Matthew 23:16
New International Version
“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.’

New Living Translation
“Blind guides! What sorrow awaits you! For you say that it means nothing to swear ‘by God’s Temple,’ but that it is binding to swear ‘by the gold in the Temple.’

English Standard Version
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’

Berean Study Bible
Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’

Berean Literal Bible
Woe to you, blind guides, those saying, 'Whoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever shall swear by the gold of the temple is bound by his oath.'

King James Bible
Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!

New King James Version
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.

New American Standard Bible
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’

NASB 1995
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’

NASB 1977
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obligated.’

Amplified Bible
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears [an oath] by the sanctuary of the temple, that is nothing (non-binding); but whoever swears [an oath] by the gold of the temple is obligated [as a debtor to fulfill his vow and keep his promise].’

Christian Standard Bible
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever takes an oath by the temple, it means nothing. But whoever takes an oath by the gold of the temple is bound by his oath.’

Holman Christian Standard Bible
“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, Whoever takes an oath by the sanctuary, it means nothing. But whoever takes an oath by the gold of the sanctuary is bound by his oath.’

American Standard Version
Woe unto you, ye blind guides, that say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Woe to you blind guides, for you say, 'Whoever swears by The Temple, it is nothing', but 'Whoever swears by the gold of The Temple is liable!'

Contemporary English Version
You are in for trouble! You are supposed to lead others, but you are blind. You teach that it doesn't matter if a person swears by the temple. But you say it does matter if someone swears by the gold in the temple.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Woe to you blind guides, that say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but he that shall swear by the gold of the temple, is a debtor.

English Revised Version
Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor.

Good News Translation
"How terrible for you, blind guides! You teach, 'If someone swears by the Temple, he isn't bound by his vow; but if he swears by the gold in the Temple, he is bound.'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"How horrible it will be for you, you blind guides! You say, 'To swear an oath by the temple doesn't mean a thing. But to swear an oath by the gold in the temple means a person must keep his oath.'

International Standard Version
"How terrible it will be for you, blind guides! You say, 'Whoever swears an oath by the sanctuary is excused, but whoever swears an oath by the gold of the sanctuary must keep his oath.'

Literal Standard Version
Woe to you, blind guides, who are saying, Whoever may swear by the temple, it is nothing, but whoever may swear by the gold of the temple—is debtor!

NET Bible
"Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple is bound by nothing. But whoever swears by the gold of the temple is bound by the oath.'

New Heart English Bible
"Woe to you, you blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obligated.'

Weymouth New Testament
"Alas for you, you blind guides, who say, "'Whoever swears by the Sanctuary it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the Sanctuary, is bound by the oath.'

World English Bible
"Woe to you, you blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obligated.'

Young's Literal Translation
'Woe to you, blind guides, who are saying, Whoever may swear by the sanctuary, it is nothing, but whoever may swear by the gold of the sanctuary -- is debtor!

Additional Translations ...
Context
Woes to Scribes and Pharisees
15Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You traverse land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. 16Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes it sacred?…

Cross References
Isaiah 9:16
For those who guide this people mislead them, and those they mislead are swallowed up.

Matthew 5:33
Again, you have heard that it was said to the ancients, 'Do not break your oath, but fulfill your vows to the Lord.'

Matthew 15:14
Disregard them! They are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."

Matthew 23:13
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let in those who wish to enter.

Matthew 23:24
You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.


Treasury of Scripture

Woe to you, you blind guides, which say, Whoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!

ye blind.

Matthew 23:17,19,24,26
Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? …

Matthew 15:14
Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

Isaiah 56:10,11
His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber…

Whosoever shall swear by the temple.

Matthew 5:33,34
Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: …

James 5:12
But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

it is.

Matthew 15:5,6
But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; …

Mark 7:10-13
For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: …

he is.

Galatians 5:3
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.









