Matthew 23

Religious Hypocrites Denounced

1 Then a Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples: b 2 “The
scribe(s): A professional group in Judaism that copied the law of Moses and interpreted it, especially in legal cases
scribes and the
Pharisee(s): In Judaism a religious sect that followed the whole written and oral law
Pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses.
Perhaps a special chair for teaching in synagogues, or a metaphorical phrase for teaching with Moses’ authority
3 Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it. But don’t do what they do,
Lit do according to their works
because they don’t practice what they teach. h
4They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry
Other mss omit that are hard to carry
and put them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger
Lit lift with their finger
to move them. k
5They do everything
Lit do all their works
to be observed by others: They enlarge their phylacteries
Small leather boxes containing OT texts, worn by Jews on their arms and foreheads
n and lengthen their
tassel: Fringe put on the clothing of devout Jews to remind them to keep the law; Nm 15:37-41
Other mss add on their robes
6They love the place of honor at banquets, the front seats in the
synagogue(s): A place where the Jewish people met for prayer, worship and teaching of the Scriptures
synagogues, s
7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called
Rabbi: The Hebrew word Rabbi means my great one; it is used of a recognized teacher of the Scriptures.
Rabbiby people.

8 “But as for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi,’ because you have one Teacher,
Other mss add the Messiah
and you are all
brother(s): The Greek word adelphoi can be used as a reference to males only or to groups that include males and females. It is the context of each usage that determines the proper meaning.
brothers. w
9Do not call anyone on earth your father, because you have one Father, who is in heaven. x 10And do not be called masters either, because you have one Master,
Or Teacher
Messiah: Or the Christ; the Greek word Christos means "the anointed one".
11 The greatest among you will be your servant. aa 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. ab

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You lock up the kingdom of heaven from people. For you don’t go in, and you don’t allow those entering to go in. ac[ 14“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You devour widows’ houses and make long prayers just for show.
Or prayers with false motivation
This is why you will receive a harsher punishment.]
Other mss omit bracketed text

15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to make one
proselyte: A person from another race or religion who went through a prescribed ritual to become a Jew
proselyte, ag and when he becomes one, you make him twice as fit for
hell/hellfire: Greek Gehenna; Aramaic for Valley of Hinnom on the south side of Jerusalem; it was formerly a place of human sacrifice and in NT times a place for the burning of garbage; the place of final judgment for those rejecting Christ.
Lit twice the son of gehenna
as you are!

16 “Woe to you, blind guides, aj who say, ‘Whoever takes an oath by the sanctuary, it means nothing. But whoever takes an oath ak by the gold of the sanctuary is bound by his oath.’
Lit is obligated
17 Blind fools!
Lit Fools and blind
For which is greater, the gold or the sanctuary that sanctified the gold?
18 Also, ‘Whoever takes an oath by the altar, it means nothing. But whoever takes an oath by the gift that is on it is bound by his oath.’
Lit is obligated
19 Blind people!
Other mss read Fools and blind
For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? ap
20 Therefore, the one who takes an oath by the altar takes an oath by it and by everything on it. 21 The one who takes an oath by the sanctuary takes an oath by it and by Him who dwells aq in it. 22 And the one who takes an oath by heaven takes an oath by God’s throne ar and by Him who sits on it. as

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You pay a tenth of
Or You tithe
mint, dill, and cumin,
A plant whose seeds are used as a seasoning
yet you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, av mercy, and faith. These things should have been done without neglecting the others.
24 Blind guides! aw You strain out a gnat, yet gulp down a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You
clean: When something is clean, it is holy or acceptable to God. When it is unclean, it is unholy (such as an unclean spirit). The term can be used in a ritual sense to apply to moral standards for living.
clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed
Or full of violence
and self-indulgence! az
26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup,
Other mss add and dish
so the outside of it
Other mss read of them
may also become clean.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, bc which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every impurity. 28In the same way, on the outside you seem righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30 and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we wouldn’t have taken part with them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’
Lit have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets
31You, therefore, testify against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ sins!
Lit the measure of your fathers

33 “Snakes! Brood of vipers! How can you escape being condemned to hell?
Lit escape from the judgment of gehenna
34This is why I am sending you prophets, bi sages, and scribes. Some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will flog in your synagogues bj and hound from town to town. 35 So all the righteous blood shed on the earth will be charged to you,
Lit will come on you
from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, bl son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. bm
I assure you: This is a phrase used only by Jesus to testify to the certainty and importance of His words; in Mt, Mk and Lk it is literally Amen, I say to you, and in Jn it is literally Amen, amen, I say to you.
I assure you: All these things will come on this generation! bo

Jesus’ Lamentation over Jerusalem

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem! bp She who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks
Or as a mother bird gathers her young
under her wings, yet you were not willing! br
38 See, your house is left to you desolate. bs 39 For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say, ‘He who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One’!” bt , bu
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