Matthew 5:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,

New Living Translation
One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him,

English Standard Version
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

Berean Study Bible
When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain and sat down. His disciples came to Him,

Berean Literal Bible
And having seen the crowds, He went up on the mountain. And He having sat down, His disciples came to Him,

New American Standard Bible
When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.

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

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When He saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain, and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.

International Standard Version
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on the hill. After taking his seat, his disciples came to him,

NET Bible
When he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain. After he sat down his disciples came to him.

New Heart English Bible
And seeing the crowds, he went up onto the mountain, and when he had sat down, his disciples came to him.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But when Yeshua saw the crowds, he went up into a mountain and when he sat down his disciples came near to him.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up a mountain and sat down. His disciples came to him,

New American Standard 1977
And when He saw the multitudes, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain; and when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him;

King James 2000 Bible
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him:

American King James Version
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came to him:

American Standard Version
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain: and when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him:

Douay-Rheims Bible
AND seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain, and when he was set down, his disciples came unto him.

Darby Bible Translation
But seeing the crowds, he went up into the mountain, and having sat down, his disciples came to him;

English Revised Version
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain: and when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him:

Webster's Bible Translation
And seeing the multitudes, he ascended a mountain: and when he was seated, his disciples came to him.

Weymouth New Testament
Seeing the multitude of people, Jesus went up the Hill. There He seated Himself, and when His disciples came to Him,

World English Bible
Seeing the multitudes, he went up onto the mountain. When he had sat down, his disciples came to him.

Young's Literal Translation
And having seen the multitudes, he went up to the mount, and he having sat down, his disciples came to him,
Study Bible
The Sermon on the Mount
1When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain and sat down. His disciples came to Him, 2and He began to teach them, saying:…
Cross References
Matthew 5:2
and He began to teach them, saying:

Mark 3:13
Then Jesus went up on the mountain and called for those He wanted, and they came to Him.

Luke 6:12
In those days, Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and He spent the night in prayer to God.

Luke 6:17
Then Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of His disciples was there, along with a great number of people from all over Judea, Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon.

Luke 6:20
Looking up at His disciples, Jesus said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

Luke 9:28
About eight days after Jesus had said these things, He took Peter, John, and James, and went up on a mountain to pray.

John 6:3
Then Jesus went up on the mountain and sat down with His disciples.

John 6:15
Realizing they were about to come and make Him king by force, Jesus withdrew again to a mountain by Himself.
Treasury of Scripture

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


Matthew 4:25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and …

Matthew 13:2 And great multitudes were gathered together to him, so that he went …

Mark 4:1 And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered …

he went.

Matthew 15:29 And Jesus departed from there, and came near to the sea of Galilee; …

Mark 3:13,20 And he goes up into a mountain, and calls to him whom he would: and …

John 6:2,3 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles …


Matthew 4:18-22 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon …

Matthew 10:2-4 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, …

Luke 6:13-16 And when it was day, he called to him his disciples: and of them …


(1) What is known as the Sermon on the Mount is obviously placed by St. Matthew (who appears in the earliest traditions connected with his name as a collector of our Lord's "Oracles" or discourses) in the fore-front of his record of His work, as a great pattern-discourse, that which more than any other represented the teaching with which He began His work. Few will fail to recognise the fitness of its position, and the influence which it has exercised wherever the Gospel record has found its way. More than any other part of that record did it impress itself on the minds of men in the first age of the Church, and more often is it quoted by the writers of that period--St. James, and Barnabas, and Clement of Rome, and Ignatius, and Polycarp. More than any other portion, in recent time, has it attracted the admiring reverence even of many who did not look on the Preacher of the Sermon as the faith of Christendom looks on Him. Not unfrequently its teaching, as being purely ethical, has been contrasted with the more dogmatic character of the discourses that appear in St. John. How far that contrast really exists will appear as we interpret it. Two preliminary questions, however, present themselves: (1) Have we here the actual verbatim report of one single discourse? (2) Is that discourse the same as that which we find in Luke 6:20-49, and which, for the sake of distinctness, we may call the Sermon on the Plain? Following the method hitherto adopted in dealing with problems which rise from the comparison of one Gospel with another, the latter inquiry will be postponed till we have to meet it in writing on St. Luke's Gospel. Here it will be enough to state the conclusion which seems to be most probable, that the two discourses are quite distinct, and that each has traceably a purpose and method of its own. The other question calls for discussion now.

