Bible Commentaries
Matthew 23

International Critical Commentary NTInternational Critical

Search for…
Enter query below:
Additional Authors

Verses 1-99

23. For Mark 12:37-40 Mt. substitutes a much longer discourse. The relation of this to Lk. may be shown as follows:








Mark 12:38b, Mark 12:39

11:43, 20:46



14:11, 18:14



















It will be seen that Luke 11:39-52 contains sayings spoken to a Pharisee, 38, or Pharisees, 42, or lawyers, 46, all of which are incorporated in Mat_23, but without distinction of audience, in a different order, and in different language. The last difference makes it very unlikely that Mt. and Lk. had a common written source. Mt vv. 37-39 recur in Luke 13:34-35 in a different context, and with variations of language. A common written source is improbable.

(E) 1. Then Jesus spake to the multitudes, and to His disciples, saying.] Mk. has: “And in His teaching, He was saying.” Lk. also has τοῖς μαθηταῖς in this connection.

(L) 2. The scribes and the Pharisees sit on the seat of Moses.] Cf. B. Rosh ha Shanah 25a “Every council of three in Israel is like the council of Moses”; Aboth 1:1 “Moses received … and delivered to Joshua, and Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the prophets, and the prophets to the men of the great synagogue.”— ἐκάθισαν] The aor. is difficult. It may be due to the fact that the editor writes from his own standpoint, and looks back upon the period when the scribes and Pharisees were in power. But Wellhausen speaks of it as a Semiticism.

(L) 3. All things therefore whatsoever they say to you, do and observe.] The words are difficult in view of the criticism of the regulations of the traditional law in 15:1-20; cf. esp. 15:6. We must suppose that a limitation is to be inferred from “sit in Moses’ seat.” Do all things that they teach, in so far as this is in harmony with the spirit of the Mosaic law. The comprehensiveness of the saying reminds us of 5:18.—But do not according to their works: for they say, and do not.] This can hardly mean that the Pharisees did not themselves endeavour to conform to the regulations of the traditional law. The λέγουσιν implies that the whole Pharisaic system was professedly an endeavour to fulfil the commands of God expressed in the Old Testament, and to live up to the moral standard there revealed. By οὐ ποιοῦσι is meant that in practice their system tended to miss the real righteousness of the Old Testament, and to overlook its true principles, love, mercy, truth, etc. Cf. 12:7. They professed regard for the Old Testament, but neglected the mercy which it taught; 15:4, 5 they so explained away the divine command of filial duty as to sanction the direct contrary; 23:23 they paid great attention to minuter regulations of the law, but neglected the great underlying moral principles.

(L) 4. And they bind heavy burdens, and lay them upon the shoulders of men; and they themselves with their finger are unwilling to move them away.] Luke 11:46 has: “Ye burden men with intolerable burdens, and yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.” The verse gives an example of the failure to “do” referred to in v. 3. The law was given not as a burden, but as a privilege. But the Pharisaic interpretation of it made it a burden upon life. And the Pharisees refused to lighten this ever accumulating burden of legal restrictions in the slightest degree. Traditionalism is always unwilling to relinquish what has become effete and antiquated. The burdens referred to are those of the traditional law with its ever-increasing complexity.

For κινῆσαι = “to remove,” cf. Revelation 2:5, Revelation 6:14.

(L) 5. And all their works they do to be seen of men: for they make wide their phylacteries, and enlarge their tassels.] The verse emphasises a special vice which was eating into the heart of the whole Pharisaic system. For φυλακτήρια, see DB., “Phylacteries.” For κράσπεδα, cf. on 9:20.

(M L) 6, 7. And love the chief seat at feasts and the first places in the synagogues, and salutations in the market-places, and to be called by men, Rabbi.] Lk. has (11:43): “You love the first place in the synagogues, and the salutations in the market-places.” Mk. reverses the order, and so does Lk. in the parallel to Mk., 20:46. —φιλοῦσι] so Lk. φιλούντων. Mk 38 has θελόντων.

(L) 8. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Teacher, and all ye are brethren.]

