Matthew 17:26
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"From others," Peter answered. "Then the children are exempt," Jesus said to him.

New Living Translation
"They tax the people they have conquered," Peter replied. "Well, then," Jesus said, "the citizens are free!

English Standard Version
And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free.

Berean Study Bible
"From others," Peter answered. "Then the sons are exempt," Jesus declared.

Berean Literal Bible
And he having said, "From the strangers," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free.

New American Standard Bible
When Peter said, "From strangers," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are exempt.

King James Bible
Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
From strangers," he said. "Then the sons are free," Jesus told him.

International Standard Version
"From foreigners," he replied. So Jesus told him, "In that case, the subjects are exempt.

NET Bible
After he said, "From foreigners," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free.

New Heart English Bible
And when he said, "From strangers." Jesus said to him, "Therefore the sons are exempt.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And Shimeon said to him, “From strangers.” Then Yeshua said to him, “Then the children are free.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"From other people," Peter answered. Jesus said to him, "Then the family members are exempt.

New American Standard 1977
And upon his saying, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Consequently the sons are exempt.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Peter said unto him, Of strangers. Jesus said unto him, Then the sons are free.

King James 2000 Bible
Peter said unto him, Of strangers. Jesus said unto him, Then are the children free.

American King James Version
Peter said to him, Of strangers. Jesus said to him, Then are the children free.

American Standard Version
And when he said, From strangers, Jesus said unto him, Therefore the sons are free.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he said: Of strangers. Jesus said to him: Then the children are free.

Darby Bible Translation
Peter says to him, From strangers. Jesus said to him, Then are the sons free.

English Revised Version
And when he said, From strangers, Jesus said unto him, Therefore the sons are free.

Webster's Bible Translation
Peter saith to him, From strangers. Jesus saith to him, Then are the children free.

Weymouth New Testament
"From others," he replied. "Then the children go free," said Jesus.

World English Bible
Peter said to him, "From strangers." Jesus said to him, "Therefore the children are exempt.

Young's Literal Translation
Peter saith to him, 'From the strangers.' Jesus said to him, 'Then are the sons free;
Study Bible
The Temple Tax
25“Yes,” he answered. When Peter entered the house, Jesus preempted him. “What do you think, Simon?” He asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs and taxes: from their own sons, or from others?” 26“From others,” Peter answered. “Then the sons are exempt, Jesus declared. 27“But so that we may not offend them, go to the sea, cast a hook, and take the first fish you catch. When you open its mouth, you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for you and Me.”…
Cross References
Matthew 17:25
"Yes," he answered. When Peter entered the house, Jesus preempted him. "What do you think, Simon?" He asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs and taxes: from their own sons, or from others?"

Matthew 17:27
"But so that we may not offend them, go to the sea, cast a hook, and take the first fish you catch. When you open its mouth, you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for you and Me."
Treasury of Scripture

Peter said to him, Of strangers. Jesus said to him, Then are the children free.

(26) Of strangers.--The answer must be looked at from the Eastern rather than the European theory of taxation. To the Jews, as to other Eastern nations, direct taxation was hateful as a sign of subjugation. It had roused them to revolt under Rehoboam (1Kings 12:4), and they had stoned the officer who was over the tribute. They had groaned under it when imposed by the Syrian kings (1 Maccabees 10:29-30; 1 Maccabees 11:35). It was one of their grievances under Herod and his sons (Jos. Ant. xvii. 8, 4). Judas of Galilee and his followers had headed an insurrection against it as imposed by the Romans (Acts 5:37). It was still (as we see in Matthew 22:17) a moot point between the Pharisees and Herodians whether any Jew might lawfully pay it. Peter naturally answered our Lord's question at once from the popular Galilean view.

