Matthew 23
Berean Study Bible

Woes to Scribes and Pharisees
(Luke 11:37-54)

1Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples: 2“The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3So practice and observe everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy, burdensomea loads and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

5All their deeds are done for men to see. They broaden their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. 6They love the places of honor at banquets, the chief seats in the synagogues, 7the greetings in the marketplaces, and the title of ‘Rabbi’ by which they are addressed.

8But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth your father, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Christ. 11The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let in those who wish to enter.b

15Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You traverse land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

16Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes it sacred? 18And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’ 19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes it sacred? 20So then, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the One who dwells in it. 22And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the One who sits on it.

23Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You pay tithes of mint, dill, and cumin, but you have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law: justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

25Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside may become clean as well.

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

29Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous. 30And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31So you testify against yourselves that you are the sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ sins. 33You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape the sentence of hell?

34Because of this, I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify, and others you will flog in your synagogues and persecute in town after town. 35And so upon you will come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36Truly I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Lament over Jerusalem
(Luke 13:31-35)

37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were unwilling! 38Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39For I tell you that you will not see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’c

a 4 SBL, NE, and WH do not include burdensome
b 13 See Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47. BYZ and TR 14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You defraud widows of their houses, and for a show make lengthy prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
c 39 Psalm 118:26

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