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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Matthew 23

In the foregoing chapter, we had our Saviour's discourses with the scribes and Pharisees; here we have his discourse concerning them, or rather against them. I. He allows their office, Matt. 23:2, 3. II. He warns his disciples not to imitate their hypocrisy and pride, Matt. 23:4-12. III. He exhibits a charge against them for divers high crimes and misdemeanors, corrupting the law, opposing the gospel, and treacherous dealing both with God and man; and to each article he prefixes a woe, Matt.... read more

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Matthew 23:1-12

We find not Christ, in all his preaching, so severe upon any sort of people as upon these scribes and Pharisees; for the truth is, nothing is more directly opposite to the spirit of the gospel than the temper and practice of that generation of men, who were made up of pride, worldliness, and tyranny, under a cloak and pretence of religion; yet these were the idols and darlings of the people, who thought, if but two men went to heaven, one would be a Pharisee. Now Christ directs his discourse... read more

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Matthew 23:13-33

In these verses we have eight woes levelled directly against the scribes and Pharisees by our Lord Jesus Christ, like so many claps of thunder, or flashes of lightning, from mount Sinai. Three woes are made to look very dreadful (Rev. 8:13; 9:12); but here are eight woes, in opposition to the eight beatitudes, Matt. 5:3. The gospel has its woes as well as the law, and gospel curses are of all curses the heaviest. These woes are the more remarkable, not only because of the authority, but... read more

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Matthew 23:34-39

We have left the blind leaders fallen into the ditch, under Christ's sentence, into the damnation of hell; let us see what will become of the blind followers, of the body of the Jewish church, and particularly Jerusalem. I. Jesus Christ designs yet to try them with the means of grace; I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes. The connection is strange; ?You are a generation of vipers, not likely to escape the damnation of hell;? one would think it should follow, ?Therefore you shall... read more

William Barclay

William Barclay's Daily Study Bible - Matthew 23:1-39

If a man is characteristically and temperamentally an irritable, ill-tempered and irascible creature, notoriously given to uncontrolled outbursts of passionate anger, his anger is neither effective nor impressive. Nobody pays any attention to the anger of a bad-tempered man. But when a person who is characteristically meek and lowly, gentle and loving, suddenly erupts into blazing wrath, even the most thoughtless person is shocked into taking thought. That is why the anger of Jesus is so... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Matthew 23:1

Then spake Jesus to the multitude ,.... To the common people that were about him in the temple; the high priests and elders, Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, having left him, being all nonplussed and silenced by him: and now, lest on the one hand, the people seeing the ignorance and errors of these men detected by Christ, should be tempted to conclude there was nothing in religion, and to neglect the word and worship of God, on account of the concern these men had in it; and on the other... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Matthew 23:2

Saying, the Scribes and Pharisees ,.... The Persic version adds, the priests: but Christ does not here speak of the sanhedrim, or grand council of the nation, and of their legislative power; but of those that were the teachers of the people, and the interpreters of the law; and of those, who, though they corrupted the word with their glosses and traditions, yet retained some truth, and at least came nearer truth, than the Sadducees; who therefore are omitted, and only Scribes and Pharisees... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Matthew 23:3

All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe ,.... This must be restrained to things that were agreeable to the chair of Moses, in which they sat, to the law of Moses, which they read and explained, to other parts of Scripture and truth in general; for otherwise many of their glosses and traditions were repugnant to the law, and ought not to be observed, as appears from Matthew 5:1 . The word "observe", in this clause, is omitted by the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, and in... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Matthew 23:4

For they bind heavy burdens ,.... Meaning not the rites and ceremonies of the law of Moses, circumcision, and other rituals, which obliged to the keeping of the whole law, which was a yoke men were not able to bear; but the traditions of the elders, which the Scribes and Pharisees were very tenacious of, and very severely enjoined the observance of, and are called their "heavy" things F15 T. Hieros. Peracot, fol. 3. 2. . "It is a tradition of R. Ishmael, there are in the words of the... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Matthew 23:5

But all their works they do for to be seen of men ,.... All their prayers, alms deeds, and fastings, were all done in a public manner, that men might behold them, and they might have applause and glory from them: they sought neither the glory of God, nor the good of their fellow creatures, nor any spiritual advantage and pleasure to themselves, in their performances; they neither attended to moral duties, nor ceremonious rites, nor the traditions of their fathers, any further than they could... read more

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