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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Matthew 21:12

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Jesus went into the temple of God, etc. - "Avarice," says one, "covered with the veil of religion, is one of those things on which Christ looks with the greatest indignation in his Church. Merchandize of holy things, simoniacal presentations, fraudulent exchanges, a mercenary spirit in sacred functions; ecclesiastical employments obtained by flattery, service, or attendance, or by any thing which is instead of money; collations, nominations, and elections made through any other motive than the glory of God; these are all fatal and damnable profanations, of which those in the temple were only a shadow." Quesnel.

Money-changers - Persons who furnished the Jews and proselytes who came from other countries, with the current coin of Judea, in exchange for their own.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/matthew-21.html. 1832.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

And Jesus entered into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold the doves.

THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE (MATT. 21:12-17)

The high priest Annas, as a young man, had put a person to death contrary to Roman law, and had been removed from office; but he was still recognized by the orthodox as the true high priest. Four or five of Annas' sons and sons-in-law successively held the title and performed the functions of the office during Annas' long lifetime, growing immensely rich in the gross commercialism with which they burdened the temple services. Only certain "authorized" sacrifices could be offered; and those had to be bought from the temple keepers and paid for with temple money, giving the concessionaires a double profit on all transactions. They charged usurious rates on exchange for the proper money and exorbitant prices for the authorized sacrifices. The action of Christ in upsetting this evil business could not have failed to meet with strong popular approval and at the same time to stir up the most vicious and vehement opposition on the part of those whose shameful traffic was thus jeopardized.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/matthew-21.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Jesus went into the temple of God,.... At Jerusalem, which was built by his order, and dedicated to his worship, and where the Shechaniah, or the divine presence was. Christ went not to the tower of David, the strong hold of Zion, the palace of his father David; for he entered not as a temporal king; but he went to the house of his heavenly Father, as the lord and proprietor of it, to preach in it, and purge it; whereby the glory of the latter house became greater than that of the former; and so several prophecies had their accomplishment, particularly Haggai 2:7 though this was not the first time by many, of Christ's being in the temple; yet this his entrance was the most public and magnificent of any: after, he had alighted from the colt, and sent back that and the ass to their proper owners, as is very probable, he went by the eastern gate, called the king's gate, 1 Chronicles 9:18 into the temple;

and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple: not in the holy of holies, nor in the holy place, nor in the court of the priests, nor in the court of the Israelites, but in the court of the Gentiles, and in the mountain of the house, in which were shops, where various things were sold, relating to sacrifices. What these persons bought and sold, whom Christ cast out, is not said, but may be collected from John 2:14 where besides "doves", of which hereafter, mention is made, of "sheep" and "oxen"; which were brought to be sold, on account of the passover, for it was then near their time of passover as now; for besides the lambs and kids, which were here also sold and bought for the passover supper, sheep and oxen were here also killed and sold for the Chagiga, or feastF16Vid. R. Sol. Jarchi, in Deut. xvi. 2. , which was the day following: here likewise the drink offerings were bought and sold, of which take the following account.

"There were fifteen presidents במקדש, "in the sanctuary": Jochanan ben Phinehas was over the tickets, and Ahijah over the drink offerings, &c.--He that inquired for drink offerings, went to Jochanan, who was appointed over the tickets: he gave him the money, and took a ticket; he then went to Ahijah, that was appointed over the drink offerings, and gave him the ticket, and received from him the drink offerings; and in the evening they came together, and Ahijah produced the tickets, and took for them the moneyF17Misn. Shekalim, c. 5. sect. 4. Maimon. Cele Hamikdash, c. 7. sect, 10, 11, 12. .'

This was one way of buying and selling in the temple;

and overthrew the tables of the money changers; of which sort were they, who sat in the temple at certain times, to receive the half shekel, and change the money of such, who wanted one, by which they gained something, to themselves. It was a custom in our Lord's time, for every Israelite, once a year, to pay half a shekel towards the temple charge and service, which was founded upon the orders given by God to Moses in the wilderness; that upon his numbering the people, to take of everyone that was twenty years of age and upwards, rich or poor, half a shekel, Exodus 30:13 though this does not seem to be designed as a perpetual rule. However, it now obtained, and was annually paid:

"On the first day of Adar (which answers to our February) they proclaimed concerning the shekelsF18Misn. Shekalim, c. 1. sect. 1. .'

That is, they gave public notice, in all the cities in Israel, that the time of paying the half shekel was near at hand, that they might get their money ready, for everyone was obliged to pay it: the JewsF19Maimon. Hilch. Shekalim, c. 1. sect. 1. 7. say,

"it is an affirmative command of the law, that every man in Israel should pay the half shekel every year; even though a poor man that is maintained by alms, he is obliged to it, and must beg it of others, or sell his coat upon his back and pay it, as it is said, Exodus 30:15. The rich shall not give more, &c.--All are bound to give it, priests, Levites, and Israelites, and strangers, and servants, that are made free; but not women, nor servants, nor children.'

Notice being thus givenF20Misn. Shekalim, c. 1. sect. 3. ,

"on the fifteenth day (of the same month), שולחנות, "tables" were placed in the province, or city (which BartenoraF21In ib. interprets of Jerusalem; but MaimonidesF23In ib. says, the word used is the name of all the cities in the land of Israel, excepting Jerusalem), and on the twenty fifth they sit, במקדש, "in the sanctuary".'

The same is related by MaimonidesF24Hilch. Shekalim, c, 1. sect. 9. , after this manner:

"On the first of Adar they proclaim concerning the shekels, that every man may prepare his half shekel, and be ready to give it on the fifteenth; השולחנים, "the exchangers" sit in every province or city, and mildly ask it; everyone that gives them it, they take it of them; and he that does not give, they do not compel him to give: on the twenty fifth, they sit in the sanctuary to collect it; and henceforward they urge him that does not give, until he gives; and everyone that does not give, they oblige him to give pledge, and they, take his pledge, whether he will or not, and even his coat.'

This gives us a plain account of these money changers; of their tables, and of their sitting at them in the temple, and on what account. Now these exchangers had a profit in every shekel they changedF25Ib c. 3. sect. 1. .

