Matthew 3:7
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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?

King James Bible
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Darby Bible Translation
But seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, Offspring of vipers, who has forewarned you to flee from the coming wrath?

World English Bible
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for his baptism, he said to them, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Young's Literal Translation
And having seen many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming about his baptism, he said to them, 'Brood of vipers! who did shew you to flee from the coming wrath?

Matthew 3:7 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Pharisees - A very numerous sect among the Jews, who, in their origin, were, very probably, a pure and holy people. It is likely that they got the name of Pharisees, i.e. Separatists, (from פרש pharash, to separate), from their separating themselves from the pollution of the Jewish national worship; and hence, the word in the Anglo-saxon version is, holy persons who stand apart, or by themselves: but, in process of time, like all religious sects and parties, they degenerated: they lost the spirit of their institution, they ceased to recur to first principles, and had only the form of godliness, when Jesus Christ preached in Judea; for he bore witness, that they did make the outside of the cup and platter clean - they observed the rules of their institution, but the spirit was gone.

Sadducees - A sect who denied the existence of angels and spirits, consequently all Divine influence and inspiration, and also the resurrection of the dead. The Sadducees of that time were the Materialists and Deists of the Jewish nation. When the sect of the Pharisees arose cannot be distinctly ascertained; but it is supposed to have been some time after the Babylonish captivity. The sect of the Sadducees were the followers of one Sadok, a disciple of Antigonus Sochaeus, who flourished about three centuries before Christ. There was a third sect among the Jews, called the Essenes or Essenians, of whom I shall have occasion to speak on Matthew 19:12.

Come to his baptism - The Ethiopic version adds the word privately here, the translator probably having read λαθρα in his copy, which gives a very remarkable turn to the passage. The multitudes, who had no worldly interest to support, no character to maintain by living in their usual way, came publicly, and openly acknowledged that they were Sinners; and stood in need of mercy. The others, who endeavored to secure their worldly interests by making a fair show in the flesh, are supposed to have come privately, that they might not be exposed to reproach; and that they might not lose their reputation for wisdom and sanctity, which their consciences, under the preaching of the Baptist, told them they had no right to. See below.

O generation of vipers - Γεννηματα εχιδνων. A terribly expressive speech. A serpentine brood, from a serpentine stock. As their fathers were, so were they, children of the wicked one. This is God's estimate of a Sinner, whether he wade in wealth, or soar in fame. The Jews were the seed of the serpent, who should bruise the heel of the woman's seed, and whose head should be bruised by him.

Who hath warned you - Or, privately shown you. Τις υπεδιξεν - from υπο, under, and δεικνυμαι, to show. Does not this seem to allude to the reading of the Ethiopic noticed above? They came privately: and John may be supposed to address them thus: "Did any person give you a private warning? No, you received your convictions under the public ministry of the word. The multitudes of the poor and wretched, who have been convinced of sin, have publicly acknowledged their crimes, and sought mercy - God will unmask you - you have deceived the people - you have deceived yourselves - you must appear just what you are; and, if you expect mercy from God, act like the penitent multitude, and bring forth Fruit worthy of repentance. Do not begin to trifle with your convictions, by thinking, that because you are descendants of Abraham, therefore you are entitled to God's favor; God can, out of these stones (pointing probably to those scattered about in the desert, which he appears to have considered as an emblem of the Gentiles) raise up a faithful seed, who, though not natural descendants of your excellent patriarch, yet shall be his worthy children, as being partakers of his faith, and friends of his God." It should be added, that the Greek word also signifies plain or ample information. See on Luke 6:47 (note).

The wrath to come? - The desolation which was about to fall on the Jewish nation for their wickedness, and threatened in the last words of their own Scriptures. See Malachi 4:6. Lest I come and smite the earth את הארץ (et ha-arets, this very land) with a curse. This wrath or curse was coming: they did not prevent it by turning to God, and receiving the Messiah, and therefore the wrath of God came upon them to the uttermost. Let him that readeth understand.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the Pharisees.

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

Matthew 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow does not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

Matthew 15:12 Then came his disciples, and said to him, Know you that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?

Matthew 16:6,11,12 Then Jesus said to them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees...

Matthew 22:15,23,34 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk...

Matthew 23:13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves...

*etc:

Mark 7:3-5 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders...

Mark 8:15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.

Mark 12:13,18 And they send to him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words...

Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

Luke 11:39-44 And the Lord said to him, Now do you Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter...

Luke 16:14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are, extortionists, unjust, adulterers...

John 1:24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.

John 7:45-49 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said to them, Why have you not brought him...

John 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said to him, Are we blind also?

Acts 4:1,2 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 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them...

Acts 23:6-9 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brothers...

Acts 26:5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most strait sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

O generation.

Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Matthew 23:33 You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head...

Psalm 58:3-6 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies...

Isaiah 57:3,4 But draw near here, you sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore...

Isaiah 59:5 They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eats of their eggs dies...

Luke 3:7-9 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers...

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning...

1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whoever does not righteousness is not of God...

Revelation 12:9,10 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world...

who.

Jeremiah 6:10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot listen: behold...

Jeremiah 51:6 Flee out of the middle of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity...

Ezekiel 3:18-21 When I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; and you give him not warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way...

Ezekiel 33:3-7 If when he sees the sword come on the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people...

Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house...

flee.

Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

1 Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

2 Thessalonians 1:9,10 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power...

Hebrews 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation...

Revelation 6:16,17 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne...

Library
February 14. "He Shall Baptize You with Fire" (Matt. Iii. 11).
"He shall baptize you with fire" (Matt. iii. 11). Fire is strangely intense and intrinsic. It goes into the very substance of things. It somehow blends with every particle of the thing it touches. There are the severe trials that come to minds more sensitive, to the minds that have more points of contact with what hurts; so that the higher the nature the higher the joy, and the greater the avenues of pain that come. And then there are deeper trials that come as we pass into the hands of God, as we
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Herald of the King
'In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3. For this is He that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. 4. And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Conversion --Human Agency In
What part and responsibility pertain to the human will in this matter? Before we leave the subject of conversion, it is important that we consider and understand this question also. For on this point also grievous and dangerous views and practices prevail. Human nature tends to extremes. Here too, there is a tendency to go too far, either in the one direction or the other. There are those, on the one hand, who virtually and practically make this change of heart and of nature a human work. They
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church

The Present, a Dispensation of Means.
We have seen that the carnal, sinful nature of the child unfits it for the kingdom of heaven; that, therefore, there must be a change in that nature, even the birth of a new life, and the life of a new creature, before there can be either part or lot in the kingdom of God. We have also expressed our firm conviction that it is the good and gracious will of God in Christ to bestow upon the poor sin-sick and unholy child the Grace needed to so change it as to make it a partaker of His great salvation.
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church

Cross References
Proverbs 28:4
Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them.

Matthew 12:34
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

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

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."

Matthew 16:12
Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Matthew 22:23
That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question.

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