Chapter Nine

                      JESUS' TEACHING ENCAPSULATED

       The core of the original texts of the Gospels centered around the
oral traditions of Jesus' teachings. They are the so-called LOGIA or
"sayings" of Jesus collected by his disciples. How much of what he taught
that has been lost cannot be ascertained at this time. Perhaps newly
discovered documents unearthed in Israel will shed more light on the
matter. His teachings, based on the early oral traditions of his immediate
folowers are scattered throughout the texts of the four Gospels, some of
them obviously edited and glossed to serve the needs of later generations
of Christians when it became obvious that the Second Coming was going to be

       Matthew and Luke have encapsulated Jesus' teachings in an "ad-
dress" format in what is commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount and the
Sermon on the Plain respectively. Both Matthew and Luke used a common
source for these. Luke's is probably older although not necessarily more
reliable historically. The Sermon on the Mount is found in Matthew chapter
5ff. The Sermon on the Plain is found in Luke chapter 6ff.

       Both of the Sermons contain two parts: a preamble of sorts known
as the Beatitudes, or Blessings, and the main body containing admoni-
tions and commandments for Christian living.

       The substance of both these sermons is basically the same with some
differences in each. Whether or not Jesus really did hold these addresses
or not is moot. Substantially they contain what the later Church understood
to be the quintessential message of its master. This writer believes that
the Sermons contain basic core sentiments of the historical Jewish Jesus,
although some have been modified by later editors.

     "And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when 
      he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth,
      and taught them, saying, ..."
                             Matthew 5:1-2

     "And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of 
      them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; ...And he 
      came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of
      his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea 
      and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, which
      came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; ... And he
      lifted up his eyes upon his disciples, and said, ..."
                              Luke 6:13,17,20

       No particular location is mentioned. It is merely a mountain, not
any specific mountain; a plain, not a specific plain. The location is
somewhere in Galilee.

       The Seromns are addressed to Jesus' DISCIPLES. The multitudes who
are present are allowed to listen in but THEY are not the chief audience of
the addresses. These words are meant for those who already have elected to
be followers. It is their guide to living and their encouragement during
the final days before the coming of the Kingdom.

       Both Sermons begin with the Beatitudes, a series of blessings which
Jesus defines for his disciples who follow the path of righteousness.
Each begins with the word MAKARIOS wihch the king James translators have
rendered "Blessed", however MAKARIOS is the Septuagint's usual translation
of the Hebrew ASHREY, "Happy". It describes the religious felicity which
the G-d fearing individual experiences in his daily life. The expression is
most often found in the book of Psalms.

     "Happy are they who dwell in Thy house. They shall continually 
      praise Thee."
                       Psalm 84:5

     "Happy are the people whose G-d is the L--d".
                       Psalm 144:15

     "Happy is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
      nor standeth in the path of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of
      the scornful."
                       Psalm 1:1

The Beatitudes:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven; 
                            Matthew 5:3

Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the Kingdom of G-d. 
                            Luke 6:20

       Matthew usage is third person; Luke prefers second person. Matthew
addresses the spiritual situation of the disciples while Luke is concerned
with states of actual want. New Testament scholars are inclined to see
Matthew's reading as more authentic. Even a cursory reading of the
gospels shows that not all of Jesus' followers were lower class indigents.
       The poor in spirit are those who are humble and contrite, seeking
repentance (cf Isaiah 66:2). They are also those who are oppressed by the
state foreign domination, waiting for the redemption. "IS the Kingdom of
Heaven"; actually future tense is implied, the verb would be absent in the
Hebrew original, YESH LAHEM MALCHUT SHAMAYIM. Theirs will be the messianic

Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.
                     Matthew 5:4

Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye 
that weep now; for ye shall laugh.
                     Luke 6:21

       Those who are unhappy lament the present oppression of the foreign
Satan. Mourning shall turn to gladness, hunger to satiation; tears to
laughter, when the messiah redeems Israel from this present evil age.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
                     Matthew 5:4

       No parallel in Luke; what will they inherit? The land of Israel in a
regenerated Kingdom, or the world as a light to the gentiles? It is almost
an exact quote of Psalm 37:11. Also compare Deut 16:20

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they
shall be filled. Matthew 5:6

       Luke's literal hunger is here a hunger for the desire to do G-d's
will. They strive to do it now in this age but in the messianic age they
will be rewarded with the ability to do it perfectly. There can be no
greater reward for the saints.