"When a man went to an exchanger, and changed a shekel for two half shekels, he gave him an addition to the shekel; and the addition is called קלבון, "Kolbon"; wherefore, when two men gave a shekel for them both, they were both obliged to pay the "Kolbon".'

Would you know what this "Kolbon", whence these exchangers are called, κολλυβισται, "Collybistae", in this text, or the gain which these men had, take this question and answer in their own wordsF26Misn. Shekalim, c. 1. sect. 7. .

"How much is the "Kolbon?" A silver "meah", according to. R. Meir; but the wise men say, half an one.'

Or as it is elsewhere expressedF1Maimon. Hilch. Shekalim, c. 3. sect. 7. ,

"what is the value of the "Kolbon?" At that time they gave two pence for the half shekel, the "Kolbon" was half a "meah", which is the twelfth part of a penny; and since, "Kolbon" less than that is not given.'

Now a "meah" was the half of a sixth part of the half shekel, and the twenty fourth part of a shekel, and weighed sixteen barley corns: half a "meah" was the forty eighth part of a shekel, and weighed eight barleyF2Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Shekalim, c. 1, sect. 7. & Cholin, c. 1. sect. 7. corns; a "meah" was, of our money, the value of somewhat more than a penny, and half an one more than a halfpenny. This was their gain, which in so large a number that paid, must amount to a great deal of money. There seems to be nothing lie against these men being the very persons, whose tables Christ overturned, unless it should be objected, that this was not the time of their sitting; for it was now within a few days of the passover, which was in the month Nisan; whereas it was in the month Adar, that the half shekel was paid: but it should be observed, according to the above account, that they did not begin to sit in the temple to receive this money, until the twenty fifth of Adar; and it was now but the tenth of Nisan, when Christ entered the temple and found them there: so that there was but fifteen days: between the one and the other; and considering the large numbers that were obliged to pay, and the backwardness and poverty of many, they may reasonably be thought to be still sitting on that account: and what Maimonides before relates deserves notice, and will strengthen this supposition; that on the twenty fifth: of Adar, they sat in the temple to collect this money; and that henceforward they urged and compelled persons to pay it. Moreover, these men had other business, in a way of exchange, than this to do; and especially at such a time as the passover, when persons came from different parts to attend it; and who, might want to have their foreign money changed for current coin; or bills of return, to be changed for money: add to all this the following account, which will show the large and perpetual business of these menF3Maimon. Hilch. Shckalim, c. 2. sect. 2. .

"In the sanctuary there were before them, תמיד, "continually", or "daily", thirteen chests (and there were as many tablesF4Misn. Shekalim, c. 6. sect 1. ); every chest was in the form of a trumpet: the first was for the shekels of the present year, the second for the shekels of the year past; the third for everyone that had a "Korban", or vow upon him to offer two turtledoves, or two young pigeons; the one a burnt offering, the other a sin offering: their price was, cast into this chest: the fourth for everyone that had the burnt offering of a fowl only on him, the price of that was cast into this chest. The fifth was for him, who freely gave money to buy wood, to be laid in order on the altar; the sixth, for him that freely gave money for the incense; the seventh, for him that freely gave gold for the mercy seat; the eighth, for the remainder of the sin offering; as when he separated the money for his sin offering, and took the sin offering, and there remained of the money, the rest he cast into this chest; the ninth, for the remainder of the trespass offering; the tenth, for the remainder of the doves for men and women in fluxes, and women after childbirth; the eleventh, for the remainder of the offerings of the Nazarite; the twelfth, for the remainder of the trespass offering of the leper: the thirteenth, for him that freely gave money for the burnt offering of a beast.'

And the seats of them that sold doves, which were the offerings of the poor sort after child bearing, and on account of running issues: which cases were very frequent, and sometimes raised the price of doves very high, of which what follows is an instanceF5Misn. Cerithot, c. 1. sect. 7. .

"It happened at a certain time, that doves were sold in Jerusalem for a golden penny each; said Rabban ben Simeon Gamaliel, by this habitation (or temple which he swore by) I will not lodge (or lie down) this night, until they are sold for a silver penny each: he went into the council house and taught, that if a woman had five certain births, or five certain issues, she should bring one offering, and eat of the sacrifices, nor should there remain any debt upon her; and doves were sold that day for two fourths.'

That is, for a silver penny; now a golden penny was the value of twenty five silver penceF6Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. ; so that the price, by this means, was sunk very much: but not only doves were sold in the markets in Jerusalem, but in the temple itselfF7Maimon. Hilch. Cele Hamikdash, c. 7. sect. 9. .

"There was a president over the doves, which was he with whom they agreed, who sold doves for the offerings, so and so by the shekel; and everyone that was obliged to bring a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons, brought the price of them, למקדש, "to the sanctuary"; and the president gave the doves to the masters of the offerings, and made up the account with the treasurers.'

Now at a feast time as this was, there was a greater demand for doves than usual; for women who had lain in, and such as had fluxes, whether men or women, who lived in distant parts, reserved their offerings till they came up to the feastF8Gloss. in T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 11. 1. ; and which in consequence must occasion a greater call for these creatures, and furnishes out a reason, why there should be so many sitting at this time in the temple to sell doves. Some have thought, that those persons are here meant, which are often mentioned by the Jewish doctorsF9T. Bab. Erubin, fol. 82. 1. T. Sanhedrin, fol. 25. 2. & Gloss. in ib. Misn. Sanhedrin. c. 3. sect. 3. Maimon Bartenora, & Ez. Chayim in lb. & Edayot, c. 2. 7. & Bartenora in ib. Maimon. Hilch. Gazela veabada, c. 6. sect. 7. Toen unitan, c. 2. sect. 2. & Eduth, c. 10. sect. 4. , as an infamous sort of men, who are not admitted as witnesses in any case; and are reckoned among thieves, robbers, usurers, and players at dice; who מפריחי יונים, "teach doves to fly", either to decoy other doves from their dove houses, or to out fly others for money, or to fight one against another; and these sat in the temple to sell this sort of doves, which was still more heinous; but the other sense is more agreeable.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/matthew-21.html. 1999.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

12. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

[He cast out all them that sold and bought in the Temple.] I. There was always a constant market in the Temple in that place which was called the shops; where every day was sold wine, salt, oil, and other requisites to sacrifices; as also oxen and sheep, in the spacious Court of the Gentiles.

