Luke 11:44

44 Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it."

Luke 11:44 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 11:44

Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites
As they are all along called by Matthew; though only here by Luke. The Vulgate Latin only reads, "woe unto you", leaving out all the rest: but the whole is retained in all the Oriental versions;

for ye are as graves which appear not;
being covered with grass; "or which were not marked", as the Ethiopic version renders it; that is, were not whited or covered with lime, as some were, that they might be seen at a distance, and be known what they were; that so men might avoid going near them, and prevent their being defiled with them; (See Gill on Matthew 23:27)

and the men that walk over

are not aware of them;
and so are defiled by them. Christ compares the Pharisees, because of their hypocrisy, and secret iniquity, both to whited sepulchres, and to those that were not: to those that were, because, like them, they looked beautiful without, and righteous in the sight of men, and yet were inwardly full of all manner of pollution and sin; and to those that were not, because they did not appear to be what they were, and men were deceived by them; and under specious pretences to religion and holiness, were by their corrupt doctrines and practices unawares drawn into the commission of sin. Regard may not only be had to graves covered with grass, or not marked with lime, by which they might be known; but also to what the Jews call, (Mwhth rbq) , "the grave of the abyss" {z}; a grave that is not known no more than if it was in the bottomless pit: so uncleanness by touching a dead body, which a man is not conscious of, is called the uncleanness of the abyss, or an unknown one F1.


F26 Misn Parah. c. 3. sect. 2. Maimon. Hilch. Parah. c. 3. sect.
F1 Maimon. in Misn. Nazir, c. 9. sect. 2. & Pesach. c. 7. sect. 7.

Luke 11:44 In-Context

42 "But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others.
43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love to have the seat of honor in the synagogues and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces.
44 Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it."
45 One of the lawyers answered him, "Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us too."
46 And he said, "Woe also to you lawyers! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not lift a finger to ease them.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.