Matthew 23
New American Standard Bible►► 

Hypocrisy Exposed

1Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses. 3Therefore, whatever they tell you, do and [a]comply with it all, but do not do [b]as they do; for they say things and do not do them. 4And they tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as their finger. 5And they do all their deeds to be noticed by other people; for they broaden their [c]phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. 6And they love the place of honor at banquets, and the seats of honor in the synagogues, 7and personal greetings in the marketplaces, and being called [d]Rabbi by the people. 8But as for you, do not be called [e]Rabbi; for only One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers and sisters. 9And do not call anyone on earth your father; for only One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10And do not be called [f]leaders; for only One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11But the greatest of you shall be your servant. 12Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

Eight Woes

13“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut the kingdom of heaven in front of people; for you do not enter it yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.[g]

15“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one [h]proselyte; and when he becomes one, you [i]make him twice as much a son of [j]hell as yourselves.

16“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the [k]temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the [l]temple is obligated.’ 17You fools and blind men! Which is [m]more important, the gold or the [n]temple that sanctified the gold? 18And you say, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the [o]offering that is on it is obligated.’ 19You blind men, which is [p]more important, the [q]offering or the altar that sanctifies the [r]offering? 20Therefore, the one who swears by the altar, swears both by [s]the altar and by everything on it. 21And the one who swears by the [t]temple, swears both by [u]the temple and by Him who dwells in it. 22And the one who swears by [v]heaven, swears both 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 [w]cumin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the Law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24You blind guides, who [x]strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full [y]of robbery and self-indulgence. 26You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the [z]outside of it may also become clean.

27“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28So you too, outwardly appear righteous to people, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30and you say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31So you testify against yourselves, that you are [aa]sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32[ab]Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33You snakes, you [ac]offspring of vipers, how [ad]will you escape the [ae]sentence of [af]hell?

34“Therefore, behold, I am sending 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 persecute from city to city, 35so that upon you will fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the [ag]temple and the altar. 36Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Grieving over Jerusalem

37“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who have been sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’”

[a] 3 Lit keep all
[b] 3 Lit according to their deeds
[c] 5 I.e., small pouches containing Scripture texts, worn on the left forearm and forehead for religious purposes
[d] 7 In Heb “My Teacher” or “My Master”
[e] 8 In Heb “My Teacher” or “My Master”
[f] 10 Or teachers
[g] 13 Late mss add (traditionally v 14): Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses even while for appearances’ sake you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation (as v 14); cf. Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47
[h] 15 Or convert
[i] 15 I.e., doom him to hell
[j] 15 Gr Gehenna
[k] 16 Or sanctuary
[l] 16 Or sanctuary
[m] 17 Lit greater
[n] 17 Or sanctuary
[o] 18 Or gift
[p] 19 Lit greater
[q] 19 Or gift
[r] 19 Or gift
[s] 20 Lit it
[t] 21 Or sanctuary
[u] 21 Lit it
[v] 22 I.e., an indirect reference to God
[w] 23 Similar to caraway seeds
[x] 24 Or filter out
[y] 25 Or as a result of
[z] 26 If the inside was ritually unclean, the entire vessel was unclean whether the outside was cleaned or not (cf. Num 19:15)
[aa] 31 Or descendants
[ab] 32 I.e., finish what they started
[ac] 33 Or brood
[ad] 33 Lit are you to escape
[ae] 33 Or judgment
[af] 33 Gr Gehenna
[ag] 35 Or sanctuary

New American Standard Bible
Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020
by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved.
For Permission to Quote Information visit

Bible Hub


Matthew 22
Top of Page
Top of Page