Mark 12:15
Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.
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(15) But he, knowing their hypocrisy.—St. Mark uses the specific word that describes the sin of the questioners, instead of the more general “wickedness” of St. Matthew. On the other hand, he omits the word “hypocrites” as applied to them by our Lord.

12:13-17 The enemies of Christ would be thought desirous to know their duty, when really they hoped that which soever side he took of the question, they might find occasion to accuse him. Nothing is more likely to insnare the followers of Christ, than bringing them to meddle with disputes about worldly politics. Jesus avoided the snare, by referring to the submission they had already made as a nation; and all that heard him, marvelled at the great wisdom of his answer. Many will praise the words of a sermon, who will not be commanded by the doctrines of it.See the notes at Matthew 22:15-22. 15. Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy—"their wickedness" (Mt 22:18); "their craftiness" (Lu 20:23). The malignity of their hearts took the form of craft, pretending what they did not feel—an anxious desire to be guided aright in a matter which to a scrupulous few might seem a question of some difficulty. Seeing perfectly through this,

He said unto them, Why tempt ye me?—"hypocrites!"

bring me a penny that I may see it—"the tribute money" (Mt 22:19).

See Poole on "Mark 12:13"

Shall we give, or not give?.... They not only ask whether it was lawful, but whether also it was advisable to do it, that they might not only accuse him of his principles, but charge him with persuading, or dissuading in this case. These words are left out in the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, Persic, and Ethiopic versions:

but he knowing their hypocrisy; expressed in their flattering titles and characters of him, and which lay hid in their secret designs against him; which being thoroughly known to him,

said unto them, why tempt ye me: bring me a penny, that I may see it; what it is, that is required for tribute; See Gill on Matthew 22:18, Matthew 22:19.

Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.
Mark 12:15. δηνάριον: instead of Mt.’s νόμισμα τοῦ κήνσου; as a matter of fact the denarius was the coin of the tribute.—ἵνα ἴδω, that I may see: as if He needed to study the matter, a touch of humour. The question was already settled by the existence of a coin with Caesar’s image on it. This verb and the next, ἤνεγκαν, are without object; laconic style.

15. knowing their hypocrisy] “verum se eis ostendit, ut dixerant.” Bengel.

bring me] “They would not be likely to carry with them the hated Roman coinage with its heathen symbols, though they might have been at once able to produce from their girdles the Temple shekel. But they would only have to step outside the Court of the Gentiles, and obtain from the money-changers’ tables a current Roman coin.” Farrar, Life, ii. p. 231.

a penny] Literally, a denarius, for the value of which see Mark 6:37.

Mark 12:15. Ἵνα ἴδω, that I may see) The Saviour seems [judging by the ἵνα ἴδω, as if He had not looked at one before] then for the first time to have handled and looked at a denarius [penny].

Verses 15, 16. - St. Matthew (Matthew 22:18) says, "But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?' You pretend that you are approaching me with a good conscience, sincerely desirous to know how you ought to act in this matter; when at the same time you are enemies alike of me and of God, and are thirsting for my blood, and are doing all in your power to torment me, and to entangle me by fraud. "The first virtue," says St. Jerome, "of the respondent is to know the mind of the questioner, and to adapt his answer accordingly." These Pharisees and Heredians flatter Christ that they may destroy him; but he rebukes them, that, if possible, be might save them. Bring me a penny, that I may see it. The Roman denarius was equal to about eight-pence halfpenny. This was the coin in which the tribute money was to be paid. It had stamped upon it the image of Tiberius Caesar, the then reigning Roman emperor. The cognomen of Caesar was first given to Julius Caesar, from whom it was devolved to his successors. The current coin of the country proved the subjection of the country to him whose image was upon it. Maimonides, quoted by Dr. John Lightfoot (vol. 2 p. 230), says, "Wheresoever the money of any king is current, there the inhabitants acknowledge that king for their lord." Mark 12:15Penny

See on Matthew 20:2.

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