1tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

2tn Or “up a mountain” (εἰς τὸ ὄρος, eis to oro").

sn The expression up the mountain here may be idiomatic or generic, much like the English “he went to the hospital” (cf. 15:29), or even intentionally reminiscent of Exod 24:12 (LXX), since the genre of the Sermon on the Mount seems to be that of a new Moses giving a new law.

3tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

4tn Grk “And opening his mouth he taught them, saying.” The imperfect verb ἐδίδασκεν (edidasken) has been translated ingressively.

5sn The term Blessed introduces the first of several beatitudes promising blessing to those whom God cares for. They serve as an invitation to come into the grace God offers.

6sn The poor in spirit is a reference to the “pious poor” for whom God especially cares. See Ps 14:6; 22:24; 25:16; 34:6; 40:17; 69:29.

7sn The present tense (belongs) here is significant. Jesus makes the kingdom and its blessings currently available. This phrase is unlike the others in the list with the possessive pronoun being emphasized.

8sn The promise they will be comforted is the first of several “reversals” noted in these promises. The beatitudes and the reversals that accompany them serve in the sermon as an invitation to enter into God’s care, because one can know God cares for those who turn to him.

9sn Those who hunger are people like the poor Jesus has already mentioned. The term has OT roots both in conjunction with the poor (Isa 32:6-7; 58:6-7, 9-10; Ezek 18:7, 16) or by itself (Ps 37:16-19; 107:9).

10tn Grk “sons,” though traditionally English versions have taken this as a generic reference to both males and females, hence “children” (cf. KJV, NAB, NRSV, NLT).

11tn Grk “when they insult you.” The third person pronoun (here implied in the verb ὀνειδίσωσιν [ojneidiswsin]) has no specific referent, but refers to people in general.

12tc Although ψευδόμενοι (yeudomenoi, “bearing witness falsely”) could be a motivated reading, clarifying that the disciples are unjustly persecuted, its lack in only D it sys Tert does not help its case. Since the Western text is known for numerous free alterations, without corroborative evidence the shorter reading must be judged as secondary.

13sn Salt was used as seasoning or fertilizer (BDAG 41 s.v. ἅλας a), or as a preservative. If salt ceased to be useful, it was thrown away. With this illustration Jesus warned about a disciple who ceased to follow him.

14sn The difficulty of this saying is understanding how salt could lose its flavor since its chemical properties cannot change. It is thus often assumed that Jesus was referring to chemically impure salt, perhaps a natural salt which, when exposed to the elements, had all the genuine salt leached out, leaving only the sediment or impurities behind. Others have suggested that the background of the saying is the use of salt blocks by Arab bakers to line the floor of their ovens; under the intense heat these blocks would eventually crystallize and undergo a change in chemical composition, finally being thrown out as unserviceable. A saying in the Talmud (b. Bekhorot 8b) attributed to R. Joshua ben Chananja (ca. a.d. 90), when asked the question “When salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again?” is said to have replied, “By salting it with the afterbirth of a mule.” He was then asked, “Then does the mule (being sterile) bear young?” to which he replied: “Can salt lose its flavor?” The point appears to be that both are impossible. The saying, while admittedly late, suggests that culturally the loss of flavor by salt was regarded as an impossibility. Genuine salt can never lose its flavor. In this case the saying by Jesus here may be similar to Matt 19:24, where it is likewise impossible for the camel to go through the eye of a sewing needle.

15tn Grk “Nor do they light.” The plural in Greek is indefinite, referring to people in general.

16tn Or “a bowl”; this refers to any container for dry material of about eight liters (two gallons) capacity. It could be translated “basket, box, bowl” (L&N 6.151).

17tn Grk “not come to abolish but to fulfill.” Direct objects (“these things,” “them”) were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but have been supplied here to conform to contemporary English style.

18tn Grk “For I tell.” Here an explanatory γάρ (gar) has not been translated.

19tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

20tn Grk “Not one iota or one serif.”

sn The smallest letter refers to the smallest Hebrew letter (yod) and the stroke of a letter to a serif (a hook or projection on a Hebrew letter).

21tn Grk “teaches men” ( in a generic sense, people).

22tn Or “that of the scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 2:4.

23sn See the note on Pharisees in 3:7.

24tn Grk “to the ancient ones.”

25sn A quotation from Exod 20:13; Deut 5:17.

26tc The majority of mss read the word εἰκῇ (eikh, “without cause”) here after “brother.” This insertion has support from א2 D L W Θ 0233 1,13 33 ¤ it sy co Irlat Ormss Cyp Cyr. Thus the Western, Caesarean, and Byzantine texttypes all include the word, while the best Alexandrian and some other witnesses (64 א* B 1424mg pc aur vg Or Hiermss) lack it. The ms evidence favors its exclusion, though there is a remote possibility that εἰκῇ could have been accidentally omitted from these witnesses by way of homoioarcton (the next word, ἔνοχος [enocos, “guilty”], begins with the same letter). An intentional change would likely arise from the desire to qualify “angry,” especially in light of the absolute tone of Jesus’ words. While “without cause” makes good practical sense in this context, and must surely be a true interpretation of Jesus’ meaning (cf. Mark 3:5), it does not commend itself as original.

27tn Grk “whoever says to his brother ‘Raca,’” an Aramaic word of contempt or abuse meaning “fool” or “empty head.”

28tn Grk “subjected,” “guilty,” “liable.”

29tn Grk “the Sanhedrin.”

30tn 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).

31tn Grk “subjected,” “guilty,” “liable.”

32tn 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).

33tn Grk “Make friends.”

34tn The words “to court” are not in the Greek text but are implied.

35tn Grk “the accuser.”

36tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

37tn Here the English word “penny” is used as opposed to the parallel in Luke 12:59 where “cent” appears since the Greek word there is different and refers to a different but similar coin.

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.

38sn A quotation from Exod 20:14; Deut 5:17.

39sn On this word here and in the following verse, see the note on the word hell in 5:22.

40sn A quotation from Deut 24:1.

41tn Grk “the ancient ones.”

42sn A quotation from Lev 19:12.

43map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4.

44tn 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.

45sn A quotation from Exod 21:24; Lev 24:20.

46tn 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).

47tc ‡ Many mss (B D K L Δ Θ 13 565 579 700 1424 pm) have σου (sou) here (“your right cheek”), but many others lack the pronoun (א W 1 33 892 1241 pm). The pronoun was probably added by way of clarification. NA27 has σου in brackets, indicating doubt as to its authenticity.

48tn 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.

49sn 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.

50sn 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).

51tn Grk “do not turn away from.”

52sn A quotation from Lev 19:18.

53tc Most mss ([D] L [W] Θ 13 33 ¤ lat) read “bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you,” before “those who persecute you.” But this is surely a motivated reading, importing the longer form of this aphorism from Luke 6:27-28. The shorter text is found in א B 1 pc sa, as well as several fathers and versional witnesses.

54tn 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.

55sn 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.

56sn This remark echoes the more common OT statements like Lev 19:2 or Deut 18:13: “you must be holy as I am holy.”