Matthew 23:24
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

King James Bible
Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Darby Bible Translation
Blind guides, who strain out the gnat, but drink down the camel.

World English Bible
You blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel!

Young's Literal Translation
'Blind guides! who are straining out the gnat, and the camel are swallowing.

Matthew 23:24 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Which strain at a gnat ... - This is a proverb. There is, however, a mistranslation or misprint here, which makes the verse unmeaning. "To strain" at a "gnat" conveys no sense. It should have been to strain out a gnat; and so it is printed in some of the earlier versions, and so it was undoubtedly rendered by the translators. The common reading is a "misprint," and should be corrected. The Greek means to "strain" out by a cloth or sieve.

A gnat - The gnat has its origin in the water; not in great rivers, but in pools and marshes In the stagnant waters they appear in the form of small "grubs" or "larvae." These larvae retain their form about three weeks, after which they turn to chrysalids, and after three or four days they pass to the form of gnats. They are then distinguished by their well-known sharp sting. It is probable that the Saviour here refers to the insect as it exists in its "grub" or "larva" form, before it appears in the form of a gnat. Water is then its element, and those who were nice in their drink would take pains to strain it out. Hence, the proverb. See Calmet's Dict., art. "Gnat." It is used here to denote a very small matter, as a camel is to denote a large object. "You Jews take great pains to avoid offence in very small matters, superstitiously observing the smallest points of the law, like a man carefully straining out the animalculae from what he drinks, while you are at no pains to avoid great sins - hypocrisy, deceit, oppression, and lust - like a man who should swallow a camel." The Arabians have a similar proverb: "He eats an elephant, and is suffocated with a gnat." He is troubled with little things, but pays no attention to great matters.

Matthew 23:24 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Christianity Misunderstood by Believers.
Meaning of Christian Doctrine, Understood by a Minority, has Become Completely Incomprehensible for the Majority of Men-- Reason of this to be Found in Misinterpretation of Christianity and Mistaken Conviction of Believers and Unbelievers Alike that they Understand it--The Meaning of Christianity Obscured for Believers by the Church--The First Appearance of Christ's Teaching--Its Essence and Difference from Heathen Religions-- Christianity not Fully Comprehended at the Beginning, Became More and
Leo Tolstoy—The Kingdom of God is within you

Relation of the Pharisees to the Sadducees and Essenes, and to the Gospel of Christ
On taking a retrospective view of Pharisaism, as we have described it, there is a saying of our Lord which at first sight seems almost unaccountable. Yet it is clear and emphatic. "All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do" (Matt 23:3). But if the early disciples were not to break at once and for ever with the Jewish community, such a direction was absolutely needful. For, though the Pharisees were only "an order," Pharisaism, like modern Ultramontanism, had not only become
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

Subjects of Study. Home Education in Israel; Female Education. Elementary Schools, Schoolmasters, and School Arrangements.
If a faithful picture of society in ancient Greece or Rome were to be presented to view, it is not easy to believe that even they who now most oppose the Bible could wish their aims success. For this, at any rate, may be asserted, without fear of gainsaying, that no other religion than that of the Bible has proved competent to control an advanced, or even an advancing, state of civilisation. Every other bound has been successively passed and submerged by the rising tide; how deep only the student
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

Letter Xliv Concerning the Maccabees but to whom Written is Unknown.
Concerning the Maccabees But to Whom Written is Unknown. [69] He relies to the question why the Church has decreed a festival to the Maccabees alone of all the righteous under the ancient law. 1. Fulk, Abbot of Epernay, had already written to ask me the same question as your charity has addressed to your humble servant by Brother Hescelin. I have put off replying to him, being desirous to find, if possible, some statement in the Fathers about this which was asked, which I might send to him, rather
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Cross References
Isaiah 9:16
For those who guide this people are leading them astray; And those who are guided by them are brought to confusion.

Matthew 15:14
"Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit."

Matthew 23:16
"Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.'

Revelation 12:16
But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.

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