II. The nearness of the Passover had made the market greater; for innumerable beasts being requisite to this solemnity, they were brought hither to be sold. This brings to mind a story of Bava Ben Buta: "He coming one day into the court found it quite empty of beasts. 'Let their houses,' said he, 'be laid waste, who have laid waste the house of our God.' He sent for three thousand of the sheep of Kedar; and having examined whether they were without spot, brought them into the Mountain of the House"; that is, into the Court of the Gentiles.

[Overthrew the tables of the moneychangers.] Who those moneychangers were, may be learned very well from the Talmud, and Maimonides in the treatise Shekalim:--

"It is an affirmative precept of the law, that every Israelite should give half a shekel yearly: even the poor, who live by alms, are obliged to this; and must either beg the money of others, or sell their clothes to pay half a shekel; as it is said, 'The rich shall give no more, and the poor shall give no less.'"

"In the first day of the month Adar, they made a public proclamation concerning these shekels, that every one should provide his half shekel, and be ready to pay it. Therefore, on the fifteenth day of the same month, the exchangers sat in every city, civilly requiring this money: they received it of those that gave it, and compelled those that did not. On the five-and-twentieth day of the same month they sat in the Temple; and then compelled them to give; and from him that did not give they forced a pledge, even his very coat."

"They sat in the cities, with two chests before them; in one of which they laid up the money of the present year, and in the other the money of the year past. They sat in the Temple with thirteen chests before them; the first was for the money of the present year; the second, for the year past; the third, for the money that was offered to buy pigeons," &c. They called these chests trumpets, because, like trumpets, they had a narrow mouth, and a wide belly.

"It is necessary that every one should have half a shekel to pay for himself. Therefore, when he comes to the exchanger to change a shekel for two half shekels, he is obliged to allow him some gain, which is called kolbon. And when two pay one shekel [between them], each of them is obliged to allow the same gain or fee."

And not much after, "How much is that gain? At that time when they paid pence for the half shekel, a kolbon [or the fee that was paid to the moneychanger] was half a mea, that is, the twelfth part of a penny, and never less. But the kolbons were not like the half shekel; but the exchangers laid them by themselves till the holy treasury were paid out of them." You see what these moneychangers were, and whence they had their name. You see that Christ did not overturn the chests in which the holy money was laid up, but the tables on which they trafficked for this unholy gain.

[Of those that sold doves] Sellers of doves. See the Talmudic treatise of that title. "Doves were at one time sold at Jerusalem for pence of gold. Whereupon Rabban Simeon Ben Gamaliel said, By this temple I will not lie down this night, unless they be sold for pence of silver, &c. Going into the council-house, he thus decreed, A woman of five undoubted labours, or of five undoubted fluxes, shall be bound only to make one offering; whereby doves were sold that very day for two farthings." The offering for women after childbirth, and fluxes, for their purification, were pigeons, &c. But now, when they went up to Jerusalem with their offerings at the feasts only, there was at that time a greater number of beasts, pigeons, and turtles, &c. requisite. See what we have said at the fifth chapter, and the three-and-twentieth verse.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/matthew-21.html. 1675.

People's New Testament

And Jesus went into the temple. According to Mark, on this day, after the triumphal entry, he entered the temple, looked around, perhaps to note the abuses, and then at eventide went out to Bethany. The next day, returning, he again entered the temple, and wrought the cleansing that is here recorded. He went into the temple, not as a worshiper, but as its Lord.

Cast out all them. This casting of the traders out of the temple is not to be confounded with that recorded in John 2:13-17, at the commencement of Christ's ministry. See notes there.

Them that sold and bought in the temple. A market was held there for the sale of animals and those things necessary for the temple service. Not the less a desecration because so great a convenience. The part of the temple occupied by the traders was not in the temple proper, but the Court of the Gentiles. In the accompanying plan of the temple, the open space next to the outer walls is this court.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

Bibliography
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "People's New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/matthew-21.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Cast out (εχεβαλενexebalen). Drove out, assumed authority over “the temple of God” (probably correct text with του τεουtou theou though only example of the phrase). John (John 2:14) has a similar incident at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. It is not impossible that he should repeat it at the close after three years with the same abuses in existence again. It is amazing how short a time the work of reformers lasts. The traffic went on in the court of the Gentiles and to a certain extent was necessary. Here the tables of the money-changers (των κολλυβιστωνtōn kollubistōn from κολλυβοςkollubos a small coin) were overturned. See note on John 17:24 for the need of the change for the temple tax. The doves were the poor man‘s offering.


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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/matthew-21.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

The money-changers ( κολλυβιστῶν )

From κόλλυβος , the rate of exchange. These changers sat in the temple, in the court of the Gentiles, to change the foreign coins of pilgrims into the shekel of the sanctuary for payment of the annual tribute. See on Matthew 17:24.


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The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/matthew-21.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

He cast out all that sold and bought — Doves and oxen for sacrifice. He had cast them out three years before, John 2:14; bidding them not make that house a house of merchandise. Upon the repetition of the offence, he used sharper words.

In the temple — That is, in the outer court of it, where the Gentiles used to worship.

The money changers — The exchangers of foreign money into current coin, which those who came from distant parts might want to offer for the service of the temple. Mark 11:11,15; Luke 19:45.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/matthew-21.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

And Jesus entered into the temple of God1, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of he money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves;

  1. Jesus entered into the temple of God, etc. On the Monday following the triumphal entry. See .


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

Bibliography
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "The Fourfold Gospel". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/matthew-21.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

The temple. This was an edifice of great extent as well as magnificence, and one of its outer courts had gradually become a mart for buying and selling such articles as were used for sacrifices and other services of the place.


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Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/matthew-21.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

12.And Jesus entered into the temple. Though Christ frequently ascended into the temple, and though this abuse continually met his eye, twice only did he stretch out his hand to correct it; once, at the commencement of his embassy, (13) and now again, when he was near the end of his course. But though disgraceful and ungodly confusion reigned throughout, and though the temple, with its sacrifices, was devoted to destruction, Christ reckoned it enough to administer twice an open reproof of the profanation of it. Accordingly, when he made himself known as a Teacher and Prophet sent by God, he took upon himself the office of purifying the temple, in order to arouse the Jews, and make them more attentive; and this first narrative is given by John only in the second chapter of his Gospel. But now, towards the end of his course, claiming again for himself the same power, he warns the Jews of the pollutions of the temple, and at the same time points out that a new restoration is at hand.

