of the Son of Man (Mt 24:7; Mk 13:8; Lk 21:11). Matthew has introduced it here and in his account of the death and resurrection of Jesus (Mt 27:51–54; 28:2).
  19. 8:25 The reverent plea of the disciples contrasts sharply with their reproach of Jesus inMk 4:38.
  20. 8:26 You of little faith: see note on Mt 6:30. Great calm: Jesus’ calming the sea may be meant to recall the Old Testament theme of God’s control over the chaotic waters (Ps 65:8; 89:10; 93:3–4; 107:29).
  21. 8:28 Gadarenes: this is the reading of Codex Vaticanus, supported by other important textual witnesses. The original reading of Codex Sinaiticus was Gazarenes, later changed to Gergesenes, and a few versions have Gerasenes. Each of these readings points to a different territory connected, respectively, with the cities Gadara, Gergesa, and Gerasa (modern Jerash). There is the same confusion of readings in the parallel texts, Mk 5:1 andLk 8:26; there the best reading seems to be “Gerasenes,” whereas “Gadarenes” is probably the original reading in Matthew. The town of Gadara was about five miles southeast of the Sea of Galilee, and Josephus (Life 9:42) refers to it as possessing territory that lay on that sea. Two demoniacs: Mark (5:1–20) has one.
  22. 8:29 What have you to do with us?: see note on Jn 2:4. Before the appointed time: the notion that evil spirits were allowed by God to afflict human beings until the time of the final judgment is found in Enoch 16:1 and Jubilees 10:7–10.
  23. 8:30 The tending of pigs, animals considered unclean by Mosaic law (Lv 11:6–7), indicates that the population was Gentile.

Matthew 7 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 532)

Matthew 7New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 7

Judging Others. [a]“Stop judging,[b] that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite,[c]remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.

Pearls Before Swine. “Do not give what is holy to dogs,[d] or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

The Answer to Prayers. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread,[e] 10 or a snake when he asks for a fish? 11 If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.

The Golden Rule. 12 [f]“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.

The Narrow Gate. 13 [g]“Enter through the narrow gate;[h] for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. 14 How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.

False Prophets.[i] 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So by their fruits you will know them.

The True Disciple. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,[j] but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you.[k] Depart from me, you evildoers.’

The Two Foundations. 24 [l]“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. 26 And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

28 [m]When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 [n]for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

Footnotes:

  1. 7:1–12 In Mt 7:1 Matthew returns to the basic traditional material of the sermon (Lk 6:37–38, 41–42). The governing thought is the correspondence between conduct toward one’s fellows and God’s conduct toward the one so acting.
  2. 7:1 This is not a prohibition against recognizing the faults of others, which would be hardly compatible with Mt 7:5, 6 but against passing judgment in a spirit of arrogance, forgetful of one’s own faults.
  3. 7:5 Hypocrite: the designation previously given to the scribes and Pharisees is here given to the Christian disciple who is concerned with the faults of another and ignores his own more serious offenses.
  4. 7:6 Dogs and swine were Jewish terms of contempt for Gentiles. This saying may originally have derived from a Jewish Christian community opposed to preaching the gospel (what is holy, pearls) to Gentiles. In the light of Mt 28:19 that can hardly be Matthew’s meaning. He may have taken the saying as applying to a Christian dealing with an obstinately impenitent fellow Christian (Mt 18:17).
  5. 7:9–10 There is a resemblance between a stone and a round loaf of bread and between a serpent and the scaleless fish called barbut.
  6. 7:12 See Lk 6:31. This saying, known since the eighteenth century as the “Golden Rule,” is found in both positive and negative form in pagan and Jewish sources, both earlier and later than the gospel. This is the law and the prophets is an addition probably due to the evangelist.
  7. 7:13–28 The final section of the discourse is composed of a series of antitheses, contrasting two kinds of life within the Christian community, that of those who obey the words of Jesus and that of those who do not. Most of the sayings are from Q and are found also in Luke.
  8. 7:13–14 The metaphor of the “two ways” was common in pagan philosophy and in the Old Testament. In Christian literature it is found also in the Didache (1–6) and the Epistle of Barnabas (18–20).
  9. 7:15–20 Christian disciples who claimed to speak in the name of God are called prophets(Mt 7:15) in Mt 10:41; Mt 23:34. They were presumably an important group within the church of Matthew. As in the case of the Old Testament prophets, there were both true and false ones, and for Matthew the difference could be recognized by the quality of their deeds, the fruits (Mt 7:16). The mention of fruits leads to the comparison with trees, some producing good fruit, others bad.
  10. 7:21–23 The attack on the false prophets is continued, but is broadened to include those disciples who perform works of healing and exorcism in the name of Jesus (Lord) but live evil lives. Entrance into the kingdom is only for those who do the will of the Father. On the day of judgment (on that day) the morally corrupt prophets and miracle workers will be rejected by Jesus.
  11. 7:23 I never knew you: cf. Mt 10:33. Depart from me, you evildoers: cf. Ps 6:9.
  12. 7:24–27 The conclusion of the discourse (cf. Lk 6:47–49). Here the relation is not between saying and doing as in Mt 7:15–23 but between hearing and doing, and the words of Jesus are applied to every Christian (everyone who listens).
  13. 7:28–29 When Jesus finished these words: this or a similar formula is used by Matthew to conclude each of the five great discourses of Jesus (cf. Mt 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1).
  14. 7:29 Not as their scribes: scribal instruction was a faithful handing down of the traditions of earlier teachers; Jesus’ teaching is based on his own authority. Their scribes: for the implications of their, see note on Mt 4:23.

