Matthew 22:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?"

New Living Translation
Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"

English Standard Version
Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”

Berean Study Bible
So tell us what You think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"

Berean Literal Bible
Therefore tell us, what do You think? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?"

New American Standard Bible
"Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?"

King James Bible
Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Tell us, therefore, what You think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"

International Standard Version
So tell us what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"

NET Bible
Tell us then, what do you think? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"

New Heart English Bible
Tell us therefore, what do you think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“Tell us therefore, how does it seem to you? Is it lawful to give the head tax to Caesar or not?”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So tell us what you think. Is it right to pay taxes to the emperor or not?"

New American Standard 1977
“Tell us therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar or not?

King James 2000 Bible
Tell us therefore, What think you? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

American King James Version
Tell us therefore, What think you? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

American Standard Version
Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Tell us therefore what dost thou think, is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

Darby Bible Translation
tell us therefore what thou thinkest: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

English Revised Version
Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

Webster's Bible Translation
Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute to Cesar, or not?

Weymouth New Testament
Give us your judgement therefore: is it allowable for us to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?"

World English Bible
Tell us therefore, what do you think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"

Young's Literal Translation
tell us, therefore, what dost thou think? is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not?'
Study Bible
Paying Taxes to Caesar
16They sent their disciples to Him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that You are honest and that You teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You defer to no one, because You pay no attention to external appearance. 17So tell us what You think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18But Jesus was aware of their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” He said. “Why are you testing 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 22:18
But Jesus was aware of their evil motives. "You hypocrites!" He said. "Why are you testing Me?

Luke 2:1
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

Luke 3:1
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, while Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,

Luke 20:22
Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
Treasury of Scripture

Tell us therefore, What think you? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

What.

Jeremiah 42:2,3,20 And said to Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech you, our supplication …

Acts 28:22 But we desire to hear of you what you think: for as concerning this …

is.

Deuteronomy 17:14,15 When you are come to the land which the LORD your God gives you, …

Ezra 4:13 Be it known now to the king, that, if this city be built, and the …

Ezra 7:24 Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, …

Nehemiah 5:4 There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's …

Nehemiah 9:37 And it yields much increase to the kings whom you have set over us …

Acts 5:37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, …

Romans 13:6,7 For for this cause pay you tribute also: for they are God's ministers, …

Caesar.

Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from …

John 19:12-15 And from thereafter Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried …

Acts 17:7 Whom Jason has received: and these all do contrary to the decrees …

Acts 25:8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, …

(17) Is it lawful to give tribute . . .?--The question was obviously framed as a dilemma. If answered in the affirmative, the Pharisees would be able to denounce Him to the people as a traitor to His country, courting the favour of their heathen oppressors. If in the negative, the Herodians (on the assumption which seems the more probable) could accuse Him, as He was eventually accused, of "perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Csar" (Luke 23:2).

Tribute.--The original gives the Latin "census," i.e., the poll-tax of a denarius per head, assessed on the whole population, the publicans being bound to transmit the sum so collected to the Roman treasury. As being a direct personal tax it was looked on by the more zealous Jews as carrying with it a greater humiliation than export or import duties, and was consequently resisted (as by Judas of Galilee and his followers) by many who acquiesced more or less readily in the payment of the customs (Acts 5:37).

Verse 17. - Tell us therefore. Because you are so truthful and impartial, give us your unprejudiced opinion about the following much-disputed question. These people assume to be simple-minded inquirers, who came to Jesus to have a perplexity resolved. St. Luke gives their real character, "They sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words." Is it lawful (ἔξεστι) to give tribute (κῆνσον, censure) unto Caesar, or not? The tribute is the poll tax levied by the Romans. Caesar at this time was Tiberius; the title was now applied to the emperors, though its subsequent use was different. By asking concerning the lawfulness of the payment, they do not inquire whether it was expedient or advisable to make it, but whether it was morally and religiously right, consistent with their obligation as subjects of the theocratic kingdom. Some, as Judas of Galilee (Acts 5:37; Josephus, 'Ant.,' 18:1: 1, 6), had resorted to violence in their opposition to the tax; and indeed, the question here put was much debated between opposite parties. The Pharisees were strongly opposed to foreign domination, and thought it derogatory and sacrilegious for the people of Jehovah to pay impost to a foreign and heathen authority. The Herodians, on the other hand, submitted without reserve to the supremacy of Rome, and, for political reasons, silenced all nationalist and ultra-patriotic feeling. By putting this question, the disputants thought to force Christ into a dilemma, where he must answer directly "Yes" or "No," and where, whichever reply he made, he would equally offend one or other of the parties into which the state was divided. If he affirmed the lawfulness of the tax, he would lose his popularity with the mass of the people, as one who disowned the sovereignty of Jehovah, and would give the death blow to his own claims as Messiah-King. If he garb a negative reply, he would be deemed an enemy of Rome and a promoter of seditious views, and be liable to be handed over to the civil power for the punishment of disaffection and treason (see Luke 20:20). They falsely brought this charge against him before Pilate (Luke 23:2). But Jesus perceived their wickedness,.... Luke says, "their craftiness"; and Mark says, "knowing their hypocrisy"; for there was, a mixture of malice, hypocrisy, and artfulness, in the scheme they had formed; but Christ being the omniscient God, saw the wickedness of their hearts, knew their hypocritical designs, and was well acquainted with all their artifice: he judged not according to the outward appearance of their affection for him, and opinion of him, of religion, righteousness, and holiness in themselves, and of a sincere desire to have their conscience satisfied about this matter; the snare they laid was visible to him, the mask they put on could not screen them from him, nor impose upon him:

and said, why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? as he might well call them, who feigned themselves just persons, pretended a great deal of respect for him, call him master, compliment him with the characters of a faithful, sincere, and disinterested preacher; yet by putting the above question, designed no other than to ensnare him, and bring him into disgrace or trouble. 22:15-22 The Pharisees sent their disciples with the Herodians, a party among the Jews, who were for full subjection to the Roman emperor. Though opposed to each other, they joined against Christ. What they said of Christ was right; whether they knew it or not, blessed be God we know it. Jesus Christ was a faithful Teacher, and a bold reprover. Christ saw their wickedness. Whatever mask the hypocrite puts on, our Lord Jesus sees through it. Christ did not interpose as a judge in matters of this nature, for his kingdom is not of this world, but he enjoins peaceable subjection to the powers that be. His adversaries were reproved, and his disciples were taught that the Christian religion is no enemy to civil government. Christ is, and will be, the wonder, not only of his friends, but of his enemies. They admire his wisdom, but will not be guided by it; his power, but will not submit to it.
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