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Matthew 21-23 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

21 As they were approaching Yerushalayim, they came to Beit-Pagei on the Mount of Olives. Yeshua sent two talmidim with these instructions: “Go into the village ahead of you, and you will immediately find a donkey tethered there with its colt. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him, ‘The Lord needs them’; and he will let them go at once.” This happened in order to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet,

“Say to the daughter of Tziyon,
‘Look! Your King is coming to you,
riding humbly on a donkey,
and on a colt, the offspring of a beast of burden!’[a]

So the talmidim went and did as Yeshua had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put their robes on them, and Yeshua sat on them. Crowds of people carpeted the road with their clothing, while others cut branches from trees and spread them on the road. The crowds ahead of him and behind shouted,

“Please! Deliver us!”[b]

to the Son of David;

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of Adonai!”

“You in the highest heaven! Please! Deliver us!”[c][d]

10 When he entered Yerushalayim, the whole city was stirred. “Who is this?” they asked. 11 And the crowds answered, “This is Yeshua, the prophet from Natzeret in the Galil.”

12 Yeshua entered the Temple grounds and drove out those who were doing business there, both the merchants and their customers. He upset the desks of the money-changers and knocked over the benches of those who were selling pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It has been written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer.’[e] But you are making it into a den of robbers![f]

14 Blind and lame people came up to him in the Temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the head cohanim and Torah-teachers saw the wonderful things he was doing, and the children crying out in the Temple, “Please deliver us![g] to the Son of David, they were furious. 16 They said to him, “Do you hear what they’re saying?” Yeshua replied, “Of course! Haven’t you ever read,

‘From the mouth of children and infants
you have prepared praise for yourself’?”[h]

17 With that, he left them and went outside the city to Beit-Anyah, where he spent the night.

18 The next morning, on his way back to the city, he felt hungry. 19 Spotting a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. So he said to it, “May you never again bear fruit!” and immediately the fig tree dried up. 20 The talmidim saw this and were amazed. “How did the fig tree dry up so quickly?” they asked. 21 Yeshua answered them, “Yes! I tell you, if you have trust and don’t doubt, you will not only do what was done to this fig tree; but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Go and throw yourself into the sea!’ it will be done. 22 In other words, you will receive everything you ask for in prayer, no matter what it is, provided you have trust.”

23 He went into the Temple area; and as he was teaching, the head cohanim and the elders of the people approached him and demanded, “What s’mikhah do you have that authorizes you to do these things? And who gave you this s’mikhah?” 24 Yeshua answered, “I too will ask you a question. If you answer it, then I will tell you by what s’mikhah I do these things. 25 The immersion of Yochanan — where did it come from? From Heaven or from a human source?” They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From Heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From a human source,’ we are afraid of the people, for they all regard Yochanan as a prophet.” 27 So they answered Yeshua, “We don’t know.” And he replied, “Then I won’t tell you by what s’mikhah I do these things.

28 “But give me your opinion: a man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ 29 He answered, ‘I don’t want to’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30 The father went to his other son and said the same thing. This one answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he didn’t go. 31 Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they replied. “That’s right!” Yeshua said to them. “I tell you that the tax-collectors and prostitutes are going into the Kingdom of God ahead of you! 32 For Yochanan came to you showing the path to righteousness, and you wouldn’t trust him. The tax-collectors and prostitutes trusted him; but you, even after you saw this, didn’t change your minds later and trust him.

33 “Now listen to another parable. There was a farmer who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower; then he rented it to tenants and left. 34 When harvest-time came, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his share of the crop. 35 But the tenants seized his servants — this one they beat up, that one they killed, another they stoned. 36 So he sent some other servants, more than the first group, and they did the same to them. 37 Finally, he sent them his son, saying, ‘My son they will respect.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance!’ 39 So they grabbed him, threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They answered him, “He will viciously destroy those vicious men and rent out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him his share of the crop when it’s due.” 42 Yeshua said to them, “Haven’t you ever read in the Tanakh,

‘The very rock which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone!
This has come from Adonai,
and in our eyes it is amazing’?[i]

43 Therefore, I tell you that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to the kind of people that will produce its fruit!” 44 [j]

45 As the head cohanim and the P’rushim listened to his stories, they saw that he was speaking about them. 46 But when they set about to arrest him, they were afraid of the crowds; because the crowds considered him a prophet.

