Matthew 5:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

New Living Translation
Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

English Standard Version
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

New American Standard Bible
"Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

King James Bible
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

International Standard Version
Rejoice and be extremely glad, because your reward in heaven is great! That's how they persecuted the prophets who came before you."

NET Bible
Rejoice and be glad because your reward is great in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Then rejoice and triumph, because your reward is great in Heaven, for just so they persecuted The Prophets who were before you.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Rejoice and be glad because you have a great reward in heaven! The prophets who lived before you were persecuted in these ways.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in the heavens; for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

King James 2000 Bible
Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.

American King James Version
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

American Standard Version
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.

Darby Bible Translation
Rejoice and exult, for your reward is great in the heavens; for thus have they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

English Revised Version
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Webster's Bible Translation
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Weymouth New Testament
Be joyful and triumphant, because your reward is great in the Heavens; for so were the Prophets before you persecuted.

World English Bible
Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Young's Literal Translation
rejoice ye and be glad, because your reward is great in the heavens, for thus did they persecute the prophets who were before you.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:3-12 Our Saviour here gives eight characters of blessed people, which represent to us the principal graces of a Christian. 1. The poor in spirit are happy. These bring their minds to their condition, when it is a low condition. They are humble and lowly in their own eyes. They see their want, bewail their guilt, and thirst after a Redeemer. The kingdom of grace is of such; the kingdom of glory is for them. 2. Those that mourn are happy. That godly sorrow which worketh true repentance, watchfulness, a humble mind, and continual dependence for acceptance on the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, with constant seeking the Holy Spirit, to cleanse away the remaining evil, seems here to be intended. Heaven is the joy of our Lord; a mountain of joy, to which our way is through a vale of tears. Such mourners shall be comforted by their God. 3. The meek are happy. The meek are those who quietly submit to God; who can bear insult; are silent, or return a soft answer; who, in their patience, keep possession of their own souls, when they can scarcely keep possession of anything else. These meek ones are happy, even in this world. Meekness promotes wealth, comfort, and safety, even in this world. 4. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are happy. Righteousness is here put for all spiritual blessings. These are purchased for us by the righteousness of Christ, confirmed by the faithfulness of God. Our desires of spiritual blessings must be earnest. Though all desires for grace are not grace, yet such a desire as this, is a desire of God's own raising, and he will not forsake the work of his own hands. 5. The merciful are happy. We must not only bear our own afflictions patiently, but we must do all we can to help those who are in misery. We must have compassion on the souls of others, and help them; pity those who are in sin, and seek to snatch them as brands out of the burning. 6. The pure in heart are happy; for they shall see God. Here holiness and happiness are fully described and put together. The heart must be purified by faith, and kept for God. Create in me such a clean heart, O God. None but the pure are capable of seeing God, nor would heaven be happiness to the impure. As God cannot endure to look upon their iniquity, so they cannot look upon his purity. 7. The peace-makers are happy. They love, and desire, and delight in peace; and study to be quiet. They keep the peace that it be not broken, and recover it when it is broken. If the peace-makers are blessed, woe to the peace-breakers! 8. Those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake are happy. This saying is peculiar to Christianity; and it is more largely insisted upon than any of the rest. Yet there is nothing in our sufferings that can merit of God; but God will provide that those who lose for him, though life itself, shall not lose by him in the end. Blessed Jesus! how different are thy maxims from those of men of this world! They call the proud happy, and admire the gay, the rich, the powerful, and the victorious. May we find mercy from the Lord; may we be owned as his children, and inherit his kingdom. With these enjoyments and hopes, we may cheerfully welcome low or painful circumstances.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 12. - Rejoice, and be exceeding glad (χαίρετε καὶ ἀγαλλιᾶσθε). Our Lord uses no weaker expressions than those which describe the joy of the saints over the marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7). The first word expresses joy as such, the second its effect in stirring the emotions; this thought St. Luke carries still further in σκιρτήσατε. (For joy felt under persecution, cf. Acts 5:41.) For great. The order of the Greek, ὅτι ὀ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολύς, does not bear out the emphatic position assigned to "great" in the English Versions from Tyndale downwards (except Rheims), including Revised Version. Is your reward. The doctrine of recompense, which has so large a place in Jewish thought (for a not often-sire example, cf. 'Ab.,' 2:19, Taylor) comes also in Christ's teaching. In Matthew 20:1-16 reward is expressly divested of its merely legal side, and exhibited as ultimately dependent on the will of the great Householder. But here it is mentioned without reference to the difficulties involved in the conception. These difficulties centre round the thought of obligation from God to man. But it may be doubted whether these difficulties are not caused by too exclusively regarding the metaphor of contracting, instead of considering the fact indicated by the metaphor. In God's kingdom every action has a corresponding effect, and this effect is the more certain in proportion as the action is in the sphere of morality. The idea of "quantity" hardly enters into the relation of such cause and effect. It is a question of moral correspondence. But such effect may not unfitly be called by the metaphors "hire," "reward," because, on the one hand, it is the result of conditions of moral service, and, on the other, such terms imply a Personal Will at the back of the effect, as well as a will on the part of the human "servant." (For the subject in other connexions, cf. Weiss, 'Bibl. Theol.,' § 32; cf. also ver. 46; Matthew 6:1, 2, 4, 5, 6.) In heaven. Our Lord says, "your reward is great," because the effect of your exercise of moral powers will be received in a sphere where the accidents of the surroundings will entirely correspond to moral influences. The effect of your present faithfulness, etc., will be seen in the reception Of powers of work and usefulness and enjoyment, beside which those possessed on earth will appear small. On earth the opportunities, etc., are but "few things;" hereafter they will be "many things" (Matthew 25:21). For. Not as giving a reason for the assurance of reward (apparently Meyer and Weiss), but for the command, "rejoice," and be exceeding glad, and perhaps also for the predicate "blessed." Rejoice if persecuted, for such persecutions prove you to be the true successors of the prophets, your predecessors in like faithfulness (cf. James 5:10). So. By reproach, e.g. Elijah (1 Kings 18:17), Amos (Amos 7:12, 13); by persecution, e.g. Hanani (2 Chronicles 16:10), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 37:15); by saying all manner of evil, e.g. Amos (Amos 7:10), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 37:13), Daniel (Daniel 6:13). Which were before you. Added, surely, not as a mere temporal fact, but to indicate spiritual relationship (vide supra).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Rejoice and be exceeding glad,.... Because of the honour put upon them, the glory they bring to Christ and his cause, by cheerfully suffering for it; and because of the glory and happiness that shall follow upon their sufferings:

for great is your reward in heaven; not of debt, but of grace; for there is no proportion or comparison between what the saints suffer for Christ, and the glory that shall be revealed in them by him; not in earth, but in heaven. Saints must not expect their reward here, but hereafter, when God himself will be their reward; he will be all in all; Christ and all his glory, glory and all the riches of it will be the reward of the inheritance, and which must needs be a "great" one. And the more to animate them to suffer with joyfulness, and to support them under all their reproaches and persecutions, it is added;

for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you; as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah, and others; which shows, that what should befall them was no new and strange thing, but what had been the lot of the most eminent servants of God in former ages.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

12. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad—"exult." In the corresponding passage of Luke (Lu 6:22, 23), where every indignity trying to flesh and blood is held forth as the probable lot of such as were faithful to Him, the word is even stronger than here: "leap," as if He would have their inward transport to overpower and absorb the sense of all these affronts and sufferings; nor will anything else do it.

for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you:—that is, "You do but serve yourselves heirs to their character and sufferings, and the reward will be common."

Matthew 5:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Beatitudes
11"Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12"Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Cross References
2 Chronicles 36:16
But they mocked God's messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.

Jeremiah 37:14
"That's not true!" Jeremiah said. "I am not deserting to the Babylonians." But Irijah would not listen to him; instead, he arrested Jeremiah and brought him to the officials.

Matthew 23:37
"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.

Acts 7:52
Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him--

Romans 5:3
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;

Philippians 1:29
For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,

1 Thessalonians 2:15
who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone

Hebrews 10:34
You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.

Hebrews 11:33
who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions,

James 1:2
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

James 5:10
Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Treasury of Scripture

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Rejoice.

Luke 6:23 Rejoice you in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward …

Acts 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that …

Acts 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises to God: and …

Romans 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that …

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us …

Philippians 2:17 Yes, and if I be offered on the sacrifice and service of your faith, …

Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which …

James 1:2 My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations;

1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings; …

for great.

Matthew 6:1,2,4,5,16 Take heed that you do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: …

Matthew 10:41,42 He that receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive …

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his …

Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, …

Ruth 2:12 The LORD recompense your work, and a full reward be given you of …

Psalm 19:11 Moreover by them is your servant warned: and in keeping of them there …

Psalm 58:11 So that a man shall say, Truly there is a reward for the righteous: …

Proverbs 11:18 The wicked works a deceitful work: but to him that sows righteousness …

Isaiah 3:10 Say you to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they …

Luke 6:23,35 Rejoice you in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward …

1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he that plants and he that waters are one: and every man shall …

Colossians 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance: …

Hebrews 11:6,26 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes …

for so.

Matthew 21:34-38 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to …

Matthew 23:31-37 Why you be witnesses to yourselves, that you are the children of …

1 Kings 18:4,13 For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that …

1 Kings 19:2,10-14 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, So let the gods …

1 Kings 21:20 And Ahab said to Elijah, Have you found me, O my enemy? And he answered, …

1 Kings 22:8,26,27 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, …

2 Kings 1:9 Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And …

2 Chronicles 16:10 Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; …

2 Chronicles 24:20-22 And the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, …

2 Chronicles 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and …

Nehemiah 9:26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against you, and …

Jeremiah 2:30 In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: …

Jeremiah 26:8,21-23 Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all …

Luke 6:23 Rejoice you in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward …

Luke 11:47-51 Woe to you! for you build the sepulchers of the prophets, and your …

Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which kill the prophets, and stone them that …

Acts 7:51 You stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always …

1 Thessalonians 2:15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have …

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