29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,
30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’
31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt.
33 Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?
34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city,
35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!
38 See! Your house is left to you desolate;
39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”
Abel (v.35) — Genesis 4; Hebrews 11:4
Zechariah, mentioned as the son of Jehoiada in 2 Chronicles 24:20, probably was the grandson of the priest and Barachias was his actual father. — Walvoord, page 174
kills … and stones (v.37) — tense indicates habitual or characteristic action
house (v.38) — The word “house” could be a reference to the city of Jerusalem, or the Jewish temple in the city, or the Davidic house to which the Jews looked for a successor to David to deliver them and rule over them, or the nation as a whole. In any case, judgment must come. — Pentecost, page 394.
desolate (v.38) = alone
Blessed is He (v.39) — Psalm 118:26
This address was the last Jesus made in public and this was the last time He went to the temple.
Morgan makes the point that the “woes” of Matthew 23 match up one for one with the blessings (the Beatitudes) in Matthew 5.
Moses had written long ago in Deuteronomy 30:1-3, “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, and shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey His voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, wither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.” Moses went on to predict their regathering and their possession of the land (Deuteronomy 30:4-5) In Deuteronomy 30:6, he stated “And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.”
Other references to the same revival in the Old Testament are frequently found. The closing chapters of the prophecies of Isaiah mention again and again the coming revival of Israel, as, for instance, in Isaiah 65:18-25. Jeremiah, in like manner, prophesies Israel’s future restoration in Jeremiah 30:1-11; 31:1-14, 27-37. Zechariah speaks of it in chapter 8, and 12:10; 13:1; 14:9-21. The New Testament picks up similar truth in Romans 11:25-36 and pictures Israel triumphant on Mount Zion in Revelation 14:1-5. While it is tragic that Israel did not know the day of her visitation at the time of the first coming of Christ, the godly remnant of Israel, that awaits His second coming to sit on the throne of David, will experience the blessing of the Lord and receive a new heart and a new spirit, of which Ezekiel spoke in Ezekiel 36:23-28.
the tragic note which ends Matthew 23 introduces the great prophecy of the end of the age, recorded in Matthew 24-25 and delivered privately to His disciples. This discourse details the prophecy of the coming kingdom and the time of reward and blessing for those who trust in the Lord. — Walvoord, page 176.