Christ admonisheth the people to follow the good doctrine, not the evil examples of the scribes and Pharisees.
Matthew 23:1 Then spake Iesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Matthew 23:2 Saying, The Scribes and the Pharises sit in Moses seate. Matthew 23:3 All therefore whatsoeuer they bid you obserue, that obserue and doe: but after their workes doe not: for they say, and doe not. Matthew 23:4 For they binde heauie burdens, & grieuous to be borne, and lay them on mens shoulders, but they themselues will not moue them with one of their fingers.
His disciples must beware of their ambition.
Matthew 23:5 All their workes they doe for to be seene of men: for they make their phylacteries broad, and make long the frindges of their garments, Matthew 23:6 And loue the chiefe place at feastes, and to haue the chiefe seates in the assemblies, Matthew 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. Matthew 23:8 But be not ye called, Rabbi: for one is your doctour, to wit, Christ, and all ye are brethren. Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father vpon the earth: for there is but one, your father which is in heauen. Matthew 23:10 Be not called doctors: for one is your doctor, euen Christ. Matthew 23:11 But he that is greatest among you, let him be your seruant. Matthew 23:12 For whosoeuer will exalt himselfe, shall be brought lowe: and whosoeuer will humble himselfe, shalbe exalted.
He denounceth eight woes against their hypocrisy and blindness:
Matthew 23:13 Wo therefore be vnto you, Scribes and Pharises, hypocrites, because ye shut vp the kingdome of heauen before men: for ye your selues go not in, neither suffer ye them that would enter, to come in. Matthew 23:14 Wo be vnto you, Scribes and Pharises, hypocrites: for ye deuoure widowes houses, euen vnder a colour of long prayers: wherefore ye shall receiue the greater damnation. Matthew 23:15 Wo be vnto you, Scribes and Pharises, hypocrites: for ye compasse sea and land to make one of your profession: and when he is made, ye make him two folde more the childe of hell, then you your selues. Matthew 23:16 Wo be vnto you blinde guides, which say, Whosoeuer sweareth by the Temple, it is nothing: but whosoeuer sweareth by the golde of the Temple, he offendeth. Matthew 23:17 Ye fooles and blinde, whether is greater, the golde, or the Temple that sanctifieth the golde? Matthew 23:18 And whosoeuer sweareth by the altar, it is nothing: but whosoeuer sweareth by the offering that is vpon it, offendeth. Matthew 23:19 Ye fooles and blinde, whether is greater, the offering, or the altar which sanctifieth the offering? Matthew 23:20 Whosoeuer therefore sweareth by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. Matthew 23:21 And whosoeuer sweareth by the Temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. Matthew 23:22 And he that sweareth by heauen, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. Matthew 23:23 Wo be to you, Scribes and Pharises, hypocrites: for ye tithe mynt, & annyse, & cummyn, & leaue the weightier matters of the law, as iudgement, and mercy and fidelitie. These ought ye to haue done, and not to haue left the other. Matthew 23:24 Ye blinde guides, which straine out a gnat, and swallowe a camell. Matthew 23:25 Wo be to you, Scribes and Pharises, hypocrites: for ye make cleane the vtter side of the cup, and of the platter: but within they are ful of briberie and excesse. Matthew 23:26 Thou blinde Pharise, cleanse first the inside of the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be cleane also. Matthew 23:27 Wo be to you, Scribes and Pharises, hypocrites: for ye are like vnto whited tombes, which appeare beautifull outward, but are within full of dead mens bones, and all filthines. Matthew 23:28 So are ye also: for outwarde ye appeare righteous vnto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisie and iniquitie. Matthew 23:29 Wo be vnto you, Scribes & Pharises, hypocrites: for ye build the tombes of the Prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, Matthew 23:30 And say, If we had bene in the dayes of our fathers, we would not haue bene partners with them in the blood of the Prophets. Matthew 23:31 So then ye be witnesses vnto your selues, that ye are the children of them that murthered the Prophets. Matthew 23:32 Fulfill ye also ye measure of your fathers. Matthew 23:33 O serpents, the generation of vipers, howe should ye escape the damnation of hell!
and prophesieth of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Matthew 23:34 Wherefore beholde, I send vnto you Prophets, and wise men, and Scribes, and of them ye shall kill and crucifie: and of them shall ye scourge in your Synagogues, and persecute from citie to citie, Matthew 23:35 That vpon you may come all the righteous blood that was shed vpon the earth, from the blood of Abel the righteous, vnto the blood of Zacharias the sonne of Barachias, whome ye slewe betweene the Temple and the altar. Matthew 23:36 Verely I say vnto you, all these things shall come vpon this generation. Matthew 23:37 Hierusalem, Hierusalem, which killest the Prophets, and stonest them which are sent to thee, how often would I haue gathered thy children together, as the henne gathereth her chickins vnder her wings, and ye would not! Matthew 23:38 Beholde, your habitation shalbe left vnto you desolate, Matthew 23:39 For I say vnto you, ye shall not see mee henceforth till that ye say, Blessed is he that commeth in the Name of the Lord.