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Matthew 5 Expanded Bible (EXB)

Jesus Teaches the People

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on ·a hill [the mountain] and sat down. His ·followers [disciples] ·came to [gathered around] him, and he began to teach them, saying:

“·They are blessed [or Blessed are those…; C and so through v. 10] who ·realize their spiritual poverty [L are the poor in spirit],
    for the kingdom of heaven ·belongs to them [is theirs].
They are blessed who ·grieve [mourn],
    for ·God will comfort them [L they will be comforted; C the passive verb implies God as subject].
They are blessed who are ·humble [meek; gentle],
    for ·the whole earth will be theirs [L they shall inherit the earth; Ps. 37:11].
They are blessed who hunger and thirst after ·justice [righteousness],
    for they will be ·satisfied [filled].
They are blessed who show mercy to others,
    for ·God will show mercy to them [L they will be shown mercy; C the passive verb implies God as subject].
They are blessed ·whose thoughts are pure [or whose hearts are pure; T the pure in heart],
    for they will see God.
They are blessed who work for peace [T Blessed are the peacemakers],
    for they will be called God’s ·children [or sons].
10 They are blessed who are persecuted for ·doing good [doing what’s right; L the sake of righteousness],
    for the kingdom of heaven ·belongs to them [is theirs].

11 “·You are blessed [T Blessed are you; or God will bless you] when people ·insult [mock; abuse; revile] you and ·hurt [persecute] you. They will lie and say all kinds of evil things ·about [against] you because ·you follow [L of] me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because you have a great reward in heaven. ·People did the same evil things to [L They likewise persecuted] the prophets who lived before you.

You Are Like Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt ·loses its salty taste [becomes tasteless], ·it cannot [L how can it…?] be made salty again. It is good for nothing, except to be thrown out and ·walked on [trampled].

14 “You are the light ·that gives light to [for; L of] the world. A city that ·is built [stands; is set] on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 And people don’t light a lamp and then hide it under a ·bowl [or basket]. They put it on a lampstand so the light shines for all the people in the house. 16 In the same way let your light shine ·before others [for people to see], so that they will see ·the good things you do [L your good deeds/works] and will ·praise [glorify; give honor to] your Father in heaven.

The Importance of the Law and the Prophets

17 “Don’t think that I have come to ·destroy [abolish; do away with] ·the law of Moses or the teaching of the prophets [L the Law and the Prophets; C referring to the OT]. I have not come to destroy them but to ·bring about what they said [fulfill/complete them]. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth ·are gone [pass away; disappear], not even ·the smallest letter [T one jot; L one iota; C the smallest Greek letter] or the smallest ·part [stroke; T tittle] of a letter will ·be lost [pass away; disappear] until everything ·has happened [is accomplished/achieved]. 19 [L Therefore] Whoever ·refuses to obey [ignores; breaks; annuls] ·any command [L one of the least of these commands] and teaches other people ·not to obey that command [L to do likewise] will be ·the least important [L called/considered least] in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever ·obeys [keeps; practices] the commands and teaches other people to obey them will be [considered; L called] great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 [L For] I tell you that ·if you are no more obedient than [L unless your righteousness surpasses/exceeds that of] the ·teachers of the law [scribes] and the Pharisees, you will ·never [or certainly not] enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus Teaches About Anger

21 “You have heard that it was said to ·our people long ago [our ancestors; the ancients], ‘You ·must [L shall] not murder [Ex. 20:13; Deut. 5:17]. Anyone who murders another will be ·judged [subject to judgment].’ 22 But I tell you, ·if you are [L everyone who is] angry with a brother or sister,[a] you will be ·judged [subject to judgment]. ·If you say [L Whoever says] ·bad things [“Fool!”; L Raca; C an Aramaic term of derision] to a brother or sister, you will be ·judged [subject/liable to judgment] by the ·council [Sanhedrin]. And if you call someone a ·fool [idiot; moron], you will be in danger of the fire of ·hell [L Gehenna; C a valley outside of Jerusalem where in the OT period children were sacrificed to a pagan god; later used as a burning trash heap; a metaphor for hell].

23 “So when you ·offer your gift to God [present your offering/sacrifice] at the altar, and you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your ·gift [offering; sacrifice] there at the altar. Go and ·make peace [be reconciled] with that person [L first], and then come and ·offer your gift [present your offering/sacrifice].

