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Matthew 5:8

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Pure in heart - In opposition to the Pharisees, who affected outward purity, while their hearts were full of corruption and defilement. A principal part of the Jewish religion consisted in outward washings and cleansings: on this ground they expected to see God, to enjoy eternal glory: but Christ here shows that a purification of the heart, from all vile affections and desires, is essentially requisite in order to enter into the kingdom of God. He whose soul is not delivered from all sin, through the blood of the covenant, can have no Scriptural hope of ever being with God. There is a remarkable illustration of this passage, quoted by Mr. Wakefield from Origen, Contra Cels. lib. vi. "God has no body, and therefore is invisible: but men of contemplation can discern him with the heart and understanding. But A Defiled Heart Cannot See God: but He Must Be Pure Who Wishes to Enjoy a Proper View of a Pure Being."

Shall see God - This is a Hebraism, which signifies, possess God, enjoy his felicity: as seeing a thing, was used among the Hebrews for possessing it. See Psalm 16:10. Thou wilt not suffer thy Holy One to see corruption, i.e. he shall not be corrupted. So John 3:3; : Except a man be born again, he cannot See the kingdom of God, i.e. he cannot enjoy it. So John 3:16. He that believeth not the Son, shall not See life, i. e shall not be put in possession of eternal glory. The Hindoo idolaters vainly boast of what the genuine followers of Christ actually enjoy - having the Divine favor witnessed to their souls by the Holy Spirit. The Hindoos pretend that some of their sages have been favored with a sight of their guardian deity. - See Ward's Customs.

Probably our Lord alludes to the advantages those had, who were legally pure, of entering into the sanctuary, into the presence of God, while those who had contracted any legal defilement were excluded from it. This also was obviously typical.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Blessed are the pure in heart - That is, whose minds, motives, and principles are pure; who seek not only to have the external actions correct, but who desire to be holy in heart, and who are so. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.

They shall see God - There is a sense in which all will see God, Revelation 1:7. That is, they will behold him as a Judge, not as a Friend. In this place it is spoken of as a special favor. So also in Revelation 22:4, “And they shall see his face.” To see the face of one, or to be in the presence of any one, were terms among the Jews expressive of great favor. It was regarded as a high honor to be in the presence of kings and princes, and to be permitted to see them, Proverbs 22:29, “He shall stand before kings.” See also 2 Kings 25:19, “Those that stood in the king‘s presence;” in the Hebrew, those that saw the face of the king; that is, who were his favorites and friends. So here, to see God, means to be his friends and favorites, and to dwell with him in his kingdom.

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
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 331

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8. For three hundred years Enoch had been seeking purity of heart, that he might be in harmony with heaven. For three centuries he had walked with God. Day by day he had longed for a closer union; nearer and nearer had grown the communion, until God took him to Himself. He had stood at the threshold of the eternal world, only a step between him and the land of the blest; and now the portals opened, the walk with God, so long pursued on earth, continued, and he passed through the gates of the holy city, the first from among men to enter there. 8T 331.1

“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; ...for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Hebrews 11:5. 8T 331.2

To such communion God is calling us. As was Enoch's must be their holiness of character who shall be redeemed from among men at the Lord's second coming. 8T 331.3

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Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 103

To know what constitutes purity of mind, soul, and body is an important part of education. Paul summed up the attainments possible for Timothy by saying, “Keep thyself pure.” 1 Timothy 5:22. Impurity of thought, word, or action will not be indulged by the child of God. Every encouragement and the richest blessings are held up before the overcomers of evil practices, but the most fearful penalties are laid upon those who profane the body and defile the soul. CT 103.1

Teachers, blessed are the pure in heart—now; not, Blessed will be the pure in heart. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8. Yes, as did Moses, they shall endure the seeing of Him who is invisible. They have the assurance of the richest blessings, both in this life and in the life that is to come. CT 103.2

Students, if you will watch and pray, and make earnest efforts in the right direction, you will be thoroughly imbued with the spirit of Christ. “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:14. Be determined that you will make the school a success. If you will heed the instruction given in the word of God you may go forth with a development of intellectual and moral power that will cause even angels to rejoice, and God will joy over you with singing. Under such discipline you will secure the fullest development of your faculties. Let not the buoyancy and the lust of youth through manifold temptations make your day of opportunity and privilege a failure. Day by day put on Christ, and in the brief season of your test and trial here below maintain your dignity in the strength of God, as co-workers with the highest agencies of heaven. CT 103.3

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Ellen G. White
Child Guidance, 418

Then, mothers, teach your children, line upon line and precept upon precept, that the righteousness of Christ is the only dress in which they can be admitted into heaven, and that robed in this apparel they will be constantly doing duties in this life which will glorify God.20 CG 418.1

A Necessary Part of Education—No education can be complete that does not teach right principles in regard to dress. Without such teaching, the work of education is too often retarded and perverted. Love of dress and devotion to fashion are among the teacher's most formidable rivals and most effective hindrances.1 CG 419.1

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Ellen G. White
My Life Today, 263

Sanctifying Power of the Truth

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently. 1 Peter 1:22 ML 263.1

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