by Moshe Weinfeld
Matthew 23 constitutes, as is known, a charge sheet against the Pharisees. The main charge is hypocrisy. The author compiled all sorts of traditions and structured them in a way that would enhance the image of insincerity and hypocrisy. The chapter may be divided into three main parts: 1) the programmatic section (verses 1-12); 2) seven passages that open with “woe to hypocrites” (verses 13-30); and 3) a concluding section about the doom of Jerusalem (verses 31-39). (…)
The purpose of this study is to show that most of the accusations of hypocrisy contained in this chapter are rooted in Jewish tradition.