Scripture meaning .. Woe to you who build memorials of the prophetd


I am unsure what Jesus means,

Woe to you who build memorials to the prophets whom your fathers killed.
Consequently you give consent or they killed them and you do the building.

Clearly the prophets are the good men delivering the word of God, their fathers (the pervious generation) killed them because they would not accept the word and turned against God and hated the prophets.

But why kill the ones building the memorial, is it because they are kind of doing lip service and still not following God.

I read on to see that their genation ie the ones building the memorial would be charged with the sins of the previous generation.

Do you think this generation are unrepentant , that’s what I conclude but not sure thanks.


Chapter and verse please.



Hi Nelka, it came through on my Facebbok News page from the Vatcan, I think it is today’s reading,

Luke 11:47-54 is the entirety of the reading



Sorry cut and paste not working and ipad is fiddly

Woe to you who build memorials of the prophetswhom your fathers killed.
Consequently you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of you fathers …

I think I am bit confused on ‘building memorials’ seeing it kind of like a memorial as a good thing these day to remember the dead, it’s probably the archaic translation? Perhaps it means burying the memory of prophets and what they revealed (which was consequently rejected by the people).

It took me another half hour to interpret it this way, and it does kind of make sense now so hopefully I’ve answered my own question!!! , but if anyone disagrees please let me know



I think Jesus was condemning hypocrisy. The prophets called the people to repentance, to love God and their neighbor. The fathers ignored the prophets’ call and killed them. Jesus condemned the hypocritical children, not for building memorials to the prophets, but for building them and at the same time ignoring the prophets’ call, just like their fathers.

On the parallel passage in Matthew 23:29-32, The Catholic Biblical Association’s 1947 book, A Commentary on the New Testament, page 159, says in part:
The Jews at the time of Christ had built or repaired the monuments and reputed tombs of the prophets near Jerusalem. They pretended thereby to honor the prophets and to atone for the guilt of their forefathers who rejected and persecuted them. But Christ says that this in itself (Thus) reveals their evil conscience. For in spirit they were the worthy descendants of the murderers of the prophets. It was as if they were the accomplices of their ancestors and said to them, “You kill the prophets and we will bury them for you.” Through their hatred of Jesus they showed themselves to be even worse than their ancestors. Therefore Christ says, “You fill up the measure of your fathers,” i.e., "You supply what is wanting to the fullness of the wickedness of your ancestors; or perhaps the thought is, “You exhaust God’s longanimity by adding to the sins of your fathers” …


Thank you for this answer it kind of confirms my initial view but is put more clealy, and it is good to have an authoritive reference.

Ps I had to look up longanimity so learnt something else thanks :slight_smile:


42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the chief seats in the synagogues and the respectful greetings in the market places. 44 Woe to you! For you are like concealed tombs, and the people who walk over them are unaware of it.”

45 One of the lawyers *said to Him in reply, “Teacher, when You say this, You insult us too.” 46 But He said, “Woe to you lawyers as well! For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers. 47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them. 48 So you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers; because it was they who killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute, 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.’ 52 Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering.”

It’s a passage about hypocrisy. The condemnation is that they honored the memories of the prophets but did not live according to the words of the prophets. They are no better than their fathers who killed the prophets. In building their memorials they demonstrate their guilt, because they show their knowledge.


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