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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

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 23:5

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

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Matthew 23:5

All their works they do for to be seen of men - In pointing out the corruptions of these men, our Lord gives us the distinguishing characteristics of all false teachers, whether Jewish or Christian. They live not according to the truths they preach. They say, and do not, Matthew 23:3 . They are severe to others, point out the narrowest road to heaven, and walk in the broad road themselves. They bind on burdens, etc., Matthew 23:4 . They affect to appear righteous, and are strict... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Matthew 23:5

Verse 5 5.And all their works they do that they may be seen by men. He had lately said that the scribes live very differently from what they teach; but now he adds that, if they have any thing which is apparently good, it is hypocritical and worthless, because they have no other design than to please men, and to vaunt themselves. And here zeal for piety and a holy life is contrasted with the mask of those works which serve no purpose but for ostentation; for an upright worshipper of God will... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 23:1-12

The scribes and Pharisees. I. THEIR CHARACTER . 1 . Their position . "They sit in Moses'seat." The scribes were the recognized teachers of the Law. The Pharisees exercised the greatest influence in the council and among the nation at large. Moses sat to judge the people ( Exodus 18:18 ); now the scribes taught and expounded the Law. Therefore the Lord enjoined obedience to their precepts. But we must mark the word "therefore." They were to be obeyed because they sat in... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 23:1-12

Ethics of authority. After Jesus had put the Jewish sectaries to silence, he addressed his disciples and the people, who had witnessed his encounters, as to how they should deport themselves in respect to the scribes and Pharisees. I. SECULAR AUTHORITY SHOULD BE RESPECTED . 1 . Jewish magistrates were to be obeyed. 2 . Pagan rulers are to be obeyed. II. THE EXAMPLE OF EVIL RULERS MUST BE AVOIDED . 1 . As inconsistent teachers. 2 . As... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 23:1-39

Denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees, and lamentation over Jerusalem which followed their guidance to her own destruction. (Peculiar to St. Matthew.) read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 23:2-12

The moral character of the scribes and Pharisees, and warning to Christ ' s disciples. read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 23:2-33

Pharisees and Sadducees. The Pharisees first appear under this name in Jewish history about the year B.C. 160. There had been Separatists, or Puritans, as far back as the Captivity, but it was alter the return to Palestine that events gave an impulse to the Separatist idea so strong as to consolidate what might otherwise have remained a tendency. The Jews had learned the value of commerce, and it was found impossible, in dealing with foreign merchants, to observe the minute regulations... read more

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