GENEVA BIBLE 1599

 

The Bible of the Pilgrims who founded America and also the Bible of the Reformation.  

 

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Matthew 23

 

 1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

 

 2  (1) Saying, The (*) Scribes and the Pharisees (a) (♣) sit in Mosesí seat.

 

(1) We ought to hear whatsoever any wicked teachers teach us purely out of the word of God, yet so that we eschew their evil manners.

(*) Nehemiah 8:4 .
(a) Because God appointeth the order, therefore the Lord would have his word to be heard even from the mouth of hypocrites and hirelings.

(♣) And teach that which Moses saith.

 

 3  (b) All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that (*) observe and do, but after their works do not; for they say, and do not.

 

(b) Provided always, that they deliver Moses his doctrine which they profess, which thing the metaphor of the seat sheweth, which they occupied as teachers of Moses his learning.

(*) According to Moses whom they read, but not that which they teach of themselves.

 

 4  (*) (2) For they bind heavy burdens, and grievous to be borne, and lay them on menís shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

 

(*) Luke 11:46; Acts 15:10 .

(2) Hypocrites for the most parts are most severe exacters of those things which they themselves chiefly neglect.

 

 5  (3) All their works they do for to be seen of men; for they make their (c) (♣) phylacteries broad, and make long (d) the (*) fringes of their garments,

 

(3) Hypocrites are ambitious.
(c) It was a thread, or ribbon of blue silk in the fringe of a corner, the beholding whereof made them to remember the laws and ordinances of God; and therefore was it called a Phylactery, as ye would say, a keeper. Numbers 15:38; Deuteronomy 6:8; which order the Jews afterward abused, as they do now a days, which hang Saint Johnís Gospel about their necks; a thing condemned many years ago in the Council of Antioch.

(♣) They were scrolls of parchment wherein the commandments were written; and to this day the Jews use the same and close them in a piece of leather, and so bind them to their brow and left arm, to the intent they might have continual remembrance of the Law.
(d) Word for word, Twisted tassels of thread which hanged at the nethermost hems of their garments.

(*) Numbers 15:38; Deuteronomy 22:12; Mark 12:38 .

 

 6  (*) And love the chief place at feasts, and to have the chief seats in the (e) assemblies,

 

(*) Luke 11:43; Luke 20:46 .

(e) When assemblies and Councils are gathered together.

 

 7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, (*) Rabbi, (f) Rabbi.

 

(*) Or, master.

(f) This word Rabbi, signifieth one that is above his fellows, and is as good as a number of them; and we may see by the repeating of it, how proud a rule it was. Now they were called Rabbi, which by laying on of hands were uttered and declared to the world to be wise men.

 

 8  (*) (4) But be not ye (g) called, (♣) Rabbi, for (h) one is your (♠) doctor, to wit, Christ, and all ye are brethren.

 

(*) James 3:1 .

(4) Modesty is a singular ornament of God's ministers.
(g) Seek not ambitiously after it; for our Lord doth not forbid us to give the Magistrate and our Masters the honor that is due to them. Augustine in a sermon on the words of God from Matthew 11:1-30 .

(♣) Christ forbiddeth not to give just honor to Magistrates and Masters, but condemneth ambition and superiority over our brotherís faith, which office appertaineth to Christ alone.
(h) He seemeth to allude to a place of Isaiah 54:13 and Jeremiah 31:34 .

(♠) Or, teacher.

 

 9 And (*) call no man your (i) father upon the earth; for there is but one, your Father which is in heaven.

 

(*) Malachi 1:6 .

(i) He shooteth at a fashion which the Jews used, for they called the Rabbiís, our fathers.

 

 10 Be not called (k) (*) doctors; for one is your doctor even Christ.

 

(k) It seemeth that the Scribes did very greedily hunt after such titles, whom verse ten he calleth blind guides.

(*) The Pharisees were called Masters or Fathers, and the Scribes Doctors.

 

 11 But he that is (*) greatest among you, let him be your servant.

 

(*) The highest dignity in the Church is not lordship, or dominion, but ministry and service.

 

 12  (*) For whosoever (l) will exalt himself, shall be brought low; and whosoever will humble himself, shall be exalted.

 

(*) Luke 14:11; Luke 18:14 .

(l) He seemeth to allude to the name of the Rabbiís, for Rabbi signifieth one that is aloft.

 

 13  ∂ (5) Woe therefore be unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, (m) hypocrites! Because ye (*) shut up the kingdom of heaven before men; for ye yourselves go not in, neither suffer ye them (♣) that would (n) enter, to come in.

 

(5) Hypocrites can abide none to be better than themselves.
(m) Christ, when he reproveth any man sharply, useth this word, to give us to understand that there is nothing more detestable than hypocrisy and falsehood in religion.

(*) Ye kept back the pure religion and knowledge of God when men are ready to embrace it.

(♣) Which have now their foot within the doors.
(n) Which are even at the door.

 

 14  (*) (6) Woe be unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye devour widowsí houses, even (o) under a color of long prayers; wherefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

 

(*) Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47 .

(6) It is a common thing among hypocrites, to abuse the pretence of zeal to covetousness and extortion.
(o) Word for word, under a color of long praying. And this word, Even, noteth a double naughtiness in them; the one, that they devoured widowsí goods; the other, that they did it under a color of godliness.

