Matthew 23:27. Wo unto you, for you are like whited sepulchres Here we have the seventh wo. Dr. Shaw, ( Trav., p. 285,) gives a genial description of the different sorts of tombs and sepulchres in the East concluding with this paragraph “Now all these, with the very walls of the enclosure, being always kept clean, white-washed, and beautified; continue to this day to be an excellent comment upon Matthew 23:27.” The scribes and Pharisees, like fine whited sepulchres, looked very beautiful without, but within were full of all uncleanness, and defiled every one who touched them. This was a sore rebuke to men who would not keep company with publicans and sinners for fear they should have been polluted by them!
Matthew 23:29-31. Wo unto you, because ye build the tombs of the prophets Here we have the eighth and last wo. “By the pains they took in adorning the sepulchres of their prophets, they pretended a great veneration for their memory; and, as often as their happened to be mentioned, condemned their fathers who had killed them, declaring that if they had lived in the days of their fathers, they would have opposed their wickedness; while, in the mean time, they still cherished the spirit of their fathers, persecuting the messengers of God, particularly his only Son, on whose destruction they were resolutely bent.” Ye build the tombs of the prophets And that is all, for ye neither observe their sayings nor imitate their actions. And say, We would not have been partakers, &c. Ye make fair professions, as did your fathers. Wherefore ye be witnesses, &c. By affirming that if you had lived in the days of your fathers you would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets, ye acknowledge that ye are the children of them who murdered the prophets. But I must tell you, that you are their children in another sense than by natural generation; for though you pretend to be more holy than they were, you are like them in all respects; particularly in that you possess their wicked, persecuting spirit, and cover it by smooth words, thus imitating them, who, while they killed the prophets of their own times, professed the utmost veneration for those of past ages.
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