Matthew 16:12

12 1Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of 2the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Matthew 16:12 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 16:12

Then understood they
Without any further explication of his sense and meaning,

how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread:
which sense they first took him in; imagining, because the Pharisees were very particular and precise what sort of leaven they made use of F26, that Christ forbad them buying bread that was made with leaven according to their directions: and since their rules in everything prevailed much in all places, they were concerned what bread they must, or could buy; but now they perceived that he did not speak of this, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. It was very common with the Jews F1 to call the corruption and vitiosity of nature by the name of (hoyebv rwav) , "leaven in the lump": hence our Lord calls their doctrine so, because it proceeded from thence, and was agreeable thereunto; and uses the phrase on purpose to expose it, and bring it into neglect and contempt.


F26 Misn. Pesach, c. 2. sect. 2, 3. T. Hieros. Sabbat, fol. 3. 3.
F1 T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 7. 4. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 17. 1. Bereshit Rabba, fol. 29. 4. Caphtor, fol. 38. 2. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 73. 2.

Matthew 16:12 In-Context

10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered?
11 How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
12 Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

Cross References 2

  • 1. Matthew 17:13
  • 2. [Matthew 5:20; Matthew 23:3]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.