Luke 20:47
Which devour widows' houses, and for a show make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
20:39-47 The scribes commended the reply Christ made to the Sadducees about the resurrection, but they were silenced by a question concerning the Messiah. Christ, as God, was David's Lord; but Christ, as man, was David's son. The scribes would receive the severest judgement for defrauding the poor widows, and for their abuse of religion, particularly of prayer, which they used as a pretence for carrying on worldly and wicked plans. Dissembled piety is double sin. Then let us beg of God to keep us from pride, ambition, covetousness, and every evil thing; and to teach us to seek that honour which comes from him alone.See Matthew 23:1. 47. devour, &c.—taking advantage of their helpless condition and confiding character, 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 "the scribes!" See Poole on "Luke 20:45" Which devour widows' houses,.... As the characters of them, in the preceding verse, expose their pride, this shows their avarice; they were very voracious and cruel; they did not spare widows, but devoured their substance:

and for a show make long prayers; to cover their wickedness, pretending great devotion and religion;

the same shall receive greater damnation: than openly profane sinners; doing such wickedness under a cloak of religion, will aggravate their condemnation; See Gill on Matthew 23:14.

Which devour widows' {k} houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.

(k) By the figure of speech metonymy, houses is understood to mean the goods and substance.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 20:47. Another improvement is the change of οἱ κατεσθίοντες (Mark 12:40) into οἳ κατεσθίουσιvide notes on Mk.—μακρὰ, at length, an adverb. Bengel (in Mt.) suggests μακρᾷ to agree with προφάσει (“ex orationibus suis fecere magnam πρόφασιν, praetextum comedendi domos viduarum”). Elsner adopts the same view.47. which devour widows’ houses] Josephus expressly tells us that the Pharisees had large female followings, and an absolute sway in the Gynaekonitis or women’s apartments, Jos. Antt. xviii. 2, § 4.

for a shew] Rather, in pretence. Their hypocrisy was so notorious that even the Talmud records the warning given by Alexander Jannaeus to his wife on his deathbed against painted Pharisees. And in their seven classes of Pharisees the Talmudic writers place “Shechemites”— Pharisees from self-interest; Stumblers—so mock-humble that they will not raise their feet from the ground; Bleeders—so mock-modest, that because they will not raise their eyes, they run against walls, &c. Thus the Jewish writers themselves depict the Pharisees as the Tartuffes of antiquity.

long prayers] Such as the twenty-six forms of prayer at ablution; the Eighteen Benedictions (Shemoneh Esreh), &c.

damnation] Rather, judgment. The word is not even katakrima, or ‘condemnation.’ Their ‘judgment’ shall be more severe than that of those who practised none of these religious ordinances. It should be “more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment” than for these, Luke 10:14.Verse 47. - Which devour widows' houses. Josephus specially alludes to the influence which certain of the Pharisees had acquired over women as directors of the conscience. For a show; rather, in pretence. "Their hypocrisy was so notorious that even the Talmud records the warning given by Alexander Jannaeus to his wife on his deathbed against painted Pharisees. And in their seven classes of Pharisees, the Talmudic writers place 'Shechemites,' Pharisees from self-interest; 'Stumblers,' so mock-humble that they will not raise their feet from the ground; 'Bleeders,' so mock-modest that, because they will not raise their eyes, they run against walls, etc. Thus the Jewish writers themselves depict the Pharisees as the Tartuffes of antiquity" (Farrar). Shall receive greater damnation; rather, judgment. The translators of our beautiful English version are most unhappy in their usual rendering of κρίμα.



Widows' houses

See on Mark 12:40.

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