J r1 1,2. Self-examination. Scribes. (Session.) s1 3,4. "Do not you" what they bid. r2 5-7. Self-examination. Scribes. (Works.) s2 8-11. "Be not you" like them. r3 12. Self-examination. Scribes. (Application.)
1 Then spake Jesus to the crowds, and to His disciples,
2 Saying "The scribes (who were Kenites) and the Pharisees (see 9:10. The Sadducees had their own "leaven" [16:6] but not this) have taken [their] seat in Moses' seat: (See 8:4)
3 All things (this shows that the words following are not a command, for the whole chapter is taken up with a denunciation of the very things that they thus bade. Later [27:20-23] they "bade" the People to ask Barabbas and destroy Jesus) therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that you observe (inwardly) and do; (outwardly) but do not you (marking the contrast between "you do" and "do you not") according to their works: for they say [ought to be done], but they do not do the works themselves.
4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them upon people's shoulders; but they themselves do not choose to touch (much less bear) them with one of their own fingers. (By what they "bid you observe". A further proof that "observe and do" is not the Lord's command to carry these many burdens "grievous to be borne")
5 But all their works they do to be gazed upon as a spectacle of men: they make broad their phylacteries (see Ex. 13:9. Deut. 6:8), and enlarge the fringes of their garments, (Originally a mark of separation between Israel and the surrounding nations. Cp. Luke 8:44)
6 And are fond of the first place in feasts, and the first seats in the synagogues,
7 And the formal salutations in the markets, and to be called by men, my Master, my Master.
8 But be not you called my Master: for One is your Leader, (Guide, or Director. Gr. kathēgētēs. Some texts read Teacher. Gr. didaskalos) even Christ; (is the Greek translation of Messiah. Christos has the same meaning, from chrio, to anoint) and all you are brethren.
9 And call no man your father (this is against those who love to be so called) upon the earth: for One is your Father, (Gr. Patēr) which is in the heavens.
10 Neither be you called leaders: for one is your Leader, even Christ.
11 But the greater of you shall be your servant.
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
H Y1 13-33. Denunciation. The 8 Woes. Y2 34-39. Prophecy.
Y1 A 13-15. Their treatment of the living. B 16-22. False swearing. C 23. Hypocrites. C 24. Blind guides. B 25-28. False cleansing. A 29-33. Their treatment of the dead.
A t 13. Proselytes. The honest hindered. u 14-. Incrimination. u -14. Condemnation. t 15. Proselytes. Those made worse.
13 But woe (the 1st of 8 woes) to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of the heaven before men: (i.e. in the men's faces) for you do not go in yourselves, you do not suffer them that are entering to go in.
14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense praying at great length:
on this account you shall receive the more abundant condemnation. (Or judgment)
15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and [dry] land to make one proselyte, (= a comer over to. Used of a Gentile who came over to the Jew's religion) and when he becomes [one], you make him twofold more a son of Gehenna than yourselves. (a Hebraism = Gehenna's people. See 5:22)
16 Woe to you, you blind guides, which say, 'Whosoever shall swear by the Sanctuary, (the actual Temple building, consisting of the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies) it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the Sanctuary, he is bound [to fulfill the oath]!'
17 You fools and blind: for which is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifies the gold?
18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever swears by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty [and must pay the gold]. (i.e. the penalty)
19 You fools and blind: for which is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifies the gift?
20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, swears by it, and by all things thereon.
21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, swear by it, and by Him That dwells therein.
22 And he that shall swear by heaven, swears by the throne of God, and by Him that sits thereon.
23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe (or take tithes. Eng tithe = tenth; hence a district containing 10 families was called a tithing) of mint and dill and cummin, (or fennel) and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
24 You blind guides, which habitually filter out out the gnat, and gulp down a camel.
25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you make cleanse ceremonially the outside of the cup and of the dish, (i.e. the side-dish) but within they are full of plunder and incontinence.
26 You blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may also become clean also. (It is important for the whole body to be clean.)
27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are liked to whited sepulchers, (sepulchers are whited a month before Passover, to warn off persons from contracting uncleanliness [Num. 19:16) which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of bones of dead people, and of all uncleanness. (Christ is telling them that they are not what they appear to be. The have whitewashed the truth.)
28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29 Woe to you, scribes (Kenites, sons of Cain) and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you build the tombs of the prophets, (there are 4 at the base of Olivet: those of Zechariah, Absalom, Jehoshaphat, and St. James; but there is no authority to these names) and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, (They looked so holy. They are play actors. Beware of those who go out of their way to appear holy in the sight of men. Many of them are stage actors. They kill the Word of God and then call it church.)
30 And say, 'If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.' (Oh yes they would have. Listen to Christ's response to them.)
31 So that you be witnesses to yourselves, that you are the sons of them which killed the prophets.
32 All you, fill you up then the measure of your fathers. (Christ is saying don't try to lie to Me)
33 You serpents, you generation of vipers, (= offspring of the serpent - Satan. They are the sons of Cain, Kenites) how can you escape from the damnation of hell? (Only if they change.)
y2 v 34. Prophets. Future sending. w 35. Result. x 36. "I say to you". v 37. Prophets. Past sending. w 38. Result. x 39. "I say to you".
34 Because of this, behold, I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall you scourge in your synagogues, (not the synagogues of our brother Judah) and persecute them away from city to city: (You have nothing to fear. Christ gave us power over all our enemies. Take names and kick dragon!)
35 So that upon you may come all the righteous blood (put for blood-guiltiness) shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the righteous one to the blood of Zachariah son of Barachias, (Not the son of Jehoiada [2 Chron.24:20,21] but Zechariah the prophet [Zech 1:1,7], who, we here learn was killed in the same way. And why not? Are there not many examples of historical coincidences? Why should the Lord single out "Zechariah the son of Jehoiada" then nearly 800 years before, instead of "Zechariah, the son of Baruch" who was thus martyred 36 years after?) whom you slew (while on duty.) between the temple and the altar. (See 1 John 3:12. Do you know who killed Abel? There is no doubt Christ is speaking to the sons of Cain, the Kenites. The whitewash of deception began with Cain and has been carried forward to this day by his offspring. Do you recognize whitewash, when you see it?)
36 Truly I say to you, All these things shall come upon this generation. (= offspring. See 11:16; 24:34. 2 Cor. 11:1-3,13)
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, (put for the inhabitants) you that kill the prophets, and stone them which are sent to you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate. (Very emphatic. At the beginning of the Lord's ministry it was "My Father's house" [John 2:16]; but at the end; , after His rejection, it was "your house". House here, i.e. the Temple. Every "house" and every place is "desolate" where Christ is not.)
39 For I say to you, You shall by no means behold Me henceforth, till (implying uncertainty) you shall say, 'Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord.' (Quoted from Ps. 118:26)