New Defender's Study Bible Notes
23:5 phylacteries. These were small boxes containing Scripture verses.
23:9 no man your father. This commandment would not apply to recognizing one’s biological father by this name. The point is that no man should be regarded or addressed as an authoritative spiritual master, playing a role equal to that of our heavenly Father or even as an intermediary between us and Him. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5). The same would apply to any other title or position (e.g., Rabbi, Master, Doctor, Reverend) which might imply spiritual authority or power above that of ordinary believers, all of whom have been made “kings and priests unto God and His Father” (Revelation 1:6).
23:23 tithe of mint and anise. Tithing as such is nowhere commanded in the New Testament, although this verse is often used as such a commandment. However, the context is that of the law, rather than grace. Even under the law, Jesus stressed that judgment, mercy and faith were more important than tithing. The New Testament principle of money stewardship is deduced from such Scriptures as I Corinthians 16:2; II Corinthians 9:6-11; Philippians 4:10-19; Galatians 6:6; Hebrews 13:16; etc.
23:35 Zacharias. The identity of this Zacharias is uncertain. He was not the Zechariah who was the author of the book of Zechariah, but possibly may have been the priest Zechariah who was stoned in the temple court by order of King Joash (II Chronicles 24:20-21).
23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem. When a name is repeated like this by God, the message is always urgent. See note on Acts 9:4.
23:38 desolate. This prophecy was fulfilled in grim detail when the Romans destroyed the temple in A.D. 70 and the city in A.D. 135, sending the Jewish survivors into worldwide exile for almost two thousand years.
23:39 Blessed is he. This affirmation, prophesied in Psalm 118:26, had been sung by the Jerusalem crowds when Jesus entered the city just a few days before, but they did not really understand who He was, and their enthusiasm was quickly rejected and dampened by the priests. The result was the age-long exile and suffering of the Jews. Finally, however, when Christ comes again, in power and great glory, the nation will recognize Him in deep repentance and will, indeed, say “Blessed be He that cometh in the name of the Lord.”