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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 23:6

And love the uppermost rooms at feasts ,.... Or the first and chief places to sit, or lie down on, at ordinary meals, and especially at large entertainments, where the great ones sat, as in 1 Samuel 9:22 where Jarchi on the place observes, that by the manner of their sitting, it was known who was the greatest; and this the Scribes and Pharisees affected. With the Romans, the most honourable place was at the upper end of the table: some think it was more honourable to sit in the middle, but... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Matthew 23:6

Verse 6 6And love the first places at entertainments.. He proves, by evident signs, that no zeal for piety exists in the scribes, but that they are wholly devoted to ambition. For to seek the first places and the first seats belongs only to those who choose rather to exalt themselves among men, than to enjoy the approbation of God. But above all, Christ condemns them for desiring to be called masters; for, though the name Rabbi in itself denotes excellence, yet at that time the prevailing... 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

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 23:6

The uppermost rooms; τη Ì ν πρωτοκλισι ì αν : primos recubitus ; chief place ( Luke 14:7 ). The custom of reclining on cushions set in horseshoe fashion at three sides of the table was now prevalent, the old custom of squatting round a low table, as at present practised in the East, having been long abandoned. The place of honour is said to have been at the upper end of the right side, the president being placed, not in the centre of that end of the table which faced... read more

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