Matthew 5:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

New Living Translation
"God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

English Standard Version
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Berean Study Bible
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Berean Literal Bible
"Blessed are the poor in the spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens.

New American Standard Bible
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

King James Bible
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Christian Standard Bible
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

Contemporary English Version
God blesses those people who depend only on him. They belong to the kingdom of heaven!

Good News Translation
"Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"The poor in spirit are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

International Standard Version
"How blessed are those who are destitute in spirit, because the kingdom from heaven belongs to them!

NET Bible
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

New Heart English Bible
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“Blessed by The Spirit are the poor, because theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Blessed are those who recognize they are spiritually helpless. The kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

New American Standard 1977
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens.

King James 2000 Bible
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

American King James Version
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

American Standard Version
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Darby Bible Translation
Blessed [are] the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens.

English Revised Version
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Webster's Bible Translation
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Weymouth New Testament
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for to them belongs the Kingdom of the Heavens.

World English Bible
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Young's Literal Translation
'Happy the poor in spirit -- because theirs is the reign of the heavens.
Study Bible
The Beatitudes
2and He began to teach them, saying: 3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.…
Cross References
Isaiah 66:2
Has not My hand made all these things? And so they came into being, declares the LORD. This is the one I will esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, who trembles at My word.

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

Matthew 19:14
But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Matthew 25:34
Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

Mark 10:14
When Jesus saw this, He was indignant and told them, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

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

Luke 22:29
And I bestow on you a kingdom, just as My Father has bestowed on Me,

Luke 22:30
so that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

James 2:5
Listen, my beloved brothers: Has not God chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him?

Revelation 3:17
You say, 'I am rich; I have grown wealthy and need nothing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.

Treasury of Scripture

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


Matthew 5:4-11 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted…

Matthew 11:6 And blessed is he, whoever shall not be offended in me.

Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

Matthew 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing.

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, …

Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish from the way, when …

Psalm 32:1,2 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered…

Psalm 41:1 Blessed is he that considers the poor: the LORD will deliver him …

Psalm 84:12 O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusts in you.

Psalm 112:1 Praise you the LORD. Blessed is the man that fears the LORD, that …

Psalm 119:1,2 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD…

Psalm 128:1 Blessed is every one that fears the LORD; that walks in his ways.

Psalm 146:5 Happy is he that has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is …

Proverbs 8:32 Now therefore listen to me, O you children: for blessed are they …

Isaiah 30:18 And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious to you, …

Luke 6:20,21 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be …

Luke 11:28 But he said, Yes rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, …

John 20:29 Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: …

Romans 4:6-9 Even as David also describes the blessedness of the man, to whom …

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, …

Revelation 19:9 And he said to me, Write, Blessed are they which are called to the …

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right …

the poor.

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord …

Matthew 18:1-3 At the same time came the disciples to Jesus, saying, Who is the …

Leviticus 26:41,42 And that I also have walked contrary to them, and have brought them …

Deuteronomy 8:2 And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God led you …

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, …

2 Chronicles 33:12,19,23 And when he was in affliction, he sought the LORD his God, and humbled …

2 Chronicles 34:27 Because your heart was tender, and you did humble yourself before …

Job 42:6 Why I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to them that are of a broken heart; and saves such …

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite …

Proverbs 16:19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide …

Proverbs 29:23 A man's pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.

Isaiah 57:15 For thus said the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose …

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed …

Isaiah 66:2 For all those things has my hand made, and all those things have …

Jeremiah 31:18-20 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; You have chastised …

Daniel 5:21,22 And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like …

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require …

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach …

Luke 6:20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be …

Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than …

James 1:10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the …

James 4:9,10 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to …


Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 8:11 And I say to you, That many shall come from the east and west, and …

Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said to them, …

James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brothers, Has not God chosen the poor of this …

(3) Blessed.--The word differs from that used in Matthew 23:39; Matthew 25:34, as expressing a permanent state of felicity, rather than the passive reception of a blessing bestowed by another.

