Here are some great additional Bible tools. Enjoy!
*As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Jesus pronounces 7 woes against the Pharisees and the teachers of the law:
Jesus calls them vipers and snakes. He tells them he is sending them teachers, who they will flog and kill. They will have righteous blood upon them.
Repeated words: “Woe to you” “teachers of the law and Pharisees” “you hypocrites” “blind such as blind guides, blind fools, blind men”
12a) The religious leaders and the rulers will persecute and kill the disciples and other early Christian leaders.
b) Jesus awaits those to acknowledge he is the Son of God.
13) It’s all very true how we are all sinners and make the same mistakes as the Pharisees in our religious pursuits. Awareness is step one. Next, comes change.
Good stuff. We all need to be told and have our faults pointed out so we can work to correct them and become closer to God.
The word “hypocrite” refers to an actor.
Our altar is Jesus himself and his work on the cross.
God is never fooled by appearances.
Jesus hopes to gain repentance with these religious leaders who were so far away from God. Calling them snakes and brood of vipers is equating them with the devil.
Jesus does not want others to be deceived by them.
Luke tells us that Jesus is crying as he says these words Luke 19:41 Jesus’ heart breaks at the sin of these men, as it does for us.
Jesus weeps twice in the Bible. Here, for the men who are lost and will face eternal damnation and at the tomb of Lazarus, weeping over death, a consequence of our sin.
Jesus’s words here tells us that he repeatedly visited Jerusalem when he was preaching. However, no one recorded these journeys for us.
They rejected Jesus despite his offering of redemption.
Jesus is referring to his Second Coming with the final words here, saying the Jews will acknowledge him as Messiah.
*As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Jesus asked the Pharisees questions now: “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” The Pharisees answer, “The son of David.” “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’?” So he can’t be his son then. No one dared ask Jesus any more questions.
Jesus tells the disciples and the crowds to obey the teachers of the law and the Pharisees but to not be like them because they do not practice what they preach. They are only concerned about appearances and prestige. Do not call them Rabbi. Only call God Father, and Jesus is their teacher. Those who are humble will be exalted. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled.
9a) “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’?”
b) The he was the Christ, the son of David.
c) A lot. Every day I see more of Jesus in me, and as I do, I grow more with Jesus and get to know him. That is my prayer. To know Jesus and to grow to be more like him every day.
10a) He told them to practice what they preach and to not be concerned with just outside appearances. Instead, have everything they do for God.
b) Honor, prestige, and recognition. They want to sit at the place of honor at banquets and in the most important seats at they synogogue. The Pharisees wanted others to greet them in marketplaces and call them Rabbis.
c) Same probably. Recognition. But I don’t know. I shun that stuff, too. God should be my motivating factor in everything.
I love here how Jesus says to practice what you preach, which is where our saying comes from. Neat!
Learn more about the disciples!
Jesus now tests the Pharisees and the leaders by asking them a question and connecting it to the Old Testament by using the concept of Christ. This was similar to the question he asked the disciples about who he was Matthew 16:13-15
Bible scholars think that the Pharisees either forgot or did not know about Jesus’s connection to David with this answer. The Son of David is an Old Testament title for the Christ Jeremiah 23:5-6, Isaiah 9:6-7, and Luke 1:31-33). 2 Samuel 7,
Fun Fact: Psalm 110, is the most frequently quoted OT chapter in the NT.
Thus, Jesus says he is Son of God.
Instead of the Pharisees embarrassing and trapping Jesus, he embarrassed them. Thus, they would no longer debate him because they lost every time. Violence was next.
Now, Jesus turns to teaching his disciples and the crowds about the dangers of the Pharisees’ teachings. (Matthew 15:7). (Matthew 16:5-12). Yet, the people had to honor and respect the Pharisees because they held authority ordained by God.
Moses’ seat is like a teacher’s seat. In synogogues of the day, there was a stone seat in the front where the teacher sat at times.
The Pharisees’ teachings make following the law a burden. They added many customs and traditions that were based on their beliefs and not Biblical teaching. Jesus makes Christianity easy to carry. (Matthew 11:30).
The Pharisees did works in order to be honored by men, not God.
The phylacteries, which are small boxes that contain the Scriptures that Pharisees wore on the arm and head, and the borders of their garments were in accordance with the law (Deuteronomy 11:18, Numbers 15:38-40). However, the Pharisees had made these bigger so they could be seen by others better. They wanted others to admire and honor them.
