Below is a question that someone emailed-------------------Hey Robert - regarding the below passage, was the word "jews" originally translated as hebrews or judeans, etc?Isn't the underlines sentence advising all of us that the "jews" have acted as imposters of the hebrews by sitting in the chair of moses?Revelation 3:8I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. 10Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.Matthew 23:
1Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
The New American Standard Version translates it, "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses". They seem to be one of a very few translations to so render it.
Darby renders it: "The scribes and the Pharisees have set themselves down in Moses' seat."
Obviously, when a person sits down, he sits himself down—unless someone forces him to sit or "seats" him. I don't know if the voice of the verb "set themselves" that Darby and the NAS is justifiable. Young in his Literal Translation renders it "On the seat of Moses sat down the scribes and the Pharisees". Thus it does not seem that the implication, "have taken it upon themselves to sit" is the actual meaning of the verse, though it indeed is possible. However, that is a peripheral point and not really the main thrust of the passage.Revelation 3:9 means "I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Judeans and are not..." and of course this is referring to the imposters, the Jews, who claim to be Israelites / Judeans / Hebrews, when they are not, but who are the Canaanites.[See my books, What Was the Mark that God Placed on Cain? and Who Was the Serpent in the Garden? to show how the Edomite who had infiltrated Israel and who then pretended to be Israelites, are traced back to Canaan, and how Canaan (born of incest by Ham violating his mother) then being cursed (it was not Ham who was cursed, vile as his deed was) then married a descendent of Cain himself... and how Cain was of the Evil One.]
However Christ's mention of the scribes and pharisees refers to 2 legal sects, sort of like the lawyers and law professors. These groups in Christ's day (the land of Israel being infiltrated, the Evil One sowing tares in among God's wheat) were a mixed group, of both pure Israelites and imposter Jews. Paul himself was trained as a pharisee, but was a pure Judean, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. Whereas, the Jews, descending from Ham's son Canaan, are not actually Semites or Hebrews. Semites descend from Ham's brother, Shem. Shem's great-grandson was Eber, father of the Hebrews.
Christ was basically saying 2 groups largely comprised of hypocrites had taken over the teaching of God's Law, so whatever they teach you (that is, if what they teach is correct—so compare what they teach to what Scripture says: which is the only Biblical remonstration, as the Bereans did in Acts 17:11). But Christ also added, but don't do as they do. He said this because the scribes and pharisees were mostly liars and hypocrites and they wrangle the Word of God only to find ways to circumlocute the law themselves while imposing greater burdens on the people, to oppress and control them. The pharisees only kept the Law when people were watching and they violated it when they thought that no one is looking, and they kept the minutest small laws while ignoring the greater ones. Christ goes on for the next 36 verses in Matthew 23 (the rest of the entire chapter) to denounce and expose the scribes and pharisees of their corruption.
Therfore, while the scribes and pharisees included imposter's / Edomite-Jews who claimed that they were Judeans (as did Herod), the group was not (yet) exclusively filled by imposters, and so Christ is not speaking of the imposters directly, in Matthew 23:3, though He is speaking of them indirectly along with the pure Judeans in those groups who were also corrupt hypocrites.It should be realized that not all pure Israelites who were scribes or pharisees were honest, moral, or godly either. Just like our modern politicians and preachers who have lied to us, some few may still merely be ignorant, but others—the majority—are clearly knowledgable about what they are doing in joining with the enemies of God and subverting our faith and nation.