They are the blessed ones (Mt 13:16-13:17)

“But blessed are your eyes!

They see!

Blessed are your ears!

They hear!

Truly I say to you!

Many prophets

And righteous people

Longed to see

What you see.

But they did not see it.

They longed to hear

What you hear.

But they did not hear it.”

 

ὑμῶν δὲ μακάριοι οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ὅτι βλέπουσιν, καὶ τὰ ὦτα ὑμῶν ὅτι ἀκούουσιν.

ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πολλοὶ προφῆται καὶ δίκαιοι ἐπεθύμησαν ἰδεῖν ἃ βλέπετε καὶ οὐκ εἶδαν, καὶ ἀκοῦσαι ἃ ἀκούετε καὶ οὐκ ἤκουσαν.

 

This saying about the blessed ones can also be found almost word for word in Luke, chapter 10:23-24, indicating a Q source.  Jesus’ disciples have heard and seen what other prophets and righteous ones had wanted to see and hear, but never did.  His disciples were the blessed or happy ones (ὑμῶν δὲ μακάριοι).  Blessed are their eyes because they see (οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ὅτι βλέπουσιν)!  Blessed are their ears because they hear (καὶ τὰ ὦτα ὑμῶν ὅτι ἀκούουσιν)!  Jesus issued a solemn declaration (ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω ὑμῖν).  Many prophets and righteous people had set their hearts on or longed for (ὅτι πολλοὶ προφῆται καὶ δίκαιοι ἐπεθύμησαν) what they had seen (ἰδεῖν ἃ βλέπετε) and heard (καὶ ἀκοῦσαι ἃ ἀκούετε), but they never saw them (καὶ οὐκ εἶδαν) or heard them (καὶ οὐκ ἤκουσαν) like they have.  The disciples of Jesus should realize how fortunate they are to be with Jesus.  Many people were less fortunate than them.

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The first beatitude about poverty (Mt 5:3-5:3)

“Blessed are

The poor in spirit!

Theirs is

The kingdom of heaven.”

 

Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.

 

Most people speak about the 8 beatitudes of Jesus on the mountain.  They are also found in Luke, chapter 6:20, since they feature the key points of Jesus’ preaching that was founded on the Hebrew Scriptures.  What does “blessed (Μακάριοι)” mean?  This Greek word Μακάριοι appears over 68 times in the Greek Septuagint Old Testament, especially in the Psalms.  God will bless these people, so that they will be the fortunate ones, the happy ones, the wise ones.  There are echoes of Psalm 32, where the happy and blessed ones are those who have had their sins forgiven, since they have no deceit in their hearts.  The blessed people are the poor, the hungry, the mourners, and those being persecuted.  Number one is the poor.  However, right off the bat, there is a difference with Luke, chapter 6:20, who simply said blessed are the poor (Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ) without any modification, since he did not mention the “poor in spirit (οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι),” as Matthew indicated here.  What does Matthew mean by this “poor in spirit” or spiritual poverty?  There is a whole Judaic tradition about the oppressed poor and the humble of the land, as in prophets Isaiah, chapter 61:1 and 66:2, and Zephaniah, chapter 2:3, but that was not spiritual poverty.  Perhaps, this is more like the lack of concern for material things, whether you are actually poor or not.  For Luke, it was black or white, poor or not.  The 2nd major difference was the reward.  Matthew continued to talk about what they would possess, the kingdom of the heavens (ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν), while Luke said it was the kingdom of God, plain and simple.

Praise to Yahweh (Ps 106:1-106:3)

“Praise Yahweh!

O give thanks to Yahweh!

He is good!

His steadfast love endures forever!

Who can utter the mighty deeds of Yahweh?

Who can declare all his praise?

Happy are those

Who observe justice!

Happy are those

Who do righteousness at all times!”

Psalm 106 is a continuation of Psalm 105, but is less joyful since it points out the many problems that the Israelites had. Once again there is no title to this psalm. However, it starts out with a rousing hymn to Yahweh. Praise Yahweh or alleluia, is the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” They are to give thanks to Yahweh because he is good. His steadfast love endures forever, a theme that is repeated over and over again. Who can say what all the mighty deeds of Yahweh are? Who can declare his praise? However, the happy ones are those who observe justice and are righteous all the time.

Yahweh is good (Ps 34:7-34:10)

Het     

“The angel of Yahweh encamps

Around those who fear him.

He delivers them.

Tet      

O taste and see!

Yahweh is good!

Happy are those

Who take refuge in him!

Yod     

O fear Yahweh!

You his holy ones!

Those who fear him have no want!

Koph              

The young lions suffer want.

The young lions suffer hunger.

But those who seek Yahweh

Lack no good thing.”

If it is not Yahweh, it is his angel who surrounded David. To those who feared Yahweh, he delivered him. David then asked us to taste and see how Yahweh was good, which has become the title of a popular hymn. Those who took their refuge in Yahweh were to be happy and holy. They would no longer fear like young lions that worried about want and hunger. Those who sought Yahweh would not lack for anything. They were the truly blessed and happy ones.