Christ admonisheth the people to follow the good doctrine, not the evil examples of the scribes and Pharisees.
Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus spake to the multitudes, and to his disciples, Matthew 23:2 saying, 'On the seat of Moses sat down the scribes and the Pharisees; Matthew 23:3 all, then, as much as they may say to you to observe, observe and do, but according to their works do not, for they say, and do not; Matthew 23:4 for they bind together burdens heavy and grievous to be borne, and lay upon the shoulders of men, but with their finger they will not move them.
His disciples must beware of their ambition.
Matthew 23:5 'And all their works they do to be seen by men, and they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the fringes of their garments, Matthew 23:6 they love also the chief couches in the supper, and the chief seats in the synagogues, Matthew 23:7 and the salutations in the market-places, and to be called by men, Rabbi, Rabbi. Matthew 23:8 'And yeye may not be called Rabbi, for one is your directorthe Christ, and all ye are brethren; Matthew 23:9 and ye may not call [any] your father on the earth, for one is your Father, who is in the heavens, Matthew 23:10 nor may ye be called directors, for one is your directorthe Christ. Matthew 23:11 And the greater of you shall be your ministrant, Matthew 23:12 and whoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled, and whoever shall humble himself shall be exalted.
He denounceth eight woes against their hypocrisy and blindness:
Matthew 23:13 'Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye shut up the reign of the heavens before men, for ye do not go in, nor those going in do ye suffer to enter. Matthew 23:14 'Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye eat up the houses of the widows, and for a pretence make long prayers, because of this ye shall receive more abundant judgment. Matthew 23:15 'Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye go round the sea and the dry land to make one proselyte, and whenever it may happenye make him a son of gehenna twofold more than yourselves. Matthew 23:16 'Woe to you, blind guides, who are saying, Whoever may swear by the sanctuary, it is nothing, but whoever may swear by the gold of the sanctuaryis debtor! Matthew 23:17 Fools and blind! for which [is] greater, the gold, or the sanctuary that is sanctifying the gold? Matthew 23:18 'And, whoever may swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever may swear by the gift that is upon itis debtor! Matthew 23:19 Fools and blind! for which [is] greater, the gift, or the altar that is sanctifying the gift? Matthew 23:20 'He therefore who did swear by the altar, doth swear by it, and by all things on it; Matthew 23:21 and he who did swear by the sanctuary, doth swear by it, and by Him who is dwelling in it; Matthew 23:22 and he who did swear by the heaven, doth swear by the throne of God, and by Him who is sitting upon it. Matthew 23:23 'Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye give tithe of the mint, and the dill, and the cumin, and did neglect the weightier things of the Lawthe judgment, and the kindness, and the faith; these it behoved [you] to do, and those not to neglect. Matthew 23:24 'Blind guides! who are straining out the gnat, and the camel are swallowing. Matthew 23:25 'Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye make clean the outside of the cup and the plate, and within they are full of rapine and incontinence. Matthew 23:26 'Blind Pharisee! cleanse first the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside of them also may become clean. Matthew 23:27 'Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye are like to whitewashed sepulchres, which outwardly indeed do appear beautiful, and within are full of bones of dead men, and of all uncleanness; Matthew 23:28 so also ye outwardly indeed do appear to men righteous, and within ye are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23:29 'Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and adorn the tombs of the righteous, Matthew 23:30 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. Matthew 23:31 So that ye testify to yourselves, that ye are sons of them who did murder the prophets; Matthew 23:32 and yeye fill up the measure of your fathers. Matthew 23:33 'Serpents! brood of vipers! how may ye escape from the judgment of the gehenna?
and prophesieth of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Matthew 23:34 'Because of this, lo, I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes, and of them ye will kill and crucify, and of them ye will scourge in your synagogues, and will pursue from city to city; Matthew 23:35 that on you may come all the righteous blood being poured out on the earth from the blood of Abel the righteous, unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the sanctuary and the altar: Matthew 23:36 verily I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. Matthew 23:37 'Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that art killing the prophets, and stoning those sent unto thee, how often did I will to gather thy children together, as a hen doth gather her own chickens under the wings, and ye did not will. Matthew 23:38 Lo, left desolate to you is your house; Matthew 23:39 for I say to you, ye may not see me henceforth, till ye may say, Blessed [is] he who is coming in the name of the Lord.'