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

       No parallel in Luke; the principle, known in Hebrew, as MIDAH
K'NEGED MIDAH, - as they have treated others with mercy, so shall they
recieve mercy when they appear for an accounting and judgment in the
messianic Kingdom.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see G-d.
                     Matthew 5:8

       No parallel in Luke; their motives in their dealings with their
fellows and with G-d are not ulterior; therefore as they have shown 
themselves truly and plainly, so shall G-d likewise show Himself to  
them. The supreme reward of the saints is to see their Creator.
("Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the
elders of Israel: And they saw the G-d of Israel ... And upon the
nobles of the children of Israel He laid not His hand." - Exodus 24:9-
11; "Ulla Bira'ah said in the name of Rabbi Eleazar: In the time to 
come the Holy One, blessed be He, will hold a chorus for the righteous
and He will sit in their midst in the Garden of Eden and every one of
them will point at Him with his finger, as it is said, (Is 25:9) `Lo,
this is our G-d, for whom we have waited, we will be glad and rejoice
in His salvation'". - Ta'anit 31a).

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of 
                   Matthew 5:9

       No parallel in Luke; they who bring about harmony between man and
his fellow unite the image of G-d, therefore it is fitting that they be
called His children. It is said that Aaron the High Priest, the brother of
Moses, was known as the great peace-maker. Additionally John tells his
readers that all who followed Jesus would become the children of G-d (John

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs
is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and
persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my
sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven:
for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
                    Matthew 5:10-12

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate  
you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name 
as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap 
for joy: for behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like   
manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
                   Luke 6:22-23

       Verses 10 and 11 in Matthew are doublets. 10 is the original. All
who are persecuted for no other reason than that they are righteous, and
therefore abhorred by the wicked, are as the poor in spirit; theirs shall
be the Kingdom of Heaven as an inheritance. The original possibly meant to
contrast the Jews to the gentile Romans. Verse 11 repeats this general
idea of being righteous to the specific application of being a follower of
Jesus (probably an editorial gloss). Persecution and reviling were not the
lot of the Nazarenes during the generation of Jesus. Jesus and his
disciples experienced CRITICISM, not persecution. Luke specifies that the
persecution consists in being singled out for ostracism and culumny, and it
is compared to the ill-treatment of the prophets. This is a refernce to
reviling and ostracism on the part of Jews. This did not happen during the
time of Jesus and therefore is the amendment of a later editor.

       Verse 11 switches over to second person. 

       "For the Son of man's sake..." Probably an anachronism since it
is not likely that Jesus called himself by this title, at least not un-
til near the end of his ministry if at all.

       Those who are persecuted shall receive their REWARD in the Kingdom
of Heaven. What would Jesus say about later Christianity claiming that acts
of righteousness receive no reward but that grace is freely given?, or that
one cannot "work" for a reward? Jesus spoke of his followers receiving
reward in several places, while the Pharisees disdained the idea of

     "Do not be like servants who serve the Master for the sake of re-
      ceiving a reward, but be like servants who serve the Master with-
      out the expectation of receiving a reward; and let the fear of
      Heaven be upon you."
                      Mishnah Pirke Avot 1:3

       The Pharisees said that what ever righteousness one does should be
what is called in Hebrew LISHMA, for its own sake. The end purpose of doing
righteously, or believing righteously, in Christianity is for personal
salvation of the individual's soul, not what is called LISHMA, doing or
believing for its own sake simply because G-d is a good and loving G-d. But
even that is not the strongest motive for acting righteously, according
to the Pharisees, but in order to sanctify G-d's name on earth among men.

       Thus end the beatitudes. Summarized, their message is that the the
meek, the afflicted, the righteous, the oppressed have a great reward
awaiting them in the Kingdom of Heaven. In a larger sense, this also
applies to the nation. The nation is righteous compared to the oppressing
gentiles, and is afflicted and persecuted by them, especially the great
Satan, Rome.

The maledictions:

       Luke 6:24-26, presents a tripart curse, missing in Matthew, in
the form of a Biblical parallelism. Some New Testament scholars feel
that these maledictions are late and that they sound artificial.

But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. 
                           Luke 6:24

       Luke appears to have a problem with material well being. His   
blessing is for the poor where Matthew's is for the poor in spirit.
Compare Matthew 19:23-24.

Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that     
laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
                           Luke 6:25

       Parallel to the blessings on those who hunger and who weep.  
Perhaps addressed to the complacent. How can they eat and drink and 
laugh while the Jewish people is being trod underfoot?

Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their
fathers to the false prophets.
                           Luke 6:26

       This is probably directed against the establishment that were
critical of the Nazarenes, and that were in colaboration with the Romans.
Perhaps the Herodians are meant.
The Specialness of Israel:

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt shall have lost his 
savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for 
nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye
are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be 
hid. 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. 
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works,
and glorify your father which is in heaven.
                         Matthew 5:13-16

       "Salt of the earth" - Salt was used in the Temple service for
all sacrifices as an essential ingredient. Just as sacrifices bring the
worshipper close to G-d (as their name KORBAN indicates), so does the
nation of Israel bring the nations of the world close to G-d. Therefore
they have a responsibility not to lose their "savor", - they must act  

       "Light of the world"; "City that is set on an hill" - The pro-
phets also called the Jewish people to be a light to the gentiles    
(Isaiah 60:3). They must cause the light of the coming Kingdom to shine
all over the earth by their actions, "good works" (Proverbs 4:18). 
Here, the issue of good works is put into the true Jewish perspective;
not for a reward but in order to sanctify the Name of G-d. Many stories
are found in the Rabbinic literature in which the good works of an Is-
raelite cause the gentiles to exclaim, "Blessed be the G-d of Israel!"
The city set on a hill is obviously Jerusalem from which the Torah of 
G-d shall go forth to shine on all the inhabitants of the world.

       Luke contains certain parallels to the salt and light metaphors
but they are not found in the Sermon on the Plain  (Luke 14:34-35; 
11:33; 8:160.

The Abiding Permanence of the Torah:

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am  
not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till
heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass  
from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break
one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be
called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and 
teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the  
righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter
into the kingdom of heaven.
                       Matthew 5:17-20

       Sanctification of G-d's Name is accomplished through doing G-d's
will by the performance of mitsvot, following the precepts of the 

       "Or the prophets" - this phrase is out of place here, and is an
editorial gloss; how can the prophets be "destroyed"?

       Why would anyone think that Jesus came to nullify the Torah? We
might speculate that Jesus' healing on the Sabbath, allowing his dis-
ciples to pick corn on the Sabbath, and not asking them to fast might have
raised eyebrows, but under certain conditions, each of these is permitted
by the Torah. We have seen that Jesus acted on his own authority, not like
the Pharisees, but never did he say that the Torah was annulled. The entire
verse was probably inspired by Jewish Nazarenes who opposed the
antinomianism of Paul.

       "But to fulfill" - what does PLIROSAI mean? New Testament schol-
arship is of the opinion that it means "to deepen" or "to intensify", 
and that it is not a translation of the Hebrew LEKAYEM, "to establish"
or "to observe".

       But even if so, this cannot apply to the CHUKIIM, the so-called
ceremonial commandments since the depth and intensity of their observance
has already been defined by the Oral Tradition. The verses which follow
certainly indicate that Jesus WAS reffering ONLY to the non-ceremonial
commandments: murder, incontinent speech, adultery, divorce, taking of
oaths, and attitude of love toward fellow Jews. In each of these cases
there is a demand for intensification which is similar to the level of
observance demanded by the school of Rabbi Shammai. Jews have always
observed the Torah in accordance with the more lenient interpretation of
the school of Rabbi Hillel. The Talmud states that at present, we follow
the school of Hillel, but in the Age to Come, we will follow the more
stringent path of the school of Shammai. On the eve of what Jesus believed
to be the coming Kingdom, he also demanded stricter observance from his

       Paul the Apostle gives his own meaning to "fulfilling the Law"
(Romans 13:8; 8:4; Galatians 5:14) which is very "Pauline", and not ac-
ceptable to Jews.

       "Verily" - AMEN in Greek, much used in the Gospel account of 
Jesus speech habit; probably a true historical rendering of Jesus'
manner of speaking.

       "Till heaven and earth pass" - never!

       "Jot" - the Hebrew letter YOD, smallest letter in the Assyrian
Hebrew alphabet.

       "Tittle" - KEREA - "hook" - 1) TAGIN - the decorative stroke 
above certain Hebrew letters in the Torah, or 2) DAGESH - the point
inside Hebrew plosive letters which distinguish them from their fric-
ative variants, or 3) VAV - the Hebrew letter which means "hook". In
Hebrew, the letters YOD and VAV have vocal values as well as consonant-
al values. As vowels, they are sometimes omitted (elided) in certain 
Hebrew texts. The meaning of the verse is clear: The Torah shall not
be detracted from by even the smallest or least significant letter, 
how much less so by any of its commandments.

       "Least in the kingdom of heaven" - an editorial gloss directed
against Paul's antinomianism by Jewish Nazarenes; "kingdom of heaven" 
in this verse may not mean the messianic age, but a reference to the
Church; he who tells men that the Torah is abrogated, is not cast out
of the Church, but his position in it is inferior (called the least).

