23 2 How the Scribes teaching the people the Law of Moses, behave themselves. 5 Their Phylacteries, and Fringes. 7 Greetings. 8 We are brethren. 9 The Father. 10 The servant. 13 To shut the kingdom of heaven. 14 To devour widow’s houses. 15 A Proselyte. 16 To swear by the Temple. 23 To tithe mint. 25 To cleanse the outside of the cup. 27 Painted sepulchers. 33 Serpents, vipers. 37 The Hen.

Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

[a]Saying, The (A)Scribes and the Pharisees [b]sit in Moses’ seat.

[c]All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do: but after their works do not: for they say, and do not.

(B)[d]For they bind heavy burdens, and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

[e]All their works they do for to be seen of men: for they make their [f]phylacteries broad, and make long [g]the (C)fringes of their garments,

(D)And love the chief place at feasts, and to have the chief seats in the [h]assemblies,

And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, [i]Rabbi.

(E)[j]But be not ye [k]called, Rabbi: for [l]one is your doctor, to wit, Christ, and all ye are brethren.

And (F)call no man your [m]father upon the earth: for there is but one, your father which is in heaven.

10 Be not called [n]doctors: for one is your doctor, even Christ.

11 But he that is greatest among you, let him be your servant.

12 (G)For whosoever [o]will exalt himself, shall be brought low: and whosoever will humble himself, shall be exalted.

13 [p]Woe therefore be unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, [q]hypocrites, because ye shut up the kingdom of heaven before men: for ye yourselves go not in, neither suffer ye them that would [r]enter, to come in.

14 (H)[s]Woe be unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: for ye devour widows’ houses, even [t]under a color of long prayers: wherefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

15 Woe be unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: for ye compass sea and [u]land to make one of your profession: and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell, than you yourselves.

16 Woe be unto you blind guides, which say, Whosoever sweareth by the Temple, it is nothing: but whosoever sweareth by the gold of the Temple, he [v]offendeth.

17 Ye fools and blind, Whether is greater, the gold, or the Temple that [w]sanctifieth the gold?

18 And whosoever sweareth by the altar, it is nothing: but whosoever sweareth by the offering that is upon it, offendeth.

19 Ye fools and blind, whether is greater, the offering, or the altar which sanctifieth the offering?

20 Whosoever therefore sweareth by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.

21 (I)And whosoever sweareth by the Temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.

22 (J)And he that sweareth by heaven, sweareth by the [x]throne of God, and by him that sitteth theron.

23 (K)[y]Woe be to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: for ye tithe mint, and anise, and cummin, and leave the weightier matters of the law, as judgment, and mercy and [z]fidelity. These ought ye to have done, and not to have left the other.

24 Ye blind guides, which strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel.

25 [aa]Woe be to you, (L)Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: for ye make clean the utter side of the cup, and of the platter: but within they are full of bribery and excess.

26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

27 Woe be to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: for ye are like unto whited tombs, which appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and all filthiness.

28 So are ye also: for outward ye appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

29 (M)[ab]Woe be unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: for ye build the tombs of the Prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous,

30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in the blood of the Prophets.

31 So then ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them that murdered the Prophets.

32 [ac]Fulfill ye also the measure of your fathers.

33 O serpents, the generation of vipers, how should ye escape the damnation of [ad]hell!

34 [ae]Wherefore behold, I send unto you Prophets, and wise men, and Scribes, and of them ye shall kill and crucify: and of them shall ye scourge in your Synagogues, and persecute from city to city,

35 [af]That upon you may come all the righteous blood that was shed upon the earth, (N)from the blood of Abel the righteous, unto the blood of Zechariah the son of [ag]Berechiah, (O)whom ye slew between the Temple and the altar.

36 Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation.

37 (P)[ah]Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the Prophets, and stonest them which are sent to thee, how often would I have [ai]gathered thy children together, as the hen gathered her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

38 Behold, your habitation shall be left unto you desolate.

39 For I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth till that ye say, Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord.