And yet there is no reason to doubt that he declared himself to be both King and High Priest, who presided over the temple and the worship of God. This ought to be observed, lest any private individual should think himself entitled to act in the same manner. That zeal, indeed, by which Christ was animated to do this, ought to be held in common by all the godly; but lest any one, under the pretense of imitation, should rush forward without authority, we ought to see what our calling demands, and how far we may proceed according to the commandment of God. If the Church of God have contracted any pollutions, all the children of God ought to burn with grief; but as God has not put arms into the hands of all, let private individuals groan, till God bring the remedy. I do acknowledge that they are worse than stupid who are not displeased at the pollution of the temple of God, and that it is not enough for them to be inwardly distressed, if they do not avoid the contagion, and testify with their mouth, whenever an opportunity presents itself, that they desire to see a change for the better. But let those who do not possess public authority oppose by their tongue, which they have at liberty, those vices which they cannot remedy with their hands.

But it is asked, Since Christ saw the temple filled with gross superstitions, why did he only correct one that was light, or, at least, more tolerable than others? I reply, Christ did not intend to restore to the ancient custom all the sacred rites, and did not select greater or smaller abuses for correction, but had only this object in view, to show by one visible token, that God had committed to him the office of purifying the temple, and, at the same time, to point out that the worship of God had been corrupted by a disgraceful and manifest abuse. Pretexts, indeed, were not wanting for that custom of keeping a market, which relieved the people from trouble, that they might not have far to go to find sacrifices; and next, that they might have at hand those pieces of money which any man might choose to offer. Nor was it within the holy place that the money-changers sat, or that animals intended for sacrifice were exposed to sale, but only within the court, to which the designation of the temple is sometimes applied; but as nothing was more at variance with the majesty of the temple, than that a market should be erected there for selling goods, or that bankers should sit there for matters connected with exchange, this profanation was not to be endured. And Christ inveighed against it the more sharply, because it was well known that this custom had been introduced by the avarice of the priests for the sake of dishonest gain. For as one who enters a market well-stocked with various kinds of merchandise, though he does not intend to make a purchase, yet, in consequence of being attracted by what he sees, changes his mind, so the priests spread nets in order to obtain offerings, that they might trick every person out of some gain.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/matthew-21.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

cast

See, Luke 19:45; Mark 11:15-18. Cf. John 2:13-25 which introduced, as this cleansing closed, the offer of Christ to Israel as King.


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Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Matthew 21:12". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/matthew-21.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

Ver. 12. And cast out all them that sold] The zeal of God’s house did ever eat him up. And (as revenge follows zeal, 2 Corinthians 7:11) he mars their markets, and drives them out of the temple with Procul o procul este profani. {a} And this deed of our Saviour’s was altogether divine; while as another Samson, he lays "heaps upon heaps" (yet without bloodshed) with the jawbone of an ass. St Jerome extolleth this miracle above the raising of Lazarus, restoring the blind to their sight, the lame to their limbs, &c., and adds this mystical sense of the text, Quotidie Iesus ingreditur templum Patris, et eiecit omnes tam episcopos et presbyteros, quam laicos et universam turbam de ecclesia sua, et unius criminis habet, vendentes pariter et ementes. Christ is every day casting out of his Church all these money merchants, these sacrilegious simonists, both ministers and others, that make sale of holy things, which the very heathens abhorred, and others long since complained that benefices were bestowed non ubi optime, sed ubi quaestuosissime, as if a man should bestow so much bread on his ass because he is to ride on him.

The tables of the money changers] This he did also at his first entrance into the ministry, John 2:14-15. See my notes on that text. The reformation of religion was Christ’s chief care, and so it shall be ours. And although little was done by his first attempt, John 2:13-17, yet he tries again: so should we, contributing what we can to the work continually, by our prayers and utmost endeavours; wishing at least, as Ferus did, that we had some Moses to take away the evils in Church and State. Non enim unum tantum vitulum, sed multos habemus, saith he, for we abound with idols and evils, Exodus 32:20.

{a} In Graecorum sacris sacerdos exclamabat τις τηδε, quis hic? Respondebant qui aderant, πολλοι τ αγαθοι τε παρεισι. Eras. praefat, in Adag.


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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/matthew-21.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Matthew 21:12. And Jesus went into the temple See the notes on John 2:14; John 2:25.


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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/matthew-21.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Our blessed Saviour having entered Jerusalem, Observe, his first walk was not to the palace, but to the temple, and his work there was to purge and reform: all reformation of manners must begin first at the house of God. Our Lord's business was to reform the temple, not to ruin it. Places dedicated to the service of God, if profaned and polluted, ought to be purged from their abuses, not pulled down and destroyed, because they have been abused.

But what was the profanation of the temple, which so offended our Saviour?

Answer, Within the third or outward court of the temple, there was a public mart or market held, where were sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and such things as were needful for sacrifice: many of the Jews coming an hundred miles to the temple, it was burdensome to bring their sacrifices so far with them; wherefore order was taken by the priests, that sheep and oxen, meal and oil, and all other requisites for sacrifice should be had for money close by the altar, to the great ease of the offerer. Nothing could be more plausible than this plea. But the fairest pretences cannot bear out a sin with God; therefore our blessed Saviour, in indignation at so foul an abuse, whips out these chapmen, casts down their tables, and vindicates the honour and reputation of his Father's house.

Learn thence, That there is a reverence due to God's house, for the owner's sake, and for the service sake. Nothing but holiness can become that place, where God is worshipped in the beauty of holiness.

Observe lastly, The reason which our Saviour gives for this act of his; for, says he, It is written, My house shall be called an house of prayer. Where by prayer is to be understood, the whole worship and sevice of Almighty God, of which prayer is an eminent and principal part. That which gives denomination to an house, is certainly the chief work to be done in that house.

