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Matthew 23:2-5

Context
23:2 “The 1  experts in the law 2  and the Pharisees 3  sit on Moses’ seat. 23:3 Therefore pay attention to what they tell you and do it. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they teach. 4  23:4 They 5  tie up heavy loads, hard to carry, and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing even to lift a finger to move them. 23:5 They 6  do all their deeds to be seen by people, for they make their phylacteries 7  wide and their tassels 8  long.

Matthew 23:23-28

Context

23:23 “Woe to you, experts in the law 9  and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You give a tenth 10  of mint, dill, and cumin, 11  yet you neglect what is more important in the law – justice, mercy, and faithfulness! You 12  should have done these things without neglecting the others. 23:24 Blind guides! You strain out a gnat yet swallow a camel! 13 

23:25 “Woe to you, experts in the law 14  and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 23:26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, 15  so that the outside may become clean too!

23:27 “Woe to you, experts in the law 16  and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of the bones of the dead and of everything unclean. 17  23:28 In the same way, on the outside you look righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

1 tn Grk “saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

2 tn Or “The scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 2:4.

3 sn See the note on Pharisees in 3:7.

4 tn Grk “for they say and do not do.”

5 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

6 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

7 sn Phylacteries were small leather cases containing OT scripture verses, worn on the arm and forehead by Jews, especially when praying. The custom was derived from such OT passages as Exod 13:9; 16; Deut 6:8; 11:18.

8 tn The term κράσπεδον (kraspedon) in some contexts could refer to the outer fringe of the garment (possibly in Mark 6:56). This edge could have been plain or decorated. L&N 6.180 states, “In Mt 23:5 κράσπεδον denotes the tassels worn at the four corners of the outer garment (see 6.194).”

sn Tassels refer to the tassels that a male Israelite was obligated to wear on the four corners of his outer garment according to the Mosaic law (Num 15:38; Deut 22:12).

9 tn Or “scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 2:4.

10 tn Or “you tithe mint.”

11 sn Cumin (alternately spelled cummin) was an aromatic herb native to the Mediterranean region. Its seeds were used for seasoning.

12 tc ‡ Many witnesses (B C K L W Δ 0102 33 565 892 pm) have δέ (de, “but”) after ταῦτα (tauta, “these things”), while many others lack it (א D Γ Θ Ë1,13 579 700 1241 1424 pm). Since asyndeton was relatively rare in Koine Greek, the conjunction may be an intentional alteration, and is thus omitted from the present translation. NA27 includes the word in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.

13 tn Grk “Blind guides who strain out a gnat yet who swallow a camel!”

14 tn Or “scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 2:4.

15 tc A very difficult textual problem is found here. The most important Alexandrian and Byzantine, as well as significant Western, witnesses (א B C L W 0102 0281 Ë13 33 Ï lat co) have “and the dish” (καὶ τῆς παροψίδος, kai th" paroyido") after “cup,” while few important witnesses (D Θ Ë1 700 and some versional and patristic authorities) omit the phrase. On the one hand, scribes sometimes tended to eliminate redundancy; since “and the dish” is already present in v. 25, it may have been deleted in v. 26 by well-meaning scribes. On the other hand, as B. M. Metzger notes, the singular pronoun αὐτοῦ (autou, “its”) with τὸ ἐκτός (to ekto", “the outside”) in some of the same witnesses that have the longer reading (viz., B* Ë13 al) hints that their archetype lacked the words (TCGNT 50). Further, scribes would be motivated both to add the phrase from v. 25 and to change αὐτοῦ to the plural pronoun αὐτῶν (aujtwn, “their”). Although the external evidence for the shorter reading is not compelling in itself, combined with these two prongs of internal evidence, it is to be slightly preferred.

16 tn Or “scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 2:4.

17 sn This was an idiom for hypocrisy – just as the wall was painted on the outside but something different on the inside, so this person was not what he appeared or pretended to be (for discussion of a similar metaphor, see L&N 88.234; BDAG 1010 s.v. τοῖχος). See Deut 28:22; Ezek 13:10-16; Acts 23:3.



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