BibleTools.info

Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Loading...

Matthew 5:7

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The merciful - The word mercy, among the Jews, signified two things: the pardon of injuries, and almsgiving. Our Lord undoubtedly takes it in its fullest latitude here. To know the nature of mercy, we have only to consult the grammatical meaning of the Latin word misericordia, from which ours is derived. It is composed of two words: miserans, pitying, and cor, the heart; or miseria cordis, pain of heart. Mercy supposes two things:

  1. A distressed object: and,
  • A disposition of the heart, through which it is affected at the sight of such an object.
  • This virtue, therefore, is no other than a lively emotion of the heart, which is excited by the discovery of any creature's misery; and such an emotion as manifests itself outwardly, by effects suited to its nature. The merciful man is here termed by our Lord ελεημων, from ελεος, which is generally derived from the Hebrew חיל chil, to be in pain, as a woman in travail: or from ילל galal, to cry, or lament grievously; because a merciful man enters into the miseries of his neighbor, feels for and mourns with him.

    They shall obtain mercy - Mercy is not purchased but at the price of mercy itself; and even this price is a gift of the mercy of God. What mercy can those vindictive persons expect, who forgive nothing, and are always ready to improve every advantage they have of avenging themselves? Whatever mercy a man shows to another, God will take care to show the same to him. The following elegant and nervous saying of one of our best poets is worthy of the reader's most serious attention: -

    "The quality of mercy is not strained;

    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

    Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed;

    It blesseth him who gives, and him who takes:

    'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes

    The throned monarch better than his crown

    It is an attribute of God himself;

    And earthly power doth then show likest God's,

    When mercy seasons justice. -

    Though justice be thy plea, consider this,

    That, in the course of justice, none of us

    Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy;

    And that same prayer doth teach us all to render

    The deeds of mercy. -

    Why, all the souls that are, were forfeit once:

    And he who might the 'vantage best have took

    Found out the remedy. How would you be,

    If He who is the top of judgment should

    But judge you as you are? O! think on that;

    And mercy then will breathe within your lips,

    Like man, new made

    How shalt thou hope for mercy, rend'ring none?"

    In the tract Shabbath, fol. 151, there is a saying very like this of our Lord.

    "He who shows mercy to men, God will show mercy to him: but to him who shows no mercy to man, God will show no mercy.

    Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible

    Blessed are the merciful - That is, those who are so affected by the sufferings of others as to be disposed to alleviate them. This is given as an evidence of piety, and it is said that they who show mercy to others shall obtain it. The same sentiment is found in Matthew 10:42; “Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only, in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you he shall in no wise lose his reward.” See also Matthew 25:34-40. This should be done with a wish to glorify God; that is, in obedience to his commandments, and with a desire that he should be honored, and with a feeling that we are benefiting one of his creatures. Then he will regard it as done to him, and will reward us. See the sentiment of this verse, that the merciful shall obtain mercy, more fully expressed in 2 Samuel 22:26-27; and in Psalm 18:25-26.

    Nowhere do we imitate God more than in showing mercy. In nothing does God delight more than in the exercise of mercy, Exodus 34:6; Ezekiel 33:11; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9. To us, guilty sinners; to us, wretched, dying, and exposed to eternal woe, he has shown his mercy by giving his Son to die for us; by expressing his willingness to pardon and save us; and by sending his Spirit to renew and sanctify our hearts. Each day of our life, each hour, and each moment, we partake of his undeserved mercy. All the blessings we enjoy are proofs of his mercy. If we, then, show mercy to the poor, the wretched, the guilty, it shows that we are like God. We have his spirit, and shall not lose our reward. And we have abundant opportunity to do it. Our world is full of guilt and woe, which we may help to relieve; and every day of our lives we have opportunity, by helping the poor and wretched, and by forgiving those who injure us, to show that we are like God. See the notes at Matthew 6:14-15.

    Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    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.
    Ellen G. White
    Our High Calling, 184.6

    Seek to help, to strengthen, to bless those with whom you are associated. The Lord will be merciful to those who are merciful. The Lord will be tender and pitiful to those who exercise tenderness and compassion and pity for others. We must realize that we are in Christ's school, not to learn how we may esteem ourselves, how we shall conduct ourselves so as to receive honor of men, but how we may cherish the meekness of Christ. Self and selfishness will be ever striving for the mastery. It is a fight we must have with ourselves, that self shall not have the victory. Through Christ you may triumph; through Christ you may conquer. OHC 184.6

    Read in context »
    Ellen G. White
    Our High Calling, 198.1

    Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7. OHC 198.1

    Read in context »
    Ellen G. White
    The Publishing Ministry, 94.4

    May the Lord give us tender hearts, hearts of flesh, not hearts of steel. Remember that as you judge, so you will be judged. To those who show mercy, God will show mercy. Remember that to you has been given the privilege of helping Christ in the person of His saints. When you use this privilege aright, you are giving glory to the Saviour. Your work will bring you rich returns.—Manuscript 81, 1901. PM 94.4

    Read in context »
    Ellen G. White
    Reflecting Christ, 227

    Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7. RC 227.1

    Read in context »
    More Comments