You Have Heard It Said … But I Say …

Matthew 5:21 – 48 contains several phrases that essentially say the same thing.

“You have heard it said … But I say ….”

Matthew 5:21-22 (ESV)
21  “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’
22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

Matthew 5:27-28 (ESV)
27  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart
.

Matthew 5:31-32 (ESV)
31  “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
32  But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 5:33-35 (ESV)
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’
34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.

Matthew 5:38-39 (ESV)
38  “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Matthew 5:43-45 (ESV)
43  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Do you realize that each time Jesus states “You have heard it that it was said…” he is quoting an Old Testament Scripture?

For example:

Matthew 5:27 (ESV)  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’

This is a direct quote from Exodus or Deuteronomy.

Exodus 20:14 (ESV)  “You shall not commit adultery.

Deuteronomy 5:18 (ESV)  “‘And you shall not commit adultery.

Not much way around the fact the Jesus is taking literal Old Testament Laws, even from the Ten Commandments, and saying “But I say to you …”

“But” is very interesting here.  Another interesting fact I found is that every one of the Bible versions I have access to in my Bible program on my computer all use the word “But“, all eighteen versions!

The word translated as “But” is the Greek word de, which is translated as but, and, or also.  So why have all the translators translated this word in English as “but”?

The Greek phrase for “But I say unto you” is an easy one to remember:  ego de lego humin

Makes me think of “Le’go my eggo“.  (Old Eggo Waffle commercial for young whippersnappers.)



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