5:21 “You have heard that it was said to an older generation, 1 ‘Do not murder,’ 2 and ‘whoever murders will be subjected to judgment.’ 5:22 But I say to you that anyone who is angry with a brother 3 will be subjected to judgment. And whoever insults 4 a brother will be brought before 5 the council, 6 and whoever says ‘Fool’ 7 will be sent 8 to fiery hell. 9 5:23 So then, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 5:24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother and then come and present your gift. 5:25 Reach agreement 10 quickly with your accuser while on the way to court, 11 or he 12 may hand you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the warden, and you will be thrown into prison. 5:26 I tell you the truth, 13 you will never get out of there until you have paid the last penny! 14
5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 15 5:28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 5:29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away! It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into hell. 16 5:30 If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into hell.
5:31 “It was said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a legal document.’ 17 5:32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
5:33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to an older generation, 18 ‘Do not break an oath, but fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ 19 5:34 But I say to you, do not take oaths at all – not by heaven, because it is the throne of God, 5:35 not by earth, because it is his footstool, and not by Jerusalem, 20 because it is the city of the great King. 5:36 Do not take an oath by your head, because you are not able to make one hair white or black. 5:37 Let your word be ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no.’ More than this is from the evil one. 21
5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 22 5:39 But I say to you, do not resist the evildoer. 23 But whoever strikes you on the 24 right cheek, turn the other to him as well. 5:40 And if someone wants to sue you and to take your tunic, 25 give him your coat also. 5:41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, 26 go with him two. 5:42 Give to the one who asks you, 27 and do not reject 28 the one who wants to borrow from you.
5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ 29 and ‘hate your enemy.’ 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemy and 30 pray for those who persecute you, 5:45 so that you may be like 31 your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 5:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors 32 do the same, don’t they? 5:47 And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don’t they? 5:48 So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. 33
1 tn Grk “to the ancient ones.”
3 tc The majority of
4 tn Grk “whoever says to his brother ‘Raca,’” an Aramaic word of contempt or abuse meaning “fool” or “empty head.”
5 tn Grk “subjected,” “guilty,” “liable.”
6 tn Grk “the Sanhedrin.”
7 tn The meaning of the term μωρός (mwros) is somewhat disputed. Most take it to mean, following the Syriac versions, “you fool,” although some have argued that it represents a transliteration into Greek of the Hebrew term מוֹרֵה (moreh) “rebel” (Deut 21:18, 20; cf. BDAG 663 s.v. μωρός c).
8 tn Grk “subjected,” “guilty,” “liable.”
9 tn Grk “the Gehenna of fire.”
sn The word translated hell is “Gehenna” (γέεννα, geenna), a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew words ge hinnom (“Valley of Hinnom”). This was the valley along the south side of Jerusalem. In OT times it was used for human sacrifices to the pagan god Molech (cf. Jer 7:31; 19:5-6; 32:35), and it came to be used as a place where human excrement and rubbish were disposed of and burned. In the intertestamental period, it came to be used symbolically as the place of divine punishment (cf. 1 En. 27:2, 90:26; 4 Ezra 7:36).
10 tn Grk “Make friends.”
11 tn The words “to court” are not in the Greek text but are implied.
12 tn Grk “the accuser.”
13 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”
sn The penny here was a quadrans, a Roman copper coin worth 1/64 of a denarius (L&N 6.78). The parallel passage in Luke 12:59 mentions the lepton, equal to one-half of a quadrans and thus the smallest coin available.
18 tn Grk “the ancient ones.”
21 tn The term πονηροῦ (ponhrou) may be understood as specific and personified, referring to the devil, or possibly as a general reference to evil. It is most likely personified, however, since it is articular (τοῦ πονηροῦ, tou ponhrou). Cf. also “the evildoer” in v. 39, which is the same construction.
23 tn The articular πονηρός (ponhro", “the evildoer”) cannot be translated simply as “evil” for then the command would be “do not resist evil.” Every instance of this construction in Matthew is most likely personified, referring either to an evildoer (13:49) or, more often, “the evil one” (as in 5:37; 6:13; 13:19, 38).
24 tc ‡ Many
25 tn Or “shirt” (a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin). The name for this garment (χιτών, citwn) presents some difficulty in translation. Most modern readers would not understand what a “tunic” was any more than they would be familiar with a “chiton.” On the other hand, attempts to find a modern equivalent are also a problem: “Shirt” conveys the idea of a much shorter garment that covers only the upper body, and “undergarment” (given the styles of modern underwear) is more misleading still. “Tunic” was therefore employed, but with a note to explain its nature.
26 sn If anyone forces you to go one mile. In NT times Roman soldiers had the authority to press civilians into service to carry loads for them.
27 sn Jesus advocates a generosity and a desire to meet those in dire need with the command give to the one who asks you. This may allude to begging; giving alms was viewed highly in the ancient world (Matt 6:1-4; Deut 15:7-11).
28 tn Grk “do not turn away from.”
30 tc Most
31 tn Grk “be sons of your Father in heaven.” Here, however, the focus is not on attaining a relationship (becoming a child of God) but rather on being the kind of person who shares the characteristics of God himself (a frequent meaning of the Semitic idiom “son of”). See L&N 58.26.
32 sn The tax collectors would bid to collect taxes for the Roman government and then add a surcharge, which they kept. Since tax collectors worked for Rome, they were viewed as traitors to their own people and were not well liked.