Matthew 22:19
Show me the tribute money. And they brought to him a penny.
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(19) Shew me the tribute money.—The parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:2) indicates that the denarius was in common circulation. It was probably part of the fiscal regulation of the Roman government that the poll-tax should be paid in that coin only. In any case, wherever it passed current, it was a witness that the independence of the country had passed away, and that Cæsar was in temporal things its real ruler.

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.The tribute-money - The money in which the tribute was paid.

This was a Roman coin. The tribute for the temple service was paid in the Jewish shekel; that for the Roman government in foreign coin. Their having that coin about them, and using it, was proof that they themselves held it lawful to pay the tribute; and their pretensions, therefore, were mere hypocrisy.

A penny - A Roman denarius, worth about 14 cents equals 7d (circa 1880's).

Mt 22:15-40. Entangling Questions about Tribute, the Resurrection, and the Great Commandment, with the Replies. ( = Mr 12:13-34; Lu 20:20-40).

For the exposition, see on [1343]Mr 12:13-34.

See Poole on "Matthew 22:22". 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. Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a {l} penny.

(l) Before Mt 17:24 there is mention made of a didrachma, and here of a penny, whereas a didrachma is more by the seventh part then a penny: so that there seems to be an inconsistency in these two places: but they may easily be reconciled in this way: The penny was paid to the Romans for tribute, according to the proportion they were rated at, and the drachma was payed by everyone to the Temple, which also the Romans took to themselves when they had subdued India.

Matthew 22:19. Τὸ νόμισμα τ. κ.] “nummum aliquem ejus monetae, in qua tributum exigi solet,” Grotius. The tribute was paid in Roman, not in Jewish money. “Ubicunque numisma regis alicujus obtinet, illic incolae regem istum pro domino agnoscunt,” Maimonides in Gezelah v. 18.

προσήνεγκ. αὐτῷ δηνάρ.] they had such current coin upon them.Matthew 22:19. τὸ νόμισμα (Latin numisma, here only in N. T.) τοῦ κήνσου, the current coin of the tribute, i.e., in which the tribute was paid, a roundabout name for a denarius (Mark).—δηνάριον, a Roman coin, silver, in which metal tribute was paid (Pliny, N. H., 33, 3, 15; Marquardt, Röm. Alt., 3, 2, 147).19. they brought unto him a penny] A Denarius, bearing probably the image of Tiberius. The Jewish coins were not impressed with the effigy of their kings. Herod Philip, alone of his family, out of flattery to the Emperor, had caused his coins to be stamped with the likeness of Cæsar.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." Tribute-money (νόμισμα τοῦ κήνσου)

Lit., the current coin of tribute, which was paid not in Jewish but in Roman money. See on Matthew 17:25, tribute.

A penny

See on Matthew 20:2.

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