Matthew 23

Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees

Then Jesus a said to the crowds and to his disciples, b “The scribes and the Pharisees c sit on Mosesseat, so do and observe whatever they tell you d but not the works they do. e For they preach, but do not practice. f They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear
Some manuscripts omit  hard to bear
and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.
h They do all their deeds i to be seen by others. For they make j their phylacteries broad and k their fringes long, and they l love the place of honor at feasts and m the best seats in the synagogues and n greetings in o the marketplaces and being called p rabbi
 Rabbi means my teacher, or my master; also verse 8
by others.
r But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are s all brothers.
Or  brothers and sisters
u And call no man your father on earth, for v you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor w the Christ. 11  x The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12  y Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13 But woe z to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you aa shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you ab neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.
Some manuscripts add here (or after verse 12) verse 14: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive the greater condemnation
15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single ad proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a ae child of af hell
Greek Gehenna; also verse 33
as yourselves.

16 Woe to ah you ai blind guides, who say aj If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or ak the temple that has made the gold sacred? 18 And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by al the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ 19 You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or am the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by an him who dwells in it. 22 And whoever swears by ao heaven swears by ap the throne of God and by aq him who sits upon it.

23  ar Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For as you tithe mint and dill and at cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: au justice and mercy and faithfulness. av These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing aw a camel!

25  ax Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ay you clean the outside of az the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of ba greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of bb the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

27  bc Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like bd whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and be all uncleanness. 28 So you also bf outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of bg hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29  bh Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30 saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Thus you witness against yourselves that you are bi sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32  bj Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, bk you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to bl hell? 34  bm Therefore bn I send you bo prophets and wise men and bp scribes bq some of whom you will kill and crucify, and br some you will bs flog in your synagogues and bt persecute from town to town, 35 so that on you may come all bu the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous bv Abel to the blood of bw Zechariah the son of Barachiah,
Some manuscripts omit  the son of Barachiah
whom you murdered between by the sanctuary and bz the altar.
36 Truly, I say to you ca all these things will come upon this generation.

Lament over Jerusalem

37  cb “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that cc kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have cd gathered ce your children together cf as a hen gathers her brood cg under her wings, and ch you were not willing! 38 See ci your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say cj Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

Copyright information for ESV