The Pharisee Rap Battle

11 min readApr 25, 2022


The pro scribes and Pharisees
in Moshe’s seat issue decrees,
so observe whate’er they say
but not the works that they display.
They don’t practice what they preach, okay?
They tie up burdens with great weight,
lay them on others and dictate.

The Pharisees are goody Jew-shoes,
who pretend to be policy gurus.
But all they want’s to screw it to you.

From Pharaoh to the Pharisees,
it’s always, ‘Your majesty!’
O, let us all fall to our knees…
so we may heed this travesty!

But heed now my profundity:
I tell thee it’s no wonder he
who pulls off this effrontery,
is the enemy who’s under me!

The effete pharisees and the high priests
are cavities in your eye teeth;
they and their hidden heresies,
their immane immoralities,
and their largesse of legalities,
they are the principalities
that we wrestle to appease,
a draining disease of decrees
that bring my people to their knees
and cause kingdom casualties!

While these heavy thinkers do insist,
they’re loath to lift a finger to assist.
They binge on the twinge of the churchy
and do their deeds just to be seen;
but their fringes infringe on cringeworthy,
for they make their tzitzit long and lean.

What’s the matter with these
refractory phylactery factories?
Their strategy’s to be lathered in flattery.

They love the place of honor at feasts,
they’re synagogue hogs for hot seats,
they adore being greeted as elites,
and being called “rabbi” in the streets.

The Pharisee’s ways are far from acceptable –
paying a tithe on each herb and vegetable,
while their concern’s on what is collectable!
I find their neglect of justice regrettable,
their lack of love for another’s detestable,
for even an herb without salt is inedible,
and Satan’s seized leaders themselves quite susceptible!

You Pharisees tithe liberally from your pretty gardens,
but you all fail miserably when it comes to pardons.
The scripture says to act justly, but you’re literally disregardin’
for there is no justice league that only serves each parson!

Woe to these unfairisees
who wander ‘bout amongst us –
they appease legal decrees
but rebuff what they instruct us –
and they act just as they please,
neglecting e’er to love us,
tithing of their herbs and trees,
yet ignoring ways of justice!
“Why does Johnny Baptist attack us?”
they ask, “What’s the matter?”
Let me tell you, you all should have practiced the latter,
without leaving the former undone while you’re at her –
give a tenth, yes, but don’t pass over judgement,
for he who pays no heed to love is repugnant!

Excuse me! John the Maddest?
He’s a blatant, patent propagandist!
He’s a glutton always hungered!
He’s a toper and a drunkard!
He’s a friend of tax collectors;
hangs with sinners, not with rectors!

Oh, the kingdom is nearer than it appears ‘ere.
You think John’s bad? Look in the mirror!
You love the best seating
in all the town’s synagogues,
and personal greetings
in endless exhibit halls.
You guys are graves unmarked and hidden,
buried beneath a pile of midden;
the people step over your tombs, too –
and then they have to wipe their shoes!
You talk back before you hear the facts!
That kind of reaction lacks
even the pretense of tact, you hacks.

Oh, teacher, when you speak of our cultus,
don’t you see that you insult us?

Hey, pardon my interruption,
but I think the people should know your corruption!
And woe to you so-called experts
who bow so low you claim your neck hurts!
In-between your many sermons
you weigh men down with heavy burdens –
you crush each man with religious demands
yet just look at the digits you have on your hands –
you never lifted a finger in aid –
instead you stinkers lingered to pray!

You buffoons will gladly build tombs for the prophets
as long as it helps to put loot in your pockets,
but killing them was your ancestors’ business,
oh, and what an achievement!
In fact, you pharisees stand as witness,
gladly granting your agreement!
They murdered the prophets, gents,
and you join in the crime
by erecting mammoth monuments,
and tithing dill and thyme.

You brood of vipers collude as liars
yet all of you are just screwed misers
who’ve skewed what the law requires
to pursue your own desires,
and you feud with my disciples!
Who apprised you to be survivors
from all these forthcoming ires?
You should act as fruit providers,
as one who remorse acquires.
Don’t tell me Abe’s your supervisor!
God can make these stones his minors!
Otherwise this is what transpires:
The axe is held up by the striker,
for the bushes that bear briars
shall be propelled into the fire!

Do you ever see fair Pharisees?
I’ll tell you what I’ve concluded:
They’ve got Meniere’s disabilities;
and not hearing makes them stupid.
They’re so filled up with heresies,
and each plant and shoot intruded
by sin like a severe disease
will by my Father be uprooted!

Who gave you this moral authority?
Preaching orally with great sonority!
The enormity of your nonconformity!
You don’t trust us; you confront us.
You want justice from Augustus.
Ugh, how much you just disgust us!

I prefer the planting season
to your ranting and your treason.
You loggerheads are copperheads,
always quick to strike;
instead do as your Father says –
love rich and poor alike.
While you thin-skinners simmer,
I see not the outside but the inner,
I pursue and seek the sinner,
and even invite them o’er to dinner!
Let me say something that matters:
whoever’d rather not gather scatters.
If you are not with me, you’re against me.
but I think the truth is, you resent me!

