New American Standard Bible
"You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?
King James Bible
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Darby Bible Translation
Serpents, offspring of vipers, how should ye escape the judgment of hell?
World English Bible
You serpents, you offspring of vipers, how will you escape the judgment of Gehenna?
Young's Literal Translation
'Serpents! brood of vipers! how may ye escape from the judgment of the gehenna?
Matthew 23:33 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Ye serpents - This name is given to them on account of their pretending to be pious, and very much devoted to God, but being secretly evil, At the heart, with all their pretensions, they were filled with evil designs, as the serpent was, Genesis 3:1-5
Generation of vipers - See the notes at Matthew 12:34.
Damnation of hell - This refers, beyond all question, to future punishment. So great was their wickedness and hypocrisy, that, if they persevered in this course, it was impossible to escape the damnation that should come on the guilty. This is the sternest language that Jesus ever used to wicked people. But it by no means authorizes ministers to use such language to sinners now. Christ knew that this was true of them. He had an authority which none now have. It is not the province of ministers to denounce judgment, or to use severe names, least of all to do it on pretence of imitating Christ. He knew the hearts of people. We know them not. He had authority to declare certainly that those whom he addressed would be lost. We have no such authority. He addressed persons; we address characters.
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Relation of the Pharisees to the Sadducees and Essenes, and to the Gospel of Christ
Subjects of Study. Home Education in Israel; Female Education. Elementary Schools, Schoolmasters, and School Arrangements.
Letter Xliv Concerning the Maccabees but to whom Written is Unknown.
"So the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, 'Behold, such is our hope, where we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria; and we, how shall we escape?'"
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
"But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
"You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
"Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers.
So he began saying to the crowds who were going out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
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