Now God's house being called an house of prayer, certainly implies, that prayer is the chief and principal work to be performed in his house; yet must we take heed that we set not the ordinances of God at variance one with another; we must not idolize one ordinance, and villify another; but pay an awful respect and regard to all the institutions of our Maker.


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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/matthew-21.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

12.] Compare the notes on John 2:13-18. The cleansing related in our text is totally distinct from that related there. It is impossible to suppose that St. Matthew and St. John, or any one but moderately acquainted with the events which he undertook to relate, should have made such a gross error in chronology, as must be laid to the charge of one or other of them, if these two occurrences were the same. I rather view the omission of the first in the synoptic accounts as in remarkable consistency with what we otherwise gather from the three Gospels—that their narrative is exclusively Galilæan [with one exception, Luke 4:44 in our text] until this last journey to Jerusalem, and consequently the first cleansing is passed over by them (see Prolegomena, circa init.). On the difference from Mark, see note on Matthew 21:1. Both comings of Jehovah to His temple were partial fulfilments of Malachi 3:1-3,—which shall not receive its final accomplishment till His great and decisive visit at the latter day. The ἱερόν here spoken of was the court of the Gentiles.

We have no traces of this market in the O.T. It appears to have first arisen after the captivity, when many would come from foreign lands to Jerusalem. This would also account for the money-changers, as it was unlawful (from Exodus 30:13) to bring foreign money for the offering of atonement. κόλλυβος λέγεται τὸ λεπτὸν νόμισμα παρʼ ἕλλησιν, ὃ ῥωμαῖοι νοῦμμον (nummum) ὀνομάζουσι, Theophylact.

τὰς περιστ.] The poor were allowed to offer these instead of the lambs for a trespass-offering, Leviticus 5:7; also for the purification of women, Leviticus 12:8; Luke 2:24.


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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/matthew-21.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Matthew 21:12. Different from Mark 11:11; Mark 11:15, where the narrative is more precise; comp. Weiss’ note on Mark.

In the court of the Gentiles were the tabernae, הניות, where animals, incense, oil, wine, and other requisites for sacrifice were exposed for sale. Lightfoot on this passage.

The money-changers ( κολλυβ., see Phrynichus, p. 440) exchanged on commission ( קולבון, Maimonides, Shekal. 3) ordinary money for the two drachmae pieces which were used in paying the temple tribute (see note on Matthew 17:24 ).

This cleansing of the temple is, with Chrysostom, Paulus, Kuinoel, Tholuck, Olshausen, Kern, Ebrard, Baumgarten

Crusius, Schleiermacher, Hengstenberg, Wieseler, to be regarded as the second that took place, the first being that recorded in John 2:13 ff., and which occurred on the occasion of the first visit to Jerusalem. The abuse having been repeated, there is no reason why Jesus should not have repeated this purifying process, and that (in answer to Hofmann, Luthardt, Hengstenberg) without any essential difference. The absence, in the synoptical account, of any allusion to a previous occasion, is sufficiently explicable from the length of time that intervened, and from the fact that the Synoptists take no notice generally of what took place during the earlier visit to Judea. The similarity of the accompanying circumstances may be accounted for from the similarity of the incidents themselves; whereas the supposition that the cleansing took place only on one occasion would necessarily involve a chronological derangement extending to almost the whole period of Christ’s ministry,—a derangement which can neither be fairly imputed to the synoptical narrative nor even conceived of as far as John is concerned, whose testimony is that of an eye-witness. This is not “wishy-washy criticism” (Keim), but it is based upon the authenticity of the fourth Gospel, as well as upon the weighty and unanimous testimony of the synoptical writers, to sacrifice whose authority for the sake of John would be both one-sided and violent. This, however, is what Wetstein, Lücke, Neander, de Wette, Bleek, Ewald, Weizsäcker have done. Others, again, have rejected the fourth evangelist’s account, so far as its chronology is concerned, in favour of that of the Synoptists (Ziegler, Theile, Strauss, Baur, Weisse, Hilgenfeld, Schenkel, Keim). Comp., further, the remarks under John 2:17.


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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/matthew-21.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Matthew 21:12. ἐξέβαλε, cast out)(916) though He was meek, and had been just called so in Matthew 21:5. In the early part of His ministry, our Lord had purified the temple; see John 2:14. Those who profaned it had, however, returned; and now, when near the end of His course, He purifies it once more, though it was soon to be destroyed; see ch. Matthew 23:38.— πάντας, all) A great miracle. Even a large body of soldiers would not have ventured to attempt it.— τοὺς πωλοῦντας, κ. τ. λ., those who sold, etc.) They had wished to offer every accommodation for public worship, especially at the time of the Passover; but by degrees they appear to have pushed their licence further.— ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ,(917) in the temple) and indeed in its uttermost part, the court of the Gentiles; where the Gentiles [or nations] were wont to pray. See Mark 11:17.

There is no primary authority for the fuller reading here. εἰς τὸ ἱερόν, omitting θεοῦ in the beginning of the sentence, is read by Lachm., with BLb Orig. Hilar. 713, Memph. and Theb. Versions. Dac Vulg. and Rec. Text add τοῦ θεοῦ.—ED.


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/matthew-21.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Matthew 21:14".


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/matthew-21.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Bought in the temple; the outer court of it, called the court of the Gentiles.

Money-changers; those who exchanged the current coin of the day for the Israelitish half-shekel which was paid yearly for the support of the temple service. See note on Matthew 17:24. For this they received a premium; and they were, moreover, often dishonest in their exactions.

Sold doves; for the offerings in the temple. Leviticus 14:22; Luke 2:24. Those who imitate Christ will manifest great zeal for God, and labor to remove all evils connected with his worship. The Bible will be their standard, and by it they will seek to regulate their own conduct and that of their fellow-men.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/matthew-21.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

12. ἐξέβαλεν κ.τ.λ. It is probable that a look of divine authority, the enthusiasm of His Galilæan followers, and the consciousness of wrongdoing on the part of the traders, rather than any special exercise of miraculous power, effected this triumph of Jesus in His Father’s House.

ἀγοράζοντας ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ. The traffic consisted in the sale of oxen and sheep, and such requisites for sacrifice as wine, salt, and oil. The merchandise took place in the Court of the Gentiles.