Matthew 6 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 531)

Matthew 6New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 6

Teaching About Almsgiving.[a] “[But] take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites[b] do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

Teaching About Prayer. “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. [c]In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.[d] Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

The Lord’s Prayer. [e]“This is how you are to pray:

Our Father in heaven,[f]
    hallowed be your name,
10     your kingdom come,[g]
    your will be done,
        on earth as in heaven.
11     [h]Give us today our daily bread;
12     and forgive us our debts,[i]
        as we forgive our debtors;
13     and do not subject us to the final test,[j]
        but deliver us from the evil one.

14 [k]If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.

Teaching About Fasting. 16 “When you fast,[l] do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.

Treasure in Heaven. 19 [m]“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.20 But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

The Light of the Body.[n] 22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.

God and Money. 24 [o]“No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Dependence on God.[p] 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?26 Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? 27 Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?[q] 28 Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin.29 But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. 30 [r]If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ 32 All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness,[s] and all these things will be given you besides. 34 Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.

Footnotes:

  1. 6:1–18 The sermon continues with a warning against doing good in order to be seen and gives three examples, almsgiving (Mt 6:2–4), prayer (Mt 6:5–15), and fasting (Mt 6:16–18). In each, the conduct of the hypocrites (Mt 6:2) is contrasted with that demanded of the disciples. The sayings about reward found here and elsewhere (Mt 5:12, 46; 10:41–42) show that this is a genuine element of Christian moral exhortation. Possibly to underline the difference between the Christian idea of reward and that of the hypocrites, the evangelist uses two different Greek verbs to express the rewarding of the disciples and that of the hypocrites; in the latter case it is the verb apechō, a commercial term for giving a receipt for what has been paid in full (Mt 6:2, 5, 16).
  2. 6:2 The hypocrites: the scribes and Pharisees, see Mt 23:13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29. The designation reflects an attitude resulting not only from the controversies at the time of Jesus’ ministry but from the opposition between Pharisaic Judaism and the church of Matthew. They have received their reward: they desire praise and have received what they were looking for.
  3. 6:7–15 Matthew inserts into his basic traditional material an expansion of the material on prayer that includes the model prayer, the “Our Father.” That prayer is found in Lk 11:2–4in a different context and in a different form.
  4. 6:7 The example of what Christian prayer should be like contrasts it now not with the prayer of the hypocrites but with that of the pagans. Their babbling probably means their reciting a long list of divine names, hoping that one of them will force a response from the deity.
  5. 6:9–13 Matthew’s form of the “Our Father” follows the liturgical tradition of his church. Luke’s less developed form also represents the liturgical tradition known to him, but it is probably closer than Matthew’s to the original words of Jesus.
  6. 6:9 Our Father in heaven: this invocation is found in many rabbinic prayers of the post-New Testament period. Hallowed be your name: though the “hallowing” of the divine name could be understood as reverence done to God by human praise and by obedience to his will, this is more probably a petition that God hallow his own name, i.e., that he manifest his glory by an act of power (cf. Ez 36:23), in this case, by the establishment of his kingdom in its fullness.
  7. 6:10 Your kingdom come: this petition sets the tone of the prayer, and inclines the balance toward divine rather than human action in the petitions that immediately precede and follow it. Your will be done, on earth as in heaven: a petition that the divine purpose to establish the kingdom, a purpose present now in heaven, be executed on earth.