       "Exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees" - are 
the Pharisees then righteous? Unless it is an uncomplimentary editorial
gloss. The original probably read "equal the righteousness of the Phar-
isees". But in any event, Jesus' admonition is that scrupulous observ-
ance of the Torah, LISHMAH, as a sanctification of the Name of G-d, is
necessary for a Jew to enter the Kingdom of G-d.

       These verses, Matthew 5:17-20, constitute an on-going source of
embarassment for Pauline, antinomian Christians who feel compelled to
constantly INTERPRET them. Compare Luke 16:16-17 for parallels.


Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not 
kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But 
I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a
cause shall bein danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his
brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall
say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
                   Matthew 5:21-22

       "By them of old time" - not by G-d! nor by Moses! 

       "But I say unto you" - it is the DECALOGUE (!) that Jesus is
supposedly improving on! or is it mere commentary?

       "Whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the of the judg-
ment" does not appear in the Torah.

       "Angry with his brother without a cause" - groundless hatred
is known in Hebrew as SINAT-CHINAM; the Rabbis declare that the sec-
ond Temple was destroyed because of Israelite hating Israelite for
no reason; Jesus also preaches against this 'no-fault' hatred on
the part of Israel, especially in the light of the coming Kingdom.

       Anger leads leads to slander and public insult, which the
Rabbis equate with murder because "he who shames his brother causes
the blood to come to his head".

       "Thou fool" - he shames his brother in public!

       "Raca" - empty-head, similar to "fool", left untranslated by
Matthew, for what reason?

Reconciliation: (Paralleled in Luke 12:57-59)

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest
that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before 
the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and
then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly whiles
thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver 
thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou
be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means
come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
                        Matthew 5:23-26

       "First be reconciled" - this is good Rabbinic advice. On Yom
Kippur, they say, our prayers to G-d for forgiveness cannot be uttered
before we go to our fellow man and ask for forgiveness from them for
the sins we have committed against them. How much more so must this be
done, Jesus argues, when the end of the present age is upon men? This
sentiment is very similar to the sentiments of the Baptizer.

       "Agree with thine adversary" - in is pointless to litigate 
against the fellow-Jew now that the age is closing. It is better to
be in accord rather than at variance.

       "Judge"; "officer"; "prison" - perhaps these are allegorical
for G-d, angel of death, and removal from G-d's presence.

       "Till thou hast paid" - the original Hebrew may have used the
word SHALEM - made peace, confusing it with SHILAM - repaid.

Adultery and Carnal Temptation:

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not
commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman
to lust after her hath committed adultery with her in his heart. And if
thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it 
is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not 
that thy whole body shall be cast into hell. And if thy right hand 
offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable
for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole
body should be cast into hell.
                           Matthew 5:27-30

       "Looketh ... to lust" - pure thoughts lead to pure deeds and
vice versa. Jesus probably had a married woman in mind since sex with
an unmarried woman is not adultery, and certainly polygamy is permitted
by the Torah, yet a man should respect a woman and not wish her to play
the harlot with him.

       "Pluck it out ... cut it off" - Jesus is not recommending self-
mutilation but abstention from temptation. Similar sentiments can be 
found in the Talmud (Niddah 13a,13b; Shabbat 108b). It is all part of
the repentance in preparation for the messianic age.

Divorce: (Paralleled in Luke 16:18)

It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her 
a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put
away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to com-
mit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth
                            Matthew 5:31-32

       Jesus takes the words of Deuteronomy 24:1ff too literally, just
as the school of Shammai did. This is the result of his relying on his
own authority and not on the tradition. It is true that the Torah talks
about the husband finding some "unseemly thing" or "unchaste thing" in
the woman he is putting away. Yet our tradition says that the words
ERVAT-DAVAR must not be taken literally else two people who find them-
selves in a hatefull marriage will be condemned to unhappiness for the
rest of their lives, and although the Talmud proclaims that the Altar
of the Temple weeps when a man puts away the wife of his youth, still
divorce is preferable to a hatefull marriage since one must "love his
neighbor as himself", his spouse being interpreted as the neighbor
closest to his heart. Therefore, if she pleases him not, he should put
her away and not hate her in his heart.


Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou
shalt not forswear, but shall perform unto the L--d thine oaths: But I
say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is G-d's
throne: Nor by earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; 
for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy
head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your
communication be, Yea, yea; Nay; nay: for whatsoever is more than these
cometh of evil.
                         Matthew 5:33-37

       "Swear not at all" - even today. Orthodox Jews will AFFIRM in 
a court of law rather than swear. 

       "Neither by heaven (G-d)" - Exodus 20:7 forbids the taking of
the Name of Heaven in vain, as does Leviticus 19:12.

