GENEVA BIBLE 1599
The Bible of the Pilgrims who founded America and also the Bible of the Reformation.
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The Beatitudes plus more Important Teachings of Christ Jesus with Geneva Bible footnotes.
1 And when he saw the multitude, he went up into a mountain; and when he was set, his disciples came to him.
2 (1) And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
(1) Christ teacheth that the greatest joy and felicity is not in the commodities and pleasures of this life, but is laid up in heaven for them that willingly rest in the good will and pleasure of God, and endeavor to profit all men, although they be cruelly vexed, and troubled of the worldlings, because they will not fashion themselves to their manners.
3 (*) Blessed are the (a) poor in (b) spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(*) Luke 6:20 .
(a) Under the name of poverty are all such miseries meant, that
are joined with poverty.
(b) Whose minds and spirits are brought under, and tamed, and obey God.
4 (*) Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
(*) Isaiah 61:2-3; Luke 6:21 .
5 (*) Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
(*) Psalm 37:18 .
6 (*) Blessed are they which hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
(*) Isaiah 65:13 .
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the (*) (c) pure in heart, for they shall see God.
(*) Psalm 24:4 .
(c) Fitly is this word Pure joined with the heart, for as a bright and shining resemblance or image may be seen plainly in a clear and pure looking glass, even so doeth the face (as it were) of the everlasting God, shine forth and clear appears in a pure heart.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they (*) which suffer persecution for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(*) 1 Corinthians 14:33; 1 Peter 3:14 .
11 (*) Blessed shall ye be when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you for my sake, falsely.
(*) Acts 5:41; 1 Peter 4:14 .
12 Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the Prophets which were before you.
13 (*) Ye (2) are the salt of the (d) earth; but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be (e) salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
(*) Mark 9:50; Luke 14:34 .
(2) The ministers of the word especially (unless they will be
the most caitifess of all) must needs lead others both by word
and deed to this greatest joy and felicity.
(d) Your doctrine must be very sound and good, for if it be not so, it shall be nought set by, and cast away as a thing unsavory and vain.
(e) What shall you have to salt withal? And so are fools in the Latin tongue called Saltless, as you would say, men that have no salt, or savor and taste in them.
14 Ye are the (f) light of the world. A city that is set on an hill, cannot be hid.
(f) You shine and give light, by being made partakers of the true light.
15 (*) Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
(*) Mark 4:12; Luke 8:16; Luke 11:33 .
16 (*) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
(*) 1 Peter 2:12 .
17 (3) Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the Prophets. I am not come to destroy them, but to (g) fulfill them.
(3) Christ came not to bring any new way of righteousness and
salvation into the world, but to fulfill that indeed which was
shadowed by the figures of the Law, by delivering men through
grace from the curse of the Law; and moreover to teach the true
use of obedience which the Law appointed, and to grave in our
hearts the force of obedience.
(g) That the prophecies may be accomplished.
18 (*) For truly I say unto you, Till heaven and earth perish, one jot or one tittle of the Law shall not escape, till all things be fulfilled.
(*) Luke 16:17 .
19 (*) (4) Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and teach men so, he shall be called the (h) least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall observe and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
(*) James 2:10 .
(4) He beginneth with the true expounding of the Law, and
setteth it against the old (but yet false) glozes of the
Scribes; So far is he from abolishing the least commandment of
(h) He shall have no place in the Church.
20 For I say unto you, except your righteousness (*) exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
(*) Luke 11:39 .
21 (5) Ye have heard that it was said unto them of the old time, (*) Thou shalt not kill; for whosoever killeth shall be culpable of judgment.
(5) The true meaning of the sixth commandment.
(*) Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 1:17 .
22 But I say unto you, whosoever is angry with his brother unadvisedly, shall be (i) culpable (k) of judgment. And whosoever saith unto his brother, Raca, shall be worthy to be punished by the (l) Council. And whosoever shall say, Fool, shall be worthy to be punished with (m) hell (n) fire.
(i) He speaketh of the judgment of God, and of the difference of
signs, and therefore applieth his words to the form of civil
judgments, which were then used.
(k) Of that judgment which was ruled by three men, who had the hearing and deciding of money matters, and such other small causes.
(l) By that judgment which stood of 23 Judges, who had the hearing and deciding of weighty affairs and matters of life and death; as the highest Judges of all, were to the number 71, which had the hearing of most weightiest affairs, as the matter of a whole tribe or of an high Priestís, or of a false prophet.
