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Matthew 23:33-36 – Treatment of Future Prophets

|| Luke 11:49-51

MT23:33 “Serpents, born of vipers,[1] how will you escape the judgment of Gehenna?[2] MT23:34 Because of this, look! I am sending to you prophets, wise persons, and scribes.[3] You will kill some of them, others you will impale, and still others you will scourge in your synagogues.[4] You will persecute from city to city.[5] MT23:35 As a result there will come upon you all the righteous blood poured out on earth – from the blood of righteous Abel[6] to the blood of Zechariah (son of Barachiah)[7] whom your murdered between the Divine Habitat[8] and the altar. MT23:36 I tell you this truth: all this will come upon this generation!

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[1] Serpents, born of vipers: Or, birthed by viperous mothers; KJV: generation of vipers; RSV: brood of vipers; LAM: seed of scorpions. Compare GENNEMATA in verse 33 with GENEAN in verse 36.

[2] Gehenna: See notes else where on Gehenna. Or, PME: the rubbish heap.

[3] Prophets, wise persons, and scribes: These would be Christian prophets, wise ones, and scribes. Or, RIEU: wise and learned men; NOR: scholars; NEB: prophets, sages, and teachers; BECK: who are wise and know the Bible.

[4] You will kill some of them, others you will impale, and still others you will scourge in your synagogues: See the responsibility of the Jews in the Book of Acts (Acts 5:40; 7:54-60; 22:19). Note how Jesus foretells the same in the next chapter (See notes on Matthew 24:9; Mark 13:9).

[5] You will persecute from city to city: Or, WEY: chase from town to town; NEB: hound from city to city. Note Saul’s authority in Acts 9:1-3. Note Jesus’ counsel to his apostles at Matthew 10:23.

[6] Abel: See Genesis 4:10. Jesus classes these religious clergy with Cain. So there is a type of persecutor from the beginning. There is a bloodguilt on such a class of persons. Luke 11:50 adds, “… from the founding of the world.”

[7] Zechariah (son of Barachiah): Some think this is the same Zechariah of 2 Chronicles 24:17-22, 25. Others view the phrase Abel to Zechariah as a way of saying “Genesis to Revelation.”

[8] Divine Habitat: The Greek is NAOU and is often rendered either “temple” or “sanctuary.” Luke 11:51 uses “house” indicating that the NAOS is the Temple proper.

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Preceding

Matthew 23:1-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Prominence and Humility

Matthew 23:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Shutting Up the Kingdom

Matthew 23:15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 2: Evangelists of Gehenna

Matthew 23:16-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 3: Blind Guides and Gold

Matthew 23:23-24 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 4: A Disregard for Justice and Mercy

Matthew 23:25-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 5: Greed and Uncleanness

Matthew 23:27-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 6: Whitewashed Graves

Matthew 23:29-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 7: The Only Good Prophet Is a Dead Prophet!

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