At first sight there is much that favours the belief that the Sermon on the Mount is, as it were, a pattern discourse, framed out of the fragments of many like discourses. Not only is there a large element common to it and to the Sermon on the Plain, but we find many other portions of it scattered here and there in other parts of St. Luke's Gospel. Thus we have:--

-1Matthew 5:13

. . .

Luke 14:34

-2Matthew 5:18

. . .

Luke 16:17

-3Matthew 5:25-26

. . .

Luke 12:58

-4Matthew 5:32

. . .

Luke 16:18

-5Matthew 6:9-13

. . .

Luke 11:2-4

-6Matthew 6:19-21

. . .

Luke 12:33-34

-7Matthew 6:22-23

. . .

Luke 11:34-36

-8Matthew 6:24

. . .

Luke 16:13

-9Matthew 6:25

. . .

Luke 12:22-23

-9Matthew 6:26-34

. . .

Luke 12:24-31

-10Matthew 7:7-11

. . .

Luke 11:9-13

-11Matthew 7:13

. . .

Luke 13:24

-12Matthew 7:22-23

. . .

Luke 13:25-27

In most of these passages St. Luke reports what served as the starting-point of the teaching. It conies as the answer to a question, as the rebuke of a special fault. We might be led to think that the two Evangelists, coming across a collection more or less complete of our Lord's words (I use the term as taking in a wider range than discourses), had used them each after his manner: St. Matthew by seeking to dovetail them as much as he could into a continuous whole; St. Luke by trying, as far as possible, to trace them to their sources, and connect them with individual facts. This line of thought is, however, traversed by other facts that lead to an opposite conclusion. In chapters 5 and 6 of the Sermon on the Mount there is strong evidence of a systematic plan, and therefore of unity. The Beatitudes and the verses that immediately follow (Matthew 5:2-16) set forth the conditions of blessedness, the ideal life of the kingdom of heaven. Then comes the contrast between the righteousness required for it and that which passed current among the scribes and Pharisees; and this is carried (1) through their way of dealing with the Commandments (Matthew 5:17-48), and (2) through the three great elements of the religious life--almsgiving, prayer, and fasting (Matthew 6:1-18). This is followed by warnings against the love of money, and the cares which it brings with it, as fatal to the religious life in all its forms (Matthew 6:19-34). In the precepts of chapter 7 there is less traceable sequence, but its absence is as natural on the supposition of missing links in the chain, as on that of pearls threaded on a string, or a tesselated mosaic made up of fragments. The Sermon, as it stands, might have been spoken in thirty or forty minutes. There is no reason to think that this was the necessary or even customary limit of our Lord's discourses. Assume a discourse somewhat longer than this, heard by a multitude, with no one taking notes at the time, but many trying, it may be some years afterwards, to put on record what they remembered; and then think of the writer of a Gospel coming to collect, with the aid of the Spirit (John 14:26), the disjecta membra which all held so precious; comparing, if he himself had heard it, what others had written or could tell him with what he recalled; placing together what he thus found with a visible order, where the lines had been left broad and deep; with an order more or less latent, where the trains of thought had been too subtle to catch the attention of the hearers--and we have a process of which the natural outcome is what we find here. On these grounds, then, we may reasonably believe that we have substantially the report of a single discourse, possibly with a few additions from other similar discourses,--the first great prophetic utterance, the first full proclamation of "the perfect law of liberty" (James 1:25), the first systematic protest against the traditions of Pharisees and scribes--that protest in which we find the groundwork of holiness, and the life of Jesus translating itself into speech. That it was not more than this; that it did not reveal doctrines which, from our Lord's own teaching and that of His apostles, we rightly hold to be essential to the true faith of Christians; that it is therefore wrongly made, as some would fain make it, the limit of theology--is explained by the fact that our Lord spake the word as men were able to hear it; that this was the beginning, not the end, of the training of His disciples; that the facts on which the fuller doctrines rested as yet were not. And so He was content to begin with "earthly things," not "heavenly" (John 3:12), and to look forward to the coming of the Comforter to complete what He had thus begun. Those who would follow His method, must begin as He began; and the Sermon on the Mount, both in its negative and positive elements, is therefore the eternal inheritance of the Church of Christ, at all ages "the milk for babes," even though those of full age may be capable of receiving the food of higher truths.

