Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted...

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Sermon on Mount, Beatitudes, personal and social, popularity and ostracism

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Fortunate, those having been driven themselves on account of virtue. Because theirs is the realm of the skies.

KJV : 

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.​

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The word translated as "persecuted" actually means "being chased." It only means persecution in the sense that being "hounded" can be a bad thing, but being hounded can also be a good thing, a sign of popularity. Jesus himself was often chased by crowds of people who wanted to hear him. The reference to "righteousness/doing right," is ambiguous. It can refer either to its presence or lack.

Even though it is very early in the Gospels, we have already seen the word translated as "righteousness" or "doing right" in both Mat 3:15 and Mat 5:6.  The noun might be best translated as "virtue" when applied to people and "justice" when applied to God. It refers to natural law and the traditions of custom rather than to governmental laws. It does not mean conforming to current social fashions in thinking, which are seen as its opposite. "Righteousness" is the state for which humans were designed. In traditional terms, it means being virtuous, honest, and pure; thinking and acting correctly. Our modern idea of justice, that is, the legal standard giving every person due process, is a much lower standard that this idea of virtue.

As the last "standard" beatitude, this verse repeats the ending of the first, Mat 5:3.

NIV : 

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

NLT : 

Matthew 5:10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

Wordplay: 

 Contrasting meanings of the negative "being hounded" and the positive "being driven" from the same word. 

My Takeaway: 

The only refuge from social attention is a higher realm.

Related Verses: 

Mat 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers:

Mat 5:6 Blessed [are] they which do hunger...

Mat 3:15 Suffer [it to be so] now...

Mat 5:3 Blessed [are] the poor in spirit...

Greek Vocabulary: 

μακάριοι (adj pl masc nom) The "Blessed" is from makarios which means "blessed", "prosperous", "happy", "fortunate," and "blissful."

οἱ (article  pl masc nom) "They which" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

δεδιωγμένοι (part pl perf mp masc nom) "Are persecuted" is from dioko, which means "to pursue", "to chase", "to urge on", "to chase away", "to carry forward", "to be hurried (passive)," or "to drive." It means "persecute" when used as a legal term.

ἕνεκεν (prep) "For" is from heneka, which means "on account of", "as far as regards", "in consequence of," and "because."

δικαιοσύνης, (noun sg fem gen) "Righteousness" is from dikaiosyne, which means "righteousness", "justice", "fulfillment of the law," and "the business of a judge." It carries the sense of virtue but specifically that of fulfilling legal or social requirements.

ὅτι (adv) "For" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

αὐτῶν (adj pl masc/fem gen) "Theirs" is from autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

ἐστὶν (3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is from esti, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (3rd person, singular present form-esti).

βασιλεία (noun dual fem nom) "Kingdom" is from basileia, which means "kingdom", "dominion", "hereditary monarchy", "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign."

τῶν οὐρανῶν. (noun pl masc gen) "Of Heaven" is from the Greek ouranos (ouranos), which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate."

KJV Analysis: 

Blessed -- (CW) The word "blessed" in Greek is an adjective from a root word meaning "happy" or "fortunate." In Jesus's era, all luck was attributed to divine favor but this is not otherwise a religious word. It has no relationship to the Greek verb "bless" or the noun "blessings."

are -- There is no verb "are" in the Greek source. It is implied by the equating of "workman" with "worthy" both in the Greek form of subjects.

they -- (CW) The word translated as "they" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

which are -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "which do" in the Greek source.

persecuted -- (CW, WF) The word translated here as "persecuted" can mean several contradictory things, which need examination. It is a verb meaning is "to chase." The verb also means "to drive" or "propel." When used as a legal term, which doesn't quite fit, it means "prosecute," not "persecute." In English, our term "being hounded" might come the closest. It is in the form of an adjective used as a noun, "the ones chasing" or, because it is passive, "the ones being chased." However, it refers to an action completed in the past, so "the ones who have been chased."

for -- The "for" is a preposition that "on account of." In Biblical translation, the phrase is usually translated as "for somethings sake."

righteousness' -- The word translated as "righteousness" also means "justice" and generally "fulfillment of the law". When applied to God, it works best as "justice," but when applied to people "virtue" works better since we don't use "righteousness" must anymore.

sake: - This completes the "for something's sake" phrase,

for -- The "for" here is a causal adverb that means "seeing that", "because", or "since."

theirs -- This is the possessive plural pronoun. It is in a form that modifies the noun "kingdom".

is -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

kingdom -- The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive nouns. 

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

heaven. -- (WN) The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods.  The word is plural, not singular.

KJV Translation Issues: 

7
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "blessed" means "blessed" primarily in the sense of "lucky" or "fortunate" without a sense of a "blessing."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "they" is not the pronoun but an article, "the ones."
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "which are" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "persecute" is a verb that primarily means "being chased" and only means "persecuted" in the sense of "being hounded."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "persecuted" is not an active verb but a passive participle, "having been chased."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "skies"  is not shown in the English translation.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "heaven" is translated singular as but it is plural."skies."

