ESV — Matthew 23

Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees

23 Then Jesus tsaid to the crowds and to his disciples, u“The scribes and the Pharisees vsit on Moses' seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, wbut not the works they do. xFor they preach, but do not practice. yThey tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,1 and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. tThey do all their deeds zto be seen by others. For they make atheir phylacteries broad and btheir fringes long, and they clove the place of honor at feasts and dthe best seats in the synagogues and dgreetings in ethe marketplaces and being called frabbi2 by others. gBut you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are hall brothers.3 iAnd call no man your father on earth, for jyou have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, kthe Christ. 11 lThe greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 mWhoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13 “But woe nto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you oshut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you pneither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.4 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single qproselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a rchild of shell5 as yourselves.

16 “Woe to tyou, ublind guides, who say, v‘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 wthe 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 xthe gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ 19 You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or ythe 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 zhim who dwells in it. 22 And whoever swears by aheaven swears by bthe throne of God and by chim who sits upon it.

23 d“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For eyou tithe mint and dill and fcumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: gjustice and mercy and faithfulness. hThese you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing ia camel!

25 j“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For kyou clean the outside of lthe cup and the plate, but inside they are full of mgreed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of lthe cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

27 n“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like owhitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and pall uncleanness. 28 So you also qoutwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of rhypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 s“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 tsons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 uFill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, vyou brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to whell? 34 xTherefore yI send you zprophets and wise men and ascribes, bsome of whom you will kill and crucify, and bsome you will cflog in your synagogues and dpersecute from town to town, 35 so that on you may come all ethe righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous fAbel to the blood of gZechariah the son of Barachiah,6 whom you murdered between hthe sanctuary and ithe altar. 36 Truly, I say to you, jall these things will come upon this generation.

Lament over Jerusalem

37 k“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that lkills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have mgathered nyour children together oas a hen gathers her brood punder her wings, and qyou were not willing! 38 See, ryour house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, s‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”


[1] 23:4 Some manuscripts omit hard to bear
[2] 23:7 Rabbi means my teacher, or my master; also verse 8
[3] 23:8 Or brothers and sisters
[4] 23:13 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
[5] 23:15 Greek Gehenna; also verse 33
[6] 23:35 Some manuscripts omit the son of Barachiah