Matthew 23:13
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! 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.

New Living Translation
"What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people's faces. You won't go in yourselves, and you don't let others enter either.

English Standard Version
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.

New American Standard Bible
"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

King James Bible
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"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.

International Standard Version
"How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door to the kingdom from heaven in people's faces. You don't go in yourselves, and you don't allow those who are trying to enter to go in.

NET Bible
"But woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You keep locking people out of the kingdom of heaven! For you neither enter nor permit those trying to enter to go in.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, pretenders, who consume the houses of widows with offerings for your making of long prayers! Because of this you will receive greater judgment.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"How horrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. You don't enter it yourselves, and you don't permit others to enter when they try.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of the heavens in front of men, for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye those that are entering to go in.

King James 2000 Bible
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither allow you them that are entering to go in.

American King James Version
But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in.

American Standard Version
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye shut the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye enter not in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering in to enter.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men, for you yourselves do not enter in; and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter.

Darby Bible Translation
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye shut up the kingdom of the heavens before men; for *ye* do not enter, nor do ye suffer those that are entering to go in.

English Revised Version
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye shut the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye enter not in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering in to enter.

Webster's Bible Translation
But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees! hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering, to go in.

Weymouth New Testament
"But alas for you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you lock the door of the Kingdom of the Heavens against men; you yourselves do not enter, nor do you allow those to enter who are seeking to do so.

World English Bible
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and as a pretense you make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

Young's Literal Translation
'Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye shut up the reign of the heavens before men, for ye do not go in, nor those going in do ye suffer to enter.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

23:13-33 The scribes and Pharisees were enemies to the gospel of Christ, and therefore to the salvation of the souls of men. It is bad to keep away from Christ ourselves, but worse also to keep others from him. Yet it is no new thing for the show and form of godliness to be made a cloak to the greatest enormities. But dissembled piety will be reckoned double iniquity. They were very busy to turn souls to be of their party. Not for the glory of God and the good of souls, but that they might have the credit and advantage of making converts. Gain being their godliness, by a thousand devices they made religion give way to their worldly interests. They were very strict and precise in smaller matters of the law, but careless and loose in weightier matters. It is not the scrupling a little sin that Christ here reproves; if it be a sin, though but a gnat, it must be strained out; but the doing that, and then swallowing a camel, or, committing a greater sin. While they would seem to be godly, they were neither sober nor righteous. We are really, what we are inwardly. Outward motives may keep the outside clean, while the inside is filthy; but if the heart and spirit be made new, there will be newness of life; here we must begin with ourselves. The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was like the ornaments of a grave, or dressing up a dead body, only for show. The deceitfulness of sinners' hearts appears in that they go down the streams of the sins of their own day, while they fancy that they should have opposed the sins of former days. We sometimes think, if we had lived when Christ was upon earth, that we should not have despised and rejected him, as men then did; yet Christ in his Spirit, in his word, in his ministers, is still no better treated. And it is just with God to give those up to their hearts' lusts, who obstinately persist in gratifying them. Christ gives men their true characters.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 13-32. - Eight woes pronounced on the Pharisees for their conduct and teaching. (Comp. Luke 11:42-52.) Verse 13. - Some authorities transpose vers. 13 and 14 - a variation attributable to the circumstance that the commencing clauses are the same. As Christ inaugurated his public teaching by pronouncing eight benedictions in the sermon on the mount, so here he closes his ministry by imprecating or prophesying eight woes on the perverse and unbelieving Pharisees. In Lange's commentary there is proposed a scheme of antithesis between the benedictions and the woes, but it is not very successful, being often forced and unnatural; and it is better to regard the contrast in a general view, and not to attempt to press it in particulars. Jesus here pours forth his righteous anger on those whose obstinate infidelity was about to bring ruin on the Jewish city and nation. Woe unto you! (Matthew 11:21). These terrible "woes" are not only evoked by indignation, and pronounced as a solemn judgment, they are also expressive of the profoundest pity, and are prophetic of the future. They have, indeed, a twofold reference - they refer first to temporal judgments and visitations, now ready to fall; and secondly to the retribution in the eternal world. That the meek and lowly Jesus should utter such awful denunciations shows how greatly he was moved how he left nothing untried to turn these hard hearts to introspection and repentance. Scribes and Pharisees (see on ver. 2), hypocrites (Matthew 6:2). Christ uses this word seven times in these denunciations. It is applied to the Pharisees as deceiving themselves and others, under the mask of godliness hiding polluted hearts, persuading themselves that formal externalism was real piety and devotion, and practically teaching this fatal delusion. Ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων: before men; ante homines (Vulgate. This is the first woe - against perverse obstructiveness. They prevent men from accepting Christ, and so entering God's kingdom, by their false interpretation of Scripture, by not allowing that it testified of Christ, and by making the path impassable for the poor and ignorant. And this is done "in the face of men," when they are, as it were, thronging round and wishing to enter. "Ye have taken away the key of knowledge," he says, in another place (Luke 11:52). Neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. The kingdom of heaven is here metaphorically regarded as a banqueting hall, where are celebrated the espousals of Christ and his Church. The Pharisees watched the access thereto. They stood at the door to bar all entrance. If any showed signs of yielding to honest conviction, they sternly forbade them to proceed; they repelled them with violence, as by excommunication (John 9:22, 34), or by calumniating the Teacher (Matthew 9:34, etc.). There was many a time when 34, people were ready to acknowledge Christ and to follow him as Messiah. A word from their authorized leaders would have turned the scale in his favour; but that word was never spoken. The weight of authority was always placed on the opposite side, and naught but prejudice, animosity, and slander befell the cause of Jesus.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites,.... It seems from hence, that the Scribes and Pharisees had not left him, at least not all of them, notwithstanding the confusion they were thrown into; but were still about him, observing what he said to the people, and watching an opportunity to take every advantage against him; whom he addresses in a very awful manner, calling them "hypocrites", as he truly might; for they were such, both to God and men: he had detected them already before the people, in several instances of hypocrisy; and gives sufficient reasons, in the following part of this chapter, to support the character, he gives of them, and his charge against them; denouncing a woe upon them in this world, and that which is to come, no less than eight times; expressing his abhorrence of their wickedness, his commiseration of their case, and their certain destruction: "for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men": not eternal life and happiness, the entrance into which can neither be opened nor shut by men: those whom God determines to bring thither, shall have an entrance abundantly ministered to them, in spite of the opposition of men and devils; though these men did all that in them lay, to hinder persons enjoying everlasting glory. But the Gospel dispensation is here meant, which opened by the ministry of John the Baptist, Christ and his disciples, and which the Scribes and Pharisees did all they could to shut; by discouraging the preaching of the Gospel, and the administration of ordinances, in which this dispensation lay; and prejudicing the minds of men against it, that they might not embrace the doctrines of it, nor submit to its ordinances: they, by their office, ought to have opened and explained the Scriptures, the prophecies of the Old Testament relating to the Messiah, and led the people into a knowledge of the mysteries of his kingdom, and encouraged them to enter into this new state of things; which, according to the true intent of Scripture, was to take place, and now did: but instead of this, they shut up the Scriptures, took away the key of knowledge, and laid it aside; and darkened the Scriptures by their false glosses, and obliged the people to observe the traditions of the elders, and which they call , "an hedge for the law" (w); to which Beza thinks, the allusion is here, and by which men were shut up, and kept from the true knowledge both of law and Gospel:

for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in: they neither believed in the Messiah themselves, nor embraced the doctrines relating to his person and office: have any of the Pharisees believed on him? No; they received him not, they rejected him, and also the counsel of God, against themselves, not being baptized with the baptism of John, the forerunner of Christ; nor would they suffer others, that were inclined to profess their faith in him, and be baptized, to do it; but discouraged them all they could, by their reproachful treatment of the person, miracles, and ministry of Christ, and by their threatenings and menaces, and by their excommunications of such as made a confession of him.

(w) Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

13. But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men—Here they are charged with shutting heaven against men: in Lu 11:52 they are charged with what was worse, taking away the key—"the key of knowledge"—which means, not the key to open knowledge, but knowledge as the only key to open heaven. A right knowledge of God's revealed word is eternal life, as our Lord says (Joh 17:3; 5:39); but this they took away from the people, substituting for it their wretched traditions.

Matthew 23:13 Additional Commentaries
Context
Woes to Scribes and Pharisees
12"Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. 13"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.…
Cross References
Matthew 3:7
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

Matthew 23:15
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

Matthew 23:16
"Woe to you, blind guides! 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.'

Matthew 23:23
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

Luke 11:52
"Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering."
Treasury of Scripture

But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in.

woe.

Matthew 23:14,15,27,29 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows' …

Isaiah 9:14,15 Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch …

Isaiah 33:14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness has surprised the hypocrites. …

Zechariah 11:17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaves the flock! the sword shall be …

Luke 11:43,44 Woe to you, Pharisees! for you love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, …

for ye shut.

Matthew 21:31,32 Whether of them two did the will of his father? They say to him, …

Luke 11:52 Woe to you, lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge: …

John 7:46-52 The officers answered, Never man spoke like this man…

John 9:22,24,34 These words spoke his parents, because they feared the Jews: for …

Acts 4:17,18 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straightly …

Acts 5:28,40 Saying, Did not we straightly command you that you should not teach …

Acts 8:1 And Saul was consenting to his death. And at that time there was …

Acts 13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood …

1 Thessalonians 2:15,16 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have …

2 Timothy 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist …

2 Timothy 4:15 Of whom be you ware also; for he has greatly withstood our words.

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