Matthew 23 – Commentary

Matthew 23 Commentary

  Matthew 23 (19.0 KiB, 197 hits)

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Matthew 23: Kata Matthaion 23 : ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 23

Last updated 23rd May 2012

1. Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples
Τότε Ἰησοῦς ἐλάλησεν τοῖς ὄχλοις καὶ τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ

2. saying:
“The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat
λέγων ἐπὶ τῆς Μωϋσέως καθέδρας ἐκάθισαν οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι.

3. Therefore do and observe all the things which they say to you, but do not copy their deeds. For they speak but they do not do.
πάντα οὖν ὅσα ἐὰν εἴπωσιν ὑμῖν ποιήσατε καὶ τηρεῖτε, κατὰ δὲ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν μὴ ποιεῖτε· λέγουσιν γὰρ καὶ οὐ ποιοῦσιν.
[do not] copy their deeds – in Greek, “do their deeds” – ta erga auton me poieite – τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν μὴ ποιεῖτε

4. For they bind heavy burdens, which are hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they do not wish to move these even with their little fingers.
δεσμεύουσιν δὲ φορτία βαρέα καὶ ἐπιτιθέασιν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὤμους τῶν ἀνθρώπων, αὐτοὶ δὲ τῷ δακτύλῳ αὐτῶν οὐ θέλουσιν κινῆσαι αὐτά.
to move – kinesai – κινῆσαι – like “kinetic” energy
– in Greek this is singular – daktuloi – δακτύλῳ – like pterodactyl

. They perform all their deeds to be seen by men. For they enlarge their phylacteries and they lengthen their ceremonial tassels,
πάντα δὲ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν ποιοῦσιν πρὸς τὸ θεαθῆναι τοῖς ἀνθρώποις· πλατύνουσιν γὰρ τὰ φυλακτήρια αὐτῶν καὶ μεγαλύνουσιν τὰ κράσπεδα,

6. they love the front seats at feasts and the prominent seats in the synagogues
φιλοῦσιν δὲ τὴν πρωτοκλισίαν ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις καὶ τὰς πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς

7. and greetings in the market place, and to be called “Rabbi” by men.
καὶ τοὺς ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς καὶ καλεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ῥαββί·

8. You however, do not be called “Rabbi”. For you all have one teacher, you are all brothers.
ὑμεῖς δὲ μὴ κληθῆτε ῥαββί· εἷς γὰρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν διδάσκαλος, πάντες δὲ ὑμεῖς ἀδελφοί ἐστε.

9. And do not call anyone on earth your Father for you have one Father who is in Heaven.
καὶ πατέρα μὴ καλέσητε ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν πατὴρ οὐράνιος.

10. And do not be called leaders, as you have one leader, the Christ.
μηδὲ κληθῆτε καθηγηταί, ὅτι καθηγητὴς ὑμῶν ἐστιν εἷς Χριστός.
The Christ – ho Christos – Χριστός

11. The greatest among you shall be your servant.
δὲ μείζων ὑμῶν ἔσται ὑμῶν διάκονος.

12. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
ὅστις δὲ ὑψώσει ἑαυτὸν ταπεινωθήσεται καὶ ὅστις ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται.

13. Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites, for you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men. For you yourselves do not enter and you do not allow those who are entering to enter.
Οὐαὶ δἑ ὑμῖν γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι ὑποκριταί, ὅτι κλείετε τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων· ὑμεῖς γὰρ οὐκ εἰσέρχεσθε οὐδὲ τοὺς εἰσερχομένους ἀφίετε εἰσελθεῖν.
you – this word does not occur in the Greek, but is here added for more natural sounding English.  This is the same for every other occurrence of the phrase “You hypocrites” in this chapter

15. Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites, for you sweep through the sea and the land to make one follower, and when he is made you make him two times a son of hell as you are.
Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι ὑποκριταί, ὅτι περιάγετε τὴν θάλασσαν καὶ τὴν ξηρὰν ποιῆσαι ἕνα προσήλυτον, καὶ ὅταν γένηται ποιεῖτε αὐτὸν υἱὸν γεέννης διπλότερον ὑμῶν.
follower – proseluton – προσήλυτον – like “proselyte”
two times – literally “two fold” – diploteron – διπλότερον

16. Woe to you, blind leaders who say:
“If anyone swears on the Temple, it is nothing, However, if anyone swears on the gold of the Temple, he is obliged to perform the oath
Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, ὁδηγοὶ τυφλοὶ οἱ λέγοντες· ὃς ἂν ὀμόσῃ ἐν τῷ ναῷ, οὐδέν ἐστιν· ὃς δ’ ἂν ὀμόσῃ ἐν τῷ χρυσῷ τοῦ ναοῦ, ὀφείλει.

17. Blind fools, for what is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold?
μωροὶ καὶ τυφλοί, τίς γὰρ μείζων ἐστίν, χρυσὸς ναὸς ἁγιάσας τὸν χρυσόν;
Blind fools” – in the Greek, “fools and blind” – moroi kai tuphloi – μωροὶ καὶ τυφλοί moroi – like “moron”

18. And:
“If anyone swears on the altar, it is nothing. But if anyone swears on the gift that is placed on it, he is obliged to perform it
καὶ ὃς ἂν ὀμόσῃ ἐν τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ οὐδέν ἐστιν· ὃς δ’ ἂν ὀμόσῃ ἐν τῷ δώρῳ τῷ ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ ὀφείλει.

19. Blind people, for what is greater, the gift or the altar which sanctifies the gift?
τυφλοί, τί γὰρ μεῖζον, τὸ δῶρον τὸ θυσιαστήριον τὸ ἁγιάζον τὸ δῶρον;
people – in the Greek, there is no extra word for “people”, but the Greek variant used here for “blind” also incorporates the idea of “people” – like “blind ones”

20. Therefore if anyone swears on the altar he swears on it and on everything that has been placed on it,
οὖν ὀμόσας ἐν τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ ὀμνύει ἐν αὐτῳ καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τοῖς ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ·

21. and if anyone swears by the Temple he swears by it and by all within it,
καὶ ὀμόσας ἐν τῷ ναῷ ὀμνύει ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐν τῷ κατοικοῦντι αὐτόν,

22. and if anyone swears by Heaven he swears by the throne of God and by Him who is sitting on it.
καὶ ὀμόσας ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ ὀμνύει ἐν τῷ θρόνῳ τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ καθημένῳ ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ.

23. Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites, because you tithe mint and dill and cumin and you leave the weightier matters of the Law; justice and mercy and faith. You should do these things without leaving the others.
Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι ὑποκριταί, ὅτι ἀποδεκατοῦτε τὸ ἡδύοσμον καὶ τὸ ἄνηθον καὶ τὸ κύμινον καὶ ἀφήκατε τὰ βαρύτερα τοῦ νόμου, τὴν κρίσιν καὶ τὸ ἔλεος καὶ τὴν πίστιν· ταῦτα δὲ ἔδει ποιῆσαι κακεῖνα μὴ ἀφεῖναι.

24. Blind guides who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.
ὁδηγοὶ τυφλοί, διϋλίζοντες τὸν κώνωπα, τὴν δὲ κάμηλον καταπίνοντες.

25. Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites, for you clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.
Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι ὑποκριταί, ὅτι καθαρίζετε τὸ ἔξωθεν τοῦ ποτηρίου καὶ τῆς παροψίδος, ἔσωθεν δὲ γέμουσιν ἐξ ἁρπαγῆς καὶ ἀκρασίας.
self-indulgence – literally, lack of rule or power – akrasias – ἀκρασίας

26. Blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also might be clean.
Φαρισαῖε τυφλέ, καθάρισον πρῶτον τὸ ἐντὸς τοῦ ποτηρίου, ἵνα γένηται καὶ τὸ ἐκτὸς αὐτοῦ καθαρόν.
clean – literally, “pure” – catharon – καθαρόν – like “Catherine”

27. Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites, for you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside appear beautiful, but on the inside are full of dead bones and all uncleanness.
Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι ὑποκριταί, ὅτι παρομοιάζετε τάφοις κεκονιαμένοις, οἵτινες ἔξωθεν μὲν φαίνονται ὡραῖοι, ἔσωθεν δὲ γέμουσιν ὀστέων νεκρῶν καὶ πάσης ἀκαθαρσίας.
bones -osteon – ὀστέων – like “osteopathy”

28. For you also appear righteous to men on the outside, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ἔξωθεν μὲν φαίνεσθε τοῖς ἀνθρώποις δίκαιοι, ἔσωθεν δέ ἐστε μεστοὶ ὑποκρίσεως καὶ ἀνομίας.

29. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites, for you construct the tombs of the prophets and decorate the memorials of the righteous,
Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι ὑποκριταί, ὅτι οἰκοδομεῖτε τοὺς τάφους τῶν προφητῶν καὶ κοσμεῖτε τὰ μνημεῖα τῶν δικαίων,
decorate – kosmeite – κοσμεῖτε – like “cosmetic”

30. and you say:
“If we lived in the days of our fathers,
we would not have shared with them in the blood of the prophets.”
καὶ λέγετε· εἰ ἤμεθα ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τῶν πατέρων ἡμῶν, οὐκ ἂν ἤμεθα αὐτῶν κοινωνοὶ ἐν τῷ αἵματι τῶν προφητῶν.
we would not have shared with them – in the Greek – we would not have been participants with them – “ouk an emetha auton koinonoi” – οὐκ ἂν ἤμεθα αὐτῶν κοινωνοὶ – this “koinonoi” comes from the same root as “koinonia”, used in modern terms to mean Christian community, and “koine”, the name of the type of Greek of the New Testament, meaning “shared” – or common Greek (as opposed to Classical Greek, the language of the intellectuals)

31. Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
ὥστε μαρτυρεῖτε ἑαυτοῖς ὅτι υἱοί ἐστε τῶν φονευσάντων τοὺς προφήτας.

32. Therefore fill up the measure of your fathers’ guilt.
καὶ ὑμεῖς πληρώσατε τὸ μέτρον τῶν πατέρων ὑμῶν.
guilt – this word is specifically missing from the Greek, but is understood from the context and added for clarity in English. In Greek, the sentence reads “Therefore, fill up the measure of your fathers.”

33. Serpents, generation of vipers, how will you flee from the condemnation of hell?!
ὄφεις, γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν, πῶς φύγητε ἀπὸ τῆς κρίσεως τῆς γεέννης;

34. Therefore behold I send to you prophets and wise men and Scribes. Some of them you will kill and crucify and some of them you will flog in your synagogues and you will chase from city to city.
Διὰ τοῦτο ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἀποστέλλω πρὸς ὑμᾶς προφήτας καὶ σοφοὺς καὶ γραμματεῖς· ἐξ αὐτῶν ἀποκτενεῖτε καὶ σταυρώσετε καὶ ἐξ αὐτῶν μαστιγώσετε ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς ὑμῶν καὶ διώξετε ἀπὸ πόλεως εἰς πόλιν·
wise men – sophous – σοφοὺς – Wisdom = sophia, wise man=sophos, wise woman=sophe gune – (or simply sophe? )

35. That on you may come all the righteous blood spilled on the earth, from the blood of Abel the righteous to the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias whom you murdered between the Temple and the altar.
ὅπως ἔλθῃ ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς πᾶν αἷμα δίκαιον ἐκχυννόμενον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἀπὸ τοῦ αἵματος Ἅβελ τοῦ δικαίου ἕως τοῦ αἵματος Ζαχαρίου υἱοῦ Βαραχίου, ὃν ἐφονεύσατε μεταξὺ τοῦ ναοῦ καὶ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου.

36. Truly I tell you, all these things will be on this generation.
ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἥξει ταῦτα πάντα ἐπὶ τὴν γενεὰν ταύτην.

37. O Jerusalem Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who have been sent to you, how many times I wished to gather together your children, as a hen gathers together her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
Ἰερουσαλὴμ Ἰερουσαλήμ, ἀποκτείνουσα τοὺς προφήτας καὶ λιθοβολοῦσα τοὺς ἀπεσταλμένους πρὸς αὐτὴν, ποσάκις ἠθέλησα ἐπισυναγαγεῖν τὰ τέκνα σου, ὃν τρόπον ὄρνις ἐπισυνάγει τὰ νοσσία αὐτῆς ὑπὸ τὰς πτέρυγας, καὶ οὐκ ἠθελήσατε.
wings – pterugas – πτέρυγας – again, like pterodactyl!

38. Behold your house is left to you empty.
ἰδοὺ ἀφίεται ὑμῖν οἶκος ὑμῶν ἔρημος.

39. For I tell you, you will not see Me until that time when it is said:
“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord
λἐγω γὰρ ὑμῖν, οὐ μή με ἴδητε ἀπ’ ἄρτι ἕως ἂν εἴπητε· εὐλογημένος ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι κυρίου.

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