|New International Version (©2011)|
New Living Translation (©2007)
English Standard Version (©2001)
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"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.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You devour widows' houses and make long prayers just for show. This is why you will receive a harsher punishment.
International Standard Version (©2012)
"How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You devour widows' houses and say long prayers to cover it up. Therefore, you will receive greater condemnation!
NET Bible (©2006)
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, pretenders, for you shut the Kingdom of Heaven before the children of men, for you are not entering, and those who are entering you do not permit to enter!
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore you shall receive the greater condemnation.
American King James Version
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore you shall receive the greater damnation.
American Standard Version
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows houses, even while for a pretence ye make long prayers: therefore ye shall receive greater condemnation.
Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: because you devour the houses of widows, praying long prayers. For this you shall receive the greater judgment.
Darby Bible Translation
English Revised Version
Webster's Bible Translation
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Weymouth New Testament
World English Bible
"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men; for you don't enter in yourselves, neither do you allow those who are entering in to enter.
Young's Literal Translation
'Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye eat up the houses of the widows, and for a pretence make long prayers, because of this ye shall receive more abundant judgment.
|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.
Verse 14. - Second woe - against rapacity and hypocrisy. There is some doubt about the genuineness of this verse, and our Revisers have expunged it from their text, relegating it to the margin. It is omitted by א, B, D, L, Z, some copies of the Vulgate and some versions; on the other hand, it is found in E, F, G, H, K, M, and other later uncials, and in the received Vulgate and Syriac Versions. Critics reject it as a supposed interpolation from Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47. At any rate, whether spoken now or at another time, it is undoubtedly an utterance of Christ, and to be received with all reverence. Ye devour widows' houses. Women who have lost their natural protector become their prey. To these they attach themselves, winning them over by flattery and fraud, and persuading them to assist them with their substance to the ruin of their fortunes. God had always defended the cause of widows, and had urged his people to deal gently and mercifully with them (see Deuteronomy 10:18; Deuteronomy 27:19; Psalm 68:5; Isaiah 1:17; Luke 18:3-7). This woe is followed in St. Luke by the episode of the widow's mite (Luke 20:47; Luke 21:1-4). And for a pretence make long prayer; or, and that, making long prayers for a pretence. They put on an appearance of extraordinary devotion, that they might more easily secure the favour of the widows; or else they exacted large sums of money, engaging to offer continual prayers for the donors (compare St. Paul's words in 2 Timothy 3:6). Thus these hypocrites made a gain of godliness at the expense of the most helpless members of the community. Greater (περισσότερον, more abundant) damnation. No condemnation in this world or the next can be more justly awarded than to him who adds hypocrisy to covetousness, and makes religion a cloke for cruel rapacity. The comparative may refer to "the lengthened hypocritical prayers which went before" (Lange).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites,.... The same character is given as before, and the same woe denounced, and a fresh reason given of it:
for ye devour widows' houses; that is, the goods in the houses of such as were left with fatherless children, and but little to support them; who being left alone, and none to advise them, and being weak, and prone to superstition; these greedy dogs, as Isaiah calls them, who could never have enough, easily imposed upon them, wormed them out of all their substance, stripped them bare of the necessaries of life, prevailed on them to sell their houses and goods, and bestow them on them; or got their little estates into their hands, pretending to take care, and dispose of them for them, to their advantage:
and for a pretence make long prayers: as if they were very holy, good men; or pretended that the substance of these widows, which they got into their hands, was for their long prayers for them; or they made long prayers for them in return for their substance. Maimonides (x) says, that
"the ancient saints, or good men, used to stay an hour before prayer, and an hour after prayer, and "prolonged", or "held an hour in prayer":''
and this being three times a day, nine hours every day, as is observed in the Talmud (y), were spent in this manner; and on this account they got the character of very devout and religious men, and hereby covered all their avarice, rapine, and oppression of the poor: but God will not be mocked;
therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation; both on account of their plundering and distressing the poor, the widows, and the fatherless; and also because of their hypocrisy in doing this under the cover of religion and holiness. Hence it appears, that there are degrees of punishment in hell, and that hypocrites, and all such who oppress the poor, under the mask of godliness, supposing gain to be that, will be partakers of the greatest degree of it. In Munster's Hebrew Gospel it is called , "a long judgment", or "damnation", in allusion to their long prayers: and is the very reverse of what they expect on account of them: they say (z).
"three things prolong a man's days and years, "he that is long in his prayer"''
is the first mentioned; and he that is long at his prayer, it is an excellency, they say; but instead of a long and happy life, he shall have a long damnation. This verse is left out in some copies, and in others it stands before the former; in which order it is read in the Syriac, Arabic, Persic, and Ethiopic versions.
(x) Hilch. Tephillah, c. 4. sect. 16. (y) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 32. 2.((z) Ib. fol. 54. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, &c.—Taking advantage of the helpless condition and confiding character of "widows," they contrived to obtain possession of their property, while by their "long prayers" they made them believe they were raised far above "filthy lucre." So much "the greater damnation" awaits them. What a lifelike description of the Romish clergy, the true successors of those scribes!
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