       "Perform unto the L--d thine oaths" - enjoined by Numbers 30:2
and Deuteronomy 23:21-23.

       Jesus is not talking here about oaths rendered before G-d in a
Rabbinical court of justice but about idle oaths in idle conversation.

Attitudes toward enemies: (Paralleled in Luke 6:29-30)

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth
for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever
shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And
if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him 
have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go
with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would
borrow of thee turn not away. Ye have heard that it hath been said,
Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. 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 despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he
maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain
on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what
reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute 
your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publi-
cans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in 
heaven is perfect.
                         Matthew 5:38-48

       "An eye for an eye" - this is monetary compensation for the
hurt caused to another individual intentionally or unintentionally,
for his medical bills and for the time he loses away from his job 
(Exodus 21:24), and justly so. Is Jesus asking that the compensation
be forgone because the Kingdom is immanent? But man must live and pro-
vide for is family until the very hour of its arrival. Jesus does not
appear here to have been providing rules for everyday on-going society.
In this, he differed from the Prophets who demanded RIGHTEOUSNESS as a
constant way of life.

       "Resist not evil" - do not retaliate against your fellow Israel-
ite in these last days, similar to "agree with thine adversary". It can
not mean "do not resist the evil of Satan or Rome". Christians do not
turn the other cheek, or offer more than what is sued for, or go the 
extra mile. In essence, the advice that one should not stand up for 
ones rights has a deliterious effect on the evil doer. These things do
not convert him, they ENCOURAGE him in his evil. It is therefore moral-
ly useless admonition. It is a call for the behaviour of martyrdom 
which was unnecesaary and impractical at the time that Jesus lived. On
the other hand, if the Kingdom is really immanent then measure-for-
measure behaviour may not be necessary; G-d Himself will shortly deal
with the evil-doer. But even in this scenario one does not love his 
enemies, or bless his cursers, or do them good. It is sufficient to 
remain neutral and leave the response to G-d. (Proverbs 20:22

       "Smite thee on the right cheek" - hitting the right cheek
requires using the back of the hand which is seen by the Rabbis as
more serious than hitting with the palm. There seems to be an 
oriental concentration on, and preference for, the right side of the
body. Compare "if thy right eye offend thee", etc. Luke's version
says "the one cheek".

       "Give to him that asketh thee" - as in Deuteronomy 15:7-8.

       "Hate thine enemy" - nowhere in the Torah does it say that. The
phrase is missing in Luke. Exodus 23:4ff and Leviticus 19:17-18 say
quite the opposite
as do Leviticus 19:33-34 and Proverbs 25:21. It is apparent that in 
the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus often adds words not literally in the
Torah. Perhaps he did this for emphasis.

       "Love your enemies" - Jesus neither showed love for HIS own enemies
nor prayed for them. His attack on the Jewish leadership in Matthew 23 is
unparalleled in its ferocity and vindictiveness. Recalling that Jesus came
from Galilee and that his followers were mainly Galilean, and that he
numbered several Zealots among his disciples, his admonition to them that
they love their enemies is again an admonition AGAINST SINAT CHINAM, hatred
of Jew for Jew which brought about the overthrow of the Second Commonwealth
and the detruction of the second Temple. It is unlikely that the type of
men who followed him would in any way turn the other cheek to a gentile
unless obliged to at the point of a sword.

       "Be the children of your Father" - imitation of G-d is stressed;
also in the beatitudes, the peacemakers are called the children of G-d.
However, although now G-d sends rain on the just and the unjust, in the
age to come, he will not do so (Zechariah 14:17).

       "Be ye therefore perfect" - this was G-d's admonitino to our
father Abraham (Genesis 17:1). This may be pralleled by Leviticus 19:2.

       In all this talk about loving one's enemies, Jesus is here speaking
about ones JEWISH enemies, not the gentile enemies. Although his call to
pray for those who "despitefully use you" may be a prayer for the gentiles
to convert before it is too late. Regarding the Jewish enemy of a Jew, The
Torah commands him to HELP his enemy, NOT to love him. Later Christianity
expanded the meaning of this admonition to include all peoples.
Montefiore says it upheld the universality of nationality and substituted
for it the particularism of CREED!


Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them:
otherwise yu have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. There-
fore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee as
the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may
have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But
when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand
doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth
thee in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
                      Matthew 6:1-4

       "Alms" - DIKAIOSI - literally 'righteousness' - an obvious
translation of the Hebrew TZEDAKAH, which in Rabbinic Hebrew came
to mean `charity'.

