GENEVA BIBLE 1599
The Bible of the Pilgrims who founded America and also the Bible of the Reformation.
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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.
(♣) That feel themselves void of all righteousness that they
may only seek it in Christ.
(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 .
(♣) Which feel their own misery, and seek their comfort in God.
5 (*) Blessed are the (♣) meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
(*) Psalm 37:18 .
(♣) Who rather would suffer all injuries, than they would revenge themselves.
6 (*) Blessed are they which (♣) hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
(*) Isaiah 65:13 .
(♣) Being in necessity, desire nothing but that which is upright and godly.
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.
(*) For he is called the God of peace, 1 Corinthians 14:33 .
10 Blessed are they (*) which suffer persecution for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(*) 1 Peter 3:14 .
11 (*) Blessed are ye 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.
(♣) Your office is to season men with salt of the heavenly
(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 .
(♣) Because you are seen far of, give good example of life.
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.
(*) The Gospel is the stablishing, and accomplishing of the
(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 .
(♣) The doctrine of the Law containeth nothing unprofitable or superfluous.
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 his Father.
(♣) Whosoever shall transgress the least of the ten
commandments in word and example, he shall be cast out of
the kingdom of God, except it be pardoned him in Christ.
(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 .
(♣) Which neither expound the Law truly, nor observe it well.
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.
(♣) He sheweth how these worthy doctors have falsely glozed this commandment.
(*) Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 1:17 .
(♠) Or, Subject to punishment.
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.
(*) Or, without cause.
(♣) For God knowing his secret malice will punish him.
(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.
(♠) Which signifieth in the Syrianís tongue an idle brain,
and is spoken in contempt.
(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.
(♦) Like judgment almost the Romans observed, for Triumviri
had the examination of small matters, the counsel of 23 of
greater causes and finally great matters of importance were
decided by the senate of 71 judges which here is compared to
judgment of God, or to be punished with hell fire.
(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.
(*) For that thou hast offended him, or he hath offended thee; for God preserveth brotherly reconciliation to sacrifice.
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.
(*) Chastity is required both in body and mind.
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, (♠) than 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.
Nothing is so precious which ought not to be rejected in
respect of the glory of God.
(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.
(♠) Or, and not that.
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, than 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 testimonial 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.
(*) In that he giveth her leave to marry another by that testimonial.
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;
(*) All superfluous oaths are utterly debarred, whether the Name of God be mentioned, or otherwise.
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.
(♣) Let simplicity and truth be in your words, and then ye
shall not be so light, and ready to swear.
(u) From an evil conscience, or from the devil.
(♠) When a man speaketh otherwise than he thinketh in heart, it cometh of an evil conscience, and of 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 .
(♣) Albeit this was spoken for the judges, yet every man applied it to revenge his private quarrel.
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 .
(♣) Or, injury.
(♠) Rather receive double wrong, than revenge thine own griefs.
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 thine enemy.
(*) Leviticus 19:18 .
(♣) This was added by the false expositors the Pharisees.
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 .
(♠) Or, rush in upon you.
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?
(*) These did take to farm the taxes, tolls, and other payments, and therefore were greatly in disdain with all men.
47 And if ye (*) be friendly to your brethren only, what singular thing do ye? Do not even the (x) Publicans likewise?
(*) Or, embrace.
(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.
(*) We must labor to attain unto the perfection of God, who of his free liberality, doeth good to them that are unworthy.
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