Matthew 16:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

King James Bible
The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

Darby Bible Translation
And the Pharisees and Sadducees, coming to [him], asked him, tempting [him], to shew them a sign out of heaven.

World English Bible
The Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing him, asked him to show them a sign from heaven.

Young's Literal Translation
And the Pharisees and Sadducees having come, tempting, did question him, to shew to them a sign from the heaven,

Matthew 16:1 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

The Pharisees also with the Sadducees - Though a short account of these has been already given in a note on Matthew 3:7, yet, as one more detailed may be judged necessary, I think it proper to introduce it in this place.

The Pharisees were the most considerable sect among the Jews, for they had not only the scribes, and all the learned men of the law of their party, but they also drew after them the bulk of the people. When this sect arose is uncertain. Josephus, Antiq. lib. v. c. xiii. s. 9, speaks of them as existing about 144 years before the Christian era. They had their appellation of Pharisees, from פרש parash, to separate, and were probably, in their rise, the most holy people among the Jews, having separated themselves from the national corruption, with a design to restore and practice the pure worship of the most High. That they were greatly degenerated in our Lord's time is sufficiently evident; but still we may learn, from their external purity and exactness, that their principles in the beginning were holy. Our Lord testifies that they had cleansed the outside of the cup and the platter, but within they were full of abomination. They still kept up the outward regulations of the institution, but they had utterly lost its spirit; and hypocrisy was the only substitute now in their power for that spirit of piety which I suppose, and not unreasonably, characterized the origin of this sect.

As to their religious opinions, they still continued to credit the being of a God; they received the five books of Moses, the writings of the prophets, and the hagiographa. The hagiographa or holy writings, from αγιος holy, and γραφω I write, included the twelve following books - Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles. These, among the Jews, occupied a middle place between the law and the prophets, as divinely inspired. The Pharisees believed, in a confused way, in the resurrection, though they received the Pythagorean doctrine of the metempsychosis, or transmigration of souls. Those, however, who were notoriously wicked, they consigned, on their death, immediately to hell, without the benefit of transmigration, or the hope of future redemption. They held also the predestinarian doctrine of necessity, and the government of the world by fate; and yet, inconsistently, allowed some degree of liberty to the human will. See Prideaux.

The Sadducees had their origin and name from one Sadoc, a disciple of Antigonus of Socho, president of the Sanhedrin, and teacher of the law in one of the great divinity schools in Jerusalem, about 264 years before the incarnation.

This Antigonus having often in his lectures informed his scholars, that they should not serve God through expectation of a reward, but through love and filial reverence only, Sadoc inferred from this teaching that there were neither rewards nor punishments after this life, and, by consequence, that there was no resurrection of the dead, nor angel, nor spirit, in the invisible world; and that man is to be rewarded or punished here for the good or evil he does.

They received only the five books of Moses, and rejected all unwritten traditions. From every account we have of this sect, it plainly appears they were a kind of mongrel deists, and professed materialists. See Prideaux, and the authors he quotes, Connex. vol. iii. p. 95, and 471, etc., and see the note on Matthew 3:7.

In Matthew 22:16, we shall meet with a third sect, called Herodians, of whom a few words may be spoken here, It is allowed on all hands that these did not exist before the time of Herod the Great, who died only three years after the incarnation of our Lord. What the opinions of these were is not agreed among the learned. Many of the primitive fathers believed that their distinguishing doctrine was, that they held Herod to be the Messiah; but it is not likely that such an opinion could prevail in our Savior's time, thirty years after Herod's death, when not one characteristic of Messiahship had appeared in him during his life. Others suppose that they were Herod's courtiers, who flattered the passions of their master, and, being endowed with a convenient conscience, changed with the times; but, as Herod was now dead upwards of thirty years, such a sect could not exist in reference to him; and yet all allow that they derived their origin from Herod the Great.

Our Lord says, Mark 8:15, that they had the leaven of Herod, i.e. a bad doctrine, which they received from him. What this was may be easily discovered:

1. Herod subjected himself and his people to the dominion of the Romans, in opposition to that law, Deuteronomy 17:15, Thou shalt not set a king over thee - which is not thy brother, i.e. one out of the twelve tribes.

2. He built temples, sat up images, and joined in heathenish worship, though he professed the Jewish religion; and this was in opposition to all the law and the prophets.