(16) Whosoever shall swear by the temple.--On the general teaching of the Pharisees as to oaths, see Notes on Matthew 5:33-37. It is not easy to trace the currents of thought that run through a corrupt casuistry, but probably the line of reasoning that led to this distinction was that the "gold of the Temple"--not the gold used in its structural ornamentation, but that which in coin or bullion was part of the Corban, or sacred treasure (Matthew 15:5)--had received a more special consecration than the fabric, and involved, therefore, a higher obligation, when used as a formula jurandi, than the Temple or the altar. Something of the same feeling is seen in the popular casuistry which makes the binding force of an oath depend on "kissing the Book;" or that of mediaeval Christendom, which saw in the relics of a saint that which was more sacred than the Gospels. The principle involved in our Lord's teaching goes further than its immediate application, and sweeps away the arbitrary distinction of different degrees of sanctity in the several parts of the same structure. Here the line of reasoning is, as in Matthew 5:33-37, that the Temple includes the altar, that the altar includes the gift, that the heaven includes the Throne, and that thus every oath-formula runs up, explicitly or implicitly, into the great thought of God.

Verse 16. - Fourth woe - against evasive distinctions in oaths. Ye blind guides. They were by profession leaders and guides, and yet by their literalism and externalism they lost the true significance of the Scriptures which they taught, and the ritual of which they were the exponents. The Lord repeats the epithet "blind "(vers. 17, 19, 24). Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing. Our Lord seems to refer more especially to oaths connected with vows, of which he had already spoken (Matthew 15:5, 6). The arbitrary distinction between oaths was indeed an instance of moral blindness. An oath by the temple was not binding; it might be broken or evaded with impunity. By the gold of the temple - i.e. by the sacred treasure and ornaments therein - he is a debtor (ὀφείλει); he is bound by his oath. The casuistry employed by the Jews in this matter was well known, and had become proverbial among the heathen. F.M. quotes Martial, 11:94 -

"Ecce negas, jurasque mihi per templa Tonantis,
Non credo: jura, verpe, per Anchialum.'"
Anchialum is equivalent to am chai aloh, "as God liveth," the Jew (verpus, "circumcised") being bound by no oath but one that contained some letters of the Divine name or some attribute of God.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Greek
Woe
Οὐαὶ (Ouai)
Interjection
Strong's 3759: Woe!, alas!, uttered in grief or denunciation. A primary exclamation of grief; 'woe'.

to you,
ὑμῖν (hymin)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Dative 2nd Person Plural
Strong's 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

blind
τυφλοὶ (typhloi)
Adjective - Vocative Masculine Plural
Strong's 5185: Blind, physically or mentally. From, tuphoo; opaque, i.e. blind.

guides!
ὁδηγοὶ (hodēgoi)
Noun - Vocative Masculine Singular
Strong's 3595: A leader, guide; met: an instructor, teacher. From hodos and hegeomai; a conductor (teacher).

[You]
οἱ (hoi)
Article - Vocative Masculine Plural
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

say,
λέγοντες (legontes)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Vocative Masculine Plural
Strong's 3004: (a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.

‘If anyone
Ὃς (Hos)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's 3739: Who, which, what, that.

swears
ὀμόσῃ (omosē)
Verb - Aorist Subjunctive Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's 3660: A prolonged form of a primary, but obsolete omo, for which another prolonged form omoo is used in certain tenses; to swear, i.e. Take oath.

by
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

the
τῷ (tō)
Article - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

temple,
ναῷ (naō)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's 3485: A temple, a shrine, that part of the temple where God himself resides. From a primary naio; a fane, shrine, temple.

it means
ἐστιν (estin)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

nothing;
οὐδέν (ouden)
Adjective - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's 3762: No one, none, nothing.

but
δ’ (d’)
Conjunction
Strong's 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

if anyone
ὃς (hos)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's 3739: Who, which, what, that.

swears
ὀμόσῃ (omosē)
Verb - Aorist Subjunctive Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's 3660: A prolonged form of a primary, but obsolete omo, for which another prolonged form omoo is used in certain tenses; to swear, i.e. Take oath.

by
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

the
τῷ (tō)
Article - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

gold
χρυσῷ (chrysō)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's 5557: Perhaps from the base of chraomai; gold; by extension, a golden article, as an ornament or coin.

of the
τοῦ (tou)
Article - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

temple,
ναοῦ (naou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 3485: A temple, a shrine, that part of the temple where God himself resides. From a primary naio; a fane, shrine, temple.

he is bound by his oath.?
ὀφείλει (opheilei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's 3784: Or, its prolonged form opheileo probably from the base of ophelos; to owe; figuratively, to be under obligation; morally, to fail in duty.


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