22 Yeshua again used parables in speaking to them: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son, but when he sent his slaves to summon the invited guests to the wedding, they refused to come. So he sent some more slaves, instructing them to tell the guests, ‘Look, I’ve prepared my banquet, I’ve slaughtered my bulls and my fattened cattle, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding!’ But they weren’t interested and went off, one to his farm, another to his business; and the rest grabbed his slaves, mistreated them and killed them. The king was furious and sent his soldiers, who killed those murderers and burned down their city.

“Then he said to his slaves, ‘Well, the wedding feast is ready; but the ones who were invited didn’t deserve it. So go out to the street-corners and invite to the banquet as many as you find.’ 10 The slaves went out into the streets, gathered all the people they could find, the bad along with the good; and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 “Now when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who wasn’t dressed for a wedding; so he asked him, 12 ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him outside in the dark!’ In that place people will wail and grind their teeth, 14 for many are invited, but few are chosen.”

15 Then the P’rushim went away and put together a plan to trap Yeshua with his own words. 16 They sent him some of their talmidim and some members of Herod’s party. They said, “Rabbi, we know that you tell the truth and really teach what God’s way is. You aren’t concerned with what other people think about you, since you pay no attention to a person’s status. 17 So tell us your opinion: does Torah permit paying taxes to the Roman Emperor or not?” 18 Yeshua, however, knowing their malicious intent, said, “You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used to pay the tax!” They brought him a denarius; 20 and he asked them, “Whose name and picture are these?” 21 “The Emperor’s,” they replied. Yeshua said to them, “Nu, give the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor. And give to God what belongs to God!” 22 On hearing this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.

23 That same day, some Tz’dukim came to him. They are the ones who say there is no such thing as resurrection, so they put to him a sh’eilah: 24 “Rabbi, Moshe said, ‘If a man dies childless, his brother must marry his widow and have children to preserve the man’s family line.’[k] 25 There were seven brothers. The first one married and then died; and since he had no children, he left his widow to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second brother, and the third, and finally to all seven. 27 After them all, the woman died. 28 Now in the Resurrection — of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all married her.”

29 Yeshua answered them, “The reason you go astray is that you are ignorant both of the Tanakh and of the power of God. 30 For in the Resurrection, neither men nor women will marry; rather, they will be like angels in heaven. 31 And as for whether the dead are resurrected, haven’t you read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Avraham, the God of Yitz’chak and the God of Ya‘akov’?[l] He is God not of the dead but of the living!”

33 When the crowds heard how he taught, they were astounded; 34 but when the P’rushim learned that he had silenced the Tz’dukim, they got together, 35 and one of them who was a Torah expert asked a sh’eilah to trap him: 36 “Rabbi, which of the mitzvot in the Torah is the most important?” 37 He told him, “‘You are to love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.’[m] 38 This is the greatest and most important mitzvah. 39 And a second is similar to it, ‘You are to love your neighbor as yourself.’[n] 40 All of the Torah and the Prophets are dependent on these two mitzvot.”

41 Then, turning to the assembled P’rushim, Yeshua put a sh’eilah to them: 42 “Tell me your view concerning the Messiah: whose son is he?” They said to him, “David’s.” 43 “Then how is it,” he asked them, “that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord,’ when he says,

44 Adonai said to my Lord,
“Sit here at my right hand
until I put your enemies under your feet”’?[o]

45 If David thus calls him ‘Lord,’ how is he his son?” 46 No one could think of anything to say in reply; and from that day on, no one dared put to him another sh’eilah.

23 Then Yeshua addressed the crowds and his talmidim: “The Torah-teachers and the P’rushim,” he said, “sit in the seat of Moshe. So whatever they tell you, take care to do it. But don’t do what they do, because they talk but don’t act! They tie heavy loads onto people’s shoulders but won’t lift a finger to help carry them. Everything they do is done to be seen by others; for they make their t’fillin broad and their tzitziyot long, they love the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and they love being greeted deferentially in the marketplaces and being called ‘Rabbi.’

“But you are not to let yourselves be called ‘Rabbi’; because you have one Rabbi, and you are all each other’s brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘Father.’ because you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to let yourselves be called ‘leaders,’ because you have one Leader, and he is the Messiah! 11 The greatest among you must be your servant, 12 for whoever promotes himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be promoted.

13 “But woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! For you are shutting the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces, neither entering yourselves nor allowing those who wish to enter to do so. 14 [p]

15 “Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You go about over land and sea to make one proselyte; and when you succeed, you make him twice as fit for Gei-Hinnom as you are!

16 “Woe to you, you blind guides! You say, ‘If someone swears by the Temple, he is not bound by his oath; but if he swears by the gold in the Temple, he is bound.’ 17 You blind fools! Which is more important? the gold? or the Temple which makes the gold holy? 18 And you say, ‘If someone swears by the altar, he is not bound by his oath; but if he swears by the offering on the altar, he is bound.’ 19 Blind men! Which is more important? the sacrifice? or the altar which makes the sacrifice holy? 20 So someone who swears by the altar swears by it and everything on it. 21 And someone who swears by the Temple swears by it and the One who lives in it. 22 And someone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and the One who sits on it.

23 “Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You pay your tithes of mint, dill and cumin; but you have neglected the weightier matters of the Torah — justice, mercy, trust. These are the things you should have attended to — without neglecting the others! 24 Blind guides! — straining out a gnat, meanwhile swallowing a camel!

25 “Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Parush! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside may be clean too.

27 “Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look fine on the outside but inside are full of dead people’s bones and all kinds of rottenness. 28 Likewise, you appear to people from the outside to be good and honest, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and far from Torah.

29 “Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the tzaddikim, 30 and you say, ‘Had we lived when our fathers did, we would never have taken part in killing the prophets.’ 31 In this you testify against yourselves that you are worthy descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead then, finish what your fathers started!

33 “You snakes! Sons of snakes! How can you escape being condemned to Gei-Hinnom? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and Torah-teachers — some of them you will kill, indeed, you will have them executed on stakes as criminals; some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so, on you will fall the guilt for all the innocent blood that has ever been shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Hevel to the blood of Z’kharyah Ben-Berekhyah, whom you murdered between the Temple and the altar. 36 Yes! I tell you that all this will fall on this generation!

37 “Yerushalayim! Yerushalayim! You kill the prophets! You stone those who are sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children, just as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you refused! 38 Look! God is abandoning your house to you, leaving it desolate.[q] 39 For I tell you, from now on, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of Adonai.’[r]

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 21:5 Zechariah 9:9
  2. Matthew 21:9 Greek Ôsanna (English “Hosanna”) transliterates Hebrew Hosha na, which means “Please! Save [us]!”
  3. Matthew 21:9 Psalm 118:25–26
  4. Matthew 21:9 Greek Ôsanna (English “Hosanna”) transliterates Hebrew Hosha na, which means “Please! Save [us]!”
  5. Matthew 21:13 Isaiah 56:7
  6. Matthew 21:13 Jeremiah 7:11
  7. Matthew 21:15 Greek Ôsanna (English “Hosanna”) transliterates Hebrew Hosha na, which means “Please! Save [us]!”
  8. Matthew 21:16 Psalm 8:3(2)
  9. Matthew 21:42 Psalm 118:22–23
  10. Matthew 21:44 Some manuscripts include verse 44: Whoever falls on this stone will be broken in pieces; but if it falls on him, he will be crushed to powder!”
  11. Matthew 22:24 Deuteronomy 25:5–6
  12. Matthew 22:32 Exodus 3:6
  13. Matthew 22:37 Deuteronomy 6:5
  14. Matthew 22:39 Leviticus 19:18
  15. Matthew 22:44 Psalm 110:1
  16. Matthew 23:14 Some manuscripts include verse 14: Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! For you swallow up widow’s houses while making a show of davvening at great length. Because of this your punishment will be all the worse!
  17. Matthew 23:38 Jeremiah 22:5
  18. Matthew 23:39 Psalm 118:26
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

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