|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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!
Verse 17. - He left them. The chief priests had nothing to say in reply to this testimony of Scripture. They feared to arrest him in the face of the enthusiastic multitude; they bided their time, for the present apparently silenced. Jesus, wasting no further argument on these wilfully unbelieving people, turned and left them. The King had no home in his royal city; he sought one in lowly Bethany, where he was always sure of a welcome in the house of Martha and Mary. It is somewhat doubtful whether he availed himself of his friends' hospitality at this time. The term "Bethany" would include the district so called in the vicinity of the town, as in the description of the scene of the Ascension (Luke 24:50). Lodged (ηὐλίσθη). This word, if its strict classical use is pressed, would imply that Jesus passed the night in the open air; but it may mean merely "lodge," or "pass the night," without any further connotation; so no certain inference can be drawn from its employment in this passage. This withdrawal of Jesus obviated all danger of a rising in his favour, which, supported by the vast resources of the temple, might have had momentous consequences at this time of popular concourse and excitement.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he left them,.... The high priests and Scribes, confounded and put to silence, and as unworthy of his company and conversation;
and went out of the city; of Jerusalem, partly to prevent being apprehended by his enemies before his time, and partly to remove all suspicion of seizing the city and government, and setting himself up as a temporal prince;
to Bethany; which was about fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem, or almost two miles, John 11:18. Hither he went to converse with his dear friends, Lazarus, and Martha, and Mary, who were all of this place, and where he could lodge and rest quietly. The name of the town is variously interpreted: according to some ancient writers (m), it signifies "the house of obedience"; so Christ went from the disobedient and faithless city, to a place of obedience, where he had some faithful and obedient disciples: others read it, and so Munster's Hebrew Gospel, , "the house of affliction"; a suitable place for Christ to go to, who was about to suffer for the sins of his people. The Syriac version renders it , and which is interpreted "an house", or "place of business", as this town of Bethany was. We read (n) of , "the shops of Bethany", which were destroyed three years before Jerusalem, because they made their affairs to stand upon the words of the law; that is, as the gloss explains it, they found that what was forbidden by the wise men, was free by the law: a great trade might be drove here for olives, dates, and figs, which grew hereabout in great plenty: mention is made in the Talmud of (o) , "the figs of Bethany": hence, as Christ departed from this place, the next morning he saw a fig tree. But the true etymology and signification of the name is "the house", or "place of dates", the fruit of the palm tree: hence they that came from Jerusalem to meet Christ, might have their palm tree branches. One part of Mount Olivet abounded with olives, from whence it had its name; another part bore palm trees, and that was called "Bethany", from whence this town over against it had its name; and another part had great plenty of fig trees growing on it, and this called "Bethphage"; and that part of Jerusalem which was nearest to it went by the same name. We read (p) also of , "the washing place of Bethany"; which seems to me to be not a place for the washing and purification of unclean men and women, as Dr. Lightfoot thinks, but for washing of sheep; for the story is, that
"a fox tore a sheep in pieces at the washing place of Bethany, and the affair came before the wise men;''
that is, at Jerusalem, to know whether that sheep might be eaten or no, since that which was torn was forbidden. And some have interpreted "Bethany, an house", or "place of sheep": but so much for this town, and what account is given of it.
And he lodged there; either in the house of Lazarus, and his two sisters, or in that of Simon the leper; for it was eventide when he went out of Jerusalem, as Mark observes. The Ethiopic version adds, "and rested there"; and so Origen (q) reads it; and, according to Harpocratian (r), the word used by the evangelist signifies to lie down, and sleep, and take one's rest. Christ lodged here all night.
(m) Jerom. in loc. Origen. in Joan. p. 131. T. 2. & in Matt. p. 435, 446, 447. T. 1. Ed. Huet. (n) T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 88. 1.((o) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 53. 1. & Erubin, fol. 28. (p) T. Bab. Cholin, fol. 53. 1.((q) In Matt. p. 447. (r) Lexic. Decem Orator. p. 55.
Matthew 21:17 Parallel Commentaries
Matthew 21:17 NIV
Matthew 21:17 NLT
Matthew 21:17 ESV
Matthew 21:17 NASB
Matthew 21:17 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible