Matthew 23

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Matthew 23

Jesus Denounces Scribes and Pharisees

1Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, 2"The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; 3so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. 4They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear,a and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. 5They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, 6and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, 7and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men. 8But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. 9And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. 11He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; 12whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in.b 15Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hellc as yourselves.

16"Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'If any one swears by the temple, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' 17You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? 18And you say, 'If any one swears by the altar, it is nothing; but if any one swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.' 19You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20So he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it; 21and he who swears by the temple, swears by it and by him who dwells in it; 22and he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.

23"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

25"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity. 26You blind Pharisee! first cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

27"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. 28So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

29"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30saying, '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.' 31Thus you witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?d 34Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, 35that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechari'ah the son of Barachi'ah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36Truly, I say to you, all this will come upon this generation.

The Lament over Jerusalem

37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 38Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate.e 39For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.' "