“But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,”
King James Version (KJV)
23:5 Their phylacteries - The Jews, understanding those words literally, It shall he as a token upon thy hand, and as frontlets between thine eyes, #Exod 13:16|. And thou shalt bind these words for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes, #Deut 6:8|; used to wear little scrolls of paper or parchment, bound on their wrist and foreheads, on which several texts of Scripture were writ. These they supposed, as a kind of charm, would preserve them from danger. And hence they seem to have been called phylacteries, or preservatives. The fringes of their garments - Which God had enjoined them to wear, to remind them of doing all the commandments, #Num 15:38|. These, as well as their phylacteries, the Pharisees affected to wear broader and larger than other men. #Mark 12:38|.
Mt 23:5 To be seen of men. Instead of touching the burdens with their little finger, by an effort to keep the law in its spirit, their whole object was to appear holy before men. They make broad their phylacteries. A band was drawn over the forehead, or around the arm, and to this was attached a small calfskin box, in which were placed passages of Scripture. For this they quoted Ex 13:16. The passages worn so ostentatiously were Ex 12:2-10 13:11-21 De 6:4-9 11:18-21. To make them "broad" was to enlarge the case contain the Scripture, so as to make it more conspicuous. Enlarge the borders. The fringes worn to remind them "of doing all the commandments", as enjoined in Nu 15:38. To enlarge these would make them more conspicuous.