11:39 But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean 1 the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 2 11:40 You fools! 3 Didn’t the one who made the outside make the inside as well? 4 11:41 But give from your heart to those in need, 5 and 6 then everything will be clean for you. 7
11:42 “But woe to you Pharisees! 8 You give a tenth 9 of your mint, 10 rue, 11 and every herb, yet you neglect justice 12 and love for God! But you should have done these things without neglecting the others. 13 11:43 Woe to you Pharisees! You love the best seats 14 in the synagogues 15 and elaborate greetings 16 in the marketplaces! 11:44 Woe to you! 17 You are like unmarked graves, and people 18 walk over them without realizing it!” 19
11:45 One of the experts in religious law 20 answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things you insult 21 us too.” 11:46 But Jesus 22 replied, 23 “Woe to you experts in religious law as well! 24 You load people 25 down with burdens difficult to bear, yet you yourselves refuse to touch 26 the burdens with even one of your fingers! 11:47 Woe to you! You build 27 the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors 28 killed. 11:48 So you testify that you approve of 29 the deeds of your ancestors, 30 because they killed the prophets 31 and you build their 32 tombs! 33 11:49 For this reason also the wisdom 34 of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 11:50 so that this generation may be held accountable 35 for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning 36 of the world, 37 11:51 from the blood of Abel 38 to the blood of Zechariah, 39 who was killed 40 between the altar and the sanctuary. 41 Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against 42 this generation. 11:52 Woe to you experts in religious law! You have taken away 43 the key to knowledge! You did not go in yourselves, and you hindered 44 those who were going in.”
11:53 When he went out from there, the experts in the law 45 and the Pharisees began to oppose him bitterly, 46 and to ask him hostile questions 47 about many things, 11:54 plotting against 48 him, to catch 49 him in something he might say.
1 sn The allusion to washing (clean the outside of the cup) shows Jesus knew what they were thinking and deliberately set up a contrast that charged them with hypocrisy and majoring on minors.
2 tn Or “and evil.”
4 tn The question includes a Greek particle, οὐ (ou), that expects a positive reply. God, the maker of both, is concerned for what is both inside and outside.
5 tn Grk “Give the things inside as alms.” Three different approaches have been taken to the syntax and meaning of this phrase: (1) τὰ ἐνόντα (ta enonta, “the things inside”) is an accusative of respect (“give alms with respect to the things inside”); (2) τὰ ἐνόντα is an adverbial accusative (“give alms inwardly,” i.e., from the heart); (3) the word translated “alms” represents a mistranslation of the original Aramaic term “cleanse,” so the statement urges the hearers to “cleanse the things inside.” According to D. L. Bock (Luke [BECNT], 2:1115) the latter meaning is unlikely because the present verse is independent of Matt 23:26, not parallel to it, and makes good sense as it stands.
sn In Jewish culture giving alms to the poor was a very important religious observance; it was meant to be an act of mercy, kindness, and love (D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 2:1114). The implication from the text is that the Pharisees gave alms, but without any of the spiritual concern which should have motivated those generous actions. Here Jesus commands the Pharisees to give from within themselves to those in need instead of just giving of their possessions. In so doing they would show true inner purity acceptable to God. This is in keeping with the author’s social concerns elsewhere in the Gospel (cf., e.g., 1:52-53, 4:18-19, 6:20-21, 14:13).
6 tn Grk “and behold.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) at the beginning of this clause has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).
7 sn The expression everything will be clean for you refers to the agreement that should exist between the overt practice of one’s religious duties, such as almsgiving, and the inner condition of one’s heart, including true love for God and the poor; one is not only to wash the outside of the cup and plate, but the inside as well, since as Jesus said, God created the inside too. Religious duties are not to be performed hypocritically, i.e., for the applause and esteem of people, but rather they are to be done out of a deep love for God and a sensitivity to and concern for the needs of others. Then, everything will be clean, both hearts and lives.
8 tn Grk “Woe to you…because you…” The causal particle ὅτι (Joti) has not been translated here for rhetorical effect (and so to the end of this chapter).
9 tn Or “you tithe mint.”
10 sn These small herbs were tithed with great care (Mishnah, m. Demai 2:1).
11 tn Grk “and rue.” Καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.
sn Rue was an evergreen herb used for seasoning.
13 tn Grk “those”; but this has been translated as “the others” to clarify which are meant.
14 tn Or “seats of honor.” The term here is plural and is not a reference only to the lead “seat of Moses” in the synagogue, but includes the front seats near the ark.
16 tn Grk “and the greetings.”
sn The later Jewish summary of oral tradition, the Talmud, notes elaborate greetings for rabbis. The rebuke here is for pride.
17 tc Most
18 tn Grk “men.” This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo"), referring to both males and females.
19 sn In Judaism to come into contact with the dead or what is associated with them, even without knowing it, makes one unclean (Num 19:11-22; Lev 21:1-3; Mishnah, m. Demai 2:3). To Pharisees, who would have been so sensitive about contracting ceremonial uncleanness, it would have been quite a stinging rebuke to be told they caused it.
20 sn That is, an expert in the interpretation of the Mosaic law. They worked closely with the Pharisees.
22 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
23 tn Grk “said.”
24 tn Here “as well” is used to translate καί (kai) at the beginning of the statement.
25 tn Grk “men.” This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo"), referring to both males and females.
26 tn Grk “you yourselves do not touch.” This could mean one of two things: (1) Either they make others do what they themselves do not (through various technical exceptions) or (2) they make no effort to help the others fulfill what they are required to do. Considering the care these religious figures are said to have given to the law, the second option is more likely (see L&N 18.11).
27 sn The effect of what the experts in the law were doing was to deny the message of the prophets and thus honor their death by supporting those who had sought their removal. The charge that this is what previous generations did shows the problem is chronic. As T. W. Manson said, the charge here is “The only prophet you honor is a dead prophet!” (The Sayings of Jesus, 101).
28 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
29 tn Grk “you are witnesses and approve of.”
30 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”
31 tn Grk “them”; the referent (the prophets) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
32 tn “Their,” i.e., the prophets.
33 tc The majority of
34 sn The expression the wisdom of God is a personification of an attribute of God that refers to his wise will.
35 tn Or “that this generation may be charged with”; or “the blood of all the prophets… may be required from this generation.” This is a warning of judgment. These people are responsible for the shedding of prophetic blood.
36 tn Or “foundation.” However, this does not suggest a time to the modern reader.
37 tn The order of the clauses in this complicated sentence has been rearranged to simplify it for the modern reader.
40 tn Or “who perished.”
41 tn Or “and the temple”; Grk “and the house,” but in this context a reference to the house of God as a place of sanctuary.
42 tn Or “required from.”
43 sn You have taken away the key to knowledge is another stinging rebuke. They had done the opposite of what they were trying to do.
44 tn Or “you tried to prevent.”
46 tn Or “terribly.”
47 tn For this term see L&N 33.183.
48 tn Grk “lying in ambush against,” but this is a figurative extension of that meaning.