Luke 20:22
Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or no?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
20:20-26 Those who are most crafty in their designs against Christ and his gospel, cannot hide them. He did not give a direct answer, but reproved them for offering to impose upon him; and they could not fasten upon any thing wherewith to stir up either the governor or the people against him. The wisdom which is from above, will direct all who teach the way of God truly, to avoid the snares laid for them by wicked men; and will teach our duty to God, to our rulers, and to all men, so clearly, that opposers will have no evil to say of us.See this explained in the Matthew 22:15-33 notes, and Mark 12:13-27 notes. 22. tribute—(See on [1710]Mt 17:24). See Poole on "Luke 20:21" Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? The Syriac and Persic versions here, as in the other evangelists, render it, "head money". The phrase, "for us", is here added, and on it lies the emphasis, and stress of the question; for the doubt pretended, was not whether it was lawful for the Romans to pay tribute to Caesar, but whether it was lawful for them who were Jews, were Abraham's seed, and, as they boasted, were never in bondage, but were the Lord's free people, to pay tribute to an Heathen emperor, or no. Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 20:22 f. The question.—φόρον = κῆνσον, a Latinism, in the parallels.22. is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Cesar, or no?] The question was devised with so superlative a craft that it seemed impossible for our Lord to escape. If He said ‘It is lawful,’ the Pharisees hoped at once to undermine His popularity with the multitude. If He said ‘It is not lawful’ (Deuteronomy 17:15), the Herodians could at once hand Him over, as a traitor, to the secular power. For ‘tribute’ each Evangelist uses a different word—epikephalaion, ‘poll-tax’ (Mark in D); the Latin kenson ‘census’ (Matt.); and the classical phoron here and Luke 23:2. It was a capitation-tax, the legality of which was indignantly disputed by scrupulous legalists.

craftiness] panourgian, a classical word only found in St Paul and St Luke, 2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 11:3, &c.Tribute (φόρον)

From φέρω, to bring. Something, therefore, which is brought in by way of payment. Luke uses the Greek word instead of the Latin κῆνσον, census, in Matthew and Mark.

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