Matthew 23
Holman Christian Standard Bible

Religious Hypocrites Denounced

1Thena Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples:b 2“The scribes and the Pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses.c,d 3Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it. But don’t do what they do,e because they don’t practice what they teach.f 4They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carryg and put them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a fingerh to move them.i 5They do everythingj to be observed by others: They enlarge their phylacteriesk,l and lengthen their tassels.m,n 6They love the place of honor at banquets, the front seats in the synagogues,o 7greetings in the marketplaces, and to be calledRabbi’ by people.

8“But as for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi,’ because you have one Teacher,p and you are all brothers.q 9Do not call anyone on earth your father, because you have one Father, who is in heaven.r 10And do not be called masters either, because you have one Master,s the Messiah. 11The greatest among you will be your servant.t 12Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.u

13“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You lock up the kingdom of heaven from people. For you don’t go in, and you don’t allow those entering to go in.v

14“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You devour widows’ houses and make long prayers just for show.w This is why you will receive a harsher punishment. x

15“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to make one proselyte,y and when he becomes one, you make him twice as fit for hellz as you are!

16“Woe to you, blind guides,aa who say, ‘Whoever takes an oath by the sanctuary, it means nothing. But whoever takes an oathab by the gold of the sanctuary is bound by his oath.’ac 17Blind fools!ad For which is greater, the gold or the sanctuary that sanctified the gold? 18Also, ‘Whoever takes an oath by the altar, it means nothing. But whoever takes an oath by the gift that is on it is bound by his oath.’ae 19Blind people!af For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift?ag 20Therefore, the one who takes an oath by the altar takes an oath by it and by everything on it. 21The one who takes an oath by the sanctuary takes an oath by it and by Him who dwellsah in it. 22And the one who takes an oath by heaven takes an oath by God’s throneai and by Him who sits on it.aj

23“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You pay a tenth ofak mint, dill, and cumin,al yet you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice,am mercy, and faith. These things should have been done without neglecting the others. 24Blind guides!an You strain out a gnat, yet gulp down a camel!

25“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greedao and self-indulgence!ap 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup,aq so the outside of itar may also become clean.

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

29“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we wouldn’t have taken part with them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’at 31You, therefore, testify against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ sins!au,av

33“Snakes! Brood of vipers! How can you escape being condemned to hell?aw,ax 34This is why I am sending you prophets,ay sages, and scribes. Some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will flog in your synagoguesaz and hound from town to town. 35So all the righteous blood shed on the earth will be charged to you,ba from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah,bb son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.bc 36I assure you: All these things will come on this generation!bd

Jesus’ Lamentation over Jerusalem

37“Jerusalem, Jerusalem!be She who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicksbf under her wings, yet you were not willing!bg 38See, your house is left to you desolate.bh 39For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say, ‘He who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One’! ”bi,bj


Footnotes:
a. 23:1-7 Mk 12:38-39; Lk 20:45-46
b. 23:1 Mt 10:42; 28:19; Lk 14:26; Jn 8:31; 13:35; 15:8; Ac 6:1
c. 23:2 Perhaps a special chair for teaching in synagogues, or a metaphorical phrase for teaching with Moses’ authority
d. 23:2 Ezr 7:6,25; Neh 8:4
e. 23:3 Lit do according to their works
f. 23:3 Mt 5:20; 15:3-9; Rm 2:17-23
g. 23:4 Other mss omit that are hard to carry
h. 23:4 Lit lift with their finger
i. 23:4 Lk 11:46; Ac 15:10; Gl 6:13
j. 23:5 Lit do all their works
k. 23:5 Small leather boxes containing OT texts, worn by Jews on their arms and foreheads
l. 23:5 Ex 13:9; Dt 6:8; 11:18; Mt 6:1,5,16
m. 23:5 Other mss add on their robes
n. 23:5 Mt 9:20; 14:36; Mk 6:56; Lk 8:44
o. 23:6 Lk 11:43; 14:7; 20:46
p. 23:8 Other mss add the Messiah
q. 23:7-8 Mk 9:5; 10:51; Jn 1:38,49; 11:8; Jms 3:1
r. 23:9 Mal 1:6; Mt 6:9; 7:11
s. 23:10 Or Teacher
t. 23:11 Mt 20:26-27; Mk 9:35; 3Jn 9
u. 23:12 Pr 29:23; Ezk 21:26; Lk 14:11; 18:14; Jms 4:6,10; 1Pt 5:5-6
v. 23:13 Mt 23:15,23,25; Lk 11:52
w. 23:14 Or prayers with false motivation
x. 23:14 Other mss omit bracketed text
y. 23:15 Ac 2:11; 6:5; 13:43
z. 23:15 Lit twice the son of gehenna
aa. 23:16 Mt 15:14; 23:24; Ac 1:16; Rm 2:19
ab. 23:16 Lv 19:12; Nm 30:2; Dt 23:21; Mt 5:33; 14:7; 26:63,72
ac. 23:16 Lit is obligated
ad. 23:17 Lit Fools and blind
ae. 23:18 Lit is obligated
af. 23:19 Other mss read Fools and blind
ag. 23:19 Ex 29:37; 30:29
ah. 23:21 1Kg 8:13; 2Ch 6:2; Ps 26:8; 132:14
ai. 23:22 Ex 17:16; Ps 11:4; Mt 5:34; Heb 8:1
aj. 23:22 Ps 47:8; Mt 19:28; Rv 4:2
ak. 23:23 Or You tithe
al. 23:23 A plant whose seeds are used as a seasoning
am. 23:23 1Sm 15:22; Ps 33:5; Jr 5:1; Mc 6:8; Zch 7:9; Lk 11:42
an. 23:24 Mt 15:14; 23:16
ao. 23:25 Or full of violence
ap. 23:25 Mk 7:4; Lk 11:39
aq. 23:26 Other mss add and dish
ar. 23:26 Other mss read of them
as. 23:27 Lk 11:44; Ac 23:3
at. 23:30 Lit have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets
au. 23:32 Lit the measure of your fathers
av. 23:31-32 Gn 15:16; Ac 7:51; 1Th 2:15-16
aw. 23:33 Lit escape from the judgment of gehenna
ax. 23:33 Mt 3:7; 5:22; 12:34
ay. 23:34 Ac 13:1; 1Co 12:28
az. 23:34 2Ch 36:15-16; Mt 10:17; Ac 22:19
ba. 23:35 Lit will come on you
bb. 23:35 2Ch 24:21; Zch 1:1
bc. 23:35 Gn 4:8; Heb 11:4; 1Jn 3:12; Rv 18:24
bd. 23:36 Mt 10:23; 16:28; 24:34
be. 23:37-39 Lk 13:34-35
bf. 23:37 Or as a mother bird gathers her young
bg. 23:37 Dt 32:11-12; Ru 2:12; Mt 5:12
bh. 23:38 1Kg 9:7; Is 64:11; Jr 12:7; 22:5
bi. 23:39 Ps 118:26; Mt 21:9
bj. 23:39 Ps 118:26
Matthew 22
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