(m) Whereas we read here, Hell, it is in the text itself, Gehenna, which is an Hebrew word made of two, and is as much to say, as the Valley of Hinnom, which otherwise the Hebrews called Tophet; it was a place where the Israelites were went most cruelly to sacrifice their children to false gods, whereupon it was taken for a place appointed to torment the reprobates in Jeremiah 7:31 .
(n) The Jews used four kinds of punishments, before their government was taken away by Herod; hanging, beheading, stoning, and burning; this is it that Christ shot at, because burning was the greatest punishment, therefore in that he maketh mention of a judgment, a council, and a fire, he sheweth that some sins are worse than other sins, but yet they are all such that we must give account for them, and shall be punished for them.
23 (6) If then thou bring thy gift to the (o) altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee,
(6) The covetous Pharisees taught that God was appeased by the
sacrifices appointed in the Law, which they themselves devoured.
But Christ on the contrary side denieth that God accepteth any
man's offering, unless he maketh satisfaction to his brother
whom he hath offended; and saith moreover, that these stubborn
and stiff necked despisers of their brethren, shall never escape
the wrath and curse of God, before they have made full
satisfaction to their brethren.
(o) He applieth all this speech to the state of his time, when as there was an altar standing in Jerusalem, and therefore they are very foolish, that gather hereupon, that we must build altars, and use sacrifices; but they are more fools, which draw that to purgatory, which is spoken of peace making and atonement one with another.
24 Leave there thine offering before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
25 (*) (p) Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him, lest thine adversary deliver thee to the Judge, and the Judge deliver thee to the Sergeant, and thou be cast into prison.
(*) Luke 12:58 .
(p) Cut off all cause of enmity.
26 Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt not come out thence, till thou hast (q) paid the utmost farthing.
(q) Thou shalt be dealt withal to the utmost extremity.
27 ∂ (7) Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, (*) Thou shalt not commit adultery.
(7) He is taken for an adulterer before God, whatsoever he be, that coveteth a woman; and therefore we must keep our eyes chaste, and all the members we have, yea, and we must eschew all occasions which might move us to evil, how dear forever it costs us.
(*) Exodus 20:14; Romans 13:9 .
28 But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
29 (*) Wherefore if thy (r) right eye cause thee (s) to offend, pluck it out and cast it from thee; for better it is for thee, that one of thy members perish, then that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
(*) Matthew 18:8-9; Mark 9:47 .
(r) He nameth the right eye and the right hand, because the
parts of the right side of our body are the chiefest, and
readiest to commit any wickedness.
(s) Word for word, do cause thee to offend; for sins are stumbling blocks as it were, that is to say, rocks which we are cast upon.
30 Also if thy right hand make thee to offend, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for better it is for thee, that one of thy members perish, then that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
31 It hath been said also, (*) Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorcement.
(*) Matthew 19:7; Deuteronomy 24:1; Mark 10:4; Luke 16:13; 1 Corinthians 7:12 .
32 But I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife (except it be for fornication) causeth her to commit adultery; and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced, committeth adultery.
33 (8) Again, ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, (*) Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform thine oaths to the Lord.
(8) The meaning of the third commandment against the froward opinion and judgment of the Scribes, which excused by oaths or indirect forms of swearing.
(*) Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 19:12; Deuteronomy 5:11 .
34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all, neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God;
35 Nor yet by the earth, for it is his footstool; neither by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
36 Neither shalt thou swear by thine head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
37 (*) But let your communication be (t) Yea, yea; Nay, nay. For whatsoever is more than these, cometh of (u) evil.
(*) James 5:12 .
(t) Whatever you vouch, vouch it barely, and whatever you deny,
deny it barely without any more words.
(u) From an evil conscience, or from the devil.
38 ∂ (9) Ye have heard that it hath been said, An (*) eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
(9) He sheweth clean contrary to the doctrine of the Scribes, that the sum of the second table must be understood, that we may in no wise render evil for evil, but rather suffer double injury, and do well to them that are our deadly enemies.
(*) Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy 19:21 .
39 But I say unto you, (*) Resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
(*) Luke 6:29; Romans 12:17; 1 Corinthians 6:7 .
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
41 And whosoever will compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42 (*) Give to him that asketh, and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not away.
(*) Deuteronomy 15:8 .
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, (*) Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate your enemy.
(*) Leviticus 19:18 .
44 But I say unto you, (*) Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, (♣) and pray for them which hurt you, and persecute you,
(*) Luke 6:27 .
(♣) Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60; 1 Corinthians 4:13 .
45 (10) (*) That ye may be the children of your Father that is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to arise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and unjust.
