New American Standard Bible
"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
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.
Darby Bible Translation
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 23:14 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Devour widows' houses - The word "houses" is used here to denote "property" or possessions of any kind. You take away or get possession of the property of widows by improper arts and pretences. This was done in two ways:
1. They claimed a very exact knowledge of the law and a perfect observance of it. They pretended to extraordinary justice toward the poor, friendship for the distressed, and willingness to aid those who were in embarrassed circumstances. They thus induced "widows" and poor people to commit the management of their property to them as guardians and executors, and then took advantage of them and defrauded them.
2. They put on the appearance of great sanctity, and induced many conscientious but credulous women to give them much, under pretence of devoting it to religious purposes.
Long prayer - Their prayers are said to have been often three hours in length. One rule among them, says Lightfoot, was to meditate an hour, then pray an hour, and then meditate another hour - all of which was included in their "long prayers or devotions."
Damnation - Condemnation. The word here probably refers to future punishment. It does not always, however. It means, frequently, no more than "condemnation," or the divine disapprobation of a certain course of conduct, as in 1 Corinthians 11:29; "He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh "damnation" to himself;" that is, he that eateth and drinketh in an unworthy manner disorderly, not with reverence - is guilty, and his conduct will be disapproved or condemned by God referring solely to the impropriety of the manner of partaking of the Lord's supper, and not at all to the worthiness or unworthiness of the person. See the notes at that place. Compare Romans 14:23.
For a pretence - For appearance or show; in order that they might the better defraud poor people. They would not be condemned for "making" long prayers, but because they did it with an evil design. Public prayers should, however, be short, and always to the point. A man praying in a Sunday school should pray for the school, and, usually, not for everything else.
LibraryChristianity Misunderstood by Believers.
Meaning of Christian Doctrine, Understood by a Minority, has Become Completely Incomprehensible for the Majority of Men-- Reason of this to be Found in Misinterpretation of Christianity and Mistaken Conviction of Believers and Unbelievers Alike that they Understand it--The Meaning of Christianity Obscured for Believers by the Church--The First Appearance of Christ's Teaching--Its Essence and Difference from Heathen Religions-- Christianity not Fully Comprehended at the Beginning, Became More and …
Leo Tolstoy—The Kingdom of God is within you
Relation of the Pharisees to the Sadducees and Essenes, and to the Gospel of Christ
Subjects of Study. Home Education in Israel; Female Education. Elementary Schools, Schoolmasters, and School Arrangements.
Letter Xliv Concerning the Maccabees but to whom Written is Unknown.
"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation."
who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation."
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