Matthew 21:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.

New Living Translation
Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves.

English Standard Version
And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.

Berean Study Bible
Then Jesus went into the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those selling doves.

Berean Literal Bible
And Jesus entered into the temple and cast out all those selling and buying in the temple, and He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those selling the doves.

New American Standard Bible
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.

King James Bible
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,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Jesus went into the temple complex and drove out all those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers' tables and the chairs of those selling doves.

International Standard Version
Then Jesus went into the Temple, threw out everyone who was selling and buying in the Temple, and overturned the moneychangers' tables and the chairs of those who sold doves.

NET Bible
Then Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all those who were selling and buying in the temple courts, and turned over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves.

New Heart English Bible
Jesus entered into the temple, and drove out all of those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the money changers' tables and the seats of those who sold the doves.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And Yeshua entered The Temple of God and cast out all of those who sold and bought in The Temple and upset the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jesus went into the temple courtyard and threw out everyone who was buying and selling there. He overturned the moneychangers' tables and the chairs of those who sold pigeons.

New American Standard 1977
And Jesus entered the temple and cast out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Jesus went into the temple of God and cast out all those that sold and bought in the temple and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those that sold doves

King James 2000 Bible
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 money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

American King James Version
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,

American Standard Version
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 he money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves;

Douay-Rheims Bible
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 money changers, and the chairs of them that sold doves:

Darby Bible Translation
And Jesus entered into the temple [of God], and cast out all that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those that sold the doves.

English Revised Version
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 money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves;

Webster's Bible Translation
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 money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves.

Weymouth New Testament
Entering the Temple, Jesus drove out all who were buying and selling there, and overturned the money-changers' tables and the seats of the pigeon-dealers.

World English Bible
Jesus entered into the temple of God, and drove out all of those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the money changers' tables and the seats of those who sold the doves.

Young's Literal Translation
And Jesus entered into the temple of God, and did cast forth all those selling and buying in the temple, and the tables of the money-changers he overturned, and the seats of those selling the doves,
Study Bible
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
11The crowds replied, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” 12Then Jesus went into the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those selling doves. 13And He declared to them, “It is written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer.’ But you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”…
Cross References
Exodus 30:13
"This is what everyone who is numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as a contribution to the LORD.

Leviticus 1:14
'But if his offering to the LORD is a burnt offering of birds, then he shall bring his offering from the turtledoves or from young pigeons.

Leviticus 5:7
'But if he cannot afford a lamb, then he shall bring to the LORD his guilt offering for that in which he has sinned, two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering.

Leviticus 12:8
'But if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two young pigeons, the one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.'"

Mark 11:11
Then Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, He went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

Mark 11:15
When they arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began to drive out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those selling doves.

Luke 19:45
Then Jesus entered the temple courts and began to drive out those who were selling there.

John 2:13
When the Jewish Passover was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

John 2:14
In the temple courts He found men selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and money changers seated at their tables.

John 2:15
So He made a whip out of cords and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle. He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.
Treasury of Scripture

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 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before …

Mark 11:11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he …

and cast.

Mark 11:15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began …

Luke 19:45,46 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold …

John 2:14-17 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, …

money-changers.

Deuteronomy 14:24-26 And if the way be too long for you, so that you are not able to carry …

doves.

Leviticus 1:14 And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the LORD be of fowls, …

Leviticus 5:7,11 And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his …

Leviticus 12:6,8 And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for …

Leviticus 14:22,30 And two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, such as he is able to …

Leviticus 15:14,29 And on the eighth day he shall take to him two turtledoves, or two …

Luke 2:24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law …

(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.

