Luke 20:26
And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.
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(26) And they could not take hold of his words.—As St. Luke is fuller in his account of the plot of the questioners (Luke 20:20), so is he in that of its defeat.

They marvelled at his answer.—There is an interesting, though obviously undesigned, parallelism with the narrative of the incident in which the Lord Jesus was first brought face to face with the Rabbis of Jerusalem. Then also “they were astonished at His answers” (Luke 2:47). The childhood was, in this respect, a prophecy of the manhood.

20:20-26 Those who are most crafty in their designs against Christ and his gospel, cannot hide them. He did not give a direct answer, but reproved them for offering to impose upon him; and they could not fasten upon any thing wherewith to stir up either the governor or the people against him. The wisdom which is from above, will direct all who teach the way of God truly, to avoid the snares laid for them by wicked men; and will teach our duty to God, to our rulers, and to all men, so clearly, that opposers will have no evil to say of us.See this explained in the Matthew 22:15-33 notes, and Mark 12:13-27 notes. 25. things which be Cæsar's—Putting it in this general form, it was impossible for sedition itself to dispute it, and yet it dissolved the snare.

and unto God—How much there is in this profound but to them startling addition to the maxim, and how incomparable is the whole for fulness, brevity, clearness, weight!

See Poole on "Luke 20:21"

And they could not take hold of his words before the people,.... Which was what they wanted; that if he had dropped any seditious and treasonable expressions against the government, they might be witnesses against him; or if he had not vindicated the liberties of the people, and the rights of the Jewish nation, these might be exasperated against him, and leave him:

and they marvelled at his answer; which was so formed, as to give them no handle against him either way:

and held their peace; they were silenced, and had nothing to say to him, nor against him, but left him, and went their way.

And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.
Luke 20:26. The reply of Jesus, baffling in itself, was doubly so, because it had made a favourable impression on the people. Therefore the questioners deemed it best to make no attempt at criticism in presence of the people (ἐναντίον τοῦ λαοῦ).

26. they marvelled at his answer] Comp. Luke 2:47. They thought that escape was impossible for Him; and yet He instantly shatters their deeply-laid plot to pieces by shewing that they—Pharisees and Herodians alike—had absolutely decided the question already (according to their own rule “He whose coin is current is king of the land”), so that there is no need for Him to give any opinion whatever about it. The point was this,—their national acceptance of Caesar’s coinage was an unanswerable admission of Caesar’s right. Tribute to them was no longer a cheerful offering, but a legal due; not a voluntary gift, but a political necessity. The very word He used was decisive. They had asked “Is it lawful to give (dounai)?” He answers, ‘Give back’ (apodote). By using these coins they all alike admitted that ‘they had no king but Caesar.’ The Christians understood the principle perfectly (1 Peter 2:13-14) as the ancient Jews had done (Jeremiah 27:4-8). Yet these hypocrites dared to shout three days afterwards that Jesus ‘had forbidden to give tribute to Caesar!’

Luke 20:26His words (ῥήματος)

Singular number. Rev., properly, saying. See on Luke 1:37.

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