       "Do not sound a trumpet" - we are informed in Sanhedrin 35a as well
as both in Mishnah Tannit, chapter 2 and in the Gemarah Tannit 25b that on
public fast days, a shofar was blown in the streets to assemble the people
to prayer, fasting, and the givng of alms as a symbol of repentance. Since
Jesus did not have his disciples take part in the observance of the
national fast days, they would neither take part in the public alms-
giving. The aim of public alms giving in Judaism is to encourage everyone
to partake in this important mitsvah although Judaism teaches that the
highest form of alms giving is anonymous alms giving.

     "They have their reward" - the object of the givng of alms is the
same as the object of ANY mitsvah, - LISHMA, - to do it for its own
sake, and not for reward.

     "Hypocrites do in the synagogues" - an unflattering anti-Jewish
editorial gloss which mars the simple beauty of the teaching.

Prayer: (no parallel in Luke)

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for
they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of
the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They
have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet,
and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in sec-
ret; and thy Father which seeth thee in secret shall reward thee open-
ly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for
they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye
therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have
need of, before ye ask him.
                        Matthew 6:5-8

       It staggers the mind to think anyone could believe that Jesus
actually uttered these very 'un-Christian-like' words. All Jews of his
time, Nazarene or otherwise, prayed in synagogues.

       "Pray standing" - the usual position taken in Jewish prayer,
known as AMIDAH, literally `standing'.

       "They have their reward" - the object of prayer, as of alms, is 
the same as the object of ANY mitsvah, - LISHMA, - to do it for its 
own sake, and not for reward.

       "Hypocrites" - more of the same.

       "Enter into thy closet" - can it be possible that the real Jesus
admonished his followers NOT TO PRAY AS A COMMUNITY? Private prayer is
vital indeed but the prayer of the community, any religious community,
is deemed more efficacious in the Jewish tradition.

       "Vain repetitions" - such as the worshippers of Baal did in 
their contest with Elijah. Jews are not to try to COMPEL G-d by rit-
ualistic formulae such as do sorcerers.

       "Before ye ask him" - a good Jewish sentiment.

The lord's prayer: (paralleled in Luke 11:1-4)

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, 
Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as
it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our 
debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the
glory, for ever, Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your
heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their
trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trepasses.
                      Matthew 6:9-15

       This is perhaps one of the best known, if not THE best kown
prayers of the Western world. It is known to Christians as the lord's
prayer, the title 'lord' implying, not G-d, but Jesus.

       "After this manner" - the prayer is presented as a paradigm, it
is a model of prayer, not necessarily to be said word for word.

       "Our Father which art in heaven" - AVINU SHE BA-SHAMAYIM, a 
commonly used Hebrew prayer expression.

       "Hallowed be thy name" - found in the most often repeated Jew-
ish prayer, the Kaddish, YITGADAL VE-YITKADDASH SHEMEY RABA - 'magni-
fied and hallowed be Thy great Name'.

       "Thy kingdom come" - also found in the Kaddish, VAYAMLICH MAL-
CHUTEY - 'and may Thy Kingdom come into being'.

       "Thy will be done" - the meaning of the entire phrase is: may
Thy Kingdom come SO THAT Thy will shall be done here on earth by men,
as it is now done in heaven by the angels.

       "Give us this day our daily bread" - it is true that man does 
not live by bread alone but the Sages of Israel say: Where there is 
no bread, there is no Torah. Man must have his creature needs attended
to before he can begin to devote himself to his spiritual needs. This
is a fact of life. Even the monk in in cell must have his meagre meal
in order to gain the strength to serve his Master. Jesus may have been
thinking of the manna when he used the expression 'daily bread'.

       "Forgive us our debts" - religious obligations are called CHOVA
'debt' in Hebrew. Here, Jesus is using the word as a synonym for 'tres-
pass'. Again we are reminded that G-d will not forgive us unless we 
forgive our fellow man. (See above the reference to Yom Kippur).

       "Lead us not into temptation" - as a test of our faith. Just as
G-d asks us not to test Him, so should we likewise request that He not
put us to the test.

       "Deliver us from evil" - from the Evil One, from the Yetser HaRa.
From the daily prayer book: Remove Satan from before us and from behind us.

       "Thine is the kingdom" - missing in some Greek manuscripts; not in
Luke. Parallels are found in First Chronicles 29:11; Psalms 145:11,12.

       "But if ye forgive nor men" - verses 14 and 15 amplify and explain
verse 12.