The poor in spirit.--The limitation, as in "the pure in heart," points to the region of life in which the poverty is found. In Luke 6:20 there is no such qualifying clause, and there the words speak of outward poverty, as in itself a less perilous and therefore happier state than that of riches. Here the blessedness is that of those who, whatever their outward state may be, are in their inward life as those who feel that they have nothing of their own, must be receivers before they give, must be dependent on another's bounty, and be, as it were, the "bedesmen" of the great King. To that temper of mind belongs the "kingdom of heaven," the eternal realities, in this life and the life to come, of that society of which Christ is the Head. Things are sometimes best understood by their contraries, and we may point to the description of the church of Laodicea as showing us the opposite type of character, thinking itself "rich" in the spiritual life, when it is really as "the pauper," destitute of the true riches, blind and naked.

Verse 3 - Matthew 7:27. - THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. The following may serve as a brief summary.

1. The ideal character of his disciples (Matthew 5:3-10), which must be allowed to appear (Matthew 5:11-16).

2. The relation that they ought to hold towards the religion of the day, of which the Law was the accepted standard (Matthew 5:17 - 6:18).

(1) The fundamental principle of this relation is found in the relation which Christ himself holds towards the Law (Matthew 5:17-20).

(2) Their relation further defined by illustrations taken from the religion of the day, as this is seen in -

(a) Cases deduced directly from the Law (Matthew 5:21-48).

(b) Cases not so deduced (Matthew 6:1-18).

3. General principles regarding -

(1) Their relation to wealth. They must remember that only the single eye receives the light (Matthew 6:19-31).

(2) Their relation to men. They must remember the dangers of differentiating others. They must treat them as they would themselves be treated (Matthew 7:1-12).