The people are equal with the religious leaders and others should not call them Rabbi. His point is to not honor those above others.
Greatness is how we serve and honor others; it is not measured by how many serve and honor you.
*As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
A Pharisee asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment in the Law. Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” The second is love your neighbor as yourself.
7a) Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” The second is love your neighbor as yourself.
b) Complete and total sacrifice of your life for God and His purpose; utter devotion to God. Having God first in everything you do. Praying and asking for God’s guidance every day and for every major decision.
c) To treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself. Care for them like you do yourself. Put their needs first.
8 ) Too many to list. It’s a tall order to do everything with God first, praying and listening. Same for putting your neighbor equal with yourself. The only thing you can do is take small steps every day to be more like Jesus and to help others in your life. Pray when you think of it. Read the Bible. Take an interest in others.
Aren’t you glad this question was asked? Even though it as a trick, it helps all of us. Some of my favorite verses in all of the Bible.
Another question meant to trap Jesus. All laws were equal in the Old Testament and were meant to be obeyed. By putting one above the over 600 others, this would show Jesus did not value the laws as he should.
We can never be perfect in these commandments; but, we can do our best and improve every day.
We go from the 10 Commandments to two — seemingly easy ones, but so difficult to implement in our selfish human lives.
The Pharisees continue to try to trip Jesus up with words. They ask him if it is right to pay taxes to Caesar. Of course, Jesus knows they are trying to trip him up. Instead, he asks for a denarius. On the denarius is a portrait of Caesar, so Jesus said give to Caesar what is his and give to God what is His.
Next, the Sadducees try to trip up Jesus. They ask him that at the resurrection, whose wife will a woman be who married all of the brothers because it was their duty to marry her. The Sadducees believe there is no resurrection. Jesus said at the resurrection there is no marriage. They will be like angels in heaven and be living.
3) The Pharisees continue to try to trip Jesus up with words. They ask him if it is right to pay taxes to Caesar. They think that if Jesus answers to pay the taxes, he will alienate many Jews. If he advocates to not pay taxes, he could go to jail for breaking Roman law.
4a) Jesus knows they are trying to trip him up, so he won’t satisfy them.
b) We must submit ourselves to governing authorities, so we must pay taxes since they are our elected officials chosen by God. To God, we owe our lives, but more than that, our service and our love.
5a) The Sadducees ask Jesus that at the resurrection, whose wife will a woman be who married all of the brothers because it was their duty to marry her.
b) They don’t know the Scriptures or the Power of God. At the resurrection, we will all be living and marriage won’t exist.
6) It reveals how Jesus knows our hearts and intentions and talks about the deeper issues. He knows the Pharisees and the Sadducees are trying to trip him up, so he responds appropriately. I was not really surprised or amazed. Jesus is all-knowing, so his actions make sense to me.
You can tell the Pharisees and the Sadducees don’t understand who Jesus is; if they did, they would know he wouldn’t fall into their trap. Jesus gives them many opportunities to repent. They do not.
You know it’s serious when the Pharisees are working together with the Herodians (most likely pagan Romans).
Note they compliment Jesus first, hoping to take his guard down.
They think that if Jesus answers to pay the taxes, Jesus could be accused of denying God’s sovereignty. If he advocates to not pay taxes, he would be an enemy of Rome.
There were many taxes in Judea imposed by Rome. This scene is referring to the poll tax, which is a denarius a year that everyone has to pay.
Jesus shows he is in control. God is superior over all, but government handles local and national affairs.
Fear God. Honor the king. (1 Peter 2:17)
Christians have the image of God stamped on them. We belong to God, so we are to give ourselves to Him. We belong to Him. Jesus makes it clear that there is a separation between church and state here.
The Sadducees were a small group of wealthy, aristocratic elite who only believed in the first five books of Moses and even then they picked and choose what to believe in. They were more politial than religious, and with the demise of the temple in 70 AD, they disappeared as a political party. They are only mentioned by name in the New Testament about a dozen times, but when chief priests are mentioned, this referred to them, too.
The Sadducees did not believe in resurrection, as the ridiculousness of this question shows. While the premise is true that if a married man died childless, it fell to his brother to marry the widow Deuteronomy 25:5-10, which is known as levirate marriage. Levir is a Latin word meaning “brother-in-law.”
These highly learned men did not know the Scriptures or the Power of God. God can raise people from the dead, and as Paul says, you can have Biblical knowledge, but not understand the Bible. (2 Timothy 1:13).