NIV Analysis: 

Blessed -- (CW) The word "blessed" in Greek is an adjective from a root word meaning "happy" or "fortunate." In Jesus's era, all luck was attributed to divine favor but this is not otherwise a religious word. It has no relationship to the Greek verb "bless" or the noun "blessings."

are -- There is no verb "are" in the Greek source. It is implied by the equating of "workman" with "worthy" both in the Greek form of subjects.

those --  The word translated as "they" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

who are -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "which do" in the Greek source.

persecuted -- (CW, WF) The word translated here as "persecuted" can mean several contradictory things, which need examination. It is a verb meaning is "to chase." The verb also means "to drive" or "propel." When used as a legal term, which doesn't quite fit, it means "prosecute," not "persecute." In English, our term "being hounded" might come the closest. It is in the form of an adjective used as a noun, "the ones chasing" or, because it is passive, "the ones being chased." However, it refers to an action completed in the past, so "the ones who have been chased."

because of -- The "because of" is from a word that means "on account of."

righteousness' -- In Greek, the word translated as "righteousness" or in many translations, "justice" in the sense of "the fulfillment of the law," but this refers to natural law and the traditions of custom rather than to governmental laws. It does not mean conforming to current social fashions in thinking, which are seen as its opposite. "Righteousness" is the state for which humans were designed. In traditional terms, it means being virtuous, honest, and pure; thinking and acting correctly. Our modern idea of justice, that is, the legal standard giving every person due process, is a much lower standard that this idea of virtue.

for -- The "for" here is a causal adverb that means "seeing that", "because", or "since."

theirs -- This is the possessive plural pronoun. It is in a form that modifies the noun "kingdom".

is -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

kingdom -- The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive nouns. 

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

heaven. -- (WN) The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods.  The word is plural, not singular.

NIV Translation Issues: 

6
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "blessed" means "blessed" primarily in the sense of "lucky" or "fortunate" without a sense of a "blessing."
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "who are" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "persecute" is a verb that primarily means "being chased" and only means "persecuted" in the sense of "being hounded."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "persecuted" is not an active verb but a passive participle, "having been chased."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "skies"  is not shown in the English translation.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "heaven" is translated singular as but it is plural."skies."

NLT Analysis: 

God -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "God" in the Greek source.

blesses -- (CW, WF) The word "blesses" in Greek is an adjective from a root word meaning "happy" or "fortunate." In Jesus's era, all luck was attributed to divine favor but this is not otherwise a religious word. It has no relationship to the Greek verb "bless" or the noun "blessings." This is not a verb. This word can also mean "wealthy". This sets up an interesting play on words that only works in Greek, saying "wealthy the poor,"

those -- The word translated as "those who" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more.

who are -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "which do" in the Greek source.

persecuted -- (CW, WF) The word translated here as "persecuted" can mean several contradictory things, which need examination. It is a verb meaning is "to chase." The verb also means "to drive" or "propel." When used as a legal term, which doesn't quite fit, it means "prosecute," not "persecute." In English, our term "being hounded" might come the closest. It is in the form of an adjective used as a noun, "the ones chasing" or, because it is passive, "the ones being chased." However, it refers to an action completed in the past, so "the ones who have been chased."

for -- The "for" is from a word that means "on account of."

doing right, --  (WF) In Greek, the word translated as "doing right" is translated as usually "righteousness," or  "justice" in the sense of "the fulfillment of the law," but this refers to natural law and the traditions of custom rather than to governmental laws. It might be described as "virtue." It does not mean conforming to current social fashions, which are seen as its opposite. "Righteousness" is the state for which humans were designed. In traditional terms, it means being virtuous, honest, and pure; thinking and acting correctly. Our modern idea of justice, that is, the legal standard giving every person due process, is a much lower standard that this idea of virtue. The word is not a verbal clause, but a noun.

for -- The "for" here is a causal adverb that means "seeing that", "because", or "since."

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

kingdom -- The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive nouns. 

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

heaven. -- (WN) The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods.  The word is plural, not singular.

is -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek.

theirs -- This is the possessive plural pronoun. It is in a form that modifies the noun "kingdom".

NLT Translation Issues: 

9
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "God" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "blesses" means "blessed" primarily in the sense of "lucky" or "fortunate" without a sense of a "blessing."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "blesses" is not an active verb but an adjective.
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "who are" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "persecute" is a verb that primarily means "being chased" and only means "persecuted" in the sense of "being hounded."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "persecuted" is not an active verb but a passive participle, "having been chased."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "doing right" is not a verbal clause but a noun.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "skies"  is not shown in the English translation.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "heaven" is translated singular as but it is plural."skies."

The Spoken Version: 

Joahnen’s ascetics were crazy: not drinking wine, wearing cloth, or even eating bread.  
“Crackpots all!” someone else shouted, generating more shouts of agreement.
Before this went any further, the Master held up his hands for silence.
“Fortunate!” he responded, as lighthearted as ever. “Those having been driven themselves for the sake of virtue.”
We all laughed in response. The Nazarene had ignored the prophecy, and instead he was having fun with words.
The description of Joahnen’s followers as “having been driven themselves” was accurate and funny. The way he said it had two meanings: that ascetics were driving themselves and that they were being harassed by others. Both were true.
“Why do ascetics see giving up the good things in like as a virtue?” someone asked.
“Because theirs is...” he answered, pausing and pointing a finger to the sky.
“This realm of the skies!” the Teacher said with us as we reacted to his signal.
We laughed again.  He made the ways of the ascetics seem both noble and unrealistic. It was also funny because most Galileans understood that the chant had been originally Joahnen’s own.

evidence: 

8.00

Front Page Date: 

Apr 17 2020