Then are the children free.--The words are commonly interpreted as simply reminding Peter of his confession, and pressing home its logical consequence that He, the Christ, as the Son of God. was not liable to the "tribute" which was the acknowledgment of His Father's sovereignty. This was doubtless prominent in the answer, but its range is, it is believed, wider. (1.) If this is the only meaning, then the Israelites who paid the rate are spoken of as "aliens," or "foreigners," in direct opposition to the uniform language of Scripture as to their filial relation to Jehovah. (2.) The plural used not only in this verse but in that which follows, the "lest we should offend them," the payment for Peter as well as for Himself, all indicate that we are dealing with a general truth of wide application. Some light is thrown upon the matter by a fact of contemporary history. The very point which our Lord decides had been debated between the Pharisees and Sadducees. The Temple-rate question was to them what the Church-rate question has been in modern politics. After a struggle of seven days in the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees carried their point, made it (what it had not been before) a compulsory payment, and kept an annual festival in commemoration of their victory. Our Lord, placing the question on its true ground, pronounces judgment against the Pharisees on this as on other points. They were placing the Israelite on the level of a "stranger," not of a "son." The true law for "the children of the kingdom" was that which St. Paul afterwards proclaimed: "not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver" (2Corinthians 9:7).

Verse 26. - Of strangers. Peter is brought to the desired point. He answers, as any one would, that in earthly kingdoms the children of the ruling monarch are exempt from taxes, which are exacted from all other subjects. Then are the children free. The comparison required the use of the plural, though the reference is properly confined to himself. The deduction leads naturally to the lesson of Christ's immunity, he virtually implies (though the inference is not developed in words), "I am the Son of God, as you, Peter, have acknowledged; this tax is levied for the house and service of God, whose Son I am; therefore I am free from the obligation of paying it; it cannot be required that I should pay tribute to my Father." Looked at in its original nature, the impost could not with propriety be demanded from him. It was an offering of atonement, a ransom of souls. How could he give money in expiation of himself - he who had come to give his life a ransom for others? Why should he ransom himself from sin and death, who had come to take away sin and destroy death and open everlasting life to all men? There was need to make the point clear now that Christ had openly asserted his Messiahship and his Divine nature. To pay the demamt without explanation, after the statement of his Divinity, might occasion serious misapprehension in the minds of his followers. So he gently but convincingly shows that his claim of Sonship exempted him from all liability of the impost. Peter saith unto him,.... The Vulgate Latin reads, "and he said": and so the Ethiopic, and Munster's Hebrew Gospel; but without doubt Peter is meant, and rightly expressed; whose answer to Christ's question is,

of strangers: meaning not foreigners, or such who formerly belonged to other nations, but were now taken captive, and brought into subjection; but their own native subjects, so called, in distinction from their domestics, their children, and those of their own family:

Jesus saith unto him, then are the children free; from paying custom, tribute, and taxes, and leaves Peter to make the application; and which he suggested might be made, either thus: supposing it was a civil tax, that since he was the son of David, king of Israel, was of his house and family, and heir apparent to his throne and kingdom; according to this rule, he must be exempt from such tribute: or, thus; taking it to have respect to the half shekel, paid on a religious account, for the service of the temple worship; that since he was the Son of the King of kings, for the support of whose worship and service that money was collected; and was also the Lord and proprietor of the temple, and greater than that, he might well be excused the payment of it. 26. Peter saith unto him, Of strangers—"of those not their children."

Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free—By "the children" our Lord cannot here mean Himself and the Twelve together, in some loose sense of their near relationship to God as their common Father. For besides that our Lord never once mixes Himself up with His disciples in speaking of their relation to God, but ever studiously keeps His relation and theirs apart (see, for example, on the last words of this chapter)—this would be to teach the right of believers to exemption from the dues required for sacred services, in the teeth of all that Paul teaches and that He Himself indicates throughout. He can refer here, then, only to Himself; using the word "children" evidently in order to express the general principle observed by sovereigns, who do not draw taxes from their own children, and thus convey the truth respecting His own exemption the more strikingly:—namely, "If the sovereign's own family be exempt, you know the inference in My case"; or to express it more nakedly than Jesus thought needful and fitting: "This is a tax for upholding My Father's House. As His Son, then, that tax is not due by Me—I AM FREE."17:24-27 Peter felt sure that his Master was ready to do what was right. Christ spoke first to give him proof that no thought can be withholden from him. We must never decline our duty for fear of giving offence; but we must sometimes deny ourselves in our worldly interests, rather than give offence. However the money was lodged in the fish, He who knows all things alone could know it, and only almighty power could bring it to Peter's hook. The power and the poverty of Christ should be mentioned together. If called by providence to be poor, like our Lord, let us trust in his power, and our God shall supply all our need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. In the way of obedience, in the course, perhaps, of our usual calling, as he helped Peter, so he will help us. And if any sudden call should occur, which we are not prepared to meet, let us not apply to others, till we first seek Christ.
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