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Matthew 23:23

    Matthew 23:23 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye tithe mint and anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, justice, and mercy, and faith: but these ye ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! for you make men give a tenth of all sorts of sweet-smelling plants, but you give no thought to the more important things of the law, righteousness, and mercy, and faith; but it is right for you to do these, and not to let the others be undone.

    Webster's Revision

    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye tithe mint and anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, justice, and mercy, and faith: but these ye ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone.

    World English Bible

    "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye tithe mint and anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, judgment, and mercy, and faith: but these ye ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone.

    Definitions for Matthew 23:23

    Cummin - Plant bearing aromatic seeds.
    Ought - Any one; any thing.
    Tithe - The tenth part; /.
    Woe - An expression of grief or indignation.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 23:23

    Ye pay tithe of mint, etc. - They were remarkably scrupulous in the performance of all the rites and ceremonies of religion, but totally neglected the soul, spirit, and practice of godliness.

    Judgment - Acting according to justice and equity towards all mankind. Mercy - to the distressed and miserable. And faith in God as the fountain of all righteousness, mercy, and truth. The scribes and Pharisees neither began nor ended their works in God, nor had they any respect unto his name in doing them. They did them to be seen of men, and they had their reward - human applause.

    These ought ye to have done, etc. - Our Lord did not object to their paying tithe even of common pot-herbs - this did not affect the spirit of religion; but while they did this and such like, to the utter neglect of justice, mercy, and faith, they showed that they had no religion, and knew nothing of its nature.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 23:23

    Ye pay tithe - A tenth part. The law required the Jews to devote a tenth part of all their property to the support of the Levites, Numbers 18:20-24. Another tenth part they paid for the service of the sanctuary, commonly in cattle or grain, but where they lived far from the place of worship they changed it to money, Deuteronomy 14:22-24. Besides these, there was to be every third year a tenth part given to the poor, to be eaten at their own dwellings Deuteronomy 14:28-29; so that nearly one-third of the property of the Jews was devoted to religious services by law. This was besides the voluntary offerings which they made. How much more mild and gentle are the laws of Christianity under which we live!

    Mint - A garden herb, in the original so called from its agreeable flavor. It was used to sprinkle the floors of their houses and synagogues to produce a pleasant fragrance.

    Anise - Known commonly among us as "dill." It has a fine aromatic smell, and is used by confectioners and perfumers.

    Cummin - A plant of the same genus, like "fennel," and used for similar purposes. These were all herbs of little value. The law of Moses said that they should pay tithes of the "fruits of the earth," Deuteronomy 14:22. It said nothing, however, about herbs. It was a question whether these should be tithed. The Pharisees maintained, in their extraordinary strictness, that they ought. Our Saviour says that they were precise in doing small matters which the law had not expressly commanded, while they omitted the greater things which it had enjoined.

    Judgment - Justice to others, as magistrates, neighbors, citizens. Giving to all their just dues.

    Mercy - Compassion and kindness to the poor and miserable.

    Faith - Piety toward God; confidence in him. Faith in God here means that we are to give to him what is his due; as mercy and justice mean to do to people, in all circumstances, what is right toward them.

    These ought ye to have done - Attention to even the smallest points of the law of God is proper, but it should not interfere with the "higher" and more important parts of that law.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 23:23

    23:23 Judgment - That is, justice: Faith - The word here means fidelity.