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Matthew 23

23
A Warning Against Hypocrisy
1Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees base what they tell you on the teachings of Moses. 3So you must be careful to do everything they say. But don’t do what they do, because they’re all talk and no action. 4They tie up heavy, bulky loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they aren’t willing to lift a finger themselves to help.
5“Everything they do is for others to see. People sometimes wear little boxes on their foreheads and arms that hold Scripture quotes. But they make their boxes big and obvious. People put tassels on the four corners of their clothes to remind them to obey God’s commands. But they make their tassels extra long. 6They love to sit in the places of honor at dinners and have the most important seats in the synagogues. 7They love to be greeted with respect in the markets and to be called ‘Rabbi.’
8“But you shouldn’t be called ‘Rabbi,’ because you have only one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9And don’t give anyone on earth the title ‘father,’ because you have only one Father, who is in heaven. 10And you shouldn’t be called ‘master,’ because you have only one Master, and he’s the Messiah. 11The greatest among you has to be your servant. 12People who lift themselves up will be humbled, but people who humble themselves will be lifted up.
Woe to the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees
13-14“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You don’t enter yourselves, but you won’t let in other people who are trying to enter.
15“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You travel by land and sea to win one person to your way of living, but then you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.
16“Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone makes a promise in the name of the temple, it means nothing. But if anyone makes a promise in the name of the gold in the temple, they have to keep that promise.’ 17Blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold holy? 18You also say, ‘If anyone makes a promise in the name of the altar, it means nothing. But if anyone makes a promise in the name of the gift on the altar, they have to keep that promise.’ 19You’re blind! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift holy? 20Any promise that’s made in the name of the altar includes everything that’s on it! 21In the same way, any promise that’s made in the name of the temple includes the one who lives in it, 22and any promise made in the name of heaven includes God’s throne and the one who sits on it.
23“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You give God a tenth of your spices like mint, dill, and cumin. But you’ve neglected the more important things in the law, which are justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have done those things and not neglected the first ones either. 24You blind guides! You strain a gnat out of your food, but then you swallow a whole camel!
25“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but the inside is full of greed and selfishness. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside will also be clean.
27“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You’re like tombs that have been painted white. They look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside they’re full of dead people’s bones and other things that aren’t pure and clean. 28You’re just like that. On the outside you appear to be doing what’s right, but on the inside you’re full of hypocrisy and crime.
29“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the godly. 30And you say, ‘If we’d lived back in those days, we wouldn’t have helped kill the prophets.’ 31But you’re being witnesses against yourselves. You’re admitting that you’re descended from the people who murdered the prophets. 32They killed them, and you finish the job by building their tombs!
33“You nest of poisonous snakes! How will you escape being sentenced to hell? 34I’m sending you prophets, wise people, and teachers. You’ll kill some of them by nailing them to a cross. You’ll whip others in your synagogues and chase them from town to town. 35So you’ll have to pay for all the blood of godly people that has been spilled on the earth. I mean from the blood of godly Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berekiah, who was murdered between the temple and the altar. 36Truly I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for all of it.
37“Jerusalem! Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and throw stones at those who are sent to you. Many times I’ve wanted to gather your people together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you wouldn’t let me! 38And now it’s too late: Your house is going to be deserted. 39I tell you, you won’t see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”

Matthew 23

23
Seven Woes Pronounced on the Scribes and Pharisees
1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, 2saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on the seat of Moses. 3Therefore do and observe everything that they tell you, but do not do as they do,#Literally “their deeds” for they tell others to do something#*The words “others to do something” are not in the Greek text but are implied and do not do it themselves.#*The words “it themselves” are not in the Greek text but are implied 4And they tie up heavy burdens#Some manuscripts have “burdens that are heavy and hard to bear” and put them#*Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing with their finger to move them. 5And they do all their deeds in order to be seen by people, for they make their phylacteries broad and make their#Literally “the”; the Greek article is used here as a possessive pronoun tassels long. 6And they love the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues 7and the greetings in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by people. 8But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ because one is your teacher, and you are all brothers, 9And do not call anyone#*Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation your father on earth, for one is your heavenly Father. 10And do not be called teachers, because one is your teacher, the Christ. 11And the greatest among you will be your servant. 12And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
13“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees—hypocrites!—because you shut the kingdom of heaven before people! For you do not enter, nor permit those wanting to go in#*Here the present tense has been translated as voluntative (“wanting to go in”) to enter.#The most important Greek manuscripts omit v. 14, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees—hypocrites!—because you devour widows’ houses and for show you pray long prayers! Therefore you will receive the greater condemnation.”
15“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees—hypocrites!—because you travel around the sea and the dry land to make one convert, and when he becomes one,#*Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are!
16“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing! But whoever swears by the gold of the temple is bound by his oath.’#The phrase “by his oath” is not in the Greek text but is implied 17Fools and blind people! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that makes the gold holy? 18And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing! But whoever swears by the gift that is on it is bound by his oath.’#The phrase “by his oath” is not in the Greek text but is implied 19Blind people! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift holy? 20Therefore the one who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything that is on it. 21And the one who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22And the one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by the one who sits on it.
23“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees—hypocrites!—because you pay a tenth of mint and dill and cumin, and neglect the more important matters of the law—justice and mercy and faithfulness! It was necessary#Some manuscripts have “But it was necessary” to do these things while not neglecting those.#Literally “and those not to neglect” 24Blind guides who filter out a gnat and swallow a camel!
25“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees—hypocrites!—because you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence! 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the dish,#Some manuscripts omit “and the dish” so that the outside of it may become clean also.
27“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees—hypocrites!—because you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and of everything unclean! 28In the same way, on the outside you also appear righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees—hypocrites!—because you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, 30and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in the blood of the prophets!’ 31Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets! 32And you—fill up the measure of your fathers! 33Serpents! Offspring of vipers! How will you escape from the condemnation to hell? 34For this reason, behold, I am sending to you prophets and wise men and scribes. Some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will flog in your synagogues and will pursue from town to town, 35so that upon you will come all the righteous blood shed on the earth from the blood of righteous Abel up to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation!
The Lament over Jerusalem
37“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How many times I wanted to gather your children together the way#Literally “in the manner in which” a hen gathers her young together under her#*Literally “the”; the Greek article is used here as a possessive pronoun wings, and you were not willing! 38Behold, your house has been left to you desolate! 39For I tell you, you will never see me from now on until you say,
‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”#A quotation from Ps 118:26