Fasting: (no parallel in Luke)

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance:
for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast.
Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou 
fastest, , anoint thine head, and wash thy face; Thatthou appear not
unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy 
Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
                            Matthew 6:16-18

       "When ye fast" - but did we not see in Mark 2:18 that the dis-
ciples of Jesus did not fast, unlike those of John? It is most likely
that although Jesus did not urge his followers to fast, yet some may 
have wished to do so, especially on the national fast days.

       "Anoint", "wash" - Jesus cannot be thinking of Yom Kippur or
Tisha Ba Av, upon which days washing and anointing are forbidden. It
is most likely that he is speaking about the Monday and Thursday fasts
that some Jews took it upon themsleves to observe.

       "Hypocrites" - more of the same.  In this instance though, Jesus
was probably thinking of the verses in Isaiah 58 which are read in the
synagouge on the afternoon of Yom Kippur in which Isaiah points out 
that G-d wishes no fasting to take place while people are mistreating
the poor, the widow , the orphan.

       "They have their reward" - the object of fasting as of alms, is 
the same as the object of ANY mitsvah, - LISHMA, - to do it for its 
own sake, and not for reward. But more importantly, fasting has as its
main aim, repentance.

Treasures: (paralleled in Luke 12:33-34)

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust
doth corrupt, and where theives break through and steal: But lay up
for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth
corrupt, and where theives do not break through nor steal: For where
your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
                            Matthew 6:19-21

       "Treasures in heaven" - in the Kingdom of Heaven by doing good
deeds here and now, before the messiah comes. Luke already said that
the poor are blessed, and his version of this logion implies that the
end is near and so all manner of mammon is superfluous. See below.

Light and Darkness Within: (paralleled in Luke 11:34-36)

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy
whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole
body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee
be darkness, how great is that darkness!
                           Matthew 6:22-23

       "Single" - sound, pure.

       Jesus is thinking of a spiritual eye, and also of the sentiments
expressed in Proverbs 20:27. He has concentrated on the eye before as the
source of darkness (If thiy right eye offend thee, etc; whosoever looketh
upon a woman, etc); now he also tells that it can be the source of light.

       "If thine eye be evil" - Jesus admonished against envy; he ad-
monishes the Jews not to `cast an evil eye', AYIN RA in Hebrew.

Mammon: (paralleled in Luke 16:13)

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love
the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye
cannot serve G-d and mammon.
                         Matthew 6:24

       Jesus stresses that one cannot have treasures on earth AND in the
Kingdom of Heaven. Not that wealth per se is bad but that STRIVING NOW
ought be to prepare for the Kingdom, not to amass wealth. Not all of his
followers were poor men. Some were middle class merchants who were
financially well off.

Daily Cares: (paralleled in Luke 12:22-31)

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought 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 than meat, and the body more than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap,
nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye
not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one
cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider
the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they
spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was 
not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if G-d so clothe the grass of
the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he
not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefor take no 
thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink?, or, Where
withal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles
seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these
things. But seek ye first the kingdom of G-d, and his righteousness; 
and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought
for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of 
itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
                 Matthew 6:25-34

       "Take no thought" - the Kingdom is immanent; there is no need
for Jews to concern themselves with acquisitions.

       "Yet your heavenly Father feedeth them" - that G-d provides for
the natural kingdom is cited in Psalm 103.

       "After all these things do the Gentiles seek" - Jesus does not 
mean that gentiles are more covetous than Jews, or more interested in
material things, but that they are not aware of the coming messianic

       "Seek ... righteousness" - treasures in heaven.

       "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" - it is enough to
concentrate on today's problems, and to deal with them; tomorrow a new
age begins.

Judging and Condemning: (paralleled in Luke 6:37-42)

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye
shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured
to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is n thy brother's
eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how
wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine
eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first 
cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then thou shalt see clearly
to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. 
                            Matthew 7:1-5

       Jesus tells his folowers not to find pleasure in finding fault. Did
he follow this advice himself? Note the constant use of the invective
`hypocrite', also this may be an editorial gloss. Jesus makes clear the
realization of the human tendency to project on to others that which we
most hate in ourselves.

Wasting one's Resources: (Matthew only)

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls
before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again
and rend you.
                           Matthew 7:6

       "That which is holy unto the dogs" - suggests the imagery in Exodus
22:31. If it is apparent that you cannot affect someone's conversion, and
they will not repent before the messiah comes, do not waste time with him
since time is running out for this age. If the remark is directed agianst
gentiles, then it is remin- iscent of Jesus' remark to the Caananite woman
(Mark 7:27), but it is more likely that he was speaking about his fellow

Faith in G-d: (paralleled in Luke 11:9-13)

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek,and ye shall find; knock, and it
shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he
that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or
what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him
a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then,
being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much
more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them
that ask him?
                           Matthew 7:7-11

       This simple overwhelming faith of Jesus was what attracted people to
him. It was part and parcel of his charisma. Just as the Zealots believed
absolutely that G-d would answer their prayers, and come to the rescue of
Israel in this final hour, so did Jesus also believe that G-d would not now
turn a deaf ear to those who called upon Him. This echoes Psalm 145:19
which Jews say three times a day.

