He meant by this that they were concerned with ceremonial cleanliness, that which men observed, but not really concerned with holiness. While observing ceremonial rites of cleansing, they were not above extortion and excess. In verse 27, Jesus mentioned the sixth woe. This illustrated that the Pharisees were outwardly righteous but inwardly full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Jesus concluded with the seventh woe, in verse 29, in which He charged them with building tombs of the prophets and garnishing them with decorations and claiming that they would not be partakers with their fathers in martyring prophets.
Jesus was, of course, referring to their intent to kill Him and to their later persecution of the church. Jesus declared, in verse 34, that He would send to them prophets, wise men, and scribes who were also believers. Some of them they would persecute, some they would scourge and drive out of the synagogue, and others they would kill and crucify.
Who Were the Pharisees in the Bible?
Their works would justify bringing upon them the just condemnation coming from all the righteous blood shed upon the earth from the time of righteous Abel, killed by Cain Gen , to the martyrdom of Zacharias, the son of Barachias 2 Ch Zacharias, mentioned as the son of Jehoiada in 2 Chronicles , probably was the grandson of the priest and Barachias was his actual father.
This prophecy was tragically fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the children of Israel over the face of the earth. Jerusalem, the city of God, and the magnificent temple, the center of their worship, were to lay in ashes as an eloquent reminder that divine judgment on hypocrisy and sin is inevitable. His earlier lament over Jerusalem, Lk Here is revealed the breaking heart of God over a people whom God loved, and yet a people who spurned that love and killed those whom God sent to them.
Most Relevant Verses
Again and again, prophets had been killed and stoned, and the end was not yet. The figure of a hen, or any mother bird, connotes a brood of young gathering under protective wings, a familiar image in the Bible Deu ; Ps ; It could, however, also relate to the nation itself, which was to suffer severely in dispersion over the world.
The expression left desolate is contained in a simple verb meaning to be left alone. How alone is a city, a nation, or an individual from whom God has departed. With these words, Jesus closed His last public discourse and left the temple for the last time cf. Mt Other references to the same revival in the Old Testament are frequently found.
The closing chapters of the prophecies of Isaiah mention again and again the coming revival of Israel, as, for instance, in Isaiah Zechariah speaks of it in chapter 8, and ; ; While it is tragic that Israel did not know the day of her visitation at the time of the first coming of Christ, the godly remnant of Israel, that awaits His second coming to sit on the throne of David, will experience the blessing of the Lord and receive a new heart and a new spirit, of which Ezekiel spoke in Ezekiel The tragic note which ends Matthew 23 introduces the great prophecy of the end of the age, recorded in Matthew and delivered privately to His disciples.
But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. English Standard Version so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. Berean Study Bible So practice and observe everything they tell you. Berean Literal Bible therefore keep and observe all things whatsoever they might tell you. But do not do according to their works, for they preach and do not act. New American Standard Bible therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.
New King James Version Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. King James Bible All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. Christian Standard Bible Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it. But don't do what they do, because they don't practice what they teach.
Contemporary English Version So obey everything they teach you, but don't do as they do. After all, they say one thing and do something else. Good News Translation So you must obey and follow everything they tell you to do; do not, however, imitate their actions, because they don't practice what they preach. Holman Christian Standard Bible Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it. International Standard Version So do whatever they tell you and follow it, but stop doing what they do, because they don't do what they say.
What about Nicodemus?
- Jesus and the Pharisees.
- Did Jesus say that we should follow the teaching of the Pharisees?.
- The Top Bible Verses about Pharisees in Scripture;
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We should not allow the remarks of Jesus to give us an unfair bias against the entire Pharisaic party. We also cannot neglect the rabbinic literature the Mishnah, the Tosefta, etc. In the New Testament it is obvious that Jesus had legitimate reasons for His accusations.
These accusations center on the areas of teaching and practice. Matt "Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, "Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread. The "tradition of men" had taken the place of, and had nullified, the commandments of the Word of God.
Jesus did not question the rightful authority of these scribes, nor did He question everything that the scribes and Pharisees had taught. Matt "Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.
For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men.
Even Peter accused the Jewish leaders when he said: Acts Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch. For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. They were so overly concerned with the externals that they neglected the "weightier matters of the law" and the simple truths about man and God. When their own Messiah had appeared in Israel they were so blinded by their observances and the minute details that they completely missed Him.
It is amazing that Jesus used the exact words of Isaiah, their great prophet, to describe their hypocrisy. Notice the quote from Isaiah Mark He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.
The Bible: So Misunderstood It's a Sin
Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. He even accused them of being whitewashed tombs, disguising their inner corruption: Matt Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.
Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Outward self righteousness is the inevitable product of Pharisaic legalism. Jesus revealed their true motives: Matt "But all their works they do to be seen by men. In fact this was exactly what Jesus meant when He said "for they say, and do not do" Matt What is really amazing is that the Talmud reveals that hypocrisy was not unknown among the Pharisees.
A famous passage in the Talmud denounces six types of hypocritical Pharisees BT, Sotah, 22b , which speak of many of the same faults pointed out by Jesus.
Who were the Pharisees in the Bible?
The Talmudic literature clearly condemns pretense and hypocrisy JT, Berakoth f. This is an important point because the literature of the Pharisaic tradition in no way sanctions hypocrisy. In fact it is in agreement with Jesus, yet there can be no doubt that hypocrisy existed among the Pharisees during the time of Jesus but we must not make the mistake that the early writers of the oral tradition were all corrupt and blind.
Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Sanhedrin and he looked for the kingdom of God Mark , he was almost certainly a Pharisee, he also did not consent to the decision to do away with Jesus Luke