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Matthew 23:15

    Matthew 23:15 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

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

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is become so, ye make him twofold more a son of hell than yourselves.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! for you go about land and sea to get one disciple and, having him, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

    Webster's Revision

    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is become so, ye make him twofold more a son of hell than yourselves.

    World English Bible

    Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel around by sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much of a son of Gehenna as yourselves.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is become so, ye make him twofold more a son of hell than yourselves.

    Definitions for Matthew 23:15

    Compass - To surround; encircle.
    Hell - The valley of Hinnom.
    Proselyte - Convert.
    Sea - Large basin.
    Woe - An expression of grief or indignation.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 23:15

    Compass sea and land - A proverbial expression, similar to ours, You leave no stone unturned; intimating that they did all in their power to gain converts, not to God, but to their sect. These we may suppose were principally sought for among the Gentiles, for the bulk of the Jewish nation was already on the side of the Pharisees.

    Proselyte - Προσηλυτος, a stranger, or foreigner; one who is come from his own people and country, to sojourn with another. See the different kinds of proselytes explained in the note on Exodus 12:43 (note).

    The child of hell - A Hebraism for an excessively wicked person, such as might claim hell for his mother, and the devil for his father.

    Twofold - the child of - The Greek word διπλοτερον, which has generally been translated twofold, Kypke has demonstrated to mean more deceitful. Απλοῦς is used by the best Greek writers for simple, sincere, απλότης for simplicity, sincerity; so διπλοῦς, deceitful, dissembling, and διπλόη, hypocrisy, fraudulence, and διπλοτερον, more fraudulent, more deceitful, more hypocritical. See also Suidas in Διπλοη.

    Dr. Lightfoot, and others, observe, that the proselytes were considered by the Jewish nation as the scabs of the Church, and hindered the coming of the Messiah; and Justin Martyr observes, that "the proselytes did not only disbelieve Christ's doctrine, but were abundantly more blasphemous against him than the Jews themselves, endeavoring to torment and cut off the Christians wherever they could; they being in this the instruments of the scribes and Pharisees."

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 23:15

    Ye compass sea and land - You take every means, spare no pains, to gain proselytes.

    Proselyte - One that comes over from a foreign nation, religion, or sect to us - a convert. Among the Jews there were two kinds of proselytes:

    1. "Proselytes of righteousness," or those who wholly and fully embraced the Jewish religion, who were baptized, who were circumcised, and who conformed to all the rites of the Mosaic institutions.

    2. "Proselytes of the gate," or those who approved of the Jewish religion, renounced the pagan superstitions, and conformed to some of the rites of the Jews, but were not circumcised or baptized.

    Twofold more the child of hell - That is, twice as bad. To be a child of hell was a Hebrew phrase, signifying to be deserving of hell, to be awfully wicked. Compare the notes at Matthew 1:1. The Jewish writers themselves say that the proselytes were "scabs of Israel," and "hindered the coming of the Messiah" by their great wickedness. The Pharisees gained them either to swell their own numbers, or to make gain by extorting their money under various pretences; and when they had accomplished that, they took no pains to instruct them or to restrain them. They had renounced their superstition which had before somewhat restrained them, but the Pharisees had given them no religion in its place to restrain them, and they were consequently left to the full indulgence of their vices.