The Golden Rule: (paralleled in Luke 6:31)

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would  that men should do to you,
do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
                           Matthew 7:12

       Rabbi Hillel said: `That which is hatefull to thee, do it not unto
another.' Tomes have been written trying to prove the superiority of the
negative expression over the positive one uttered by Jesus, and vice versa.
The truth of the matter is that they are equivalent. The sentiment behind
the golden rule, both of Hillel and of Jesus was common during the period,
and had various expressions. The simple rule of society by which men live
is empathy and mutual respect. It will be the way of life during the
messianic era.

The Narrow Gate: (paralleled in Luke 13:23-24)

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the
way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there-
at: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth 
unto life, and few there be that find it.
                          Matthew 7:13-14

       Few will enter the Kingdom of Heaven but many will go to de-
struction. They are the Elect, the Saints that come with the Son of Man.
There were other Jewish sects that also felt only the few would enter the
Kingdom (the Pharisees were the exception - they said: 'All Israel have a
share in the world to come'). Jesus is not implying fatalism or
pre-destination. He is just saying that the way of righteousness is
difficult. Compare the Yiddish folk-expression, "It is hard to be a Jew."

False Prophets: (paralleled in Luke 6:43-45)

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but
inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good
tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil
fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt
tree bring forth good fruit. Evert tree that bringeth not forth good
fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits
ye shall know them.
                        Matthew 7:15-20

       "Beware of false prophets" - who these false prophets are is not
specified. They are either meant to be false messiahs or false dis-
ciples who speak in the name of Jesus. New Testament scholars believe
the verses to be later than the time of Jesus. The tree imagery may be
taken from Psalm 1:3 or Jeremiah 17:8.

The True Disciple: (paralleled in Luke 6:46;13:26-27)

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the 
kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is
in heaven. Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not
prophesied in thy name?and in thy name have cast out devils? and in
thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
                        Matthew 7:21-23

       "Lord, Lord" - not the name of the Deity but a translation of 
the Aramaic MARANA, or the Hebrew RABEYNU, `master'. The unfortunate
translation of these words into the Greek KYRIE aided the Christolog-
ication and Deification of the term. In the Septuigint, KYRIOS trans-
lated the Tetragramaton.

       "Done many wondeful works" - the miraculous is NOT a sign of
true discipleship, but the doing of the will of the Father in heaven.

       "Ye that work iniguity" - the bad actions of a disciple bring
disgrace upon the master because, according to Jewish tradition, he
has to bear all responsibility for his disciples' behaviour.

       The verses are believed to be later than the time of Jesus,
when schisms already existed in the Church, and men followed the 'false
prophets' of verses 15-20.

The True and the False Disciples Contrasted: (paralleled in Luke 6:47-

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I 
will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and
the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat
upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And
every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall
be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and
the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat 
upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
                          Matthew 7:24-27

       This is the final admonition to righteousness in the sermon. 
After having given the teaching, Jesus concludes that the doing is
paramount to the hearing for `many are called but few are chosen'.

The Effect of the Teaching: (paralleled in Luke 4:32)

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people
were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having
authority, and not as the scribes.
                         Matthew 7:28-29

       Although it seemed the sermons were given for the benefit of
the immediate disciples, apparently the gathered crowd also became
involved in the teachings. 

       The Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain contain material
which has many Rabbinic parallels, and with the exception of the late
antisemitic editorial additions, they say nothing that is basically
antithetical to Judaism. Much of the logia in them pertain to the end time
and the coming messianic age and therefore some of the sayings appear to be
impractical, for lack of a better term, when seen in the light of on-going
human society in a non-redeemed human history. Nowhere within the Sermons
is there anything mentioned about Jesus being the messiah (he remains the
prophet of the messianic age), nor about his divinity, nor again anything
about the necessity of believing in Jesus as a prerequisite for being part
of G-d's coming Kingdom. It does contain much about repenting and living
the righteous life as a pre-condition for entering the Kingdom. Only later
Christianity made the acceptance of Jesus as a personal saviour synomomous
with repentance and righteousness.

       In sum, the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain bring to
mind the old Jewish folk saying that Jesus taught things that were both
true and new. That which was true was not new, and that which was new was
not true.

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