κολλυβιστής, ‘a money changer,’ for the classical ἀργυραμοιβός, from κόλλυβος, a small coin (Aristoph. Pax, 1200) taken as a fee, hence later ‘rate of exchange.’ Cp. Cic. in Verr. Act II. 3. 78, ‘Ex omni pecunia … deductiones fieri solebant: primum pro spectatione et collybo.’ Κόλλυβος, Hebr. kolbon, is said to be a Phœnician word, which spread with their trade, just as the Genoese or Venetian merchants brought the word agio into general use.

τὰς περιστεράς. The definite article here and in the parallel passage (Mark 11:15) ‘indicates the pen of a narrator, who was accustomed to the sight of the doves which might be purchased within the sacred precincts by worshippers’. [Bp Lightfoot, On a Fresh Revision of the N.T. p. 109.]


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"Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/matthew-21.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

12. Jesus went into the temple of God — Historically, there was a FIRST TEMPLE and a SECOND.

The First, or Solomon’s Temple, was the proper successor of the tabernacle built by Moses in the wilderness, (see note on Matthew 17:4,) being to it as a palace compared with a most humble cot, but upon the same model. It was indeed intended to be the house of God, the palace of Jehovah, God and King of the Jews. The temple or house proper was an oblong in form, and divided into two rooms; the interior one being the holy of holies, the exterior or front one the holy place. In the former was the ark containing the law, the lid of which was the mercy-seat, upon which rested the Shekinah, or cloud of the visible Divine Presence. Over this mercy-seat two cherubim bent face to face; whence God dwelt between the cherubim. As Jehovah here dwelt, so the forward room contained his furniture, namely, the golden candlestick, the table of presence-bread, (show-bread,) the altar of incense or perfumery. The priests and Levites were his royal servants. Before the door of the temple stood the great brazen altar, upon which were sacrificed (as the royal food) the offered beasts.

Around the temple building were the temple courts or enclosures. The first was the court of the priests, into which none but the priestly order might enter. Enclosing this was the court of Israel, into which all male Jews might enter; and fronting these the court of women. Gentiles were admitted only to the outermost court, enclosing the whole. Each inner court rose, as in terraces, higher than the outer; so that the temple building mounted conspicuous above the whole.

The Second Temple, built upon the same site and model, after the captivity, and rebuilt by Herod the Great, was that in which our Saviour now entered. The entire temple area was a square, with an eighth of a mile to each side. It was entered by nine magnificent gates. The inside of the outermost wall was lined with covered promenades, called porches or porticoes, with cedar roofs, supported by marble columns and with floors of smooth solid variegated marble. These porches were thirty cubits wide, and the south-side one was thrice as wide. There was a synagogue room, in the south porch, which was the place where religious services were performed. In this synagogue it was that the doctors discoursed, that Christ taught, and the disciples daily assembled with one accord. (Acts 2:6.) Hither resorted for recreation or converse Jew or Gentile. From the summit of the wall the perpendicular descent was unbroken to the bottom of the Kedron. At the southwest corner was the lofty pinnacle where the Saviour was tempted of Satan to leap into the awful chasm below.

[image]

1 Stone for censer. 2 Show bread bakery. 3 Guard room. 4 Treasure room. 5 Single cloister. 6 Golden table. 7 Golden incense. 8 Golden Candelabrum. 9 Stone steps. 10 Ascent to altar. 11 Gate of Nicanor. 12 Apartments for the deposit of sacrificial wine and oil. 13 Rooms for the ceremony of cleansing lepers. 14 Galleried cloister. 15 Treasure chests. 16 Room for the ceremony of release from a Nazarite vow. 17 Chambers for the deposit of wood.

18 Beautiful Gate. 19 Porch. 20 Marble table for fresh show bread. 21 Golden table for stale show bread. *Steps.

Near the northern wall stood the Tower of ANTONIA, overtopping the temple, in which the Roman garrison was placed to maintain order. It was a square building, with a side of three hundred feet. A subterranean passage led from the tower to the court of the Gentiles, so that the Roman soldiery could enter at any time to suppress tumult. Besides this, the Jews had a small body of men, under a captain, to keep order about the temple grounds.

The walls of the temple were built of hard white stone, of stupendous size. From Mount Olivet the spectacle was truly magnificent. But the Jews held that these five ancient endowments were wanting to the second temple, namely, the Ark, the Urim and Thummim, the Fire from Heaven, the Shekinah, and the spirit of Prophecy. Yet in glorious fulfilment of the prophecy of Haggai, (ii, 9,) by the presence of Jesus the glory of the latter house has surpassed all the endowments of the temple of Solomon.

Jesus entered the Court of the Gentiles, for there it was that these abuses existed. As if to show their contempt of the Gentiles, the Jews had allowed this part to be filled with all the tumult of traffic. This was in direct contradiction to the prophecy quoted by our Lord, that God’s house should be “a house of prayer for all people.” Isaiah 56:7. Our Lord hereby indicates that under his dispensation the privileges of the Gentiles would be amply maintained.

Sold… bought — Animals for temple sacrifice and other commodities. Money changers — The Jewish money being alone accepted for the sacred treasure, brokers were always at hand to furnish it in exchange for the foreign coin. Doves — Used in sacrifice by the poor.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/matthew-21.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And Jesus entered into the temple of God, and cast out all those who sold and bought in the temple, and he overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of those who sold the doves,’

The road led to the Temple, the centre of Jewish worship and a focal point at Passover time, where daily prayer would be heard. But no one in the Court of the Gentiles was taking much notice of that for the purveyors of sacrificial animals continued to buy and sell, the money changers continued to change the money of visitors into the right coinage for the payment of the Temple Tax (in reliable Tyrian coinage) and those who sold doves for sacrifice continued to do a roaring trade. Little thought was paid to any Gentiles who might have come into that outer court to pray.

