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Matthew 23:22-24 The Passion Translation (TPT)

22 And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by God, who sits upon it.

23 “Great sorrow awaits you religious scholars and Pharisees—frauds and pretenders! For you are obsessed with peripheral issues, like insisting on paying meticulous tithes on the smallest herbs that grow in your gardens.[a] These matters are fine, yet you ignore the most important duty of all: to walk in the love of God, to display mercy to others, and to live with integrity.[b] Readjust your values and place first things first. 24 What blind guides! Nitpickers! You will spoon out a gnat from your drink, yet at the same time you’ve gulped down a camel without realizing it![c]


  1. Matthew 23:23 Or “You tithe on mint, dill, and cumin [caraway seed].” See Lev. 27:30; Num. 18:12; Deut. 14:22-23. The law of Moses only obligated tithing on grain, wine, and oil. The religious scholars added to the law their interpretation, which added vegetables and herbs to their list of what should be tithed.
  2. Matthew 23:23 Or “faithfulness.” The Hebrew Matthew is “justice, loving-kindness, and truth.” The Aramaic is “justice, grace, and faith.” See Mic. 6:8; Zech. 7:9.
  3. Matthew 23:24 This is best seen as an Aramaic pun, because the Aramaic word for gnat is qamla, and the word for camel is gamla. The gnat becomes a metaphor of what is least and insignificant, for swallowing a gnat will not hurt you. But the camel becomes a picture of self-righteousness. To swallow a camel would indeed kill you.
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
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