(10) A double reason; the one is taken of relatives, that children must be like their father; the other is taken of comparison, The children of God must be better, than the children of this world.
(*) Luke 6:35 .
46 For if ye love them, which love you, what reward shall you have? Do not the Publicans even the same?
47 And if ye be friendly to your brethren only, what singular thing do ye? Do not even the (x) Publicans likewise?
(x) They that were the toll masters, and had the oversight of tributes and customs; a kind of men that the Jews hated to death, both because they served the Romans in these offices, (whose yokefull bondage they could hardly away withal) and also because these toll masters are for the most part given to covetousness.
48 Ye shall therefore be perfect, as your Father which is in heaven, is perfect.
1 Take heed that ye give not your (1) alms before men to be seen of them, or else ye shall have no (a) reward of your Father which is in heaven.
(1) Ambition maketh alms vain.
(a) This word, Reward, is always taken in the Scriptures for a free recompense, and therefore the schoolmen do fondly set it to be answerable to a deserving, which they call merit.
2 (*) Therefore when thou givest thine alms, thou shalt not make a trumpet to be blown before thee, as the (b) hypocrites do in the Synagogues and in the streets, to be praised of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.
(*) Romans 2:8 .
(b) Counterfeits, for Hypocrites were players that played a part in a play.
3 But when thou doest thine alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth,
4 That thine alms may be in secret, and thy Father that seeth in secret, he will reward thee openly.
5 (2) And when thou prayest, be not as the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the Synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, because they would be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.
(2) He reprehendeth two foul faults in prayer, ambition, and vain babbling.
6 But when thou prayest, enter into thy chamber, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray unto thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
7 Also when ye pray, use no (c) vain repetitions as the Heathen, for they think to be heard for their much babbling.
(c) Long prayers are not condemned, but vain, needless, and superstitious.
8 Be ye not like them therefore; for your Father knoweth whereof ye have need, before ye ask of him.
9 (3) After this manner therefore pray ye, (*) Our father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
(3) A true sum and form of all Christian prayers.
(*) Luke 11:2 .
10 Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done even in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our (d) daily bread.
(d) That is meat for our nature for our daily food, or such, as may suffice our nature and complexion.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us (*) from (e) evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
(*) Matthew 13:19 .
(e) From the Devil, or from all adversity.
14 (*) (4) For if ye do forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
(*) Mark 11:25 .
(4) They that forgive wrongs, to them sins are forgiven, but revenge is prepared for them that revenge.
15 But if ye do not forgive men their trespasses, no more will your Father forgive you your trespasses.
16 (5) Moreover, when ye fast, look not sour as the hypocrites, for they (f) disfigure their faces, that they might seem unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, that they have their reward.
(5) Against such as hunt after a name of holiness, by fasting.
(f) They suffer not their first hue to be seen, that is to say, they mar the natural color of their faces, that they may seem lean and pale faced.
17 But when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face,
18 That thou seem not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret, will reward thee openly.
19 ∂ (6) Lay not up treasures for yourselves upon the earth, where the moth and canker corrupt, and where thieves dig through and steal.
(6) Those menís labors are shewed to be vain which pass not for the assured treasure of everlasting life, but spend their lives in scraping together frail and vain riches.
20 (*) But lay up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither the moth nor canker corrupteth, and where thieves neither dig through nor steal.
(*) Luke 12:33; 1 Timothy 6:19 .
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
22 ∂ (*) (7) The light of the body is the eye; if then thine (g) eye be single, thy whole body shall be light.
(*) Luke 11:34 .
(7) Men do maliciously and wickedly put out even the little
light of nature that is in them.
(g) The judgment of the mind; that as the body is with the eyes, so our whole life may be ruled with right reason, that is to say, with the Spirit of God wherewith we are lightened.
23 But if thine eye be wicked, then all thy body shall be dark. Wherefore if the light that is in thee, be darkness, how great is that darkness?
24 (*) (8) No man can serve (h) two masters; for either he shall hate the one, and love the other, or else he shall lean to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and (i) riches.
(*) Luke 16:13 .
(8) God will be worshipped of the whole man.
(h) Which be at war together, for if two agree, they are as one.
(i) This word is a Syrian word, and signifieth all things that belong to money.
25 (*) (9) Therefore I say unto you, be not careful for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more worth than meat? And the body than raiment?
(*) Luke 12:22; Philippians 4:6; 1 Timothy 6:8; 1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 55:23 .
(9) The froward carking carefulness for things of this Life is corrected in the children of God by an earnest thinking upon the providence of God.