  8. 6:11 Give us today our daily bread: the rare Greek word epiousios, here daily, occurs in the New Testament only here and in Lk 11:3. A single occurrence of the word outside of these texts and of literature dependent on them has been claimed, but the claim is highly doubtful. The word may mean daily or “future” (other meanings have also been proposed). The latter would conform better to the eschatological tone of the whole prayer. So understood, the petition would be for a speedy coming of the kingdom (today), which is often portrayed in both the Old Testament and the New under the image of a feast (Is 25:6; Mt 8:11; 22:1–10; Lk 13:29; 14:15–24).
  9. 6:12 Forgive us our debts: the word debts is used metaphorically of sins, “debts” owed to God (see Lk 11:4). The request is probably for forgiveness at the final judgment.
  10. 6:13 Jewish apocalyptic writings speak of a period of severe trial before the end of the age, sometimes called the “messianic woes.” This petition asks that the disciples be spared that final test.
  11. 6:14–15 These verses reflect a set pattern called “Principles of Holy Law.” Human action now will be met by a corresponding action of God at the final judgment.
  12. 6:16 The only fast prescribed in the Mosaic law was that of the Day of Atonement (Lv 16:31), but the practice of regular fasting was common in later Judaism; cf. Didache 9:1.
  13. 6:19–34 The remaining material of this chapter is taken almost entirely from Q. It deals principally with worldly possessions, and the controlling thought is summed up in Mt 6:24: the disciple can serve only one master and must choose between God and wealth (mammon). See further the note on Lk 16:9.
  14. 6:22–23 In this context the parable probably points to the need for the disciple to be enlightened by Jesus’ teaching on the transitory nature of earthly riches.
  15. 6:24 Mammon: an Aramaic word meaning wealth or property.
  16. 6:25–34 Jesus does not deny the reality of human needs (Mt 6:32), but forbids making them the object of anxious care and, in effect, becoming their slave.
  17. 6:27 Life-span: the Greek word can also mean “stature.” If it is taken in that sense, the word here translated moment (literally, “cubit”) must be translated literally as a unit not of time but of spatial measure. The cubit is about eighteen inches.
  18. 6:30 Of little faith: except for the parallel in Lk 12:28, the word translated of little faith is found in the New Testament only in Matthew. It is used by him of those who are disciples of Jesus but whose faith in him is not as deep as it should be (see Mt 8:26; 14:31; 16:8and the cognate noun in Mt 17:20).
  19. 6:33 Righteousness: see note on Mt 3:14–15.

Matthew 5 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 530)

Matthew 5New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 5

The Sermon on the Mount. [a]When he saw the crowds,[b] he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying:

The Beatitudes[c]

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,[d]
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[e]Blessed are they who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
[f]Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,[g]
    for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
[h]Blessed are the clean of heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,[i]
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. 12 [j]Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The Similes of Salt and Light.[k] 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.[l] 14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. 16 Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

Teaching About the Law. 17 [m]“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.18 Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.[n] 20 I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Teaching About Anger.[o] 21 “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’[p] 22 [q]But I say to you, whoever is angry[r] with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. 23 Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, 24 leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.

Teaching About Adultery. 27 [s]“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.29 [t]If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

Teaching About Divorce. 31 [u]“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Teaching About Oaths. 33 [v]“Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all;[w] not by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. 37 [x]Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.

Teaching About Retaliation. 38 [y]“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. 40 If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. 41 Should anyone press you into service for one mile,[z] go with him for two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

Love of Enemies.[aa] 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors[ab] do the same? 47 And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?[ac] 48 So be perfect,[ad] just as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Footnotes:

  1. 5:1–7:29 The first of the five discourses that are a central part of the structure of this gospel. It is the discourse section of the first book and contains sayings of Jesus derived from Q and from M. The Lucan parallel is in that gospel’s “Sermon on the Plain” (Lk 6:20–49), although some of the sayings in Matthew’s “Sermon on the Mount” have their parallels in other parts of Luke. The careful topical arrangement of the sermon is probably not due only to Matthew’s editing; he seems to have had a structured discourse of Jesus as one of his sources. The form of that source may have been as follows: four beatitudes (Mt 5:3–4, 6, 11–12), a section on the new righteousness with illustrations (Mt 5:17, 20–24, 27–28, 33–48), a section on good works (Mt 6:1–6, 16–18), and three warnings (Mt 7:1–2, 15–21, 24–27).
  2. 5:1–2 Unlike Luke’s sermon, this is addressed not only to the disciples but to the crowds (see Mt 7:28).
  3. 5:3–12 The form Blessed are (is) occurs frequently in the Old Testament in the Wisdom literature and in the psalms. Although modified by Matthew, the first, second, fourth, and ninth beatitudes have Lucan parallels (Mt 5:3 // Lk 6:20; Mt 5:4 // Lk 6:21b; Mt 5:6 // Lk 6:21a; Mt 5:11–12 // Lk 5:22–23). The others were added by the evangelist and are probably his own composition. A few manuscripts, Western and Alexandrian, and many versions and patristic quotations give the second and third beatitudes in inverted order.
  4. 5:3 The poor in spirit: in the Old Testament, the poor (’anāwîm) are those who are without material possessions and whose confidence is in God (see Is 61:1; Zep 2:3; in the NAB the word is translated lowly and humble, respectively, in those texts). Matthew added in spirit in order either to indicate that only the devout poor were meant or to extend the beatitude to all, of whatever social rank, who recognized their complete dependence on God. The same phrase poor in spirit is found in the Qumran literature (1QM 14:7).
  5. 5:4 Cf. Is 61:2, “(The Lord has sent me)…to comfort all who mourn.” They will be comforted: here the passive is a “theological passive” equivalent to the active “God will comfort them”; so also in Mt 5:6, 7.
  6. 5:5 Cf. Ps 37:11, “…the meek shall possess the land.” In the psalm “the land” means the land of Palestine; here it means the kingdom.
  7. 5:6 For righteousness: a Matthean addition. For the meaning of righteousness here, see note on Mt 3:14–15.
  8. 5:8 Cf. Ps 24:4. Only one “whose heart is clean” can take part in the temple worship. To be with God in the temple is described in Ps 42:3 as “beholding his face,” but here the promise to the clean of heart is that they will see God not in the temple but in the coming kingdom.
  9. 5:10 Righteousness here, as usually in Matthew, means conduct in conformity with God’s will.
  10. 5:12 The prophets who were before you: the disciples of Jesus stand in the line of the persecuted prophets of Israel. Some would see the expression as indicating also that Matthew considered all Christian disciples as prophets.
  11. 5:13–16 By their deeds the disciples are to influence the world for good. They can no more escape notice than a city set on a mountain. If they fail in good works, they are as useless as flavorless salt or as a lamp whose light is concealed.
  12. 5:13 The unusual supposition of salt losing its flavor has led some to suppose that the saying refers to the salt of the Dead Sea that, because chemically impure, could lose its taste.
  13. 5:17–20 This statement of Jesus’ position concerning the Mosaic law is composed of traditional material from Matthew’s sermon documentation (see note on Mt 5:1–7:29), other Q material (cf. Mt 18; Lk 16:17), and the evangelist’s own editorial touches. To fulfillthe law appears at first to mean a literal enforcement of the law in the least detail: until heaven and earth pass away nothing of the law will pass (Mt 5:18). Yet the “passing away” of heaven and earth is not necessarily the end of the world understood, as in much apocalyptic literature, as the dissolution of the existing universe. The “turning of the ages” comes with the apocalyptic event of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and those to whom this gospel is addressed are living in the new and final age, prophesied by Isaiah as the time of “new heavens and a new earth” (Is 65:17; 66:22). Meanwhile, during Jesus’ ministry when the kingdom is already breaking in, his mission remains within the framework of the law, though with significant anticipation of the age to come, as the following antitheses (Mt 5:21–48) show.
  14. 5:19 Probably these commandments means those of the Mosaic law. But this is an interim ethic “until heaven and earth pass away.”
  15. 5:21–48 Six examples of the conduct demanded of the Christian disciple. Each deals with a commandment of the law, introduced by You have heard that it was said to your ancestors or an equivalent formula, followed by Jesus’ teaching in respect to that commandment, But I say to you; thus their designation as “antitheses.” Three of them accept the Mosaic law but extend or deepen it (Mt 5:21–22; 27–28; 43–44); three reject it as a standard of conduct for the disciples (Mt 5:31–32; 33–37; 38–39).
