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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 23

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

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Verse 1

Matthew 23:1

"WOE" to the Scribes and Pharisees

Verse 11

Matthew 23:11

Serving Others - Matthew 20:26; Matthew 23:11 Mark 10:43

Luke 22:26-27 Philippians 2:4 1 Corinthians 10:24

Verse 13

Matthew 23:13

shut up the kingdom of heaven ... [see WG "Closing the Gates of Heaven" xxx ]

kingdom ... The scribes (Pharisees) wore a large key symbolzing their office and their knowledge of the way to heaven.

Luke says Luke 11:52 they had taken away the key of knowledge, and thus prevented their entering in - that is, they had taken away the right interpretation of the ancient prophecies respecting the Messiah, and thus had done all that they could to prevent the people from receiving Jesus as their Redeemer. Barnes

It is obvious that the passage, as a whole, throws light on the promise of the “keys” of the kingdom made to Peter. Matthew 16:19 McGarvey

Verse 35

Matthew 23:35

cf. Revelation 18:20-24, // Luke 21:20-22

Abel (Genesis 4:10) and Zechariah (2 Chronicles 24:20-22) @ 800 BC (vs. 24 RSV "may the Lord see an avenge."

From "A" to "Z", first to last, as seen in the Hebrew order of OT books. (Not chronologically, for Urijah in Jeremiah 26:20-23 in 609 BC was also slain.) So it is a literary arrangement, not chronologically. Also Josephus names the 22 book of the Hebrew Bible, same as ours, so the Lord here is providing a divine endorsement of the canon of the OT as we have it today.

See also the Pulpit Commentary on this passage.

cf Acts 7:51-52

If Matt. 23:34-37 is describing the destruction of Jerusalem, then Revelation 18:20-21 must be also. See Luke 11:47-51.

Luke 13:33, No prophet perished out of Jerusalem.

See Luke 11:51 about note on Jesus’ endorsement of the OT canon.

For Days of Vengeance, see notes & links at Luke 21:22

Verse 36

Matthew 23:36

This judgment upon Jerusalem and the Jewis was to come to these people of Jesus’ day. From AD 30 to AD 70 was 40 years; ususally considered one generation.

Verse 37

Matthew 23:37

Jerusalem ... It was Jerusalem, not Rome, which killed all the prophets! cf. Acts 7:51-52

Verse 38

Matthew 23:38

house left desolate ... this had happened before, 2 Chronicles 7:20

Plummer: Jesus would not teach in the temple again, and may have never entered the temple at all again.

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Matthew 23". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/matthew-23.html. 2021.
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