Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 1606 – 1669

Pharisees in the Temple

etching (7 × 13 cm) — 1648 Museum Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn biography

This work is linked to Matthew 23:23

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A scene in the temple. In the background several men can be seen talking. To the left two men are chatting quietly and secretive, heads close together.

That could be a reference to the chapter in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus takes on the elders and the Pharisees. He says they pay too much attention to side issues: "Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel."

The Pharisees were a political movement active during Jesus' life, and several decades before. They often propagated a literal interpretation of the Law of Moses.

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