(L) 9. And call no man your father upon earth: for one is your Father, the heavenly one] πατέρα μὴ καλέσητε ὑμῶν is harsh. “Father” was a term of respect for the men of a past generation; cf. the title of the Mishnic treatise Pirke Aboth = Sayings of the Fathers, and the title πατέρων ὕμνος of Ecclus 44. The Aramaic Abba was used as a title or name of distinguished teachers; cf. Levy, Neuheb. Wörterbuch; Dalm. Words, 339.

(L) 10. And be not called leaders: for one is your leader, even Christ.] καθηγητής and διδάσκαλος (v. 8) are probably renderings of רב, If so, the two verses are duplicate versions of one saying. See Dalm. Words, 340.

(L) 11. But the greater among you shall be your minister.] Cf. Mark 9:35, Mark 10:43.

(L) 12. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased, and whosoever shall humble himself shall be exalted.] Cf. Proverbs 29:23. Similar words occur in Luke 14:11, Luke 18:14.

4. βαρέα] Add καὶ δυσβάστακτα, B D al. Omit א (μεγάλα βαρέα) L 1 209 a b e ff2 h S1 S2. Probably an interpolation from Luke 11:46.

τῷ δακτύλῳ αὐτῶν] Om. S1.

5. τὰ φυλακτήρια αὐτῶν] S1 S2 have “the thongs of their frontlets.”—μεγαλύνουσιν τὰ κράσπεδα] S1 S2 have “lengthen the fringe(s) of their cloaks.” The translators are influenced by knowledge of Jewish practice and custom.

7. ῥαββεί] D al S1 S2 ῥαββεί, ῥαββεί.

8. μὴ κληθῆτε] S1 S2 have “call not ye men Rabbi,” assimilating to v. 9.

12. E F G al add here: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: for ye devour the houses of widows, and for a pretence pray at length. Therefore ye shall receive more abundant judgement.” Omit א B D L Z a e ff1 g1 2 S1. The words are an interpolation from Mark 12:40, Luke 20:47. In some authorities the words stand after v. 13.

13-32. Seven illustrations of Pharisaic “saying,” and “not doing.”

13. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut the kingdom of the heavens before men: for ye enter not in, neither do ye allow those who are going in to enter.] Luke 11:52 has: “Woe to you, lawyers! for ye took away the key of knowledge. Yourselves ye did not enter, and those were going in ye prevented.” Cf. Fragment of a Lost Gospel, ed. Grenfell and Hunt, ll. 41-46, which may be reconstructed as follows: “The key of the kingdom (or of knowledge) they hid. Themselves entered not, neither suffered they those who were going in to enter.” The meaning is that the Pharisaic interpretation of the law obscured rather than illuminated its religious content.

(L) 15. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hvpocrites! for ye go about sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is become (one) ye make him twice as much as yourselves a son of Gehenna.] For the Jewish Propaganda, cf. Bousset, Rel. Jüd. 80-82; Schürer, 11 ii. 291 ff. For τὴν ξηράν= τὴν γῆν, cf. Jonah 1:9, Haggai 2:6.—υἱὸν γεέννης] that is, one destined for Gehenna; cf. בני גיחנם, Rosh ha Sh 17a, בן העולם הבא= “son of the coming age”, Berakh 57a.

ποιῆσαι ἕνα προσήλυτον] i.e. to Pharisaism. Whilst the number of heathen attracted to Judaism at this period was very great, a comparatively small proportion would have been regarded by the Pharisees as satisfactory converts. The Hellenistic Jewish literature, e.g. the writings of Philo and the Sibylline Oracles (Book iii.), are evidence of the zeal of Jews of the Dispersion to attract Gentiles to the worship of the one God. But converts to Pharisaism as distinguished from Judaism, with its infinite variety of shades of belief and practice (Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Therapeutæ, and those who belonged to none of these orders), were probably few. ἕνα may reflect upon this comparative failure of Pharisaic missionary zeal. Friedländer1 ingeniously illustrates the verse by reference to Jos. Ant. xx. 34-48. It is there recorded that a Jew named Ananias converted to the worship of God Izates, son of Monobazus of Adiabene, but told him that he could worship God without being circumcised. However, another Jew, “reputed to be accurately acquainted with Jewish learning,” πάνυ περὶ τὰ πάτρια δοκῶν�

(L) 16. Woe to you, blind guides, who say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is not valid; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, is bound by his oath.] Cf. 5:33-37. As in that section, the reference is not to legal oaths but to the unnecessary reference to divine things in common life, Kiddushin 71a “by the temple,” Taanith 24a “by the temple worship.”