Verses 12-17. - The second cleansing of the temple. (Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-48.) Verse 12. - Went into the temple. The event here narrated seems to have taken place on the day following the triumphal entry; i.e. on the Monday of the Holy Week. This can be gathered from St. Mark's narrative, where it is stated that, on the day of triumph, Jesus was escorted to the temple, but merely "looked round about on all things," and then returned for the night to Bethany, visiting the temple again on the following morning, and driving out those who profaned it. St. Matthew often groups events, not in their proper chronological order, but in a certain logical sequence which corresponded with his design. Thus he connects the cleansing with the triumphal entry, in order to display another example of Christ's self-manifestation at this time, and his purpose to show who he was and to put forth his claims publicly. In this visit of Christ we see the King coming to his palace, the place where his honour dwelleth, the fitting termination of his glorious march. This cleansing of the temple must not be confounded with the earlier incident narrated by St. John (John 2:13, etc.). The two acts marked respectively the beginning and close of Christ's earthly ministry, and denote the reverence which he taught for the house and the worshiper God. The part of the temple which he now visited, and which was profaned to secular use, was the court of the Gentiles, separated from the sanctuary by a stone partition, and considered of lesser sanctity, though really an integral part of the temple. Cast out all them that sold and bought. In this large open space a market had been established, with the connivance, and much to the pecuniary emolument, of the priests. These let out the sacred area, of which they were the appointed guardians, to greedy and irreligious traders, who made a gain of others' piety. We find no trace of this market in the Old Testament; it probably was established after the Captivity, whence the Jews brought back that taste for commercial business and skill in financial matters for which they have ever since been celebrated. In the eyes of worldly-minded men the sanctity of a building and its appendages was no impediment to traffic and trade, hence they were glad to utilize the temple court, under the sanction of the priests, for the convenience of those who came from all regions to celebrate the great festivals. Here was sold all that was required for the sacrifices which worshippers were minded to offer - animals for victims, meal, incense, salt, etc. The scandalous abuse of the holy precincts, or the plain traces of it (if, as it was late in the day, the traffickers themselves had departed for a time), Christ had observed at his previous visit, when he "looked round about upon all things" (Mark 11:11), and now he proceeded to remedy the crying evil The details of the expulsion are not given. On the first occasion, we are told, he used "a scourge of small cords;" as far as we know, at this time he effected the purification unarmed and alone. It was a marvellous impulse that forced the greedy crew to obey the order of this unknown Man; their own consciences made them timid; they fled in dismay before the stern indignation of his eye, deserted their gainful trade to escape the reproach of that invincible zeal. Money changers. These persons exchanged (for a certain percentage) foreign money or other coins for the half shekel demanded from all adults for the service of the temple (see on Matthew 17:24). They may have lent money to the needy. The sellers also probably played into their bands by refusing to receive any but current Jewish money in exchange for their wares. It is also certain that no coins stamped with a heathen symbol, or bearing a heathen monarch's image, could be paid into the temple treasury. The seats of them that sold (the) doves. These birds were used by the poor in the place of costlier victims (see Leviticus 12:6; Leviticus 14:22; Luke 2:24). The sellers were often women, who sat with tables before them on which were set cages containing the doves. 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 feast (p), which was the day following: here likewise the drink offerings were bought and sold, of which take the following account.

"There were fifteen presidents "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 money (q).''

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 shekels (r).''

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 Jews (s) 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 given (t),

"on the fifteenth day (of the same month), "tables" were placed in the province, or city (which Bartenora (u) interprets of Jerusalem; but Maimonides (w) 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, "in the sanctuary".''

The same is related by Maimonides (x), 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; "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 changed (y).

"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 "Kolbon"; wherefore, when two men gave a shekel for them both, they were both obliged to pay the "Kolbon".''

continued...21:12-17 Christ found some of the courts of the temple turned into a market for cattle and things used in the sacrifices, and partly occupied by the money-changers. Our Lord drove them from the place, as he had done at his entering upon his ministry, Joh 2:13-17. His works testified of him more than the hosannas; and his healing in the temple was the fulfilling the promise, that the glory of the latter house should be greater than the glory of the former. If Christ came now into many parts of his visible church, how many secret evils he would discover and cleanse! And how many things daily practised under the cloak of religion, would he show to be more suitable to a den of thieves than to a house of prayer!
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