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Matthew 23:1–7

A Warning Against Hypocrisy

23:1–7pp—Mk 12:38,39; Lk 20:45,46
23:37–39pp—Lk 13:34,35

23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: The teachers of the lawo and the Pharisees sit in Mosesseat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.p

Everything they do is done for people to see:q They make their phylacteriesa r wide and the tassels on their garmentss long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;t they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be calledRabbiby others.u

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Matthew 23:1–7 — English Standard Version (ESV)

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Mosesseat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others.

Matthew 23:1–7 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Mosesseat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, 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 for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

Matthew 23:1–7 — New Living Translation (NLT)

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.

Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be calledRabbi.’

Matthew 23:1–7 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Mosesseat. 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. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’

Matthew 23:1–7 — New Century Version (NCV)

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his followers, “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees have the authority to tell you what the law of Moses says. So you should obey and follow whatever they tell you, but their lives are not good examples for you to follow. They tell you to do things, but they themselves don’t do them. They make strict rules and try to force people to obey them, but they are unwilling to help those who struggle under the weight of their rules.

“They do good things so that other people will see them. They enlarge the little boxes holding Scriptures that they wear, and they make their special prayer clothes very long. Those Pharisees and teachers of the law love to have the most important seats at feasts and in the synagogues. They love people to greet them with respect in the marketplaces, and they love to have people call them ‘Teacher.’

Matthew 23:1–7 — American Standard Version (ASV)

Then spake Jesus to the multitudes and to his disciples, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Mosesseat: all things therefore whatsoever they bid you, these do and observe: but do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not. Yea, they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. But all their works they do to be seen of men: for they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the chief place at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the salutations in the marketplaces, and to be called of men, Rabbi.

Matthew 23:1–7 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees have set themselves down in Moses’ seat: all things therefore, whatever they may tell you, do and keep. But do not after their works, for they say and do not, but bind burdens heavy and hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of men, but will not move them with their finger. And all their works they do to be seen of men: for they make broad their phylacteries and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the chief place in feasts and the first seats in the synagogues, and salutations in the market-places, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

Matthew 23:1–7 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The experts in Moses’ Teachings and the Pharisees teach with Moses’ authority. So be careful to do everything they tell you. But don’t follow their example, because they don’t practice what they preach. They make loads that are hard to carry and lay them on the shoulders of the people. However, they are not willing to lift a finger to move them. 

“They do everything to attract people’s attention. They make their headbands large and the tassels on their shawls long. They love the place of honor at dinners and the front seats in synagogues. They love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have people call them Rabbi.

Matthew 23:1–7 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples: The scribes and the Pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses. Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it. But don’t do what they do, because they don’t practice what they teach. They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry and put them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. They do everything to be observed by others: They enlarge their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love the place of honor at banquets, the front seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be calledRabbiby people.

Matthew 23:1–7 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Mosesseat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi.

Matthew 23:1–7 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on the seat of Moses. Therefore do and observe everything that they tell you, but do not do as they do, for they tell others to do something and do not do it themselves. And they tie up heavy burdens and put them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing with their finger to move them. And they do all their deeds in order to be seen by people, for they make their phylacteries broad and make their tassels long. And they love the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues and the greetings in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by people.

Matthew 23:1–7 — New International Reader’s Version (1998) (NIrV)

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples. “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat,” he said. “So you must obey them. Do everything they tell you. But don’t do what they do. They don’t practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on other people’s shoulders. But they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them.

“Everything they do is done for others to see. On their foreheads and arms they wear little boxes that hold Scripture verses. They make the boxes very wide. And they make the tassels on their coats very long.

“They love to sit down in the place of honor at dinners. They also love to have the most important seats in the synagogues. They love to be greeted in the market places. They love it when people call them ‘Rabbi.’

Matthew 23:1–7 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples,

saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses;

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.

They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.

But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.

They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues,

and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.


Matthew 23:23–28

23 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenthi of your spicesmint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the lawjustice, mercy and faithfulness.j You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides!k You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

25 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish,l but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.m 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

27 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs,n which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

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Matthew 23:23–28 — English Standard Version (ESV)

23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Matthew 23:23–28 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Matthew 23:23–28 — New Living Translation (NLT)

23 What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the lawjustice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. 24 Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel!

