Happy The Peacemakers, Because They Shall Be Called Sons Of GOD
The peacemakers.–Our version rightly distinguishes between the temper which is simply “peaceable” in itself (James 3:17), and this, the higher form of the same grace, acting energetically upon others. To be able to say with power to those who are bitter foes, “Sirs, ye are brethren”.(Acts 7:26), is nobler even than to strive,” as much as lieth in us, to live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). Rightly does this beatitude follow on that of the “pure in heart,” for it is the absence of all baseness and impurity that gives the power to make peace.
The children of God.–Better, sons of God. The English version slightly obscures the connection between the promise and the character of Him who had been declared to be the Son of God in the truest and highest sense. Not in the ways which the Tempter had suggested, but in the work of “making peace” between God and man, between Jew and Gentile, even at the price of shedding His own blood (Colossians 1:20), was the witness of sonship to be found, and those who were sharers in that work should, according to their capacity, “be called”–i.e., be, and be recognised as, sharers in that sonship.
Verse 9. – The peacemakers (οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί). More than “peaceable” (εἰρηνικός, James 3:17; εἰρηνεύοντες, Romans 12:18; Mark 9:50). This is the peaceable character consciously exerted outside itself. The same compound in the New Testament in Colossians 1:20 only: Αἰρηνοποιήσας διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ σταυροῦ αὐτοῦ (cf. Ephesians] 2:14, 15). Christians, in their measure, share in Christ’s work, and, we may add, can attain it generally as he did, only by personal suffering. Observe that this Beatitude must have been specially distasteful to the warlike Galilaeans. Mishna, ‘Ab.,’ 1:13 (Taylor), “Hillel said, Be of the disciples of Aharon, loving peace and pursuing peace,” hardly refers to peacemaking, but in Mishna, ‘Peah,’ 1:1, “These are the things whose fruit a man eats in this world, but which have their capital reward in the world to come: honouring one’s father and mother, showing kindness, and bringing about peace between a man and his neighbour, but study of the Law is equivalent to them all.” For they; αὐτοί, omitted by א, C, D, 13, 124, Latt., Peshito. Possibly it is an addition inserted from a desire to make this Beatitude harmonize with the others. But more probably it is genuine, and was omitted by accident, either by homoiot, of υἱοὶ (Meyer), or (better) because the scribe forgot the abbot in the emphatic υἱοὶ Θεοῦ, the form of the second clause being peculiar to this Beatitude. Shall be called; by God and angels and men. The children of God; Revised Version, sons of God; to show that the word used here is υἱοὶ, not τέκνα Christ’s reference is, that is to say, not so much to the nature as to the privileges involved in sonship. The earthly privileges which peacemakers give up rather than disturb their peaceful relations with others, and in order that they may bring about peace between others, shall be much more than made up to them, and that with the approving verdict of all. They shall, with general approval, enter on the full privileges of their relation to God, who is “the God of peace” (Romans 15:33). Dr. Taylor (‘Ab.,’ 1:19) has an increasing note on “Peace” as a Talmudic name of God. For language similar to our Lord’s, cf. Hosea 1:10 [LXX.], equivalent to Romans 9:26. Here, as often in this Gospel, there may be a tacit contradiction to the assumption that natural birth as Israelites involves the full blessings of sons of God; cf. ‘Ab.,’ 3:22 (Taylor).
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