|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 19. - The tribute money; τὸ νόμισμα τοῦ κήνσου: the coin of the tribute; that is, the coin in which the tribute was paid. The reply to the question was wholly unexpected. The Pharisaic "disciples" had hoped that Christ would have taken part against the Herodians; but he gives no decision about the matter in dispute, such as they desired. He virtually rebukes their dissimulation, and makes their own action supply the verdict which they demanded. Not seeing the drift of his request, they brought unto him a penny; a denarius (see on Matthew 18:28). This was the amount of the capitation tax, and it was paid in Roman, not Jewish, coinage. Just at this period the Jews had no mintage of their own, and were forced to use Roman coins, which might well be called "tribute money."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Shew me the tribute money,.... Not any money, or any sort of coin that was current among them; but that in which the tribute was usually paid, which was Roman money: and they brought unto him a penny; not as, being what was the usual sum that was paid for tribute at one time, but as a sample of what sort of money it was paid in, in Roman pence; one of which was seven pence halfpenny of our money.
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