2 saying: “The scribes and Pharisees have seated themselves in Moses’ chair [of authority as teachers of the Law]; 3 so practice and observe everything they tell you, but do not do as they do; for they preach [things], but do not practice them.4 The scribes and Pharisees tie up [a]heavy loads [that are hard to bear] and place them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves will not lift a finger [to make them lighter]. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their [b]phylacteries (tefillin) wide [to make them more conspicuous] and make their [c]tassels long.6 They love the place of distinction and honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues [those on the platform near the scrolls of the Law, facing the congregation], 7 and to be greeted [with respect] in the market places and public forums, and to have people call them Rabbi.
Matthew 23:4I.e. detailed instructions of rabbinic interpretations of the Law.
Matthew 23:5Small cases containing Scripture passages, worn on the left arm and the forehead.
Matthew 23:5Tassels (tzitzit) were worn on the garments of all Jewish males, according to the Law.
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