  1. Matthew 23:2 We ought to hear whatsoever any wicked teachers teach us purely out of the word of God, yet so that we eschew their evil manners.
  2. Matthew 23:2 Because God appointed the order, therefore the Lord would have his word to be heard even from the mouth of hypocrites and hirelings.
  3. Matthew 23:3 Provided always, that they deliver Moses his doctrine which they profess, which thing the Metaphor of the seat showeth, which they occupied as teachers of Moses his learning.
  4. Matthew 23:4 Hypocrites for the most part are most severe exactors of those things which they themselves chiefly neglect.
  5. Matthew 23:5 Hypocrites are ambitious.
  6. Matthew 23:5 It was a thread, or ribbon of blue silk in the fringe of a corner, the beholding whereof made them to remember the laws and ordinances of God: and therefore was it called a Phylactery, as ye would say, a keeper, Num. 15:38; Deut. 6:8, which order the Jews afterward abused, as they do nowadays, which hang the St. John’s Gospels about their necks: a thing condemned many years ago in the Council of Antioch.
  7. Matthew 23:5 Word for word, Twisted tassels of thread which hung at the nethermost hems of their garments.
  8. Matthew 23:6 When assemblies and Councils are gathered together.
  9. Matthew 23:7 This word Rabbi, signifieth one that is above his fellows, and is as good as a number of them: and we may see by the repeating of it, how proud a rule it was. Now they were called Rabbi, which by the laying on of hands were uttered and declared to the world to be wise men.
  10. Matthew 23:8 Modesty is a singular ornament of God’s minsters.
  11. Matthew 23:8 Seek not ambitiously after it: for our Lord doth not forbid us to give the Magistrate and our Masters the honor that is due to them, Augustine de sermone verbi Domine ex, Matt. 11.
  12. Matthew 23:8 He seemeth to allude to a place of Isaiah, chapter 54:13, and Jer. 31:34.
  13. Matthew 23:9 He shooteth at a fashion which the Jews used, for they called the Rabbis, our fathers.
  14. Matthew 23:10 It seemeth that the Scribes did very greedily hunt after such titles, whom verse 16 he calleth blind guides.
  15. Matthew 23:12 He seemeth to allude to the name of the Rabbis, for Rabbi signifieth one that is aloft.
  16. Matthew 23:13 Hypocrites can abide none to be better than themselves.
  17. Matthew 23:13 Christ when he reproveth any man sharply, uses this word, to give us to understand that there is nothing more detestable than hypocrisy and falsehood in religion.
  18. Matthew 23:13 Which are even at the door.
  19. Matthew 23:14 It is a common thing among hypocrites, to abuse the pretence of zeal to covetousness and extortion.
  20. Matthew 23:14 Word for word, under a color of long praying. And this word, Even, noteth a double naughtiness in them: the one, that they devoured widows’ goods: the other, that they did it under a color of godliness.
  21. Matthew 23:15 The dry part: now that part of that earth is called dry, which the Lord hath given us to dwell upon.
  22. Matthew 23:16 Is a debtor. Sins are called in the Syrian tongue, Debts, and it is certain that Christ spake in the Syrian tongue.
  23. Matthew 23:17 Causeth the gold to be counted holy, which is dedicated to an holy use.
  24. Matthew 23:22 If heaven be God’s throne, then he is no doubt above all this world.
  25. Matthew 23:23 Hypocrites are careful in trifles, and neglect the greatest things of purpose.
  26. Matthew 23:23 Faithfulness in keeping of promises.
  27. Matthew 23:25 Hypocrites are too much careful of outward things, and the inward they utterly contemn.
  28. Matthew 23:29 Hypocrites when they go most about to cover their wickedness, then do they by the just judgment of God, shame themselves.
  29. Matthew 23:32 A proverb used of the Jews, which hath this meaning, Go ye on also and follow your ancestors, that at length your wickedness may come to the full.
  30. Matthew 23:33 See also Matt. 5:22.
  31. Matthew 23:34 Hypocrites be cruel.
  32. Matthew 23:35 The end of them which persecute the Gospel, under the pretence of zeal.
  33. Matthew 23:35 Of Joiada, who was also called Berechiah, that is, blessed of the Lord.
  34. Matthew 23:37 Where the mercy of God was greatest, there was greatest wickedness and rebellion, and at length the most sharp judgments of God.
  35. Matthew 23:37 He speaketh of the outward ministry, and as he was promised for the saving of this people, so was he also careful for it, even from the time that the promise was made to Abraham.