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Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees(A)

23 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: (B)“The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you [a]to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for (C)they say, and do not do. (D)For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to (E)be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. (F)They love the [b]best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ (G)But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your [c]Teacher, [d]the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; (H)for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But (I)he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 (J)And whoever exalts himself will be [e]humbled, and he who humbles himself will be [f]exalted.

13 “But (K)woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 [g]Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (L)For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of [h]hell as yourselves.

16 “Woe to you, (M)blind guides, who say, (N)‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it. 17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold (O)or the temple that [i]sanctifies the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it. 19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift (P)or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Therefore he who [j]swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by (Q)Him who [k]dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by (R)the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (S)For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and (T)have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (U)For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and [l]self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (V)For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 (W)“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and [m]adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’

31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that (X)you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 (Y)Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33 Serpents, (Z)brood[n] of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34 (AA)Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: (AB)some of them you will kill and crucify, and (AC)some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 (AD)that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, (AE)from the blood of righteous Abel to (AF)the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Jesus Laments over Jerusalem(AG)

37 (AH)“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets (AI)and stones those who are sent to her! How often (AJ)I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks (AK)under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, (AL)‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’

Footnotes

  1. Matthew 23:3 NU omits to observe
  2. Matthew 23:6 Or place of honor
  3. Matthew 23:8 Leader
  4. Matthew 23:8 NU omits the Christ
  5. Matthew 23:12 put down
  6. Matthew 23:12 lifted up
  7. Matthew 23:14 NU omits v. 14.
  8. Matthew 23:15 Gr. Gehenna
  9. Matthew 23:17 NU sanctified
  10. Matthew 23:20 Swears an oath
  11. Matthew 23:21 M dwelt
  12. Matthew 23:25 M unrighteousness
  13. Matthew 23:29 decorate
  14. Matthew 23:33 offspring

A Warning Against Hypocrisy(A)(B)

23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law(C) and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.(D)

“Everything they do is done for people to see:(E) They make their phylacteries[a](F) wide and the tassels on their garments(G) long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;(H) they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.(I)

“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father,(J) and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant.(K) 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.(L)

Seven Woes on the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees

13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!(M) You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.(N) [14] [b]

15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert,(O) and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell(P) as you are.

16 “Woe to you, blind guides!(Q) You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’(R) 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?(S) 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?(T) 20 Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells(U) in it. 22 And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.(V)

23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth(W) of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness.(X) You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides!(Y) You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish,(Z) but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.(AA) 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs,(AB) which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

29 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets(AC) and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.(AD) 32 Go ahead, then, and complete(AE) what your ancestors started!(AF)

33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers!(AG) How will you escape being condemned to hell?(AH) 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify;(AI) others you will flog in your synagogues(AJ) and pursue from town to town.(AK) 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel(AL) to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah,(AM) whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.(AN) 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.(AO)

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,(AP) how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,(AQ) and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate.(AR) 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’[c](AS)

Footnotes

  1. Matthew 23:5 That is, boxes containing Scripture verses, worn on forehead and arm
  2. Matthew 23:14 Some manuscripts include here words similar to Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47.
  3. Matthew 23:39 Psalm 118:26