When Jesus had been a young prophet with little experience He had entered the Temple courts and had been angered at the trading in the Temple which had seemed to demean it, and had sought to turn out those involved with the cry, ‘Do not make My Father’s House into a marketplace’ (John 2:13-16). It had been a seven day wonder, but soon forgotten, probably being written off as the activity of a young hothead, and endured because the people had approved. (There are so many obvious differences in a short space between John’s account and the Synoptics that they were clearly different events). However, since then He had visited Jerusalem a number of times and there had been no trouble. Thus none was probably expected at this Passover. Jesus had, however, by this time discovered more about what went on in the Temple, and He knew that His tome had come.

So history now repeated itself. Jesus strode ‘into the temple of God, and cast out all those who sold and bought in the temple, and He overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of those who sold the doves.’ This time it was a deliberate and thought out action, and not just a reaction against His Father’s house being treated like a marketplace. Having entered Jerusalem as its King He was demonstrating His authority by emptying the Temple of commerce, and exposing the fraudulence and corruption that was taking place in the Temple. He was seeking to turn it into what it should have been for all people, a house of prayer and worship. It was an indication that He had come to purge out evil in all its forms. In the words of Hosea 9:15, ‘Because of the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of My House.’ The Lord had suddenly come to His Temple in order to seek to purify it (Malachi 3:1-4).


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/matthew-21.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Mosaic Law required that the Jews pay a half-shekel temple tax, which they paid in temple coinage (cf. Matthew 17:24-27). To accommodate out of town pilgrims, the religious leaders set up currency exchange tables in the large temple courtyard. There people with Greek and Roman money could obtain the required Tyrian currency. The religious leaders also accommodated worshippers by selling animals used in the offerings of Judaism there. Thus the temple courtyard had come to resemble an outdoor market. Probably greedy merchants cheated their buyers if they could, especially during the feasts when pilgrims from far away crowded the temple area. However it was that Sadducean priests permitted merchants to conduct business in the Court of the Gentiles rather than how the merchants conducted their business that provoked Jesus" wrath.

"If one bought his animals here, had his money exchanged here, these would be accepted; otherwise he might have trouble on that score." [Note: Lenski, p813.]

Jesus entered the temple area (Gr. hieron) and proceeded to destroy the market (cf. Zechariah 14:21).


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/matthew-21.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Matthew 21:12. And Jesus went into the temple of God. On the day of His entry, He had entered it and ‘looked round’ (Mark 11:11), as if to take formal possession of it. This entrance was on Monday to purify it; on Tuesday He took final leave of it (chap. Matthew 24:1). This was a fulfilment of the prophecy of Haggai (Matthew 2:9): ‘The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former.’

Cast out, from the court of the Gentiles.

Gold and bought. A market was held there, for the sale of animals and those things necessary for the temple service. Not the less a desecration because so great a convenience.

Money changers. The temple tribute must be paid in Jewish coin (Exodus 30:13), while Roman money was at that time the currency of Palestine. The agents for collecting this tribute (chap. Matthew 17:24) probably found it more convenient to exchange money at Jerusalem, and may have themselves been the ‘money changers.’

The seats, or ‘stands.’

The doves. Needed for offerings by the poor and at the purification of women.—No resistance seems to have been offered. The traffickers were doubtless awed by the superhuman authority and dignity of our Lord.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/matthew-21.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Matthew 21:12. εἰσῆλθεν, etc. He entered the Temple. When? Nothing to show that it was not the same day (vide Mk.).— ἐξέβαλεν. The fourth Gospel (Matthew 2:14 f.) reports a similar clearing at the beginning of Christ’s ministry. Two questions have been much discussed. Were there one or two acts of this kind? and if only one was it at the beginning or at the end as reported by the Synop.? However these questions may be decided, it may be regarded as one of the historic certainties that Jesus did once at least and at some time sweep the Temple clear of the unholy traffic carried on there. The evangelists fittingly connect the act with the first visit of Jesus to Jer. they report—protest at first sight!— πάντας τοὺς πωλ. καὶ ἀγ.: the article not repeated after καὶ. Sellers and buyers viewed as one company—kindred in spirit, to be cleared out wholesale.— τὰς τραπέζας, etc.: these tables were in the court of the Gentiles, in the booths (tabernae) where all things needed for sacrifice were sold, and the money changers sat ready to give to all comers the didrachma for the temple tax in exchange for ordinary money at a small profit.— κολλυβιστῶν, from κόλλυβος, a small coin, change money, hence agio; hence our word to denote those who traded in exchange, condemned by Phryn., p. 440, while approving κόλλυβος. Theophy. says: κολλυβισταί εἰσιν οἱ παρʼ ἡμῖν λεγόμενοι τραπεζῖται· κόλλυβος γὰρ εἶδός ἐστι νομίσματος εὐτελῆς, ὥσπερ ἔχομεν τυχὸν ἡμεῖς τοὺς ὀβολοὺς τὰ ἀργύρια (vide Hesychius and Suicer).— τὰς περιστεράς, doves, the poor man’s offering. The traffic was necessary, and might have been innocent; but the trading spirit soon develops abuses which were doubtless rampant at that period, making passover time a Jewish “Holy Fair,” a grotesque and offensive combination of religion with shady morality.


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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/matthew-21.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

And cast out all. Since the Jews came to the temple from all parts of Judea, such as came from a distance did not bring with them their sacrifices, but purchased them at Jerusalem. The money-changers were persons who lent out money to the poor, that they might purchase the victims, &c. But as the law forbade usury, they received other fruits, grapes, &c. in return. These persons, beyond a doubt, beheld a more than human brightness darting from his eyes, otherwise they would not have suffered him to act thus. In the same manner, the servants of the high priest fell down when they came to apprehend Jesus, at these words, I am he. (Nicholas de Lyra.) --- Into the temple. Into that part of it called the court of the Gentiles, where pigeons were to be sold for sacrifices, where there where tables of money-changers, &c. St. Jerome here admires this as one of the greatest of Christ's miracles, that a poor man should be permitted to cast the buyers and sellers out of the temple, to overturn their stalls, their money-tables, &c. without any opposition. (Witham)


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/matthew-21.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the temple. Greek. hieron, the temple courts. Not the naos. See note on Matthew 23:16.

the moneychangers. The half-shekel had to be paid on the 15th of the month Adar, by every Israelite (even the poorest). In every city collectors sat to receive it. On the 25th day (18 or 19 days before the Passover) they began to sit in the temple; and then they distrained if not paid. Change was given at a profit for the moneychangers. (So Maimonides, quoted by Lightfoot, vol. iii, p. 45, Pitman"s edn.)

doves. Required for the Temple offerings.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/matthew-21.html. 1909-1922.