25 “If your ·enemy [opponent; adversary; accuser] is taking you to court, ·become friends [reach agreement; settle matters] quickly, ·before you go [on the way] to court. Otherwise, your ·enemy [opponent; adversary; accuser] might turn you over to the judge, and the judge might give you to the ·guard [officer; warden] to ·put [throw] you in ·jail [prison]. 26 I tell you the truth, you will ·not [never; certainly not] leave there until you have paid ·everything you owe [the last penny; C Greek: the last quadrans; a small copper coin of very low value].

Jesus Teaches About Sexual Sin

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You ·must [shall] not ·be guilty of [commit] adultery [Ex. 20:14; Deut. 5:18].’ 28 But I tell you that if anyone looks at a woman ·and wants to sin sexually with her [lustfully; L with a desire for her], in his ·mind [heart] he has already ·done that sin [committed adultery] with her. 29 If your right eye causes you to ·sin [L stumble], ·take [tear; gouge] it out and throw it away. [L For] It is better to lose one part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into ·hell [L Gehenna; v. 22]. 30 If your right hand causes you to ·sin [L stumble], cut it off and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into ·hell [L Gehenna; v. 22].

Jesus Teaches About Divorce

31 “It was also said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a written divorce ·paper [notice; certificate; Deut. 24:1].’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife ·forces [causes; makes] her ·to be guilty of [commit] adultery. ·The only reason for a man to divorce his wife is if she has sexual relations with another man [L …except in the case of sexual immorality]. And anyone who marries that divorced woman ·is guilty of [commits] adultery.

Make Promises Carefully

33 [L Again] You have heard that it was said to ·our people long ago [our ancestors; the ancients], ‘Don’t break your ·promises [vows; oaths], but ·keep [fulfill] the ·promises [vows; oaths] you make to the Lord [Lev. 19:12; Num. 30:2; Deut. 23:21].’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all. ·Don’t swear an oath using the name of heaven [L …neither by heaven], because heaven is God’s throne. 35 ·Don’t swear an oath using the name of the earth [L …nor by earth], because the earth ·belongs to God [L is his footstool; Is. 66:1]. ·Don’t swear an oath using the name of Jerusalem […nor by Jerusalem], because it is the city of the great King [Ps. 48:2]. 36 Don’t even swear by your own head, because you cannot make one hair on your head become white or black. 37 ·Say only yes if you mean yes, and no if you mean no [L Let your word “yes” be “yes”; your “no” be “no”]. ·If you say more than yes or no, it [L Anything more than this] is from the Evil One.

Don’t Retaliate

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth [Ex. 21:24; Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21].’ 39 But I tell you, don’t ·stand up against [resist; retaliate against] an evil person. If someone ·slaps [strikes] you on the right cheek [C either an insult or an act of violence], turn to him the other cheek also. 40 If someone wants to sue you in court and take your ·shirt [tunic], let him have your coat also. 41 If someone forces you to go with him one mile, go with him two miles [C alluding to the practice of impressment, whereby a Roman soldier could command a civilian to carry his gear for a mile]. 42 If a person asks you for something, give it to him. Don’t ·refuse to give to [L turn away from] someone who wants to borrow from you.

Love All People

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy [Lev. 19:18].’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who ·hurt [persecute] you.[b] 45 ·If you do this, […so that] you will be ·true children [L children; or sons] of your Father in heaven. [L For] He causes ·the [L his] sun to rise on evil people and on good people, and he sends rain ·to those who do right and to those who do wrong [L on the just/righteous and the unjust/unrighteous]. 46 [L For] If you love only the people who love you, ·you will get no reward [what reward is there for that?]. ·Even [L Don’t even…?] the tax collectors do that. 47 And if you ·are nice only to your friends [L greet only your brothers; C probably meaning fellow Jews], ·you are no better than other people [L what more are you doing (than others)?]. Even ·those who don’t know God [the Gentiles; pagans] ·are nice to their friends [L do the same]. 48 ·So [Therefore] you must be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.


  1. Matthew 5:22 sister Some Greek copies continue, “without a reason.”
  2. Matthew 5:44 you Some Greek copies continue, “Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you.” Compare Luke 6:28.
Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.


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