Matthew 23:34

34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.

Matthew 23:34 in Other Translations

KJV
34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
ESV
34 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,
NLT
34 “Therefore, I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers of religious law. But you will kill some by crucifixion, and you will flog others with whips in your synagogues, chasing them from city to city.
MSG
34 It's on account of people like you that I send prophets and wise guides and scholars generation after generation - and generation after generation you treat them like dirt, greeting them with lynch mobs, hounding them with abuse.
CSB
34 This is why I am sending you prophets, sages, and scribes. Some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will flog in your synagogues and hound from town to town.

Matthew 23:34 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 23:34

Wherefore, behold I send unto you prophets
To try them, whether they would show the respect to prophets, they pretended to have for them; by building and beautifying their sepulchres; by exclaiming against their forefathers for shedding their blood; and by declaring, that had they lived in their days, they would not have joined with them in it; and to make it appear, that these were all empty words, and specious pretences; and that they had the same malicious and bloody principles in them; and would be guilty of the same practices, and so fill up the measure of their fathers' sins; and bring upon them the punishment of everlasting burnings hereafter, as well as ruin and destruction on their nation, city, and temple now. Christ here speaks, as, one having power and authority, to qualify and send forth men, under the several characters here mentioned, and of what he should do after his resurrection: for notwithstanding the people of the Jews would crucify him, and use him as they did, in a barbarous manner; yet after all this, he would send his ministers to them, to gather his elect out from among them, to render the rest inexcusable, and to show his longsuffering and patience. The persons designed by "prophets", "wise men", and "Scribes", are his apostles: called "prophets"; because they were divinely inspired to write, and preach in his name; had the gift of foretelling future events, and of explaining with the greatest clearness and exactness, the prophecies of the Old Testament; showing their respect unto, and accomplishment in Christ: "wise men"; because they were made wise unto salvation, and capable of instructing others: they were filled with all spiritual and evangelical wisdom, and preached the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom: and Scribes; because they were well instructed in the kingdom of heaven, and had the true knowledge of the law, and could rightly interpret it, as well as make known the Gospel of the grace of God. Christ chooses to use these names and titles, because the Jews pretended to have great veneration for the ancient prophets, and these he should send, would not be a whit inferior to them, but in many things exceed them; and they had great esteem for their wise men and Scribes, who would be vastly exceeded by these ministers of his, and yet would be used very badly by them: and some of them ye shall kill;
as Stephen, the first "martyr", who was stoned to death by them; and James, the brother of John, whom Herod, to their good liking, killed with the sword; and the other James they threw headlong from off the pinnacle of the temple, and killed him with a fuller's club F18. And crucify;
so Simeon, the son of Cleophas, was crucified at the instigation of the Jews, as Eusebius relates F19. And some of them ye shall scourge in your synagogues;
as John, Peter, and Paul: and persecute them from city to city;
as they did Paul and Barnabas, as the Acts of the Apostles testify.


FOOTNOTES:

F18 Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 2. c. 23.
F19 Ib. l. 3. c. 32.

Matthew 23:34 In-Context

32 Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!
33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?
34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.
35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.

Cross References 3

  • 1. 2 Chronicles 36:15,16; Luke 11:49
  • 2. S Matthew 10:17
  • 3. Matthew 10:23