  16. 5:21 Cf. Ex 20:13; Dt 5:17. The second part of the verse is not an exact quotation from the Old Testament, but cf. Ex 21:12.
  17. 5:22–26 Reconciliation with an offended brother is urged in the admonition of Mt 5:23–24and the parable of Mt 5:25–26 (// Lk 12:58–59). The severity of the judge in the parable is a warning of the fate of unrepentant sinners in the coming judgment by God.
  18. 5:22 Anger is the motive behind murder, as the insulting epithets are steps that may lead to it. They, as well as the deed, are all forbidden. Raqa: an Aramaic word rēqā’ or rēqâprobably meaning “imbecile,” “blockhead,” a term of abuse. The ascending order of punishment, judgment (by a local council?), trial before the Sanhedrin, condemnation toGehenna, points to a higher degree of seriousness in each of the offenses. Sanhedrin: the highest judicial body of Judaism. Gehenna: in Hebrew gê-hinnōm, “Valley of Hinnom,” or gê ben-hinnōm, “Valley of the son of Hinnom,” southwest of Jerusalem, the center of an idolatrous cult during the monarchy in which children were offered in sacrifice (see 2 Kgs 23:10; Jer 7:31). In Jos 18:16 (Septuagint, Codex Vaticanus) the Hebrew is transliterated into Greek as gaienna, which appears in the New Testament as geenna. The concept of punishment of sinners by fire either after death or after the final judgment is found in Jewish apocalyptic literature (e.g., Enoch 90:26) but the name geenna is first given to the place of punishment in the New Testament.
  19. 5:27 See Ex 20:14; Dt 5:18.
  20. 5:29–30 No sacrifice is too great to avoid total destruction in Gehenna.
  21. 5:31–32 See Dt 24:1–5. The Old Testament commandment that a bill of divorce be given to the woman assumes the legitimacy of divorce itself. It is this that Jesus denies. (Unless the marriage is unlawful): this “exceptive clause,” as it is often called, occurs also in Mt 19:9, where the Greek is slightly different. There are other sayings of Jesus about divorce that prohibit it absolutely (see Mk 10:11–12; Lk 16:18; cf. 1 Cor 7:10, 11b), and most scholars agree that they represent the stand of Jesus. Matthew’s “exceptive clauses” are understood by some as a modification of the absolute prohibition. It seems, however, that the unlawfulness that Matthew gives as a reason why a marriage must be broken refers to a situation peculiar to his community: the violation of Mosaic law forbidding marriage between persons of certain blood and/or legal relationship (Lv 18:6–18). Marriages of that sort were regarded as incest (porneia), but some rabbis allowed Gentile converts to Judaism who had contracted such marriages to remain in them. Matthew’s “exceptive clause” is against such permissiveness for Gentile converts to Christianity; cf. the similar prohibition of porneia in Acts 15:20, 29. In this interpretation, the clause constitutes no exception to the absolute prohibition of divorce when the marriage is lawful.
  22. 5:33 This is not an exact quotation of any Old Testament text, but see Ex 20:7; Dt 5:11; Lv 19:12. The purpose of an oath was to guarantee truthfulness by one’s calling on God as witness.
  23. 5:34–36 The use of these oath formularies that avoid the divine name is in fact equivalent to swearing by it, for all the things sworn by are related to God.
  24. 5:37 Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No’: literally, “let your speech be ‘Yes, yes,’ ‘No, no.’” Some have understood this as a milder form of oath, permitted by Jesus. In view of Mt 5:34, “Do not swear at all,” that is unlikely. From the evil one: i.e., from the devil. Oath-taking presupposes a sinful weakness of the human race, namely, the tendency to lie. Jesus demands of his disciples a truthfulness that makes oaths unnecessary.
  25. 5:38–42 See Lv 24:20. The Old Testament commandment was meant to moderate vengeance; the punishment should not exceed the injury done. Jesus forbids even this proportionate retaliation. Of the five examples that follow, only the first deals directly with retaliation for evil; the others speak of liberality.
  26. 5:41 Roman garrisons in Palestine had the right to requisition the property and services of the native population.
  27. 5:43–48 See Lv 19:18. There is no Old Testament commandment demanding hatred of one’s enemy, but the “neighbor” of the love commandment was understood as one’s fellow countryman. Both in the Old Testament (Ps 139:19–22) and at Qumran (1QS 9:21) hatred of evil persons is assumed to be right. Jesus extends the love commandment to the enemy and the persecutor. His disciples, as children of God, must imitate the example of their Father, who grants his gifts of sun and rain to both the good and the bad.
  28. 5:46 Tax collectors: Jews who were engaged in the collection of indirect taxes such as tolls and customs. See note on Mk 2:14.
  29. 5:47 Jesus’ disciples must not be content with merely usual standards of conduct; see Mt 5:20 where the verb “surpass” (Greek perisseuō) is cognate with the unusual (perisson) of this verse.
  30. 5:48 Perfect: in the gospels this word occurs only in Matthew, here and in Mt 19:21. The Lucan parallel (Lk 6:36) demands that the disciples be merciful.