Verse 1. - And seeing the multitudes; i.e. those spoken of in Matthew 4:25 - the multitudes who were at that point of time following him. He went up. From the lower ground by the lake. Into a mountain; Revised Version, into the mountain (εἰς τὸ ὄρος); i.e. not any special mountain, but "the mountain nearest the place spoken of - the mountain near by" (Thayer); in contrast to any lower place, whether that was itself fairly high ground (as probably Luke 9:28) or the shore of the lake (Matthew 14:23 [parallel passages: Mark 6:46; John 6:15]; 15:29). The actual spot here referred to may have been far from, or, and more probably (Matthew 4:18), near to, the Lake of Gennesareth. It cannot now be identified. The traditional "Mount of Beatitudes" is Karn-Hattin, "a round, rocky hill" (Socin's Baedeker, p. 366), "a square-shaped hill with two tops" (Stanley, p. 368), about five miles north-west of Tiberias. This tradition, dating only from the time of the Crusades, is accepted by Stanley (cf. also Ellicott, 'Hist. Lects.,' p. 178), especially for the reasons that

(1) τὸ ὄρος is equivalent to "the mountain" as a distinct name, and this mountain alone, with the exception of Tabor which is too distant, stands separate from the uniform barrier of hills round the lake;

(2) "the platform at the top is evidently suitable for the collection of a multitude, and corresponds precisely to the 'level place' (τόπου πεδινοῦ, Luke 6:17) to which our Lord would 'come down,' as from one of its higher horns, to address the people." But these reasons seem insufficient. And when he was set; Revised Version, had sat down; as his custom was when preaching (Matthew 13:1; Matthew 24:3; Mark 9:35). His disciples; i.e. the twelve, and also those others out of whom they had, as it seems, just been chosen (Luke 6:12, 20). The word is used of all those personal followers who, as still more distinctly indicated in the Fourth Gospel, attached themselves to him to learn of him, at least until the time of the crisis in John 6:66, when many withdrew (cf. also infra, Matthew 8:21, and for an example in the end of his ministry, Luke 19:37). In English we unavoidably miss some of the meaning of μαθητής, to our loss, as may be seen from the saying of Ignatius, 'Magn.,' § 10, Μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ γενόμενοι μάθωμεν κατὰ Ξριστιανισμὸν ζῇν Came unto him (προσῆλθαν αὐτῷ). Came up to him, and, presumably, sat down in front of him to listen. And seeing the multitudes,.... The great concourse of people that followed him from the places before mentioned,

he went up into a mountain; either to pray alone, which was sometimes his custom to do, or to shun the multitude; or rather, because it was a commodious place for teaching the people:

and when he was set: not for rest, but in order to teach; for sitting was the posture of masters, or teachers, see Matthew 13:2 Luke 4:20. The form in which the master and his disciples sat is thus described by Maimonides (z).

"The master sits at the head, or in the chief place, and the disciples before him in a circuit, like a crown; so that they all see the master, and hear his words; and the master may not sit upon a seat, and the scholars upon the ground; but either all upon the earth, or upon seats: indeed from the beginning, or formerly, "the master used to sit", and the disciples stand; but before the destruction of the second temple, all used to teach their disciples as they were sitting.''

