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 has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Pharisees and Sadducees. These are the names of two sects at that time among the Jews. There are different conjectures about the name of the Sadducees. This at least we find by the Gospels, and by the Acts of the Apostles, that they were a profane sort of men, that made a jest of the resurrection, and of the existence of spirits, and of the immortality of souls. To these the Pharisees were declared adversaries, as being a more religious sect, who pretended to be exact observers of the law, and also of a great many traditions, which they had, or pretended to have, from their forefathers. St. Epiphanius (hær. 16, p. 34,) derives their name from the Hebrew word Pharas, signifying separated, divided, or distinguished from others by a more holy way of living. So the proud Pharisee (Luke xviii.) said of himself, I am not like the rest of men Brood of vipers. St. John the Baptist, and also our Saviour himself, (Matthew xxii. 33,) made use of this sharp reprehension to such as come to them fu...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
How then does Christ say, that they did not believe John? Luke 20:5 Because this was not believing, to decline receiving Him whom he preached. For so they thought they regarded their prophets and their lawgiver, nevertheless He said they had not regarded them, forasmuch as they received not Him, that was foretold by them. For if you had believed Moses, says He, ye would have believed Me. John 5:46 And after this again, being asked by Christ, The baptism of John, whence is it? Matthew 21:25-26 they said, If we shall say, Of earth, we fear the people; if we shall say, From heaven, He will say unto us, How then did ye not believe him? So that from all these things it is manifest that they came indeed and were baptized, yet they did not abide in the belief of that which was preached. For John also points out their wickedness, by their sending unto the Baptist, and saying, Are you Elias? Are you Christ? wherefore he also added, they which were sent were of the Pharisees. John 1:24 Wha...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
"Pharisee" means "one who is set apart," for they appeared to be set apart by their life and knowledge, and to be superior to others. These believed neither in the resurrection, nor in angels, nor in the spirit. Their name means "the righteous ones," for sedek means "righteousness." Either they called themselves "the righteous," or they were so named after a certain leader of heresy, Sadok. They did not come with sincerity, as did the others, and for this reason he upbraids them. He speaks to them bitterly, knowing their perversity, but he also praises them by saying, "Who hath warned you?" For he marvels how it has come about that their wicked generation should repent. He calls them a "brood of vipers" because in the same way that vipers are said to eat their way out of their mother’s womb, so these murdered their fathers, that is, their teachers and prophets. "The wrath to come" means gehenna. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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