Matthew 4 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 529)

Matthew 4New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 4

The Temptation of Jesus. [a]Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights,[b] and afterwards he was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” [c]He said in reply, “It is written:

‘One does not live by bread alone,
    but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.’”

[d]Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written:

‘He will command his angels concerning you’
    and ‘with their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’” Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”[e] 10 At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written:

‘The Lord, your God, shall you worship
    and him alone shall you serve.’”

11 Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.

The Beginning of the Galilean Ministry.[f] 12 When he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,14 that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled:

15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
    the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
    Galilee of the Gentiles,
16 the people who sit in darkness
    have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
    light has arisen.”

17 [g]From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The Call of the First Disciples.[h] 18 As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. 19 He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 [i]At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, 22 and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.

Ministering to a Great Multitude.[j] 23 He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues,[k] proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people. 24 [l]His fame spread to all of Syria, and they brought to him all who were sick with various diseases and racked with pain, those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics, and he cured them. 25 And great crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis,[m] Jerusalem, and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan followed him.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:1–11 Jesus, proclaimed Son of God at his baptism, is subjected to a triple temptation. Obedience to the Father is a characteristic of true sonship, and Jesus is tempted by the devil to rebel against God, overtly in the third case, more subtly in the first two. Each refusal of Jesus is expressed in language taken from the Book of Deuteronomy (Dt 8:3;6:13, 16). The testings of Jesus resemble those of Israel during the wandering in the desert and later in Canaan, and the victory of Jesus, the true Israel and the true Son, contrasts with the failure of the ancient and disobedient “son,” the old Israel. In the temptation account Matthew is almost identical with Luke; both seem to have drawn upon the same source.
  2. 4:2 Forty days and forty nights: the same time as that during which Moses remained on Sinai (Ex 24:18). The time reference, however, seems primarily intended to recall the forty years during which Israel was tempted in the desert (Dt 8:2).
  3. 4:4 Cf. Dt 8:3. Jesus refuses to use his power for his own benefit and accepts whatever God wills.
  4. 4:5–7 The devil supports his proposal by an appeal to the scriptures, Ps 91:11a, 12. Unlike Israel (Dt 6:16), Jesus refuses to “test” God by demanding from him an extraordinary show of power.
  5. 4:9 The worship of Satan to which Jesus is tempted is probably intended to recall Israel’s worship of false gods. His refusal is expressed in the words of Dt 6:13.
  6. 4:12–17 Isaiah’s prophecy of the light rising upon Zebulun and Naphtali (Is 8:22–9:1) is fulfilled in Jesus’ residence at Capernaum. The territory of these two tribes was the first to be devastated (733–32 B.C.) at the time of the Assyrian invasion. In order to accommodate Jesus’ move to Capernaum to the prophecy, Matthew speaks of that town as being “in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali” (Mt 4:13), whereas it was only in the territory of the latter, and he understands the sea of the prophecy, the Mediterranean, as the sea of Galilee.
  7. 4:17 At the beginning of his preaching Jesus takes up the words of John the Baptist (Mt 3:2) although with a different meaning; in his ministry the kingdom of heaven has already begun to be present (Mt 12:28).
  8. 4:18–22 The call of the first disciples promises them a share in Jesus’ work and entails abandonment of family and former way of life. Three of the four, Simon, James, and John, are distinguished among the disciples by a closer relation with Jesus (Mt 17:1; 26:37).
  9. 4:20 Here and in Mt 4:22, as in Mark (Mk 1:16–20) and unlike the Lucan account (Lk 5:1–11), the disciples’ response is motivated only by Jesus’ invitation, an element that emphasizes his mysterious power.
  10. 4:23–25 This summary of Jesus’ ministry concludes the narrative part of the first book of Matthew’s gospel (Mt 3–4). The activities of his ministry are teaching, proclaiming the gospel, and healing; cf. Mt 9:35.
  11. 4:23 Their synagogues: Matthew usually designates the Jewish synagogues as their synagogue(s) (Mt 9:35; 10:17; 12:9; 13:54) or, in address to Jews, your synagogues(Mt 23:34), an indication that he wrote after the break between church and synagogue.
  12. 4:24 Syria: the Roman province to which Palestine belonged.
  13. 4:25 The Decapolis: a federation of Greek cities in Palestine, originally ten in number, all but one east of the Jordan.