With respect to this latter custom, the Talmudists say (a), that

"from the days of Moses, to Rabban Gamaliel (the master of the Apostle Paul), they did not learn the law, unless standing; after Rabban Gamaliel died, sickness came into the world, and they learnt the law sitting: hence it is a tradition, that after Rabban Gamaliel died, the glory of the law ceased.''

His disciples came unto him; not only the twelve, but the company, or multitude, of his disciples, Luke 6:17 which he made in the several places, where he had been preaching; for the number of his disciples was larger than John's.

(z) Hilch. Talmud Torah, c. 4. sect. 2.((a) T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 21. 1. Vid. Misn. Sota, c. 9. sect. 15. & Jarchi, Maimon, & Bartenora in ib. CHAPTERS 5-8

Sermon on the Mount.

That this is the same Discourse as that in Lu 6:17-49—only reported more fully by Matthew, and less fully, as well as with considerable variation, by Luke—is the opinion of many very able critics (of the Greek commentators; of Calvin, Grotius, Maldonatus—Who stands almost alone among Romish commentators; and of most moderns, as Tholuck, Meyer, De Wette, Tischendorf, Stier, Wieseler, Robinson). The prevailing opinion of these critics is that Luke's is the original form of the discourse, to which Matthew has added a number of sayings, uttered on other occasions, in order to give at one view the great outlines of our Lord's ethical teaching. But that they are two distinct discourses—the one delivered about the close of His first missionary tour, and the other after a second such tour and the solemn choice of the Twelve—is the judgment of others who have given much attention to such matters (of most Romish commentators, including Erasmus; and among the moderns, of Lange, Greswell, Birks, Webster and Wilkinson. The question is left undecided by Alford). Augustine's opinion—that they were both delivered on one occasion, Matthew's on the mountain, and to the disciples; Luke's in the plain, and to the promiscuous multitude—is so clumsy and artificial as hardly to deserve notice. To us the weight of argument appears to lie with those who think them two separate discourses. It seems hard to conceive that Matthew should have put this discourse before his own calling, if it was not uttered till long after, and was spoken in his own hearing as one of the newly chosen Twelve. Add to this, that Matthew introduces his discourse amidst very definite markings of time, which fix it to our Lord's first preaching tour; while that of Luke, which is expressly said to have been delivered immediately after the choice of the Twelve, could not have been spoken till long after the time noted by Matthew. It is hard, too, to see how either discourse can well be regarded as the expansion or contraction of the other. And as it is beyond dispute that our Lord repeated some of His weightier sayings in different forms, and with varied applications, it ought not to surprise us that, after the lapse of perhaps a year—when, having spent a whole night on the hill in prayer to God, and set the Twelve apart, He found Himself surrounded by crowds of people, few of whom probably had heard the Sermon on the Mount, and fewer still remembered much of it—He should go over its principal points again, with just as much sameness as to show their enduring gravity, but at the same time with that difference which shows His exhaustless fertility as the great Prophet of the Church.


Mt 5:1-16. The Beatitudes, and Their Bearing upon the World.

1. And seeing the multitudes—those mentioned in Mt 4:25.

he went up into a mountain—one of the dozen mountains which Robinson says there are in the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee, any one of them answering about equally well to the occasion. So charming is the whole landscape that the descriptions of it, from Josephus downwards [Wars of the Jews, 4.10,8], are apt to be thought a little colored.

and when he was set—had sat or seated Himself.

his disciples came unto him—already a large circle, more or less attracted and subdued by His preaching and miracles, in addition to the smaller band of devoted adherents. Though the latter only answered to the subjects of His kingdom, described in this discourse, there were drawn from time to time into this inner circle souls from the outer one, who, by the power of His matchless word, were constrained to forsake their all for the Lord Jesus.5:1,2 None will find happiness in this world or the next, who do not seek it from Christ by the rule of his word. He taught them what was the evil they should abhor, and what the good they should seek and abound in.
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