4. Epilogue (Matthew 7:13-27). A call to decision and independence of walk (Matthew 7:13-23). Assent is useless if it becomes not action (Matthew 7:24-27). There is little doubt that the two accounts (here and Luke 6.) represent one and the same discourse, the main arguments for this belief being thus given by Ellicott ('Hist. Lects.,' p. 179): "That the beginning and end of the Sermon are nearly identical in both Gospels; that the precepts, as recited by St. Luke, are in the same general order as those in St. Matthew, and that they are often expressed in nearly the same words; and lastly, that each Evangelist specifies the same miracle, viz. the healing of the centurion's servant, as having taken place shortly after the Sermon, on our Lord's entry into Capernaum." Verses 3-16. - 1. The ideal character of his disciples. Verse 3. - Blessed (μακάριοι); Vulgate, beati; hence "Beatitudes." The word describes "the poor in spirit," etc., not as recipients of blessing (εὐλογημένοι) from God, or even from men, but as possessors of "happiness" (cf. the Authorized Version of John 13:17, and frequently). It describes them in reference to their inherent state, not to the gifts or the rewards that they receive. It thus answers in thought to the common אשׁרי of the Old Testament; e.g. 1 Kings 10:8; Psalm 1:1; Psalm 32:1; Psalm 84:5. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs, is the kingdom of heaven. The first Beatitude is the sum and substance of the whole sermon. Poverty of spirit stands in contrast to self sufficiency (Revelation 3:17) and as such is perhaps the quality which is most of all opposed to the Jewish temper in all ages (cf. Romans 2:17-20). For in this, as in much else, the Jewish nation is the type of the human race since the Fall. Observe that vers. 3, 4 (οἱ πτωχοί οἱ πενθοῦντες, possibly also ver. 5, vide infra) recall Isaiah 61:1, 2. As recently in the synagogue at Nazareth (Luke 4:18, 19), so also here, he bases the explanation of his work on the prophecy of that work in the Book of Isaiah. The poor (οἱ πτωχοί). Πτωχός, in classical and philosophical usage, implies a lower degree of poverty than πένης (2 Corinthians 9:9 and LXX.). "The πένης may be so poor that he earns his bread by daily labour; but the πτωχός is so poor that he only obtains his living by begging The τένης has nothing superfluous, the πτωχός nothing at all" (Trench, 'Syn.,' § 36.). Hence Tertullian ('Adv. Marc.,' 4:14; cf. 15)purposely altered Beati pauperes of the Old Latin to Beati mendici, and elsewhere ('De Idol.,' 12) rendered it by egeni. But in Hellenistic Greek, so far as the usage of the LXX. and the Hexapla goes (vide Hatch, 'Biblical Greek,' p. 73), the distinction seems hardly to hold good. Hatch even infers - on, we think, very insufficient premisses - that these two words, with τακεινός and πραύς (but vide infra), designate the poor of an oppressed country, i.e. the peasantry, the fellahin of Palestine as a class, and he considers it probable that this special meaning underlies the use of the words in these verses. Whether this be the case or not, the addition of τῷ πνεύματι completely excludes the supposition that our Lord meant to refer to any merely external circumstances. In spirit; Matthew only (τῷ πνεύματι). Dative of sphere (cf. Matthew 11:29; 1 Corinthians 7:34; 1 Corinthians 14:20; Romans 12:11). James 2:5 (τοὺς πτωχοὺς τῷ κόσμω) forms an apparent rather than a real contrast; for the dative there marks, not the sphere in which, but the object with reference to which, the poverty is felt ("the poor as to the world," Revised Version; Wiesinger in Huther), or possibly the object which is the standard of comparison, i.e. in the judgment of the world (Winer, § 31:4, a). Christ here affirms the blessedness of those who are in their spirit absolutely devoid of wealth. It cannot mean that they are this in God's opinion, for in God's opinion all are so. It means, therefore, that they are this in their own opinion. While many feel in themselves a wealth of soul-satisfaction, these do not, but realize their insufficiency. Christ says that they realize this "in (their) spirit;" for the spirit is that part of us which specially craves for satisfaction, and which is the means by which we lay hold of true satisfaction. The actual craving for spiritual wealth is not mentioned in this verse. It is implied, but direct mention of it comes partly in ver. 4, and especially in ver. 6. For theirs. Emphatic, as in all the Beatitudes (αὐτῶν αὐτοί,). Is. Not hereafter (Meyer), but even already. The kingdom of heaven (vide note, p. 150). The poor in spirit already belong to and have a share in that realm of God which now is realized chiefly in relation to our spirit, but ultimately will be realized in relation to every element of our nature, and to all other persons, and to every part, animate and inanimate, of the whole world. Blessed are the poor in spirit,.... Not the poor in purse, or who are so with respect to things temporal: for though God has chosen and called many, who are in such a condition of life, yet not all; the kingdom of heaven cannot be said to belong to them all, or only; but such as are poor in a spiritual sense. All mankind are spiritually poor; they have nothing to eat that is fit and proper; nor any clothes to wear, but rags; nor are they able to purchase either; they have no money to buy with; they are in debt, owe ten thousand talents, and have nothing to pay; and in such a condition, that they are not able to help themselves. The greater part of mankind are insensible of this their condition; but think themselves rich, and increased with goods: there are some who are sensible of it, who see their poverty and want, freely acknowledge it, bewail it, and mourn over it; are humbled for it, and are broken under a sense of it; entertain low and mean thoughts of themselves; seek after the true riches, both of grace and glory; and frankly acknowledge, that all they have, or hope to have, is owing to the free grace of God. Now these are the persons intended in this place; who are not only "poor", but are poor "in spirit"; in their own spirits, in their own sense, apprehension, and judgment: and may even be called "beggars", as the word may be rendered; for being sensible of their poverty, they place themselves at the door of mercy, and knock there; their language is, "God be merciful"; their posture is standing, watching, and waiting, at wisdom's gates, and at the posts of her door; they are importunate, will have no denial, yet receive the least favour with thankfulness. Now these are pronounced "blessed", for this reason,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven; not only the Gospel, and the ministration of it, which belongs to them. "The poor have the Gospel preached": it not only reaches their ears, but their hearts; it enters into them, is applied unto them, they receive and embrace it with the utmost joy and gladness; but eternal glory, this is prepared for them, and given to them; they are born heirs of it, have a right unto it, are making meet for it, and shall enjoy it. 3. Blessed—Of the two words which our translators render "blessed," the one here used points more to what is inward, and so might be rendered "happy," in a lofty sense; while the other denotes rather what comes to us from without (as Mt 25:34). But the distinction is not always clearly carried out. One Hebrew word expresses both. On these precious Beatitudes, observe that though eight in number, there are here but seven distinct features of character. The eighth one—the "persecuted for righteousness' sake"—denotes merely the possessors of the seven preceding features, on account of which it is that they are persecuted (2Ti 3:12). Accordingly, instead of any distinct promise to this class, we have merely a repetition of the first promise. This has been noticed by several critics, who by the sevenfold character thus set forth have rightly observed that a complete character is meant to be depicted, and by the sevenfold blessedness attached to it, a perfect blessedness is intended. Observe, again, that the language in which these Beatitudes are couched is purposely fetched from the Old Testament, to show that the new kingdom is but the old in a new form; while the characters described are but the varied forms of that spirituality which was the essence of real religion all along, but had well-nigh disappeared under corrupt teaching. Further, the things here promised, far from being mere arbitrary rewards, will be found in each case to grow out of the characters to which they are attached, and in their completed form are but the appropriate coronation of them. Once more, as "the kingdom of heaven," which is the first and the last thing here promised, has two stages—a present and a future, an initial and a consummate stage—so the fulfilment of each of these promises has two stages—a present and a future, a partial and a perfect stage.