Your dense grandiloquence
makes no sense but as pretense.
It’s as offensive as it is intense;
you’re the one who should repent!

And we’ll give you three good reasons:
First, we’ve seen you in Samaritan regions,
secondly, you speak you have legions,
thirdly, we’ve seen you cast out demons –
we know your power comes from another level –
a level down, to the prince of the devil!

Just let me get this blatant misrepresentation
you’re sayin’ straightened:
if Satan casts out Satan,
how can his state stay in operation?
It’s infeasible scum that I work by Beelzebul,
if I succumb, then are your sons amenable?
Therefore, you Pharisees with grudges,
your own sons will be your judges!
Isn’t it the wrong plan to come in a strong man’s
house to find and root through his loot
unless a throng can bind him from behind him?
But if he’s kept confined and moot,
then absolutely you can undermine him!
No doubt every kingdom agin itself is damned
and no house divided against itself will stand.
I have not come to peace award,
but rather to unsheathe a sword.
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
but expect judgement, you should fear it,
no pardon exists in severe writ –
let he who has two ears hear it.

Your homilies? Anomalies –
they all double as comedies.
How dare you even threaten us!
Stand there and so discredit us,
on our very edifice!
You think that you embarrass us,
but your words are treacherous!
Teacher, we’re incredulous –
it’s you whose views are venomous;
your overemphasis just sickens us.
You’re a degenerate polemicist
whose parole is very perilous.
So stop playing nemesis,
since you’re unduly querulous.
We’ve been generous since Genesis,
but this menace who condemns us
was just born at the last census!

You brood of snakes!
How is it that you spake
anything that’s ace
when you’re shady to your base?
You may say ‘so far, so good,’
thinking your shofar show’s good,
but so much is misunderstood –
I could call thunder where you’ve stood!

For once concerns are thrust aside,
what’s preserved does depend –
by your words you will be justified,
and by your words condemned!

Forsooth, these flossy Pharisees
are a font of fallacies.
They front fraught and flimsy fantasies
to fit with their hypocrisies.
They heed not all the prophecies,
preferring their own policies.
Let them be; they are blind guides,
inclined to pride, unkind inside,
elite creatures of the underside –
let’s see if they can find their eyes!

All day long you grouse and glare,
eager to denounce what’s fair
as you dowse us with your mares.
Cease your shouts of ‘Au contraire!’
I’ve no doubts that you ensnare,
you bouse the people with your wares.
Rapacious routes lead to your lair,
each of you the spouse of snares,
lousy low concessionaires,
you are all the devil’s heirs!
Surely you lure the least of these!
What a tangled pen you weave,
you deceiving den of thieves!

You pharisees repeat, “The law must…!”
while you seek the smallest sawdust,
but can’t see trees for all the forest
squeezed in your sight, which is sorest!

You betta show ya gratitude,
you beatnik with an attitude,
foregoing basic platitudes
for your base beatitudes.
Yeah, you can ballyhoo or boo;
but we know when trouble brews,
we have the law, you have voodoo,
and Rome’s behind us all, you Jew.
So let us get a little test in –
answer us this riddled question:
Teacher, tell us, of the law,
which command’s greatest of all?

You pharisees surreptitiously belabor
with religiously needless behavior.
Pray tell! Put away your pell-mell prater,
and now you ask me which is greater?
Love the Lord, your great Creator,
with all your soul, your heart and mind.
You should also love your neighbor,
in whole, not part resigned.

You speak about our savior,
as if you know him well.
We’ll clear up your misbehavior
because we feel compelled.

The Messiah will rise up
from David’s family line.
He’ll be rich and mighty;
his clothes, they will be fine.
He’ll spend his time with scribes and priests,
he’ll feast in homes of great elites.

And he’ll rise to a position
of righteous royalty;
He will follow our traditions
and praise our loyalty.

He’ll champion resistance to our Roman rule,
not reckless coexistence as a Trojan tool.
He’ll delete these leeching Roman lesions,
far-reaching legions from our loam and regions.
He’ll lead us into war against the heathen nations,
and give a good what-for to the legion installations!

He’ll liberate us from the Roman yoke,
ensure yo’ peeps stay hella woke.
The Romans will be sent to hell
and no one will stay to say farewell!

Any objectors and defectors
will join the Roman tax collectors!

He’ll overthrow Gentile scum;
Samaritans will all succumb.
He’ll force them to read the Torah,
obey the law, buy a menorah!

He’ll restore Israel to power;
under her the earth will cower.
Our bourgeoisie would all agree,
Israel’s to be an autarky.
He’ll save us from the mediocrity
of this Roman kakistocracy.
The dead will rise to join our ranks
and glorify the Lord with thanks.
He’ll crown us pharisees as kings –
we’ll rule the world beneath his wings!

You mumble and you’re out of touch;
I’ve got one query: humble much?
You’re going down a rabbi trail,
but you deny one big detail!
If you knew how much you itch for glory,
you’d see through your own fish story.
Your amphigory’s all defamatory
and nothing short of inflammatory.
I’ve got a suspicion your supposition
is but a condition of your malposition.
Your amatory for attrition
serves as mandatory ammunition
during your admonition of this rhetorician,
but I’d rather see remission
and hear an iota of admission
that you care for the human condition!

Your Eros is for erudition,
you err by allying with ambition.
You wear down your own traditions,
but tell me where is your contrition?

Oh, you’d begin an inquisition!

You use your position to impose impositions,
like disposing of prose for poesy composition –
while I propose you pro posers make your mission
the admission of a second parturition!

Sure, you like your rhyming smack —
where I come from that’s called rap,
and let me share another fact:
you say you care, but just attack!

You’re a tragic mix of psalms and ethics,
magic tricks and homiletics.
You’d better calm down your hysterics,
lest we’re left with esoterics.

What behooves you to see scripture muddied?
You approve to show thyself studied!
Oh you sing all of your great hymns,
but deep down how much you hate Him –
we’ve seen your sinister show of submission
as you minister on the road to perdition!

Woe to you, scribes, Pharisees,
hypocrites who cross the sea
to make a single proselyte,
and when he follows you alright,
you make him twice a son of hell,
as you are by now yourself!

The only inheritance you’ll get’s Mendelian!
You’re so far from the Son you’re aphelion!

You say, ‘One nation under God,’
while your population wanders and plods
as your aspiration’s to plunder and rob!
When will you sunder your showy facade?

One nation under God?
More like one nation under Caesar!
When will you stop your false teaching squad
and become kosher believers?

Sure, you’re full of writ!
Wrecked by pulled wool, I’ll admit!

Woe to you Pharisees and scribes,
Pecksniffs worthy of my gibes.
Mint, dill, and cumin are your tithes,
yet you’ve neglected all the law prescribes,
especially anything of weight:
Mercy, justice and good faith.
You should have followed my mandate,
and done all owed but not negate.
You’re insane to wallow in your trammel.
You strain out a gnat, swallow a camel!

Woe to Pharisee and scribe!
For like a whitewashed tomb,
you’ve elegance on the outside,
but when you are exhumed,
you are full of men who’ve died,
hypocrites all doomed.

Your righteous appearance has belied
the lawlessness you hide inside!

You temperamental temple scribes
who tend to over-temporize,
use temerity and total lies
to terrorize all Israel’s tribes!

Oh you show us all such piety,
calling out each impropriety,
condemning people to anxiety
in your Dead Moses Society.
As far as the Messiah, He
waits for the day you’ll seize Him.
These people? You think you teach ‘em,
but all you do is carp per diem!

Woe, you hypocrites of highness, pious!
You build the tombs of prophets by us,
adorn cenotaphs to the righteous,
saying, ‘If we’d lived before Zacharias,
we would not have let men guide us
to kill prophets God provides us.’

Guess who you’re witnessing against?
It’s yourselves that you’ve sentenced!
You’re sons of murderers and serpents!
So go ahead and finish then,
what your fathers did begin!

You dissemble in the temple,
and you teach what’s detrimental
as you deport temperamental;
oh, is that so confidential?

You brood of vipers, all pied pipers,
you scalp hell’s handbaskets.
You devil’s disciples are snide snipers,
with whitewash for your caskets!

How are you to escape the punishment of hell,
if righteousness you rape and suppress her yell?

I send you wise men and scribes,
some you kill and crucify,
some you persecute and flog
even in your synagogues!

I send these martyrs to you then
so you are found guilty
for the murder of good men,
those dead and those who will be.

Here’s a de reiguer trigger warning,
since nowadays folks are conforming:

Truly, all these things will come
upon this generation.
Hear me out, Jerusalem,
city of liquidation!

I know you try to dodge God’s wishes,
but anyone teach you guys to wash dishes?
Here’s a pro tip: clean the inside first,
then the outside will be, too;
but self-indulgence is your thirst,
and mammon your purview!

Woe to the scribes and Pharisees
who clean the outside of the cup,
but inside they are full of greed,
self-indulgent, and corrupt.

You blind hypocrites!
First clean the cup’s inside.
Then we may consider its
outside sterilized.

This man’s only mastery
is his sheer audacity!
This nutter’s lapse, it baffles me;
Next, he’ll be on to alchemy!
What further witnesses do we need?
He has uttered blasphemy!

Execution’s the sole restitution
for this radical’s role in revolution!

The rabbinate must not vacillate
on whether to assassinate
this enemy of our great state.
Let us not wait on debate;
for death will be this felon’s fate!

If you’d but a pittance of penance,
I’d say ‘good riddance’ to your sentence,
but you insist upon arrears and vengeance,
so in essence you remain a menace!

Sure, you Pharisees give a tenth of your spices,
but you cheat others with much higher prices!
You’d never love God if left to your vices,
even if you saw the dead who arises!

You kill your prophets, stone those sent!
I’d gather your children often
as a brood of chicks beneath a hen,
but, o, how you forbid them!

I’d have secured you underneath my wing,
but you never were willing!
Your house is left arid and grim.
Forsooth, you’ll not see me again –
until you say, “Blessed is he
who proceeds sacred, holy,
he who gains all God ordained
marching in the good Lord’s name.”