Matthew 3 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 528)

Matthew 3New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

II. The Proclamation of the Kingdom

Chapter 3

The Preaching of John the Baptist.[a] In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea[b] [and] saying, “Repent,[c]for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” [d]It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:

“A voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make straight his paths.’”

[e]John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.[f]

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees[g] coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire.[h] 12 [i]His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

The Baptism of Jesus.[j] 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 [k]John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” 15 Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. 16 [l]After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened [for him], and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove [and] coming upon him. 17 And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son,[m] with whom I am well pleased.”

Footnotes:

  1. 3:1–12 Here Matthew takes up the order of Jesus’ ministry found in the gospel of Mark, beginning with the preparatory preaching of John the Baptist.
  2. 3:1 Unlike Luke, Matthew says nothing of the Baptist’s origins and does not make him a relative of Jesus. The desert of Judea: the barren region west of the Dead Sea extending up the Jordan valley.
  3. 3:2 Repent: the Baptist calls for a change of heart and conduct, a turning of one’s life from rebellion to obedience towards God. The kingdom of heaven is at hand: “heaven” (lit., “the heavens”) is a substitute for the name “God” that was avoided by devout Jews of the time out of reverence. The expression “the kingdom of heaven” occurs only in the gospel of Matthew. It means the effective rule of God over his people. In its fullness it includes not only human obedience to God’s word, but the triumph of God over physical evils, supremely over death. In the expectation found in Jewish apocalyptic, the kingdom was to be ushered in by a judgment in which sinners would be condemned and perish, an expectation shared by the Baptist. This was modified in Christian understanding where the kingdom was seen as being established in stages, culminating with the parousia of Jesus.
  4. 3:3 See note on Jn 1:23.
  5. 3:4 The clothing of John recalls the austere dress of the prophet Elijah (2 Kgs 1:8). The expectation of the return of Elijah from heaven to prepare Israel for the final manifestation of God’s kingdom was widespread, and according to Matthew this expectation was fulfilled in the Baptist’s ministry (Mt 11:14; 17:11–13).
  6. 3:6 Ritual washing was practiced by various groups in Palestine between 150 B.C. and A.D. 250. John’s baptism may have been related to the purificatory washings of the Essenes at Qumran.
  7. 3:7 Pharisees and Sadducees: the former were marked by devotion to the law, written and oral, and the scribes, experts in the law, belonged predominantly to this group. The Sadducees were the priestly aristocratic party, centered in Jerusalem. They accepted as scripture only the first five books of the Old Testament, followed only the letter of the law, rejected the oral legal traditions, and were opposed to teachings not found in the Pentateuch, such as the resurrection of the dead. Matthew links both of these groups together as enemies of Jesus (Mt 16:1, 6, 11, 12; cf. Mk 8:11–13, 15). The threatening words that follow are addressed to them rather than to “the crowds” as in Lk 3:7. The coming wrath: the judgment that will bring about the destruction of unrepentant sinners.
  8. 3:11 Baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire: the water baptism of John will be followed by an “immersion” of the repentant in the cleansing power of the Spirit of God, and of the unrepentant in the destroying power of God’s judgment. However, some seethe holy Spirit and fire as synonymous, and the effect of this “baptism” as either purification or destruction. See note on Lk 3:16.
  9. 3:12 The discrimination between the good and the bad is compared to the procedure by which a farmer separates wheat and chaff. The winnowing fan was a forklike shovel with which the threshed wheat was thrown into the air. The kernels fell to the ground; the light chaff, blown off by the wind, was gathered and burned up.
  10. 3:13–17 The baptism of Jesus is the occasion on which he is equipped for his ministry by the holy Spirit and proclaimed to be the Son of God.
  11. 3:14–15 This dialogue, peculiar to Matthew, reveals John’s awareness of Jesus’ superiority to him as the mightier one who is coming and who will baptize with the holy Spirit (Mt 3:11). His reluctance to admit Jesus among the sinners whom he is baptizing with water is overcome by Jesus’ response. To fulfill all righteousness: in this gospel tofulfill usually refers to fulfillment of prophecy, and righteousness to moral conduct in conformity with God’s will. Here, however, as in Mt 5:6; 6:33, righteousness seems to mean the saving activity of God. To fulfill all righteousness is to submit to the plan of God for the salvation of the human race. This involves Jesus’ identification with sinners; hence the propriety of his accepting John’s baptism.
  12. 3:16 The Spirit…coming upon him: cf. Is 42:1.
  13. 3:17 This is my beloved Son: the Marcan address to Jesus (Mk 1:11) is changed into a proclamation. The Father’s voice speaks in terms that reflect Is 42:1; Ps 2:7; Gn 22:2.

