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Tuesday, March 22 2016

Matthew 23: The Seven Woes

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves"

The English-language word "woe" originated from the Anglo-Saxon word wa which was meant to express the natural groan-like sound that humans make when grieving. "Woe" is used to render (not necessarily translate because it was a sound, not a word, that was being expressed from one language to another) a number of Hebrew and Greek words of the Holy Scriptures, including:

  • The Hebrew word, pronounced oy-ee, which was used to describe sounds of grief

  • The Hebrew word, pronounced hoe-ee, which was used as a cry of grief or distress

  • The Greek word, pronounced oo-ah-ee, which was used as a cry of grief or distress

The Messiah's lesson began with a declaration of the behavior that He was grieving over, not merely the religious hypocrites of that time.

Pharisee

"23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 23:2 Saying,

The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 23:4 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.

23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi." (Matthew 23:1-7 KJV)

The Messiah's command was then made plain. Do not put yourself in the place of the Messiah's authority. Do not "lord it over" others that the LORD has called to understanding during this era (see The Meaning Of Parables). Don't lust to "lead" God's people.

"23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." (Matthew 23:8-12 KJV)

Then, the "seven woes" of the Messiah's grief for those who made their service to the LORD and His people into a hypocritical, self-serving ego trip ("something that someone does to feel more important or better than other people," from The Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

"23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

23:16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 23:17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 23:18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. 23:19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 23:20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. 23:21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 23:22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

23:23 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. 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

23:25 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. 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

23:27 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. 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Matthew 23:13-39 KJV)

Fact Finder: The Messiah rebuked the righteous appearing "leaders" for their iniquity ("Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity" verse 28, above). What does iniquity mean? Why is it evil?
See Iniquity In History And Prophecy and Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative?


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This Day In History, March 22

238: Gordian I and his son Gordian II were together proclaimed Roman Emperors (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and Romans: In The Heart Of The Beast).

337: Roman emperor Constantine died at age 47 (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).

1349: The Jews of Fulda, Germany, were massacred by the townspeople who blamed them for the plague known as the "Black Death." Not only were the Jews not the source of the plague, they were much healthier than most of the other townspeople because they observed the LORD's Biblical rules of health and hygiene (see Leviticus 13: Bacteria and Leviticus 15: Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness; also Leviticus 18: Sexual Abominations and Leviticus 11: What Makes Creatures Clean or Unclean?).

1621: The European "Pilgrims" of Plymouth Colony (see Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy and The Pilgrims) signed a peace treaty with the native Americans of the Wampanoag tribes.

1638: Anne Hutchinson, a mother of 15 children, was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for "religious dissent" - her home Bible-study group was attracting too many people away from the "established church of the colony."

1752: Canada's first newspaper, the Halifax Gazette, was established.

1765: The democratically-elected British Parliament passed the Stamp Act - a tax to be levied directly on its New England colonies to help pay for their own defense against the powerful and threatening "New France" French Empire in North America. Ironically, the defense tax was used as one of the major manipulated excuses for the rebellion of the colonies against their founders. Fortunately for the survival of the colonies, France didn't attack them after they rejected British protection because Napoleon Bonaparte (the former Corporal, then self-proclaimed revolutionary General, who reigned as Emperor of the French from 1769 to 1821) consumed the bulk of his massive forces in the Napoleonic Wars across Europe - from which he suffered his famous defeat at Waterloo (Belgium) by the British Army.

Most of the British Army and Navy were never involved in the New England rebellion of 1776 or the War of 1812 (1812-1814), but were, through all of those years, engaged in the massive "world war" against Napoleon all across Europe and into Russia - the wars in the New England colonies were a minor, but related to the French threat, conflict.

New France

1848: The Venetian Republic declared independence from Austria.

1895: In Paris, Auguste and Louis Lumiere first demonstrated motion pictures using celluloid film.

1903: A drought caused Niagara Falls to temporarily stop flowing.

1917: Ironically, in view of subsequent history, the U.S. became the first country to recognize the communist government of Russia, following the overthrow of the czar. The apparent logic was that the U.S. and Russian were both "we the people revolutions," and both involved the founding of a republic after the overthrow of a king.

1919: The first international airline service was inaugurated on a weekly schedule between Paris, France and Brussels, Belgium.

1945: The Arab League, a loose confederation of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Transjordan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, was formed in Cairo for the purpose of securing Arab unity. Others joined later: Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, Kuwait, Algeria, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (see also What Does The Bible Say About Arabs?).

1946: Britain recognized the independence of the protectorate of Transjordan, known today as the Kingdom of Jordan (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate; also Jordan's West Bank Invasion and Where Is Palestine?).

1947: Viscount Louis Mountbatten and his wife Edwina arrived in Delhi; the last viceroy in India, Mountbatten's mission was to bring about independence for India.

1979: The Israeli Parliament approved the peace treaty with Egypt (see Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century).

1993: Intel began marketing the first "Pentium" (80586) computer processors.

1995: Russian Cosmonaut Valeriy Polyakov returned to earth after a record 438 days in orbit.

1997: Comet Hale-Bopp made its closest approach to Earth (see also The Christian Universe and The Maker Of Mystic Mountain).

2004: Ahmed Yassin, a leader of Hamas (a Palestinian Sunni Islamist group; see also Where Is Palestine?) was assassinated (the elderly, blind quadriplegic was in his wheelchair, being taken out of morning prayers, when killed) in the Gaza Strip by Israeli helicopter-fired missiles; nine nearby civilians ("collateral damage") were also killed.




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