(L) 17. Fools and blind: for which is greater, the gold, or the temple that hallowed the gold?]

(L) 18. And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is not valid; but whosoever shall swear by the gift which is upon it, he is bound by his oath.]

(L) 19. Ye blind men: for which is greater, the gift, or the altar that halloweth the gift?] B C al prefix μωροὶ καί, as in v. l7.

(L) 20. He therefore who sweareth by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all that is upon it.]

(L) 21. And he who sweareth by the temple, sweareth by it, and by Him who dwelleth in it.]

(L) 22. And he who sweareth by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by Him that sitieth upon it.]

(L) 23. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, judgement, and mercy, and faith: these ye ought to have done, and not to have neglected those.] Luke 11:42 has: “But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and every herb, and pass by judgement and the love of God: these ye ought to have done, and not to have passed over those.”—For the tithing of small herbs, cf. Maaser, i. I: “Everything which is eatable, and is preserved, and has its nourishment from the soil, is liable to be tithed.—ἡδύοσμον] = mint. See DB., “Mint.”—ἄνηθον] = dill. See DB., “Anise”; cf. Maaser, iv. 5: “Rabbi Eliezer said, Of dill must one tithe the seed, and the leaves, and the stalks.”—κύμινον] See DB., “Cummin.” All three herbs were used in cooking, and the two latter for medicinal purposes. For ἄνηθον, Lk. has πήγανον. Nestle, Exp. Times, Aug. 1904, suggests a misreading of שַׁבָּרָא = πήγανον for שְׁבֵתָא = ἄνηθον For “judgement,” cf. Isaiah 1:17, Jeremiah 22:3, Zechariah 7:9, Secrets of Enoch 42:9 “Blessed is he who gives a just judgement for the orphan and the widow.” For “mercy,” cf. 9:13; and for “faith,” cf. Habakkuk 2:4.

(L) 24. Blind guides, who strain out the gnat, and swallow down the camel.]

(L) 25. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of rapacity and wantonness.] Luke 11:39 has: “Now, ye Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and the plate (πίναξ), but your inside is full of rapacity and wickedness.—γέμουσιν] The verb is usually followed by a genitive. ἐκ here signifies that the contents of the vessels are obtained by immoral methods.

23. S1 S2 omit. Burkitt thinks that they presuppose ταῦτα δὲ ποιῆσαι κἀκεῖνα μὴ�Luke 11:42 S2 again omits ἕδει, but S1 presupposes it. But the Syriac VSS. elsewhere omit δεῖ. So S1 9:11, 13:10, Luke 12:12, Luke 18:1, Luke 24:44, John 3:7, John 3:4:20, John 3:24; S2 Mark 13:10, Luke 24:44, John 3:7.

25. For the purification of vessels, see Schürer, II. ii. 106 ff., and B. Kelim. The verse is aimed at the excessive importance attached to the ceremonial cleanness or uncleanness of utensils. After all, what does this matter, provided that they are used for honourable purposes? But if they be used to contain food gained in a dishonest manner, they may rightly be regarded as unclean.

