The Bible

 

Matthew 5:1

English: King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

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1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Matthew 5      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Verses 1, 2. Truth Divine, in conjunction with Divine Good in the Lord's Divine Humanity, instructs the church by the Word.

Verse 3. Teaching that they have conjunction of life with the Lord who acknowledge in heart that no one knows, understands, and is wise of himself, but from the Lord, since in this acknowledgement there is internal truth and good.

Verse 4. And that they have conjunction of life with the Lord, who are in spiritual desolations, because those desolations are succeeded by a clearer perception of good and truth from the Lord.

Verse 5. And that they have conjunction of life with the Lord, who restrain the lusts of the external or natural man, because in such case the external or natural man becomes receptive of the truth and good of charity.

Verse 6. And that they have conjunction of life with the Lord, who are in the affection of good and truth, because good and truth from the Lord are in that affection.

Verse 7. And that they have conjunction of life with the Lord, who show mercy to others, because they receive the Lord's mercy in the same degree.

Verse 8. And that they have conjunction of life with the Lord, who reject the love of evil, because they are enlightened by Divine Truth in the intellectual principle.

Verse 9. And that they have conjunction of life with the Lord, who subdue the cravings of evil, because they are regenerated of the Lord.

Verse 10. And that they have conjunction of life with the Lord, who fight and conquer in temptations, which are from hell, because thereby the internal man is opened to, and has communication with, heavenly goods and truths.

Verses 11, 12. And that all goods and truths derived from the Word, and received by man, are more closely conjoined with the Lord, and more fully confirmed in states of opposition from infernal spirits, than at any other time, and that this has been the case from the beginning.

Verse 13. That the affection of truth from the Lord constitutes the church, but not truth without its affection, such truth being of no use whatever.

Verse 14. That Divine Truth and the intelligence thereof are in the truths and goods of the church, and if united with the love of good, cannot be obscured by falsities.

Verse 15. That for this purpose, they ought not to be subjected to the things of man's natural will, but to be exalted by affection in the intellectual mind, and thus to guide and to direct the things of the will.

Verse 16. That thus truth becomes good, and is acknowledged to be from Good Divine.

Verses 17, 18. That the Lord, as to His Humanity, fulfilled all things of the Word, which endures for ever, and must needs in all things be accomplished.

Verse 19. That to oppose the good of the Word in the will, and its truth in the understanding, is to reject all spiritual good and truth; but that to cherish the good and truth of the Word, is to receive spiritual life.

Verse 20. That the Word ought to be observed in the spirit, as well as in the letter, or in its internal sense, as well as in its external, otherwise no internal spiritual life can be received from it.

Verses 21-23. That there are three degrees of opposition to the good of the Word, or charity; first, depraved thought; secondly, depraved intention; thirdly, depraved will; and that each contains in itself its proper punishment, which is slighter in the former degree than in the latter.

Verses 23, 24. That the life of charity is to be preferred to the life of piety; but that the life of piety is not on that account to be discarded.

Verses 25, 26. That in states of spiritual accusation there is need to exercise gentleness and compassion towards the accusing spirits, lest the spirit of fretfulness and bitter judgement should be excited, and thence spiritual imprisonment should ensue.

Verses 27, 28. That adultery is of the spirit, and that whoever wilfully indulges craving, is an adulterer.

Verse 29. That evil ought to be rejected from the thought.

Verse 30. And also from the affection.

Verses 29, 30. Otherwise the whole man must perish.

Verses 31, 32. That good shall not reject its own proper truth, unless it favours evil; and that the truth so rejected cannot be conjoined to any other good.

Verses 33-38. That Divine Truths are to be confirmed from the Lord, and not from man.

Verse 36. Because man of himself cannot understand anything.

Verse 37. That the celestial man does not reason about truths, because he has a perception thereof from good.

Verses 38-42. That man ought not to resist evil from himself, but from the Lord,

Verses 39, 40, 41. and to be patient and contented as far as possible under its assault,

Verse 39. whether the assault be against good,

Verses 40, 41. or against truth.

Verse 42. That good ought to be communicated freely, and also truth.

Verses 43, 44. That genuine charity is kind and well disposed towards all, doing good to, instructing, and interceding for all.

Verse 45. That it restores in man the Divine image and likeness by regeneration from the Divine, which is the source of good and truth to all, whether they receive or reject.

Verses 46, 47. That the joys of heaven are not in natural affection and thought, but in spiritual, and thence in natural.

Verse 48. Therefore the spiritual affection of charity ought to be cherished, because it is in man the image and likeness of the Lord.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 746, 785

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 6, 30, 68

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Word/Phrase Explanations

seeing
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

multitudes
'A multitude' relates to truths.

into a mountain
'To be taken up into a mountain,' as in Revelation 21:10, signifies being taken up into the third heaven, because it says 'in the spirit.'...

disciples
When we read the Gospels and see Jesus addressing the disciples, we assume His words are meant for us as well. And indeed they are!...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Acknowledging Our Mistakes
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Attitudes for Heavenly Happiness
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Be A Peacemaker
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Blessed Are Those Who Mourn
In the process of trying to be a person who is growing spiritually, there will be mourning. We will see things that are not the way they should be - in ourselves and in the world around us. This sermon examines ways in which we can be comforted?
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Blossoming from the Lord
When we perform acts that agree with the Lord’s teachings in the Word, the Lord will guide them and be in them. 
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Cleaning Up Our Act
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Compassion for Others
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Does the Lord Forgive?
Lesson and activities looking at the Lord's love and mercy in forgiving us.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 Echo the Ten Blessings
Help children learn the Ten Blessings by echoing (repeating) each line or finishing each line for you.
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 He Makes His Sun Rise on the Evil and the Good
Illustrate the sun shining or the rain falling and being received by two very different kinds of plants: a thorny bush and a fruit tree.
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 Humility
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Inspirational Quotation - Let Your Light Shine
Poster showing a lighthouse with the Lord's words telling us to let our light shine.
Picture | Ages over 8

 Let Your Light Shine
Take turns lighting a candle as you "give glory to the Lord" for letting you help Him touch the lives of people around you.
Activity | Ages 11 - 17

 "Let your light shine…" Calligraphy
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Loving One Another
This sermon shows that someone who really cares about others will seek to understand the truth so that he may serve in intelligent ways. When this happens, greater blessings are achieved for all. 
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Loving Others
The Lord wants us to love everyone but the way we love friends will be different than the way we love those who harm us or others.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Matching Quotes with the Ten Blessings
Match each of the Ten Blessings with a quotation from the Old Testament.
Activity | Ages 11 - 17

 Memory Verse: Being a Good Neighbor
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: The Ten Blessings
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Peace Like a River
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Power Under Control
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Protecting Marriage
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Quotes: The Ten Blessings
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Self Awareness
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Separation and Divorce
Marriage is a civil and spiritual covenant. Spiritual laws about divorce and remarriage are not always in agreement with what civil law permits.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Simplicity
In order for us to receive the Lord's words, we must be simple - simple in the sense of being single-minded, looking to one source of truth, and in having our internal and external thoughts agree. 
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Strength Through Trials
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Ten Blessings Vocabulary Discovery
Explore the meaning of vocabulary used in the Ten Blessings to help you understand what the Lord is teaching us.
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 The Blessings of Adversity
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Kingdom of Heaven Is Within
When we think of blessings we do not usually think of sadness, difficulty or want. We usually think of happiness, peace and plenty. Indeed the word blessing means happiness. Why, then, does the Lord seem to say the opposite in the Sermon on the Mount? 
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Lord and His Disciple, Simon Peter
Four scenes about the Lord and Peter from the gospels of Matthew and John, and two later scenes from the book of Acts.
Activity | Ages 11 - 14

 The Lord's Sermon on the Mount
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Lord’s Ten Blessings
Worship Talk | Ages 4 - 6

 The Meaning of the Ten Blessings
When the Lord gave the Sermon on the Mount, He was teaching people the steps leading to a heavenly life. The words He spoke then can still teach us how to follow Him into eternal happiness. 
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Sermon on the Mount
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Sermon on the Mount (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Ten Blessings
The Ten Blessings from the Sermon on the Mount in a color border.
Picture | Ages over 15

 The Ten Blessings (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Ten Blessings Word Search
Find key words of the Ten Blessings in this word search.
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 True Satisfaction
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 What Is Heaven Like?
Emanuel Swedenborg visited heaven. His vivid accounts describe the nature of angels and the communities they live in.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Why Did the Lord Come on Earth?
A lesson and activities exploring the reasons Jesus came on earth and what He accomplished.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 You Are As Happy As You Choose To Be
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

Commentary

 

The Beatitudes      

By New Christian Bible Study Staff

This fresco was created by Franz Xaver Kirchebner in the Parish church of St. Ulrich in Gröden, Italy, which was built in the late 18th century.

These verses, the opening phrases of the Sermon on the Mount, hold some of the Bible’s most beautiful and best-loved poetry. Part of its beauty, though, lies in the fact that the meaning is not quite clear. What does it mean to be “poor in spirit”? What does it mean to “inherit the earth” or to be called “the children of God.” The fact that there are many possibilities causes us to linger over the phrases, pondering them.

Understood in the internal sense, these blessings show the spiritual states of the various people who could be receptive of the Lord and the new church he was launching. On a deeper level it shows that states within ourselves that can lead each of us to the Lord and to a deeper understanding of His truth today.

The “poor in spirit” are those who know little about spiritual things, but want to learn. Those that “mourn” are those who want to be good, but see no desire for good in their church. The “meek” are those who love to care for and serve others. To “hunger and thirst after righteousness” shows a desire to rise up, to learn about what’s good and to come to desire it.

The “merciful” are those who love their fellow people. The “pure in heart” are those who love only what is good. “Peacemakers” are those who are in harmony with the Lord, gaining knowledge from Him and wanting what He wants. And to be “persecuted for righteousness’ sake” means acting out of love and care for others, even though you are condemned by others for it.

There’s something of a progression there, from those who simply want to learn to those who actively want to be good people to those who actually are good and acting out of love for others. None of it, though, describes those who are learned in the Jewish traditions, or even necessarily observant in terms of ritual; they are, rather, those who sense that it is possible to be a good person and are willing to make the effort.

And they are promised their rewards! The “kingdom of heaven” is the understanding the angels have of the Lord; “comfort” represents ideas that lead to the good of life; “inheriting the earth” is a state of loving others and being loved by them in return. The overall message is simple: If we truly wish to be good people, and are willing to let the Lord teach us how to be good people, we will end up filled with love and wisdom from Him. And that’s what we need to focus on: The desire to be good, and openness to ideas from the Lord. It’s not about ritual and intellectual “correctness”; it’s about ideas that lead us to be good.

But what of being reviled and persecuted? This depicts temptation, when the hells attack our newborn good desires and true understanding. They cause us to doubt our ability to be truly good and question the ideas that are leading us. And they can do it in many ways, reminding us of the fun we’ll be missing or reminding us of all the bad things we’ve ever done to render us hopeless. They will even attack the Bible and the ideas that come to us through it from the Lord; that’s represented by the idea that people also attacked the prophets.

These states, however, are blessed in their own way; only by battling these evils, which are rooted inside us, can we finally fully embrace the good life we have been striving for. That’s why it is pictured last, and that's why it leads to the “great reward” in heaven.


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