23 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:

All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

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

And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

14 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.

15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

16 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!

17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.

19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?

20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.

21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.

22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.

28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.

31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees

23 Then Jesus (A)said to the crowds and to his disciples, (B)“The scribes and the Pharisees (C)sit on Moses' seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, (D)but not the works they do. (E)For they preach, but do not practice. (F)They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,[a] and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. (G)They do all their deeds (H)to be seen by others. For they make (I)their phylacteries broad and (J)their fringes long, and they (K)love the place of honor at feasts and (L)the best seats in the synagogues and (M)greetings in (N)the marketplaces and being called (O)rabbi[b] by others. (P)But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are (Q)all brothers.[c] (R)And call no man your father on earth, for (S)you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, (T)the Christ. 11 (U)The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 (V)Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13 “But woe (W)to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you (X)shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you (Y)neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.[d] 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single (Z)proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a (AA)child of (AB)hell[e] as yourselves.

16 “Woe to (AC)you, (AD)blind guides, who say, (AE)‘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.’ 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or (AF)the temple that has made the gold sacred? 18 And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by (AG)the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ 19 You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or (AH)the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by (AI)him who dwells in it. 22 And whoever swears by (AJ)heaven swears by (AK)the throne of God and by (AL)him who sits upon it.

23 (AM)“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For (AN)you tithe mint and dill and (AO)cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: (AP)justice and mercy and faithfulness. (AQ)These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing (AR)a camel!

25 (AS)“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For (AT)you clean the outside of (AU)the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of (AV)greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of (AW)the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

27 (AX)“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like (AY)whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and (AZ)all uncleanness. 28 So you also (BA)outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of (BB)hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 (BC)“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30 saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Thus you witness against yourselves that you are (BD)sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 (BE)Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, (BF)you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to (BG)hell? 34 (BH)Therefore (BI)I send you (BJ)prophets and wise men and (BK)scribes, (BL)some of whom you will kill and crucify, and (BM)some you will (BN)flog in your synagogues and (BO)persecute from town to town, 35 so that on you may come all (BP)the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous (BQ)Abel to the blood of (BR)Zechariah the son of Barachiah,[f] whom you murdered between (BS)the sanctuary and (BT)the altar. 36 Truly, I say to you, (BU)all these things will come upon this generation.

Lament over Jerusalem

37 (BV)“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that (BW)kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have (BX)gathered (BY)your children together (BZ)as a hen gathers her brood (CA)under her wings, and (CB)you were not willing! 38 See, (CC)your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, (CD)‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

Footnotes

  1. Matthew 23:4 Some manuscripts omit hard to bear
  2. Matthew 23:7 Rabbi means my teacher, or my master; also verse 8
  3. Matthew 23:8 Or brothers and sisters
  4. Matthew 23:13 Some manuscripts add here (or after verse 12) verse 14: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive the greater condemnation
  5. Matthew 23:15 Greek Gehenna; also verse 33
  6. Matthew 23:35 Some manuscripts omit the son of Barachiah

A Warning Against Hypocrisy(A)(B)

23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law(C) and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.(D)

“Everything they do is done for people to see:(E) They make their phylacteries[a](F) wide and the tassels on their garments(G) long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;(H) they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.(I)

“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father,(J) and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant.(K) 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.(L)

Seven Woes on the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees

13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!(M) You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.(N) [14] [b]

15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert,(O) and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell(P) as you are.

16 “Woe to you, blind guides!(Q) 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.’(R) 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?(S) 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?(T) 20 Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells(U) in it. 22 And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.(V)

23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth(W) of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness.(X) You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides!(Y) You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish,(Z) but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.(AA) 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs,(AB) which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

29 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets(AC) and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.(AD) 32 Go ahead, then, and complete(AE) what your ancestors started!(AF)

33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers!(AG) How will you escape being condemned to hell?(AH) 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify;(AI) others you will flog in your synagogues(AJ) and pursue from town to town.(AK) 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel(AL) to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah,(AM) whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.(AN) 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.(AO)

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,(AP) how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,(AQ) and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate.(AR) 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’[c](AS)

Footnotes

  1. Matthew 23:5 That is, boxes containing Scripture verses, worn on forehead and arm
  2. Matthew 23:14 Some manuscripts include here words similar to Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47.
  3. Matthew 23:39 Psalm 118:26

Bible Gateway Sponsors