Matthew 15:14

14 Let them alone; 1they are blind guides.[a] And 2if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit."

Matthew 15:14 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 15:14

Let them alone
Have nothing to say, or do with them; do not mind their anger and resentment, their reproaches and reflections, nor trouble yourselves at the offence they have taken; if they will go, let them go; they are a worthless generation of men, who are not to be regarded, hearkened to, nor to be pleased; it matters not what they say of me, and of my doctrine:

they be blind leaders of the blind;
the people that hearken to them, and are followers of them, are "blind", as to any true sense of themselves, their state, and condition by nature; as to any spiritual, saving knowledge of God; as to any acquaintance with the Messiah, and the method of salvation by him; as to the Spirit of God, and the work of grace, regeneration, and sanctification upon the soul; as to the Scriptures of truth, and doctrines of the Gospel; and the "leaders" of them were as "blind" as they: by whom are meant the Scribes and Pharisees, the learned doctors and rabbins of the Jewish nation; who thought themselves very wise and knowing, yet they were blind also; and none more than they. It was an old tradition F7 among the Jews,

``that there should be "blind teachers" at the time when God should have his tabernacle among them.''

This was predicted, in ( Isaiah 42:19 ) and all such leaders and teachers are blind, who, notwithstanding their natural abilities, and acquired parts, are in a state of unregeneracy; and have nothing more than what they have from nature, or have attained to at school; and as apparently all such are, who lead men from Christ, to mere morality, and to a dependence upon their own righteousness for justification, which was the darling principle of the blind leaders in the text.

And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch;
of ignorance and error, immorality and profaneness, distress, if not despair, temporal ruin and destruction; which was notoriously verified in the Jewish people, and their guides: and of eternal damnation, the lake which burns with fire and brimstone; what else can be expected?


F7 Midrash Tillim in Psal. cxlvi apud Grotium in loc.

Matthew 15:14 In-Context

12 Then the disciples came and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?"
13 He answered, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up.
14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit."
15 But Peter said to him, "Explain the parable to us."
16 And he said, "Are you also still without understanding?

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Cross References 2

  • 1. Matthew 23:16, 24; [Isaiah 56:10; Malachi 2:8]
  • 2. Luke 6:39

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Some manuscripts add of the blind
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.