(L) 26. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the contents of the cup and of the platter, that its outside also may be clean.] That is, “use the vessels only for food honestly procured, and it will be unnecessary to ask if the outside is ceremonially clean.” Luke 11:40, Luke 11:41 has: “Ye fools, did not He who made the outside make also the inside? But give as alms what is within; and, behold, all things are pure to you.” It is questionable whether the two Evangelists understood the words to be a polemic against the Pharisaic regulations about the purification of vessels, or whether they interpreted cup and plate as metaphors for men, like the sepulchres of the next verse, and understood the words to be aimed at the regulations concerning personal ceremonial cleanness; cf. Mark 7:1ff. In Mt. the reference to the cleansing of literal vessels seems hardly disputable, and αὐτοῦ in v. 26 would have to be deleted before τοῦ ποτηρίου could be interpreted as a metaphor of the human person. Lk., by inserting ὑμῶν in v. 39, seems to draw a contrast, not, as in Mt., between the outside of the vessels and their contents, but between the ceremonial cleanness of the vessels and the moral uncleanness of their possessors. Cf. Buddhist and Christian Gospels, p. 84: “What use to thee is matted hair, O fool! what use the goatskin garment? Within thee there is ravening; the outside thou makest clean.” But in v. 41 he seems to fall back upon the other contrast between the inside and outside of the vessels. Wellhausen thinks that Lk. has here misrendered his original. He would transpose ἔσωθεν and ἔξωθεν (with D Cyp) in v. 40, render ποιεῖν by do = set straight = cleanse, and substitute for δότε ἐλεημοσύνην Mt.’s καθάρισον. “Does not the man who cleanses the inside cleanse the outside too? (cf. Mark 7:1ff). Cleanse the inside, and, lo, all is clean.” If this be the original form of the saying, Mt. has wrongly inserted τοῦ ποτηρίου and αὐτοῦ in v. 26. But, however the apparent inconsistency in Lk. be explained, it seems most natural to suppose that Mt. rightly understood the saying to be aimed at the casuistical distinctions between clean and unclean utensils.1—καὶ τῆς παροψίδος] omit D S1 1 209 a d e ff.

(L) 27. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like to whitened tombs, which outside appear beautiful, but inside are full of dead bones, and all uncleanness.] Luke 11:44 has: “Woe to you! for ye are as sepulchres that are unseen, and the men who walk over them do not know it.” It was customary on the 15th of the month Adar to whitewash graves, that people might not unintentionally touch them and contract ceremonial defilement; B. Moed Qat. 1 a, Schequal, i. 1. Moed Qatan, 5a, bases this on Ezekiel 39:15.—κεκονιαμένοις] The tombs were whitened with chalk or lime. The Talmudic verb is ציין = to mark, distinguish. κεκονιαμένοι occurs in Proverbs 21:9, where it apparently means plaistered, i.e. luxurious, dwellings. There is no need to suppose that οἵτινες μὲν φαίνονται ὡραῖοι, which is omitted in S1, is a later gloss by someone who thought that the purpose of the whitening the tombs was to beautify them. ὡραῖος might seem to suggest an æsthetic purpose for the whitening. But the original Aramaic may have been a more colourless word. The saying in Luk_11 has a different turn. There the Pharisees are likened to unwhitened tombs, which therefore defile those who unwittingly pass over them. The difference is not favourable to the theory of a common Greek source for Mt. and Lk.

(L) 28. So also ye outwardly appear to men to he just, but within are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.] Like the whitened sepulchres, the Pharisees were fair outside, foul inside.

(L) 29. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye build the tombs of the prophets, and adorn the sepulchres of the just.] Luke 11:47 has: “Woe to you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, but your fathers killed them.”

(L) 30. And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been their associates in the blood of the prophets.] That is, “You honour the dead whom your ancestors put to death, and say that, had you lived in the days of your fathers, you would have been wiser than they.”

(L) 31. So that you bear witness to yourselves, that ye are the descendants of those who killed the prophets.] Luke 11:48 has: “Therefore ye are witnesses, and consent to the deeds of your fathers: for they killed them, but ye build (their sepulchres).” “By so saying, you bear witness to the murder-taint in your blood.”

(L) 32. And you will fill up the measure of your fathers.] “And you will sin as they sinned.”

(L) 33. Ye serpents, ye offspring of vipers, how are you to escape from the condemnation of Gehenna?