From this we may learn that the Herodians were such as, first, held it lawful to transfer the Divine government to a heathen ruler; and, secondly, to conform occasionally to heathenish rites in their religious worship. In short, they appear to have been persons who trimmed between God and the world - who endeavored to reconcile his service with that of mammon - and who were religious just as far as it tended to secure their secular interests. It is probable that this sect was at last so blended with, that it became lost in, the sect of the Sadducees; for the persons who art called Herodians, Mark 8:15, are styled Sadducees in Matthew 16:6. See Prideaux, Con. vol. iii. p. 516, etc., and Josephus, Antiq. b. xv. c. viii. s. i. and x. s. iii. But it is very likely that the Herodians, mentioned c. xxii. 10, were courtiers or servants of Herod king of Galilee. See the note there.

Show them a sign - These sects, however opposed among themselves, most cordially unite in their opposition to Christ and his truth. That the kingdom of Satan may not fall, all his subjects must fight against the doctrine and maxims of the kingdom of Christ.

Tempting - him - Feigning a desire to have his doctrine fully proved to them, that they might credit it, and become his disciples; but having no other design than to betray and ruin him.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Matthew 5:20 For I say to you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees...

Matthew 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to his disciples, Why eats your Master with publicans and sinners?

Matthew 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.

Matthew 15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,

Matthew 22:15,34 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk...

Matthew 23:2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:

Matthew 27:62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together to Pilate,


Matthew 16:6,11 Then Jesus said to them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees...

Matthew 3:7,8 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said to them, O generation of vipers...

Matthew 22:23 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,

Mark 12:18 Then come to him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,

Luke 20:27 Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him,

Acts 4:1 And as they spoke to the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came on them,

Acts 5:17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,

Acts 23:6-8 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brothers...


Matthew 19:3 The Pharisees also came to him, tempting him, and saying to him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

Matthew 22:18,35 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt you me, you hypocrites...

Mark 10:2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.

Mark 12:15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, Why tempt you me? bring me a penny...

Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

Luke 11:16,53,54 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven...

Luke 20:23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, Why tempt you me?

John 8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground...

a sign.

Matthew 12:38,39 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from you...

Mark 8:11-13 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him...

Luke 11:16,29,30 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven...

Luke 12:54-56 And he said also to the people, When you see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway you say, There comes a shower; and so it is...

John 6:30,31 They said therefore to him, What sign show you then, that we may see, and believe you? what do you work...

1 Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

October 14. "Get Thee, Behind Me, Satan" (Matt. xvi. 23).
"Get thee, behind me, Satan" (Matt. xvi. 23). When your old self comes back, if you listen to it, fear it, believe it, it will have the same influence upon you as if it were not dead; it will control you and destroy you. But if you will ignore it and say: "You are not I, but Satan trying to make me believe that the old self is not dead; I refuse you, I treat you as a demon power outside of me, I detach myself from you"; if you treat it as a wife would her divorced husband, saying: "You are nothing
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Unity of the Church.
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."--Matt. xvi. 18. Too many persons at this day,--in spite of what they see before them, in spite of what they read in history,--too many persons forget, or deny, or do not know, that Christ has set up a kingdom in the world. In spite of the prophecies, in spite of the Gospels and Epistles, in spite of their eyes and their ears,--whether it be their sin or
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII

Edwards -- Spiritual Light
Jonathan Edwards, the New England divine and metaphysician, was born at East Windsor, Connecticut, in 1703. He was graduated early from Yale College, where he had given much attention to philosophy, became tutor of his college, and at nineteen began to preach. His voice and manner did not lend themselves readily to pulpit oratory, but his clear, logical, and intense presentation of the truth produced a profound and permanent effect upon his hearers. He wrote what were considered the most important
Grenville Kleiser—The world's great sermons, Volume 3

Of Sufferings
Of Sufferings Be patient under all the sufferings which God is pleased to send you: if your love to Him be pure, you will not seek Him less on Calvary, than on Tabor; and, surely, He should be as much loved on that as on this, since it was on Calvary He made the greater display of His Love for you. Be not like those, who give themselves to Him at one season, and withdraw from Him at another: they give themselves only to be caressed; and wrest themselves back again, when they come to be crucified,
Madame Guyon—A Short and Easy Method of Prayer

Cross References
Proverbs 26:5
Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.

Matthew 3:7
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

Matthew 12:38
Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from you."

Matthew 16:6
"Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

Matthew 16:11
How is it you don't understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

Mark 8:11
The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven.

Luke 11:16
Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.

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