25 What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthyfull of greed and self-indulgence! 26 You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.

27 What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombsbeautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. 28 Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Matthew 23:23–28 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.

27 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. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Matthew 23:23–28 — New Century Version (NCV)

23 “How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You are hypocrites! You give to God one-tenth of everything you earn—even your mint, dill, and cumin. But you don’t obey the really important teachings of the law—justice, mercy, and being loyal. These are the things you should do, as well as those other things. 24 You guide the people, but you are blind! You are like a person who picks a fly out of a drink and then swallows a camel!

25 “How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You are hypocrites! You wash the outside of your cups and dishes, but inside they are full of things you got by cheating others and by pleasing only yourselves. 26 Pharisees, you are blind! First make the inside of the cup clean, and then the outside of the cup can be truly clean.

27 “How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You are hypocrites! You are like tombs that are painted white. Outside, those tombs look fine, but inside, they are full of the bones of dead people and all kinds of unclean things. 28 It is the same with you. People look at you and think you are good, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and evil.

Matthew 23:23–28 — American Standard Version (ASV)

23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye tithe mint and anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, justice, and mercy, and faith: but these ye ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone. 24 Ye blind guides, that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel!

25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full from extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside thereof may become clean also.

27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but inwardly ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Matthew 23:23–28 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye pay tithes of mint and anise and cummin, and ye have left aside the weightier matters of the law, judgment and mercy and faith: these ye ought to have done and not have left those aside. 24 Blind guides, who strain out the gnat, but drink down the camel. 25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but within they are full of rapine and intemperance. 26 Blind Pharisee, make clean first the inside of the cup and of the dish, that their outside also may become clean. 27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye are like whited sepulchres, which appear beautiful outwardly, but within are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Thus also ye, outwardly ye appear righteous to men, but within are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Matthew 23:23–28 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

23 “How horrible it will be for you, experts in Moses’ Teachings and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You give ⸤God⸥ one-tenth of your mint, dill, and cumin. But you have neglected justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These are the most important things in Moses’ Teachings. You should have done these things without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides! You strain gnats ⸤out of your wine⸥, but you swallow camels. 

25 “How horrible it will be for you, experts in Moses’ Teachings and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You clean the outside of cups and dishes. But inside they are full of greed and uncontrolled desires. 26 You blind Pharisees! First clean the inside of the cups and dishes so that the outside may also be clean. 

27 “How horrible it will be for you, experts in Moses’ Teachings and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You are like whitewashed graves that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead people’s bones and every kind of impurity. 28 So on the outside you look as though you have God’s approval, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 

Matthew 23:23–28 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You pay a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you have neglected the more important matters of the lawjustice, mercy, and faith. These things should have been done without neglecting the others. 24 Blind guides! You strain out a gnat, yet gulp down a camel!

25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence! 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so the outside of it may also become clean.

27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every impurity. 28 In the same way, on the outside you seem righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Matthew 23:23–28 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!

25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean.

27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. 28 So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Matthew 23:23–28 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees—hypocrites!—because you pay a tenth of mint and dill and cumin, and neglect the more important matters of the law—justice and mercy and faithfulness! It was necessary to do these things while not neglecting those. 24 Blind guides who filter out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees—hypocrites!—because you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence! 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees—hypocrites!—because you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and of everything unclean! 28 In the same way, on the outside you also appear righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Matthew 23:23–28 — New International Reader’s Version (1998) (NIrV)

23 “How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You give God a tenth of your spices, like mint, dill and cummin. But you have not practiced the more important things of the law, like fairness, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the last things without failing to do the first. 24 You blind guides! You remove the smallest insect from your food. But you swallow a whole camel!

25 “How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You clean the outside of the cup and dish. But on the inside you are full of greed. You only want to satisfy yourselves. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish. Then the outside will also be clean.

27 “How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You are like tombs that are painted white. They look beautiful on the outside. But on the inside they are full of the bones of the dead. They are also full of other things that are not pure and clean. 28 It is the same with you. On the outside you seem to be doing what is right. But on the inside you are full of what is wrong. You pretend to be what you are not.

Matthew 23:23–28 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence.

26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.

28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.