The Bible Study New Testament

Jesus went into the temple. On the following day (Mark 11:11). This is the second time Jesus made the temple ritually pure. [The other time was at the beginning of his ministry (John 2:13-17).] Drove out all those. Animals for sacrifice were bought and sold inside the temple [in the court of the Gentiles]. This was not proper for them to do. Tables of the moneychangers. The Greek and Roman money in common use, would not be accepted by the priests. They required only Jewish coins to be used: (1) to buy animals, etc, for offering and sacrifices; (2) as a gift to the temple treasury; (3) to pay the half-shekel temple tax [see note on Matthew 17:24]. This exchange of money made the priests a fortune, because it gave them a chance to cheat the people. Pigeons. See Luke 2:24.


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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/matthew-21.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(12) And Jesus went into the temple.—Here, again, there is a gap to be filled up from another Gospel. St. Mark (Mark 11:11) says definitely that on the day of His solemn entry He went into the Temple, “looked round about on all things there,”—i.e., on the scene of traffic and disorder described in this verse—and then, “the evening-tide being come” (or, “the hour being now late”), went back to Bethany, and did what is here narrated on the following day. So, with a like difference of order, St. Mark places the sentence on the barren fig-tree on the next morning, and before the cleansing of the Temple. (Comp. Note on Matthew 21:17.) St. John (John 2:13-25) records an act of like nature as occurring at the commencement of our Lord’s ministry, on the first visit to Jerusalem after His baptism. Critics who have started with the assumption that the repetition of such an act was impossible, have inferred accordingly that the narrative has been misplaced either by the Three or by St. John, some holding with the latter and some with the former, on grounds more or less arbitrary. From the purest human historical point of view, we may, I believe, accept both narratives as true. If Jesus of Nazareth had been only a patriot Jew, filled with an intense enthusiasm for the holiness of the Temple, what more likely than that He should commence His work with a protest against its desecration? If the evils against which He thus protested, after being suppressed for a time, reappeared in all their enormity, what more probable than that He should renew the protest at this stage of His work, backed as He now was by the equal enthusiasm of the people? What more natural, again, than that the second cleansing should revive the memory of the first, and call up with it the words which are recorded by St. John, and not by the Three, and which served as the basis of the charge that He had threatened to destroy the Temple (John 2:20-21; Matthew 26:61; Mark 14:58). There is—it cannot be concealed—a real difficulty in the omission of the earlier cleansing by the Three, and in the absence of any reference to the later cleansing by the Fourth; but the fact in either case is only one of many like facts incident to the structure of the Gospels. The Three knew nothing—or rather, they record nothing—as to our Lord’s ministry in Jerusalem prior to this last entry. The Fourth, writing a Gospel supplementary either to the Three or to the current oral teaching which they embodied, systematically passes over, with one or two notable exceptions, what they had recorded, and confines his work to reporting, with marvellous vividness and fulness, specially selected incidents.

Cast out them that sold and bought in the temple.—The apparent strangeness of the permission of what seems to us so manifest a desecration, was obviously not felt by the Jews as we feel it. Pilgrims came from all parts of the world to keep the Passover, to offer their sacrifices, sin-offerings, or thank-offerings, according to the circumstances of each case. They did not bring the victims with them. What plan, it might seem, could be more convenient than that they should find a market where they could buy them as near as possible to the place where the sacrifice was to be offered? One of the courts of the Temple was therefore assigned for the purpose, and probably the priests found their profit in the arrangement by charging a fee or rent of some kind for the privilege of holding stalls. There is no trace of the practice prior to the Captivity, but the dispersion of the Jews afterwards naturally led men to feel the want of such accommodation more keenly. But this permission brought with it another as its inevitable sequel. The pilgrims brought with them the coinage of their own country—Syrian, Egyptian, Greek, as the case might be—and their money was either not current in Palestine, or, as being stamped with the symbols of heathen worship, could not be received into the Corban, or treasury of the Temple. For their convenience, therefore, money-changers were wanted, who, of course, made the usual agio, or profit, on each transaction. We must picture to ourselves, in addition to all the stir and bustle inseparable from such traffic, the wrangling and bitter words and reckless oaths which necessarily grew out of it with such a people as the Jews. The history of Christian churches has not been altogether without parallels that may help us to understand how such a desecration came to be permitted. Those who remember the state of the great cathedral of London, as painted in the literature of Elizabeth and James, when mules and horses laden with market produce, were led through St. Paul’s as a matter of every-day occurrence, and bargains were struck there, and burglaries planned, and servants hired, and profligate assignations made and kept, will feel that even Christian and Protestant England has hardly the right to cast a stone at the priests and people of Jerusalem.

And the seats of them that sold doves.—The Greek has the article—“the doves,” that were so familiar an object in the Temple courts. There is a characteristic feature in this incident as compared with the earlier cleansing. Then, as taking into account, apparently, the less glaringly offensive nature of the traffic, our Lord had simply bidden the dealers in doves to depart, with their stalls and bird-cages (John 2:16). Now, as if indignant at their return to the desecrating work which He had then forbidden, He places them also in the same condemnation as the others.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/matthew-21.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
went
Malachi 3:1,2; Mark 11:11
and cast
Mark 11:15; Luke 19:45,46; John 2:14-17
money-changers
Deuteronomy 14:24-26
doves
Leviticus 1:14; 5:7,11; 12:6,8; 14:22,30; 15:14,29; Luke 2:24

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/matthew-21.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

The reader should see my comments on Deuteronomy 14:24-26 in Volume1of the Old Testament Commentary. It was right to sell doves and other creatures to be used in the services at the altar, and it was necessary to have an exchange table to trade local money for the foreign, because the money brought in by foreigners was not good in the markets of Judea. But it was wrong to transact that business in the temple because it was intended for the religious services only. They having committed an outrage against the sacred temple, it was proper for Jesus to treat them as outlaws and force them out of the place they were desecrating.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Matthew 21:12". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/matthew-21.html. 1952.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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