“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.”
King James Version (KJV)
Mt 23:27 For ye are like unto whitewashed sepulchres. It is stated that on the 15th of the month of Adair, before the Passover, the Jews whitewashed all the spots where graves were situated. This was done both to beautify them and to mark the spots as to prevent any one from passing over them, which would occasion Levitical defilement. For this practice, they cited Nu 19:16 Eze 39:15. This custom gave the basis for the Savior's figure. In plain view of the Savior and his hearers, as they stood in the temple court, could be seen the whitened tombs along the western slope of Olivet, some of which are still seen to this day. Beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones. A powerful figure to show forth the contrast between the sanctimonious professions of the Pharisees and their unholy lives.