 

 15 Woe be unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass (*) sea and (p) land to make one of your profession; and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell, than you yourselves.

 

(*) They sought all means, that they could invent, to make of a Gentile a Jew.

(p) The dry part; now that part of that earth is called dry, which the Lord hath given us to dwell upon.

 

 16 Woe be unto you blind guides, which say, Whosoever sweareth by the Temple, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gold of the Temple, he (q) (*) offendeth.

 

(q) Is a debtor. Sins are called in the Syrian tongue, Debts, and it is certain that Christ spake in the Syrian tongue.

(*) Or, is a debtor.

 

 17 Ye fools and blind, Whether is greater, the gold, or the Temple that (r) (*) sanctifieth the gold?

 

(r) Causeth the gold to be counted holy, which is dedicate to an holy use.

(*) And maketh it to be taken as a holy thing, because of the use; and hereby Christ sheweth that manís doctrine doeth not only obscure the word of God, but is contrary to it.

 

 18 And whosoever sweareth by the altar, it is nothing, but whosoever sweareth by the offering that is upon it, offendeth.

 

 19 Ye fools and blind, whether is greater, the offering, or the altar which sanctifieth the offering?

 

 20 Whosoever therefore sweareth by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.

 

 21  (*) And whosoever sweareth by the Temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.

 

(*) 1 Kings 8:13; 2 Chronicles 6:1 .

 

 22  (*) And he that sweareth by heaven, sweareth by the (s) throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

 

(*) Matthew 5:34 .

(s) If heaven be God's throne, then is he no doubt above all this world.

 

 23  ∂ (7) (*) Woe be to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye tithe mint, and anise, and cumin, and leave the weightier matters of the Law, as judgment, and mercy and (t) fidelity. These ought ye to have done, and not to have left the other.

 

(7) Hypocrites are careful in trifles, and neglect the greatest things of purpose.

(*) Luke 11:42 .
(t) Faithfulness in the keeping of promises.

 

 24 Ye blind guides, which (*) strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel.

 

(*) Ye stay at that which is nothing, and let pass that which is of greater importance.

 

 25  ∂ (8) Woe be to you, (*) Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (♣) For ye make clean the utter side of the cup, and of the platter, but within they are full of bribery and (♠) excess.

 

(8) Hypocrites are too much careful of outward things, and the inward they utterly contemn.

(*) Luke 12:39 .

(♣) Ye seek how to get estimation with men and pass not whether ye have a good conscience or no.

(♠) Or, intemperancy.

 

 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

 

 27 Woe be to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto (*) whited tombs, which appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead menís bones, and all filthiness.

 

(*) Or, painted.

 

 28 So are ye also, for outward ye appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

 

 29  ∂ (9) Woe be unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye build the tombs of the (*) Prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous,

 

(9) Hypocrites when they go most about to cover their wickedness, then do they by the just judgment of God, shame themselves.

(*) For a remembrance of them and in the mean season they passed not for their doctrine.

 

 30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in the blood of the Prophets.

 

 31 So then ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye (*) are the children of them that murdered the Prophets.

 

(*) It is not now only that your nation hath begun to be cruel against the servants of God, and therefore it is no marvel though the children of such murderers handle roughly the Prophets.

 

 32  (u) Fulfill ye also the measure of your fathers.

 

(u) A proverb used of the Jews, which hath this meaning, Go ye on also and follow your ancestors, that at length your wickedness may come to the full.

 

 33 O serpents, the generation of vipers, how should ye escape the damnation of (*) hell?

 

(*) Matthew 5:22 .

 

 34  (10) Wherefore behold, I send unto you (*) Prophets, and wise men, and Scribes, and of them ye shall kill and crucify, and of them shall ye scourge in your Synagogues, and persecute from city to city,

 

(10) Hypocrites be cruel.

(*) To convince you of greater ingratitude.

 

 35  (11) That upon (♠) you may come all the righteous blood that was shed upon the earth, (*) from the blood of Abel the righteous, unto the blood (♦) of Zacharias the son of (y) Barachias, whom ye slew between the Temple and the altar.

 

(11) The end of them which persecute the Gospel, under the pretence of zeal.

(♠) Christ meaneth that all their race shall be punished, so that the iniquity of the fathers shall be poured into the bosom of the children, which resemble their fathers.

(*) Genesis 4:8; Hebrews 11:4 .

(♦) Read 2 Chronicles 24:22 .
(y) Of Joiada, who was also called Barachiah, that is, blessed of the Lord.

 

 36 Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation.

 

 37  (12) (*) Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the Prophets, and stonest them which are sent to thee, how often would I have (z) gathered thy children together, as the hen gathered her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

 

(12) Where the mercy of God was greatest, there was greatest wickedness and rebellion, and at length of the most sharp judgments of God.

(*) Luke 13:34 .

(z) He speaketh of the outward ministry, and as he was promised for the saving of this people, so was he also careful for it, even from the time that the promise was made to Abraham.

 

 38 Behold, your habitation shall be left unto you desolate.

 

 39 For I say unto you, ye shall not see me (*) henceforth till that ye say, Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord.

 

(*) He will return no more to them, as a teacher, but as a judge, when as they shall be compelled to confess (although to late) that he is the very Son of God.

 

 

 

Steve

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