(L) 34. Therefore, behold, I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes. Some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them you shall scourge in your synagogues, and hunt them from city to city.] Lk. has: “Therefore also the wisdom of God said, I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall kill and persecute.” In S. Luke διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἡ σοφία θεοῦ εἶπεν may be an insertion by the Evangelist into Christ’s words, and by ἡ σοφία may be meant Christ Himself. Or the clause may be a continuation of Christ’s words. In that case the words which follow are presumably a quotation from an unknown source. See on Luke 11:49. In Mt. there is no hint that the words are a quotation, and the Evangelist clearly regards them as words of Christ Himself. But, of course, the Evangelist may have been aware that the Lord was quoting and adapting to Himself words from some literary source.—προφήτας καὶ σοφοὺς καὶ γραμματεῖς] The Christian missionaries are described under terms taken from Jewish institutions. The προφήτης passed over into the Christian Church, but the terms σοφοί and γραμματεῖς were too familiar is contemporary Judaism to be permanently adopted by Christian teachers. For the scourging in the synagogues, cf. 10:17; for the persecuting from city to city, 10:23.

(L) 35. In order that there may come upon you all the righteous blood slain upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the righteous to the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom ye slew between the shrine and the altar.] Luke 11:50 has: “In order that the blood of all the prophets (slain from the foundation of the world) may be required from this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who was slain between the altar and the house.” Abel (Gen_4) and Zachariah (2 Chronicles 24:20ff.) represent the beginning and end of the Old Testament Canon of Scripture, in which Chronicles is the last book. The murder of Zachariah left a deep impression upon Jewish tradition. In the Bab. Talmud, Sanh 96b, Gittin 57b; in the Jerus. Talmud, Taanith 69a; and in the Midrashim, e.g. Echa Rabbati, Wünsche, p. 21, Koheleth 316, Pesikta R. Kahana 15, it is recorded that Nebuzaradan slew many Jews in order to quiet “the blood of Zachariah,” who is said to have been “a priest and a prophet.” It seems natural, therefore, to suppose that the Zachariah of the Gospels is the Zachariah of 2 Chronicles. Abel’s blood cried from the ground (Genesis 4:10). Zachariah, when dying, said, “The Lord look upon it and require it” (2 Chronicles 24:22).—υἱοῦ Βαραχίου] The Zachariah of 2 Ch. was son of Jehoiada. It is possible that Christ spoke of Zachariah as son of Barachiah, because the tradition of His age identified or confused the priest and the prophet; cf. Zechariah 1:1 (see Dictionary of Christ and Gospels, art. “Barachiah”). In this case the omission of υἱοῦ Βαραχίου by א* is due to someone who wondered at the Barachiah instead of Jehoiada. Or the “son of Barachiah” may be an insertion by the editor of the Gospel, either on the ground of Jewish tradition, or in remembrance of the LXX. of Isaiah 8:2, Zechariah 1:1. The fact that the editor of the Gospel elsewhere uses LXX. forms of proper names, as in Ἀσάφ, Ἀμώς, 1:8, 10, is in favour of the latter. Or, lastly, the “son of Barachiah” may be a later insertion in the Gospel.

(L) 36. Verily I say to you, All these things shall come upon this generation.] Luke 11:51 has: “Yea, I say to you, it shall be required from this generation.”

(L) 37. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killeth the prophets, and stoneth those sent to her, how often would I have gathered thy children, as a hen gathereth her young ones under her wings, and ye would not!] So Luke 13:34.—ἐπισυναγαεῖν] Cf. 2 Esther 1:20.

(L) 38. Behold your house is left to you.] So Luke 13:35.

(L) 39. For I say to you, You shall not see Me henceforth, until you say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.] So Luke 13:35 with δέ for γάρ, without�Apoc. Bar 8:2 “He who kept the house has forsaken it”; Joseph. Wars, vi. 299; 2 Es 1:33, Jeremiah 12:7, Jeremiah 26:6, Enoch 89:56 “He forsook that their house.”�

37-39. The words seem to be a fragment belonging to an earlier period of the ministry, when Christ was leaving Jerusalem for the last time before His triumphal entry. We must imagine a controversy with the Jews similar to that recorded in S. John 10:22-39. As on that occasion, the Jews had perhaps tried to stone Him. He therefore spoke to them these parting words. They had rejected His teaching, and had adopted towards Him a policy which would lead in the near future to His death, and in the further future to the destruction of their State. For the present He would visit their Temple no more. Their house was given up to them. They would see Him no more until they greeted Him with the words of the Psalmist.

