Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn...

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Sermon on Mount, first Beatitudes, "the realm of the skies."

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Fortunate those mourning for they themselves will be summoned.

KJV : 

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.​

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Again, the line begins with humor. Jesus created a series of contrary statement using the various meanings of the same word, the Greek term translated as "blessed" but meaning "fortunate." The terms also means "wealthy" and "happy." The poor were "wealthy" and those mourning are "happy."

The confusing word here is the one translated as "comforted" which actually means "summoned" ("called upon").   It also means "to demand," ("called from") "to encourage," ("called along") and "to excite" (called beyond"). What are those mourning called to? What does death call us to pay attention to? The implicit  answer  comes from the context of "the realm of the skies."

NIV : 

Matthew 5:4  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

NLT : 

Matthew 5:4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Wordplay: 

 The implication that those who are lamenting a loss should be happy. 

My Takeaway: 

Loss is an invitation to something beyond life.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

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

οἱ  (article pl masc nom) "The" 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. 

πενθοῦντες,” (part pl pres act masc nom) "Those who mourn" is from pentheo, which means "to bewail", "to mourn", "to go into mourning," and "to lament."

ὅτι (conj) "For" is from hoti (hoti), which means "for what," and "wherefore." A form of hostis (hostis), which means "that", "anyone who", "anything which", "whosoever," "whichsoever" and "anybody whatsoever."

αὐτοὶ (adj pl masc nom) "They " 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."“

παρακληθήσονται.” [6 verses](verb 3rd pl fut ind pass) "Will be comforted" is parakaleo which means "call in", "send for", "invite," "summon", "address", "demand", "exhort", "encouraged", "excite", "demand," and "beseech." It means literally "call closer." The prefix, para, means "beside", "from the side of", "from beside,", "from", "issuing from", "near", "by", "with", "along", "past", "beyond" and so on. The based word kaleo, means "call", "summon", and "invite".

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." This word can also mean "happy". This sets up an interesting play on words that only works in Greek, saying "happy those mourning,"

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 that -- (CW) The word translated as "they that" 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. 

mourn: -- (WF) The word translated as "mourn" is a participle of the the Greek verb meaning "to wail" and "to lament." This word is closely associated with the idea of mourning. 

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

they -- (CW) The "they" is the pronoun used explicitly as the subject of the final phrase. This is unnecessary in Greek because the subject is also a part of the verb ending. Jesus only uses the pronoun when he wants to emphasize i t as we would say "they themselves".

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

be -- This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

comforted.​ -- (WW) The Greek word that translated as "comforted," literally means will be "to be called near." So it primarily means "to be summoned" since it is in the passive. It also means "to demand," ("called from") "to encourage," ("called along") and "to excite" (called beyond"). We will see this word again when it is translated as "to call," "to beseech," and "to pray", (Mat 18:32, Mat 18:29, and Mat 26:53). In all of them, "call upon" works best in English both in the sense of "summoned" and "to ask." In Luke 15:28, it is translated as "intreated" (entreated). 

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • 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 that" means "the ones."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "mourn" is not an active verb but a participle, "mourning."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "they" here is repetitive, like "they themselves."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "comforted" should be "summoned."

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." This word can also mean "happy". This sets up an interesting play on words that only works in Greek, saying "happy those mourning,"

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 who -- 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. 

mourn: -- (WF) The word translated as "mourn" is a participle of the the Greek verb meaning "to wail" and "to lament." This word is closely associated with the idea of mourning. 

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

they -- (CW) The "they" is the pronoun used explicitly as the subject of the final phrase. This is unnecessary in Greek because the subject is also a part of the verb ending. Jesus only uses the pronoun when he wants to emphasize i t as we would say "they themselves".

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

be -- This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

comforted.​ -- (WW) The Greek word that translated as "comforted," literally means will be "to be called near." So it primarily means "to be summoned" since it is in the passive. It also means "to demand," ("called from") "to encourage," ("called along") and "to excite" (called beyond"). We will see this word again when it is translated as "to call," "to beseech," and "to pray", (Mat 18:32, Mat 18:29, and Mat 26:53). In all of them, "call upon" works best in English both in the sense of "summoned" and "to ask." In Luke 15:28, it is translated as "intreated" (entreated). 

NIV Translation Issues: 

3
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "blessed" means "blessed" primarily in the sense of "lucky" or "fortunate" without a sense of a "blessing."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "mourn" is not an active verb but a participle, "mourning."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "they" here is repetitive, like "they themselves."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "comforted" should be "summoned."

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 word can also mean "happy". This sets up an interesting play on words that only works in Greek, saying "happy those mourning,"

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

mourn: -- (WF) The word translated as "mourn" is a participle of the the Greek verb meaning "to wail" and "to lament." This word is closely associated with the idea of mourning. 

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

they -- (CW) The "they" is the pronoun used explicitly as the subject of the final phrase. This is unnecessary in Greek because the subject is also a part of the verb ending. Jesus only uses the pronoun when he wants to emphasize i t as we would say "they themselves".

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

be -- This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

comforted.​ -- (WW) The Greek word that translated as "comforted," literally means will be "to be called near." So it primarily means "to be summoned" since it is in the passive. It also means "to demand," ("called from") "to encourage," ("called along") and "to excite" (called beyond"). We will see this word again when it is translated as "to call," "to beseech," and "to pray", (Mat 18:32, Mat 18:29, and Mat 26:53). In all of them, "call upon" works best in English both in the sense of "summoned" and "to ask." In Luke 15:28, it is translated as "intreated" (entreated). 

NLT Translation Issues: 

7
  • 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.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "who" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "mourn" is not an active verb but a participle, "mourning."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "they" here is repetitive, like "they themselves."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "comforted" should be "summoned."

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

What are mourned called upon to go or do? Since the topic is mourning, we can only assume that mourner are being summoned "beyond" this world, the realm that is "near." Both "near" and "beyond" are the basic meanings of the prefix of the "called near" verb.

The Spoken Version: 

The teacher moved toward a pair of widows dressed for mourning.
“Lucky! Those in mourning!” He said warmly, indicating the women.
Some in the crowd chuckled at the idea of people in mourning being lucky. Others shushed them.
“Because,” the speaker explained, holding the women’s outstretched hands. “They themselves are going to be summoned.”

evidence: 

2.00

Front Page Date: 

Apr 11 2020