Jesus tells them that life in resurrection is now what we know life on earth. Jesus says angels are in heaven, meaning they are real, which the Sadducees do not believe.
Jesus uses the patriarches of the Old Testament since that is the only part of the Bible that the Sadducees believed in. Jesus quotes God as saying, “I am,” not “I was.” This shows they are still living and God is the God of the living.
Tamar was desperate and knew Shelah would not be her husband. So she disguised herself to go and meet her father-in-law, Judah, at Enaim on the road to Timnah. Judah thought she was a prostitute so he offered her a young goat as payment to sleep with her. She asked for a pledge since he did not have the goat with him. He gave her his seal, cord, and staff. She slept with him and became pregnant.
Judah could not find her again to give her the goat. When he found out though that Tamar was pregnant, he ordered her death, thinking she sinned as a prostitute. She presented him with her pledge and Judah had to admit he was wrong not to give her Shelah. She had twin boys named Perez and Zerah.
13a) Tamar was desperate and knew Shelah would not be her husband. So she disguised herself to go and meet her father-in-law, Judah, at Enaim on the road to Timnah. She then tricked him into sleeping with her in order to have kids.
b) Too many ways to begin.
c) Judah at first was angry, but then he realized he was the one who sinned against her.
14) Jesus came from Tamar’s son, Perez, and Judah
15) It challenges me to do what is right, but not to use deceit to do so. Although, in Tamar’s defense, this was ancient times, and she didn’t have a lot of rights or say in any matter.
Now I see the significance of this story! I had forgotten about this until I read it again. Great stuff!
Tamar did not have a lot of options. It’s hard to blame her here. Judah was solely in charge if she would marry again, and it was painfully obvious he would not give her his last son.
God’s plan once again in action.
Judah fails to see his sin until he is confronted with it by Tamar. Wisely, he recognizes it for what it is.
Note this is another example of how God grants grace to sinners and how Jesus does not come from perfect examples of humanity (of which there are none). God can make all things work for the good of those who trust him (Romans 8:28), and for His redemptive plan.
Judah left the family and went up to Adullam. He got married and had three sons. Judah got a wife for his firstborn, Er, but he was wicked so God put him to death. Onan, Er’s brother, was then to lie with Er’s wife, but he refused to have kids with her so he was put to death. The widow Tamar was sent to live with her father until Shelah, Judah’s final son, was of age. Judah’s wife died, and he went to Timnah.
10) He married a Canaanite woman and so too did his sons.
11a) Er was wicked in the eyes of the Lord (that is all we are told). Onan refused to have children with Er’s widow, which violated Deuteronomy 25:5-10
b) God does not tolerate wickedness, and He enacts justice.
12) It helps me to not stray from God’s path, to remember Him, and hopefully to not sin as much.
I really don’t remember this chapter in Genesis. It seems out of place to me, especially if this is Joseph’s remembrances.
It seems strange to me that Judah did this. Perhaps he is reminded daily of his sin against his father when he sees him so he leaves. Yet, he violates God’s wishes by marrying a Canaanite woman, which we see a lot in Genesis. (Genesis 24:3, 28:1, 28:8
Being required to marry the widow of your brother was one of God’s ways to care for widows. Widows would probably have lived the rest of their lives struggling if not provided for. Onan refused to have kids with Tamar because they would not be his (they would be considered kids of the one who died, in this case Er). Thus, only obeying God half-way is still a sin.
Judah was afraid his last son would face God’s judgement too so he sent Tamar away.
Joseph’s brothers were sent to graze the flocks near Shechem. Jacob asks Joseph to go and check on his brothers. When Joseph arrived in Shechem, his brothers were no where to be found, so he asked about them. He was told they went to Dothan.
Joseph went to Dothan to find them. As he approached his brothers, they recognized him and plotted to kill him and throw him in a cistern and leave him to die. Reuben, the oldest, said not to kill him, but just throw him in the cistern, probably planning to come and get him once he learned his lesson.
When Joseph arrived, he was stripped of his coat and thrown into the empty cistern. Ironically, they casually sat and ate lunch when a caravan of Ishmaelites strode by on their way to Egypt. Judah suggested not to kill Joseph so they would not have blood on their hands, but to sell him to these approaching Ishmaelities. So they sold Joseph for 20 shekels of silver who took Joseph to Egypt.
