Matthew 23:33
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?

New Living Translation
Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?

English Standard Version
You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?

New American Standard Bible
"You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

King James Bible
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"Snakes! Brood of vipers! How can you escape being condemned to hell?

International Standard Version
You snakes, you children of serpents! How can you escape being condemned to hell?

NET Bible
You snakes, you offspring of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Snakes! Offspring of vipers! How will you escape from the judgment of Gehenna?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"You snakes! You poisonous snakes! How can you escape being condemned to hell?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the judgment of hell?

King James 2000 Bible
You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the judgment of hell?

American King James Version
You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?

American Standard Version
Ye serpents, ye offspring of vipers, how shall ye escape the judgment of hell?

Douay-Rheims Bible
You serpents, generation of vipers, how will you flee from the judgment of hell?

Darby Bible Translation
Serpents, offspring of vipers, how should ye escape the judgment of hell?

English Revised Version
Ye serpents, ye offspring of vipers, how shall ye escape the judgment of hell?

Webster's Bible Translation
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Weymouth New Testament
O serpents, O vipers' brood, how are you to escape condemnation to Gehenna?

World English Bible
You serpents, you offspring of vipers, how will you escape the judgment of Gehenna?

Young's Literal Translation
'Serpents! brood of vipers! how may ye escape from the judgment of the gehenna?
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 33-39. - Declaration of the sentence on these Pharisees and their generation. Verse 33. - Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers; γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν: offspring of vipers. Our Lord repeats the Baptist's denunciation (Matthew 3:7). They were of devilish nature, inherited from their very birth the disposition and character of Satan. So Christ said on another occasion, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stood not in the truth" (John 8:44). How can ye escape? Πῶς φύγητε; the deliberative conjunctive, How shall ye escape? Quo mode fugietis? (Vulgate). There is no emphasis on "can" in the Authorized Version. What hope is there now of your repentance? Can anything soften the hardness of your hearts? The Baptist had spoken more hopefully, "Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" But now the day of grace is past; the sin against the Holy Ghost is committed; there remaineth only the fearful looking for of judgment. The damnation of hell; literally, the judgment of Gehenna; judicio Gehennae (Vulgate); i.e. the sentence that condemns to eternal death (Matthew 5:22). The phrase is common in the rabbinical writings (see Lightfoot). "Before sinning, we ought to fear lest it be the filling up; after sinning, we should trust in a truly Christian hope that it is not, and repent. This is the only means to escape the damnation of hell; but how rare is this grace after a pharisaical life!" (Quesnel). Hypocrisy is a bar to repentance.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Ye servants, ye generation of vipers,.... The latter of these names, John the Baptist calls the Sadducees and Pharisees by, in Matthew 3:7 and Christ, in Matthew 12:34 both express their craft and subtlety, their inward poison, and venomous nature; their fair outside, and specious pretences; their hypocrisy, malice, and wickedness; in which they were like to the old serpent, their father the devil, and to their ancestors, that murdered the prophets; nor could any good thing be expected, from such a viperous generation:

how can ye escape the damnation of hell? signifying, that it was impossible that they should; nor could they surely expect it themselves, who must be conscious to themselves of their wickedness, malice, and deceit. The Persic version reads it, "where can ye escape?" &c. and so Beza says it was read, in one ancient copy of his; and the sense is, whither can ye flee? to whom, or what can you have recourse to, to screen you from the wrath to come? Rocks and mountains, caves and dens, will be of no service. The phrase,

, "the judgment, or damnation of hell", is a phrase often used in the Talmud (p), and Midrashes (q) of the Jews; and intends future torment, and the everlasting vengeance and wrath of God, the unquenchable fire prepared for the devil and his angels, and which impenitent unbelieving sinners cannot escape,

(p) T. Bab. Berncot, fol. 61. 1. Erubin, fol. 18. 2. Yebamot, fol. 102. 2. Sota, fol. 4. 2. & 5. 1. & Bava Bathra, fol. 10. 1.((q) Bemidbar Rabba, fol. 203. 1. Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 14. 2. & Midrash Kohelet, fol. 76. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

33. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?—In thus, at the end of His ministry, recalling the words of the Baptist at the outset of his, our Lord would seem to intimate that the only difference between their condemnation now and then was, that now they were ripe for their doom, which they were not then.

Matthew 23:33 Additional Commentaries
Context
Woes to Scribes and Pharisees
32"Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33"You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? 34"Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city,…
Cross References
Isaiah 20:6
In that day the people who live on this coast will say, 'See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria! How then can we escape?'"

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 5:22
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, 'Raca,' is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Matthew 12:34
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Matthew 23:32
Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!

Luke 3:7
John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Treasury of Scripture

You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?

serpents.

Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, …

Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? …

Matthew 21:34,35 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to …

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your …

Psalm 58:3-5 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as …

Isaiah 57:3,4 But draw near here, you sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer …

Luke 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, …

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you …

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through …

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, …

how.

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

Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the …

Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, …

Hebrews 12:25 See that you refuse not him that speaks. For if they escaped not …

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