Matthew 5:1

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him:
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
If any one will piously and soberly consider the sermon which our Lord Jesus Christ spoke on the mount, as we read it in the Gospel according to Matthew, I think that he will find in it, so far as regards the highest morals, a perfect standard of the Christian life: and this we do not rashly venture to promise, but gather it from the very words of the Lord Himself. For the sermon itself is brought to a close in such a way, that it is clear there are in it all the precepts which go to mould the life. For thus He speaks: Therefore, whosoever hears these words of mine, and does 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 hears these words of mine, and does them not, I will liken unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
The beginning, then, of this sermon is introduced as follows: And when He saw the great 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. If it is asked what the mountain means, it may well be understood as meaning the greater precepts of righteousness; for there were lesser ones which were given to the Jews. Yet it is one God who, through His holy prophets and servants, according to a thoroughly arranged distribution of times, gave the lesser precepts to a people who as yet required to be bound by fear; and who, through His Son, gave the greater ones to a people whom it had now become suitable to set free by love. Moreover, when the lesser are given to the lesser, and the greater to the greater, they are given by Him who alone knows how to present to the human race the medicine suited to the occasion. Nor is it surprising that the greater precepts are given for the kingdom of heaven, and the less...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Went up into a mountain. Let us inquire what mountain this was? "Some simple brethren," says S. Jerome, "think that Christ taught the Beatitudes, and the things which follow, on the mount of Olives. But that was not so." For from what precedes and follows in the Gospel the place must have been in Galilee; in our opinion Tabor, or a similarly lofty mountain. Geographies of the Holy Land, such as Brochard"s Itinerary, say that this mountain is called "Mons Christi," because Christ was wont to pray and preach upon it. It lies westward of Capernaum, three miles distant; it is not far from the Sea of Galilee, and is close to the city of Bethsaida. Its height is so great that from it may be seen the land of Zebulon and Naphthali, Trachonitis, Itura, Shenir, Hermon, and Libanus. It is carpeted with grass and flowers. Here Christ spent whole nights in prayer. Here He called to Him His disciples, and chose twelve of their number whom He ordained and called apostles. Here He taught that compendi...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
What is said here, does not follow immediately what was said in the preceding chapter. See Luke vi.

John Chrysostom

AD 407
See how unambitious He was, and void of boasting: in that He did not lead people about with Him, but whereas, when healing was required, He had Himself gone about everywhere, visiting both towns and country places; now when the multitude has become very great, He sits in one spot: and that not in the midst of any city or forum, but on a mountain and in a wilderness; instructing us to do nothing for display, and to separate ourselves from the tumults of ordinary life, and this most especially, when we are to study wisdom, and to discourse of things needful to be done. But when He had gone up into the mount, and was set down, His disciples came unto Him. Do you see their growth in virtue? And how in a moment they became better men? Since the multitude were but gazers on the miracles, but these from that hour desired also to hear some great and high thing. And indeed this it was set Him on His teaching, and made Him begin this discourse. For it was not men's bodies only that He was ...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. He teaches us not to do anything ostentatiously. For when He is about to teach, He goes up onto the mountain, thus instructing us also when we would teach, to depart from the bustle in the city. The multitude comes for the miracles, but the disciples come for the teachings. So when He has finished the miracles and healed their bodies, then He heals their souls as well, that we may learn that He is the Creator of both souls and bodies. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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