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The Blue Letter Bible

Matthew 23 :: English Standard Version (ESV)

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Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees

(Mar 12:38–40; Luk 20:45–47 )
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:1 - Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples,
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:2 - “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat,
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:3 - so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:4 - They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,[fn] and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:5 - They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long,
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:6 - and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:7 - and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi[fn] by others.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:8 - But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:9 - And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:10 - Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:11 - The greatest among you shall be your servant.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:12 - Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:13 - “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:15 - Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell[fn] as yourselves.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:16 - “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.’
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:17 - You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:18 - And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:19 - You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:20 - So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:21 - And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:22 - And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:23 - “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:24 - You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:25 - “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:26 - You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:27 - “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:28 - So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:29 - “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous,
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:30 - 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.’
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:31 - Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:32 - Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:33 - You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:34 - Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:35 - so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah,[fn] whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:36 - Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Lament over Jerusalem

(Luk 13:34, 35 )
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:37 - “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:38 - See, your house is left to you desolate.
Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:39 - For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
ESV Footnotes
Some manuscripts omit hard to bear
Rabbi means my teacher, or my master; also verse 8
Or brothers and sisters
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
Greek Gehenna; also verse 33
Some manuscripts omit the son of Barachiah
BLB Footnotes
Some Greek manuscripts exclude this verse. The ESV related footnote for 23:13 states:
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  

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001, 2007, 2011, 2016 by Crossway Books and Bibles, a Publishing Ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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For more information on this translation, see the ESV Preface.

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