Reuben who apparently was not with his brothers returned to rescue Joseph who was not there. Upon not finding him, he tore his clothes. Instead, they killed a goat and dipped Joseph’s coat into the blood. They took this robe back to Jacob who assumed an animal had tore him to pieces.
Jacob tore his clothes and mourned for many days. Jacob refused to be comforted and said he would mourn till the day he died. Joseph was sold to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, who was the captain of the guard.
6) I’m assuming Jacob did not trust his sons. Or, because of what happened to Dinah in (Genesis 34), Jacob may still be worried about the neighboring tribes taking their revenge against him and his family.
7) They immediately started to plot against him. I’m assuming anger had been boiling up inside them for quite some time.
8a) They planned to say a wild animal tore him to pieces.
b) God had both Reuben and Judah have a twinge of guilt and not want to kill Joseph.
c) Man is evil through and through to plot to kill your own brother and sell him into slavery for a mere 20 shekels of silver.
9a) Unsure. Most definitely nothing like this.
b) Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I noticed how they used one of Jacob’s animals, a goat, and killed it to cover their crime. This was not even their animal to kill.
I’m unsure how Joseph’s brothers can sit and eat before they kill him. Joseph had to be screaming and begging for mercy. This shows just how evil man can be.
Tending sheep and goats is not exactly easy. You are outside in the hot sun all day, every day. You have to defend the animals against wild predators, sleep outside in the elements and on the hard ground, and hardly get any time off. Joseph, on the other hand, stayed at camp, slept in his own bed, and probably did not do much work at all.
Joseph was seen by his brothers probably a mile away due to his multi-colored coat. Here we also see Joseph is a supervisory role, not unlike his sheaves dream.
Dothan was about 10 to 15 mile walk. We see Dothan in the Bible again where God protected Elisha (2 Kings 6:13-17) like God protects Joseph here too.
Since Joseph had reported bad things before, the brothers assumed he would again. Their anger must have been great to make the leap to murder.
Interestingly, the brothers opposed God, not Joseph here. Note we see this repeatedly in the book of Genesis as humans are told God’s plans, perhaps even by God or Jesus himself, and they do everything in their power to thwart God’s plans. God wins anyway. God never fails.
We’ll see Joseph rise to become the 2nd most powerful person in the known world. Only God can do such a thing.
Reuben has a twinge of guilt, probably from God. He proposes to throw Joseph into the cistern without killing him.
Note how Reuben did not want to offend his brothers. Because of this, Joseph is sold into slavery, lost to them in essence. If Reuben had been firm as the oldest brother about returning Joseph to his father, this might not have happened. It’s funny because we all know God meant all of this to happen so Joseph could save God’s chosen family. It’s insanely hard to wrap your mind around.
All throughout the book of Genesis, we’ll see Jesus in Joseph. Here, we see Joseph being stripped as Jesus was. Note how even though we may lose every material thing, God can never be stripped from us.
The brothers were beyond cruel as Joseph pleaded for his life. Genesis 42:21 When your heart has turned to evil, it can be insanely hard to break free. The brothers were not only ruining Joseph’s life, and probably killing him in a cruel way from a life of slavery, but they were about to break their father’s heart.
We see Arab traders headed the brothers’ way. Most likely, they were descendants of Ishmael, so very distant relatives.
Money turns many a man’s soul black. The idea stemmed from Judah, Jesus’ relative. However, he will be transformed from this experience.
20 shekels of silver was not that much money (each shekel was probably equivalent to about $20). We don’t know what words were exchanged between Joseph and his brothers here. Perhaps Joseph was in shock and speechless. Maybe he was crying. Maybe he forgave his brothers then. Maybe the brothers laughed. All we know is what happened.
We see no signs of guilt from the brothers and probably the determination to take their secret to the grave with them. Utter selfishness and evil here.
Was Jacob wrong to mourn so long here? Many Bible scholars say Jacob should have known Jospeh would have eternal life. However, this is before Jesus. Jacob cannot know this.
Egypt at this time was a well-established culture and power. They were wealthy. The Great Pyramids and the Sphinx had been built hundreds of years before Joseph. They had no real enemies. They enjoyed life to the fullest. Joseph was about to enter a whole different world than one of a goat herder.
Joseph’s story is perhaps one of the greatest because we can see the consequences of our actions in what happens to Joseph, as well as how God orchestrates it all. In fact, we can thank Joseph’s sinful brothers for what they did to Joseph for we would not be here otherwise. God’s plan never fails, ever: