22:15. Then the Pharisees going, consulted among themselves how to insnare him in his speech.
22:16. And they sent to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying: Master, we know that thou art a true speaker and teachest the way of God in truth. Neither carest thou for any man: for thou dost not regard the person of men.
The Herodians... That is, some that belonged to Herod, and that joined with him in standing up for the necessity of paying tribute to Caesar, that is, to the Roman emperor. Some are of opinion that there was a sect among the Jews called Herodians, from their maintaining that Herod was the Messias.
22:17. Tell us therefore what dost thou think? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?
22:18. But Jesus knowing their wickedness, said: Why do you tempt me, ye hypocrites?
22:19. Shew me the coin of the tribute. And they offered him a penny.
22:20. And Jesus saith to them: Whose image and inscription is this?
22:21. They say to him: Caesar's. Then he saith to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God, the things that are God's.
22:22. And hearing this, they wondered and, leaving him, went their ways.
22:23. That day there came to him the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection; and asked him,
22:24. Saying: Master, Moses said: If a man die having no son, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up issue to his brother.
22:25. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first having married a wife, died; and not having issue, left his wife to his brother.
22:26. In like manner the second and the third and so on, to the seventh.
22:27. And last of all the woman died also.
22:28. At the resurrection therefore, whose wife of the seven shall she be? For they all had her.
22:29. And Jesus answering, said to them: You err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.
22:30. For in the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be married, but shall be as the angels of God in heaven.
22:31. And concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken by God, saying to you:
22:32. I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.
22:33. And the multitudes hearing it were in admiration at his doctrine.
22:34. But the Pharisees, hearing that he had silenced the Sadducees, came together.
22:35. And one of them, a doctor of the law, asked him, tempting him:
22:36. Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
22:37. Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind.
22:38. This is the greatest and the first commandment.
22:39. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
22:40. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.
22:41. And the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them,
22:42. Saying: What think you of Christ? Whose son is he? They say to him: David's.
22:43. He saith to them: How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying:
22:44. The Lord said to my Lord: Sit on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool?
22:45. If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
22:46. And no man was able to answer him a word: neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
Matthew Chapter 23
Christ admonishes the people to follow the good doctrine, not the bad example of the scribes and Pharisees. He warns his disciples not to imitate their ambition and denounces divers woes against them for their hypocrisy and blindness.
23:1. Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples,
23:2. Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses.
23:3. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not. For they say, and do not.
23:4. For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens and lay them on men's shoulders: but with a finger of their own they will not move them.
23:5. And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad and enlarge their fringes.
Phylacteries... that is, parchments, on which they wrote the ten commandments, and carried them on their foreheads before their eyes: which the Pharisees affected to wear broader than other men; so to seem more zealous for the law.
23:6. And they love the first places at feasts and the first chairs in the synagogues,
23:7. And salutations in the market place, and to be called by men, Rabbi.
23:8. But be not you called Rabbi. For one is your master: and all you are brethren.
23:9. And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven.
Call none your father--Neither be ye called masters, etc... The meaning is that our Father in heaven is incomparably more to be regarded, than any father upon earth: and no master to be followed, who would lead us away from Christ. But this does not hinder but that we are by the law of God to have a due respect both for our parents and spiritual fathers, (1 Cor. 4. 23:15,) and for our masters and teachers.
23:10. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, Christ.
23:11. He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant.
23:12. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
23:13. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men: for you yourselves do not enter in and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter.