3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Shabbat 151bBabylonian Talmud
In a similar vein, the Gemara relates that Rabbi Ḥiyya said to his wife: When a poor person comes to the house, be quick to give him bread so that they will be quick to give bread to your children. She said to him: Are you cursing them, your children? He said to her: It is a verse that is written, as it says: “Due to this thing,” and the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught that it is a wheel that continuously turns in the world. Similarly, it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Gamliel, son of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, says: The verse that states: “And He will show you mercy and have compassion on you and multiply you” (Deuteronomy 13:18) teaches us that anyone who has compassion for God’s creatures will receive compassion from Heaven, and anyone who does not have compassion for God’s creatures will not receive compassion from Heaven.
Notes and References
"... 'Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.' How should one understand 'the merciful'? Consider the following examples. The MT of Psalm 18:25-26 reads: "with the merciful you show yourself merciful." In b. Baba Qamma 9:30 there is a nearly identical statement ("So long as you are merciful, He will have mercy on you"). Similar sayings are also found in Sifre Deuteronomy 13.18 and b. Shabbat 151 b. Early Christian comments that are similar are found in 1 Clement 13:2 ("Be merciful in order that you might receive mercy") and James 2:13 ("judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy"). Similar sentiments are echoed in Matthew 18:33; 9:13; 12:7; 15:22; 17:15; and 20:30-31."
Talbert, Charles H. Reading the Sermon on the Mount: Character Formation and Decision Making in Matthew 5-7 (p. 52) University of South Carolina Press, 2004
Thank you for your submission!