26 Behold the fowls of the (k) heaven, for they sow not, neither reap, nor carry into the barns, yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
(k) Of the air, or that live in the air; for in all tongues almost this word Heaven is taken for the air.
27 Which of you by (l) taking care is able to add one cubit unto his stature?
(l) He speaketh of care which is joined with thought of mind, and hath for the most part distrust yoke with it.
28 And why care ye for raiment? Learn how the Lilies of the field do grow; they (m) are not wearied, neither spin;
(m) By labor.
29 Yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore if God so clothe the grass of the field which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not do much more unto you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or wherewith shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things seek the Gentiles) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be ministered unto you.
34 Care not then for the morrow, for the morrow shall care for itself. The day hath enough with his own grief.
1 Judge (1) not, that ye be not judged.
(1) We ought to find fault one with another, but we must beware we do it not without cause, or to seem holier than they, or in hatred of them.
2 For with what (*) judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged, and with what (♣) measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
(*) Luke 6:37-38; Romans 2:1; 1 Corinthians 4:3 .
(♣) Mark 4:24; Luke 6:38 .
3 And why seest thou the mote, that is in thy brotherís eye, and perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 (*) Or how sayest thou to thy brother, Suffer me to cast out the mote out of thine eye, and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
(*) Luke 6:41 .
5 Hypocrite, first cast out that beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brotherís eye.
6 ∂ (2) Give ye not that which is holy to dogs, neither cast ye your (a) pearls before swine, lest they tread them under their feet, and turning again, all to rent you.
(2) The stiff-necked and stubborn enemies of the Gospel are
unworthy to have it preached unto them.
(a) A pearl hath his name among the Grecians, for the orient brightness that is in it; and a pearl was in ancient time in great estimation among the Latinís; for a pearl that Cleopatra had was valued at two hundred and fifty thousand crowns, and the word is now borrowed from that, to signify the most precious heavenly doctrine.
7 ∂ (*) (3) Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
(*) Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24; Luke 11:9; John 14:13; John 16:23; James 1:5 .
(3) Prayers are a sure refuge in all miseries.
8 For whosoever asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
9 For what man is there among you, which if his son ask him bread, would give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, which are evil, can give to your children good gifts, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him?
12 (*) (4) Therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, even so do ye to them, for this is the (b) Law and the Prophets.
(*) Luke 6:31 .
(4) A rehearsal of the meaning of the second table.
(b) That is to say, the doctrine of the Law and Prophets.
13 ∂ (*) (5) Enter in at the strait gate; for it is the wide gate, and broad way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat;
(*) Luke 13:14 .
(5) Example of life must not be taken from a multitude.
14 Because (c) the gate is strait, and the way narrow that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
(c) The way is strait and narrow, we must pass through this rough way, and suffer and endure, and be thronged, and to enter into life.
15 ∂ (6) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheepís clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
(6) False teachers must be taken heed of, and they are known by false doctrine and evil living.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns? Or figs of thistles?
17 So every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 (*) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
(*) Luke 6:44; Matthew 3:10 .
20 Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 ∂ (7) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, (*) but he that doeth my Fatherís will which is in heaven.
(7) Even the best gifts that are, are nothing without godliness.
(*) Romans 2:13 .
22 (*) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not by thy (d) Name prophesied? And by thy name cast out devils? And by thy name done many (e) great works?
(*) James 1:22 .
(d) By Name here, is meant that mighty working power of God,
which every man witnesseth that calleth upon him.
(e) Properly powers; Now these excellent works wrought are called Powers, by occasion of these things which they bring to pass, for by them we understand, how mighty the power of God is.
23 And then will I profess to them, (*) (f) I never knew you, (♣) depart from me (g) ye that work iniquity.
(*) Luke 13:27 .
(f) That is not of ignorance, but because he will cast them away.
Psalm 6:8 .
(g) You that are given to all kind of wickedness, and seem to make an art of sin.
24 (8) Whosoever then heareth of me these words, (*) and doeth the same, I will liken him to a wise man, which hath built his house on a rock;
(8) True godliness resteth only upon Christ, and therefore always remaineth invincible.
(*) Luke 6:47-48 .
25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was grounded on a rock.
26 But whosoever heareth these my words, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which hath built his house upon the sand;
27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell, and the fall thereof was great.
28 ∂ (*) And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these words, the people were astonied at his doctrine.
(*) Mark 4:12; Luke 4:32 .
29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the Scribes.
1 Corinthians 14:8
And also if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to battle?
"Let not Geneva be forgotten or despised. Religious liberty owes it most respect." John Adams, the second president of the United States