The editor seems to have placed the paragraph here because it was suggested to him by the murders of v. 35 (Zachariah was stoned, 2 Chronicles 24:21). Lk. links them to another saying of Christ about Jerusalem, 13:33-35.

26. καὶ τῆς παροψίδος] is omitted by D S1 1 209 a e; αὐτοῦ] B* D E S1 1 13 28 69 124 157 a e; αὐτῶν, א B2 al. καὶ τῆς παροψίδος may have been inserted to assimilate to v. 25, and αὐτοῦ consequently changed into αὐτῶν.

27. S1 has: “Graves that on the outside are whitened, and inside,” etc., omitting οἵτινες μὲν φαίνονται ὡραῖοι. Merx regards the words as a gloss added by someone who misunderstood the purpose of the whitening of the graves. But this is quite unnecessary. Our Greek text simply states that graves when whitened appear outwardly beautiful, and does not say that they were whitened in order to beautify them. S1 has probably taken offence at the word ὡραῖοι as too strong a term to express the result of the whitening, and consequently omitted the clause.

32. πληρώσετε] So B.* S1 60. πληρώσατε is read by א B2 C al, but the imperative breaks the connection: “You acknowledge that you are physically descended from prophet-murderers, and, in fact, you are also morally their successors, and will sin as they sinned.” The present would be even better than the future, and the Aramaic original may have had the participle = “Ye are filling up”; that is, “You sin, e.g., in the murder of the Baptist as they sinned.” D H al have the aorist ἐπληρώσατε, which gives an inferior sense.

35. υἱοῦ Βαραχίου] Omit א* 6 13. Jerome’s Nazarene Gospel had filium Joiadæ. “In evangelio quo utuntur Nazareni pro filio Barachiæ filium Joiadæ reperimus scriptum,” Comm. in Mt.

38. ὁ οἶκος ὑμῶν] א C D al add ἓρημος; cf. Jeremiah 22:5 εἰς ἐρήμωσιν ἕσται ὁ οἶκος οὖτος. Omit B. L ff2 S1.

ἀφίεται ὑμῖν ὁ οἶκος ὑμῶν] ὁ οἶκος may mean either the city or the temple. For the latter, cf. Jeremiah 26:6 “Them will I make this house” (cf. v. 3 “the court of the Lord’s house”) “like Shiloh;” Apoc. Bar 8:2 “He who kept the house” (cf. 1 “from the interior of the temple”) “has forsaken it.” For the former, cf. Jeremiah 12:7 “I have forsaken My house”; 22:5 “This house shall become a desolation. For thus saith the Lord concerning the house of the King of Judah.” Enoch 8950., 51, “they forsook that their house”; 55 “He forsook that their house and tower.” See Charles’ note on 50. The two meanings seem here to be combined, “Your city and Temple are abandoned by God, and given up to desolation.” For the idea of the abandonment of a doomed city by the divine power which protected it, cf. the story told in Jos. Wars, vi. 299, of the priests who, before the capture of the city by Titus, heard a sound as of a multitude, saying, “Let us go hence.” Cf. also Apoc. Bar 8:1, 2, and Tacitus, Hist. v. 13.

E editorial passages.

L the Matthæan Logia.

B. Babylonian Talmud.

DB. Dictionary of the Bible (Hastings).

M the Second Gospel.

Dalm. Dalman.

al i.e. with other uncial MSS.

S Syriac version: Sinaitic MS.

S Syriac version: Curetonian.

1 Rel. Beweg. pp. 32 f.

Jos. Josephus.

Exp. Times Expository Times.

O quotations from the Old Testament borrowed from a collection of Messianic prophecies. See pp.61 f.

1 If this be so, the thought here is much the same as that which Mt. (15:10-20) has read into Mark 7:14-23. There it is “Eating meat with unwashen hands will not defile you if you are morally clean”; here it is if “Eating from vessels which are ceremonially unclean will not defile you, if the food has been honestly obtained.”

Bab. Babylonian Talmud.

LXX. The Septuagint Version.

Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on Matthew 23". International Critical Commentary NT. 1896-1924.