Matthew 2 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 527)

Matthew 2New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 2

The Visit of the Magi.[a] When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod,[b] behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star[c] at its rising and have come to do him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.[d] They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
    who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.” After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 They were overjoyed at seeing the star, 11 [e]and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

The Flight to Egypt. 13 [f]When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,[g] and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” 14 Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. 15 [h]He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

The Massacre of the Infants. 16 When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. 17 Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:

18 [i]“A voice was heard in Ramah,
    sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
    and she would not be consoled,
    since they were no more.”

The Return from Egypt. 19 When Herod had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.”[j] 21 He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod,[k] he was afraid to go back there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee. 23 [l]He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazorean.”

Footnotes:

  1. 2:1–12 The future rejection of Jesus by Israel and his acceptance by the Gentiles are retrojected into this scene of the narrative.
  2. 2:1 In the days of King Herod: Herod reigned from 37 to 4 B.C. Magi: originally a designation of the Persian priestly caste, the word became used of those who were regarded as having more than human knowledge. Matthew’s magi are astrologers.
  3. 2:2 We saw his star: it was a common ancient belief that a new star appeared at the time of a ruler’s birth. Matthew also draws upon the Old Testament story of Balaam, who had prophesied that “A star shall advance from Jacob” (Nm 24:17), though there the star means not an astral phenomenon but the king himself.
  4. 2:4 Herod’s consultation with the chief priests and scribes has some similarity to a Jewish legend about the child Moses in which the “sacred scribes” warn Pharaoh about the imminent birth of one who will deliver Israel from Egypt and the king makes plans to destroy him.
  5. 2:11 Cf. Ps 72:10, 15; Is 60:6. These Old Testament texts led to the interpretation of the magi as kings.
  6. 2:13–23 Biblical and nonbiblical traditions about Moses are here applied to the child Jesus, though the dominant Old Testament type is not Moses but Israel (Mt 2:15).
  7. 2:13 Flee to Egypt: Egypt was a traditional place of refuge for those fleeing from danger in Palestine (see 1 Kgs 11:40; Jer 26:21), but the main reason why the child is to be taken to Egypt is that he may relive the Exodus experience of Israel.
  8. 2:15 The fulfillment citation is taken from Hos 11:1. Israel, God’s son, was called out of Egypt at the time of the Exodus; Jesus, the Son of God, will similarly be called out of that land in a new exodus. The father-son relationship between God and the nation is set in a higher key. Here the son is not a group adopted as “son of God,” but the child who, as conceived by the holy Spirit, stands in unique relation to God. He is son of David and of Abraham, of Mary and of Joseph, but, above all, of God.
  9. 2:18 Jer 31:15 portrays Rachel, wife of the patriarch Jacob, weeping for her children taken into exile at the time of the Assyrian invasion of the northern kingdom (722–21 B.C.). Bethlehem was traditionally identified with Ephrath, the place near which Rachel was buried (see Gn 35:19; 48:7), and the mourning of Rachel is here applied to her lost children of a later age. Ramah: about six miles north of Jerusalem. The lamentation of Rachel is so great as to be heard at a far distance.
  10. 2:20 For those who sought the child’s life are dead: Moses, who had fled from Egypt because the Pharaoh sought to kill him (see Ex 2:15), was told to return there, “for all the men who sought your life are dead” (Ex 4:19).
  11. 2:22 With the agreement of the emperor Augustus, Archelaus received half of his father’s kingdom, including Judea, after Herod’s death. He had the title “ethnarch” (i.e., “ruler of a nation”) and reigned from 4 B.C. to A.D. 6.
  12. 2:23 Nazareth…he shall be called a Nazorean: the tradition of Jesus’ residence in Nazareth was firmly established, and Matthew sees it as being in accordance with the foreannounced plan of God. The town of Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament, and no such prophecy can be found there. The vague expression “through the prophets” may be due to Matthew’s seeing a connection between Nazareth and certain texts in which there are words with a remote similarity to the name of that town. Some such Old Testament texts are Is 11:1 where the Davidic king of the future is called “a bud” (nēser) that shall blossom from the roots of Jesse, and Jgs 13:5, 7 where Samson, the future deliverer of Israel from the Philistines, is called one who shall be consecrated (a nāzîr) to God.