Matthew 3:7

“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his Baptisme, he said vnto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
- New American Standard Version (1995)

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said unto them, Ye offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
- American Standard Version (1901)

But when he saw a number of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, Offspring of snakes, at whose word are you going in flight from the wrath to come?
- Basic English Bible

But seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, Offspring of vipers, who has forewarned you to flee from the coming wrath?
- Darby Bible

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said to them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
- Webster's Bible

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he exclaimed, "O vipers' brood, who has warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
- Weymouth Bible

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for his baptism, he said to them, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
- World English Bible

But he siy manye of the Farysees and of Saduceis comynge to his baptym, and seide to hem, Generaciouns of eddris, who shewide to you to fle fro the wraththe that is to come?
- Wycliffe Bible

And having seen many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming about his baptism, he said to them, `Brood of vipers! who did shew you to flee from the coming wrath?
- Youngs Literal Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for Matthew 3:7


3:7 The Pharisees were a very ancient sect among the Jews. They took their name from a Hebrew word, which signifies to separate, because they separated themselves from all other men. They were outwardly strict observers of the law, fasted often, made long prayers, rigorously kept the Sabbath, and paid all tithe, even of mint, anise, and cummin. Hence they were in high esteem among the people. But inwardly, they were full of pride and hypocrisy. The Sadducees were another sect among the Jews, only not so considerable as the Pharisees. They denied the existence of angels, and the immortality of the soul, and by consequence the resurrection of the dead. Ye brood of vipers - In like manner, the crafty Herod is styled a fox, and persons of insidious, ravenous, profane, or sensual dispositions, are named respectively by him who saw their hearts, serpents, dogs, wolves, and swine; terms which are not the random language of passion, but a judicious designation of the persons meant by them. For it was fitting such men should be marked out, either for a caution to others, or a warning to themselves.


People's Bible Notes for Matthew 3:7


Mt 3:7 When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The two principal religious sects. (1) The first originated in the time of the Maccabees, and were a kind of Jewish Puritans, but had in the Savior's time degenerated into a set of formalists, who paid far more attention to outward forms than to inner life. They were scrupulous in observing ceremonies, very orthodox, but were filled with spiritual pride. From an early period of Christ's ministry they opposed him. (2) The other principal sect of the Jews, the Sadducees, derived their name from Sadduc, the founder of the sect; were irreligious, sensual and skeptical. They were materialists, and denied "angel, spirit, or the resurrection of the dead" (Ac 23:8). Annas and Caiaphas, the high priests, were Sadducees. Generation of vipers. The guilty corrupted race had become a generation of vipers; not only poisonous, hateful to God, hating one another. The viper is hateful, full of hate, and dangerous. Who hath warned you? Malachi (Mal 3:2 4:5) had predicted the wrath to come. John's question expresses doubt of their sincerity.

Discussion for Matthew 3:7

  • These want to belong to the group of John, just as present day thinking that belonging to a church will save them. Thus, the next verse, John asked them to bring fruits of repentance, which is the fruit of the the sanctifying work of the Spirit, an earnest for those really saved.
  • BHofmann for verse 7
    not any difference then today, we all know but do we confess Jesus rather then traditions, Paul says, let there be no divisions among us

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