Matthew 23:6
Parallel Verses
New International Version
they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;

New Living Translation
And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues.

English Standard Version
and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues

New American Standard Bible
"They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues,

King James Bible
And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They love the place of honor at banquets, the front seats in the synagogues,

International Standard Version
They love to have the places of honor at festivals, the best seats in the synagogues,

NET Bible
They love the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And they love the first class places at feasts and first class seats in the synagogues

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They love the place of honor at dinners and the front seats in synagogues.

Jubilee Bible 2000
and love the first place at feasts and the chief seats in the synagogues

King James 2000 Bible
And love the uppermost places at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

American King James Version
And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

American Standard Version
and love the chief place at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues,

Darby Bible Translation
and love the chief place in feasts and the first seats in the synagogues,

English Revised Version
and love the chief place at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

Webster's Bible Translation
And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

Weymouth New Testament
and love the best seats at a dinner party or in the synagogues,

World English Bible
and love the place of honor at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues,

Young's Literal Translation
they love also the chief couches in the supper, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

23:1-12 The scribes and Pharisees explained the law of Moses, and enforced obedience to it. They are charged with hypocrisy in religion. We can only judge according to outward appearance; but God searches the heart. They made phylacteries. These were scrolls of paper or parchment, wherein were written four paragraphs of the law, to be worn on their foreheads and left arms, Ex 13:2-10; 13:11-16; De 6:4-9; 11:13-21. They made these phylacteries broad, that they might be thought more zealous for the law than others. God appointed the Jews to make fringes upon their garments, Nu 15:38, to remind them of their being a peculiar people; but the Pharisees made them larger than common, as if they were thereby more religious than others. Pride was the darling, reigning sin of the Pharisees, the sin that most easily beset them, and which our Lord Jesus takes all occasions to speak against. For him that is taught in the word to give respect to him that teaches, is commendable; but for him that teaches, to demand it, to be puffed up with it, is sinful. How much is all this against the spirit of Christianity! The consistent disciple of Christ is pained by being put into chief places. But who that looks around on the visible church, would think this was the spirit required? It is plain that some measure of this antichristian spirit prevails in every religious society, and in every one of our hearts.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 6. - The uppermost rooms; τὴν πρωτοκλισίαν: primos recubitus; chief place (Luke 14:7). The custom of reclining on cushions set in horseshoe fashion at three sides of the table was now prevalent, the old custom of squatting round a low table, as at present practised in the East, having been long abandoned. The place of honour is said to have been at the upper end of the right side, the president being placed, not in the centre of that end of the table which faced the opening, but at the side. The most honoured guest would be at his right hand (but see on Matthew 26:23). There was often much manoeuvring to obtain this post, and many petty squabbles about precedence arose on every festal occasion (see Luke 14:1, 7, etc.). The chief seats in the synagogues. The usual arrangement of the synagogue is given by Dr. Edersheim ('Life and Times of Jesus,' 1. pp. 434, etc.). It was built of stone, with an entrance generally on the south, and so arranged that the worshippers might direct their prayers towards Jerusalem. In the centre was placed the lectern of the reader; the women's gallery was at the north end. "The inside plan is generally that of two double colonnades, which seem to have formed the body of the synagogue, the aisles east and west being probably used as passages. At the south end, facing north, is a movable ark, containing the sacred rolls of the Law and the prophets. Right before the ark, and facing the people, are the seats of honour, for the rulers of the synagogue and the honourable." These were the places for which the Pharisees contended, thinking more of gaining these, where they could sit enthroned in the sight of the congregation, than of the Divine worship which nominally they came to offer (comp. James 2:2, 3).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And love the uppermost rooms at feasts,.... Or the first and chief places to sit, or lie down on, at ordinary meals, and especially at large entertainments, where the great ones sat, as in 1 Samuel 9:22 where Jarchi on the place observes, that by the manner of their sitting, it was known who was the greatest; and this the Scribes and Pharisees affected. With the Romans, the most honourable place was at the upper end of the table: some think it was more honourable to sit in the middle, but the master of the feast sat at the lower end; and to senior men, and who were venerable with age, or excelled in prudence and authority, the first sitting down, and the more honourable place, were given; and when the table was taken away, they used to rise first (a): the middle place was the more honourable with the Numidians (b), and so it seems to be with the Romans (c), and also with the Jews; and this the Scribes and Pharisees loved, desired, sought for, and were pleased if they had not it. It is said (d) of Simeon ben Shetach, a noted Pharisee, about, or rather before the time of Christ, that having fled upon a certain account from king Jannai, he sent for him, and when he came,

"he sat himself between the king and the queen: the king said to him, why dost thou mock me? he replied to him, I do not mock thee, thou hast riches and I have learning, as it is written, "Wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence", Ecclesiastes 7:12. He said to him, but why dost thou "sit between the king and queen?" He replied, in the book of Ben Sira, it is written, "Exalt her and she shall promote thee, and cause thee to sit among princes." He ordered to give him a cup, that he might ask a blessing; he took the cup and said, blessed be the food that Jannai and his friends eat.''

Thus on account of their wisdom and learning, they thought they had a right to take the upper hand of kings themselves:

and the chief seats in the synagogues; for these were different; the seats of the senior men were turned towards the people, and the backs of them were towards the ark or chest, in which the holy books were put; and these seem to be what the Scribes and Pharisees coveted, that they might be in the full view of the people. And so says Maimonides (e), "How do the people sit in the synagogues?"

"The elders sit, i.e. first, and their faces are towards the people, and their backs are to the temple, or holy place; and all the people sit in rows, and the faces of one row are to the backs of the row that is before them; so that the faces of all the people are to the holy place, and to the elders, and to the ark.''

(a) Alex. ab Alex. Genial Dier. l. 5. c. 21. (b) Sallust. Bell. Jugurth. p. 45. (c) Vid. Alstorph. de lect. vet. p. 117. Minut. Felix, p. 3, 4. (d) T. Hieros. Betacot, fol. 11. 2. Beresh. Rabba, sect. 91. fol. 78. 4. (e) Hilchot Tephilla, c. 11. sect. 4.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

6. And love the uppermost rooms at feasts—The word "room" is now obsolete in the sense here intended. It should be "the uppermost place," that is, the place of highest honor.

and the chief seats in the synagogues. See on [1345]Lu 14:7, 8.

Matthew 23:6 Additional Commentaries
Context
Woes to Scribes and Pharisees
5"But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. 6"They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.…
Cross References
Mark 12:39
and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.

Luke 11:43
"Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces.

Luke 14:7
When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable:

Luke 20:46
"Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.
Treasury of Scripture

And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

Matthew 20:21 And he said to her, What will you? She said to him, Grant that these …

Proverbs 25:6,7 Put not forth yourself in the presence of the king, and stand not …

Mark 12:38,39 And he said to them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which …

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

Luke 14:7-11 And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked …

Luke 20:46,47 Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love …

Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor …

James 2:1-4 My brothers, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord …

3 John 1:9 I wrote to the church: but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence …

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