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Matthew 23:33

    Matthew 23:33 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Ye serpents, ye offspring of vipers, how shall ye escape the judgment of hell?

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    You snakes, offspring of snakes, how will you be kept from the punishment of hell?

    Webster's Revision

    Ye serpents, ye offspring of vipers, how shall ye escape the judgment of hell?

    World English Bible

    You serpents, you offspring of vipers, how will you escape the judgment of Gehenna?

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Ye serpents, ye offspring of vipers, how shall ye escape the judgment of hell?

    Definitions for Matthew 23:33

    Damnation - Condemnation.
    Hell - The valley of Hinnom.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 23:33

    Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers - What a terrible stroke! - Ye are serpents, and the offspring of serpents. This refers to Matthew 23:31 : they confessed that they were the children of those who murdered the prophets; and they are now going to murder Christ and his followers, to show that they have not degenerated - an accursed seed, of an accursed breed. My old MS. translates this passage oddly - Gee serpentis, fruytis of burrownyngis of eddris that sleen her modris. There seems to be here an allusion to a common opinion, that the young of the adder or viper which are brought forth alive eat their way through the womb of their mothers. Hence that ancient enigma attributed to Lactantius: -

    Non possum nasci, si non occidero matrem

    Occidi matrem: sed me manet exitus idem

    Id mea mors faciet, quod jam mea fecit origo

    Cael. Firm. Symposium, N. xv

    I never can be born, nor see the day,

    Till through my parent's womb I eat my way

    Her I have slain; like her must yield my breath;

    For that which gave me life, shall cause my death

    Every person must see with what propriety this was applied to the Jews, who were about to murder the very person who gave them their being and all their blessings.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 23:33

    Ye serpents - This name is given to them on account of their pretending to be pious, and very much devoted to God, but being secretly evil, At the heart, with all their pretensions, they were filled with evil designs, as the serpent was, Genesis 3:1-5

    Generation of vipers - See the notes at Matthew 12:34.

    Damnation of hell - This refers, beyond all question, to future punishment. So great was their wickedness and hypocrisy, that, if they persevered in this course, it was impossible to escape the damnation that should come on the guilty. This is the sternest language that Jesus ever used to wicked people. But it by no means authorizes ministers to use such language to sinners now. Christ knew that this was true of them. He had an authority which none now have. It is not the province of ministers to denounce judgment, or to use severe names, least of all to do it on pretence of imitating Christ. He knew the hearts of people. We know them not. He had authority to declare certainly that those whom he addressed would be lost. We have no such authority. He addressed persons; we address characters.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 23:33

    23:33 Ye serpents - Our Lord having now lost all hope of reclaiming these, speaks so as to affright others from the like sins.