Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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BIBLE: MATTHEW - Chapter 23


Christ admonishes the people to follow the good doctrine, not the bad example of the Scribes and Pharisees: he warns his disciples not to imitate their ambition: and denounces divers woes against them for their hypocrisy and blindness.

1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitude and to his disciples,

2 Saying: *The Scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses.

3 All therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not: for they say and do not.

4 *For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens: and lay them on men's shoulders: but with a finger of their own they will not move them.

5 And all their works they do to be seen by men: *For they make their phylacteries broad and enlarge their fringes.

6 *And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues,

7 And salutations in the market-place, and to be called by men, Rabbi.

8 *But be not you called Rabbi. For one is your master, and all you are brethren.

9 *And call none your father upon earth: for one is your Father, who is in heaven.

10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, Christ.

11 He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant.

12 *And whosoever shall exalt himself, shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself, shall be exalted.

13 But wo to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men: for you go not in yourselves: and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter.

14 Wo to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: *because you devour the houses of widows, making long prayers: therefore you shall receive the greater judgment.

15 Wo to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: because you go round about the sea and land to make one proselyte: and when he is made, you make him the child of hell two-fold more than yourselves.

16 Wo to you blind guides, who say: Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing: but he that shall swear by the gold of the temple, is a debtor.

17 Ye foolish and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

18 And whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing: but whosoever shall swear by the gift that is upon it, he is a debtor.

19 Ye blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?

20 Whosoever therefore sweareth by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things that are upon it:

21 And whosoever shall swear by temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth in it:

22 And he that sweareth by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

23 *Wo to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; who tithe mint, and anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier things of the law; **judgment, and mercy, and faith. These things you ought to have done, and not to leave those others undone.

24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel.

25 Wo to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: because you make clean the outside of the cup, and of the dish, but within you are full of extortion and uncleanness.

26 Thou blind Pharisee, first make clean the inside of the cup, and of the dish, that the outside may become clean.

27 Wo to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: because you are like to whitened sepulchres, which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within are full of dead men's bones, and of all filthiness.

28 So you also outwardly, indeed, appear to men just: but within, you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

29 Wo to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, who build the sepulchres of the prophets, and adorn the monuments of the just,

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.

31 Wherefore you are witnesses against yourselves, that you are the sons of them who killed the prophets.

32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

33 *Ye serpents, generation of vipers, how will you escape the judgment of hell:

34 Therefore, behold, I send to you prophets and wise men, and Scribes: and some of them you will put to death, and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city:

35 That upon you may come all the just blood, that hath been shed upon the earth, *from the blood of Abel the just, even unto the blood of **Zacharias, the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar.

36 Amen, I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation.

37 *Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldst not?

38 Behold, you house shall be left to you, desolate.

39 For I say to you, you shall not see me henceforth till you say: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.____________________


2: about the year A.D. 33.; 2 Esdras viii. 4.

4: Luke xi. 46.; Acts xv. 10.

5: Numbers xv. 38.; Deuteronomy vi. 8. and xxii. 12.

6: Mark xii. 39.; Luke xi. 43. and xx. 40.

8: James iii. 1.

9: Malachias i. 6.

12: Luke xiv. 11. and xviii. 14.

14: Mark xii. 40.; Luke xx. 47.

23: Luke xi. 42. --- ** Micheas vi. 8.; Zacharias vii. 9.

33: Matthew iii. 7.

35: Genesis iv. 8.; Hebrews xi. 4. --- ** 2 Paralipomenon xxiv. 22.

37: Luke xiii. 34.