3. Blessed are the poor in spirit—All familiar with Old Testament phraseology know how frequently God's true people are styled "the poor" (the "oppressed," "afflicted," "miserable") or "the needy"—or both together (as in Ps 40:17; Isa 41:17). The explanation of this lies in the fact that it is generally "the poor of this world" who are "rich in faith" (Jas 2:5; compare 2Co 6:10; Re 2:9); while it is often "the ungodly" who "prosper in the world" (Ps 73:12). Accordingly, in Lu 6:20, 21, it seems to be this class—the literally "poor" and "hungry"—that are specially addressed. But since God's people are in so many places styled "the poor" and "the needy," with no evident reference to their temporal circumstances (as in Ps 68:10; 69:29-33; 132:15; Isa 61:1; 66:2), it is plainly a frame of mind which those terms are meant to express. Accordingly, our translators sometimes render such words "the humble" (Ps 10:12, 17), "the meek" (Ps 22:26), "the lowly" (Pr 3:34), as having no reference to outward circumstances. But here the explanatory words, "in spirit," fix the sense to "those who in their deepest consciousness realize their entire need" (compare the Greek of Lu 10:21; Joh 11:33; 13:21; Ac 20:22; Ro 12:11; 1Co 5:3; Php 3:3). This self-emptying conviction, that "before God we are void of everything," lies at the foundation of all spiritual excellence, according to the teaching of Scripture. Without it we are inaccessible to the riches of Christ; with it we are in the fitting state for receiving all spiritual supplies (Re 3:17, 18; Mt 9:12, 13).

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven—(See on [1224]Mt 3:2). The poor in spirit not only shall have—they already have—the kingdom. The very sense of their poverty is begun riches. While others "walk in a vain show"—"in a shadow," "an image"—in an unreal world, taking a false view of themselves and all around them—the poor in spirit are rich in the knowledge of their real case. Having courage to look this in the face, and own it guilelessly, they feel strong in the assurance that "unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness" (Ps 112:4); and soon it breaks forth as the morning. God wants nothing from us as the price of His saving gifts; we have but to feel our universal destitution, and cast ourselves upon His compassion (Job 33:27, 28; 1Jo 1:9). So the poor in spirit are enriched with the fulness of Christ, which is the kingdom in substance; and when He shall say to them from His great white throne, "Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you," He will invite them merely to the full enjoyment of an already possessed inheritance.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.
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