And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
Verses 1-10. - Jesus lodges in the house of Zacchaeus, "the chief among the publicans" at Jericho. This episode, which took place at Jericho just before the Lord's entry into Jerusalem the last time, is peculiar to this Gospel. That the source was Hebrew (Aramaic) is clear from the wording of the narration. Some brief Hebrew (Aramaic) memoir was given to St. Luke, whence he derived his information of this most interesting and instructive incident of the last journey of the Master. Verses 1, 2. - And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. Jericho, under the Herods, had become again an important centre of trade. It lay on the road from Person to Judaea and Egypt, and had, of course, an important custom-house. The Balm which came especially from the Gilead district was sent through there into all parts of the world. Zacchaeus was at the head of this customs department at Jericho. The exact position of such an official in those days is not known. He probably farmed the customs revenue under some great Roman capitalist of the equestrian order. In such an appointment it was easy to commit even involuntary injustices. The temptations to such an official to enrich himself at the expense of others, besides, were sadly numerous. Named Zacchaeus. Zakkai signifies "pure" (see Ezra 2:9; Nehemiah 7:14). It is curious that we find in the Talmud a man named Zakkai, the father of the famous rabbi Jochauan, living at Jericho.
And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
Verse 3. - He was little of stature. Such a curious detail comes, of course, from some memoir written just at the time.
And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
Verse 4. - Into a sycomore tree. Floss sycomorus, the fig-mulberry, is here meant. It grew in the Jordan valley to a considerable height; the low, spreading branches were easy to climb. "We can picture the scene to our mind's eye. The eager, wistful, supplicating face looking down from the fresh green foliage - it was early spring - and meeting the gaze of Jesus as he passed" (Dean Plumptre).
And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
Verse 5. - Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to-day I must abide at thy house. Jericho was one of the cities of the priests, and yet our Lord, setting public opinion at defiance, passed over their houses, and announced his intention of lodging for the night with one whose life's occupation was so hateful to the Jewish religious world. The Master recognized in the intense eagerness of Zacchaeus to get a sight of him, and possibly a word from him, that it was in the chief publican's house where lay his Father's business for him in Jericho.
And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
Verse 7. - They all murmured. This very inclusive statement, "they all," shows the general intensely Jewish spirit of the age, narrow and sectarian. The people could not imagine goodness, or earnestness, or generosity in one who served the hateful Roman power. Probably in priestly Jericho this stern exclusive spirit was especially dominant.
And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
Verse 8. - And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. Zacchaeus's memorable speech was addressed not as an apologia to the murmuring, jealous crowd, either in the room or the courtyard of the house, but to his Divine Guest, who, he felt, understood him, whose great heart, he knew, sympathized with him in that life of his, so tempted and yet so full of quiet, noble acts; for the chief publican's words do not refer to a future purpose, but they speak of a past rule of life which he had set for himself to follow, and probably had followed for a long period. So Godet, who paraphrases thus: "He whom thou hast thought good to choose as thy host is not, as is alleged, a being unworthy of thy choice. Lo, publican though I am, it is no ill-gotten gain with which I entertain thee." In a profession like his, it was easy to commit involuntary injustice. There may, too, have been, probably was, many a hard if not an unjust act worked by the chief of the tax-gatherers and his subordinates in their difficult employment.
And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
Verse 9. - And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house. This solemn announcement on the part of the Redeemer was something more than a mere comforting assurance to a man who, in spite of difficulties and temptations, had striven manfully to lead a brave and generous life, helping, it is clear, the very multitude who were so ready to revile him. It is an assurance to the world that men might work in any profession or calling, and at the same time live a life pleasing to God. It repeats with intense emphasis - and this is the great lesson of this striking scene - that it is never the work or the position in life which ennobles the man in the sight of God, but only the way in which the work is done, and the position used, which are of price in his pure eyes. The hated publican at the receipt of custom - the servant of Rome, might so live as to win the smile of God, as well as the priest in the sanctuary, or the rabbi in his theological school. He also is a son of Abraham. That is to say, a spiritual son - a son in the highest and most real sense. Zacchaeus was a faithful follower of Abraham, in his life and in his faith.
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Verse 10. - For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. A quiet rebuke to the Pharisees and priests and their followers, who would limit the redeemed. Surely the "publicans" and the great tempted mass of mankind needed him more than the happy privileged class. It was for the sake of these poor wandering sheep that he left his home of grandeur and peace. But there was a vein of sad irony running through these words of the Master. Between the lines we seem to read some such thoughts as these: "You know, O priests and Pharisees, you do not want me. You think you are safe already. But these poor despised ones, they want, they welcome me, like this Zacchaeus." This, too, was a lesson for all time. This scene probably took place the evening of the Lord's arrival at Zacchaeus's house at Jericho, after the evening meal, when the room arid court of the house were filled with guests and curious spectators. Dean Plumptre has an interesting suggestion that Zacchaeus the publican was one and the same with the publican of Luke 18:10-14, who in the temple "smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner! Is it too bold a conjecture that he who saw Nathanael under the fig tree (John 1:48) had seen Zacchaeus in the temple, and that the figure in the parable of Luke 18:14 was in fact a portrait?"
And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
Verses 11-27. - The parable of the pounds. Verse 11. - And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable. The words which introduce this parable-story indicate its close connection with the events which had just taken place. "He added, and spake (προσθεὶς εϊπε)." Because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. Thus were briefly stated the reasons which determined the Master to speak the following parable. First, "he was nigh to Jerusalem," only at most a few hours' journey from the holy city - his last solemn, awful visit, when the mysterious act of stupendous love would be accomplished. So he determined to give a veiled parabolic picture of himself and of his chosen people. Second, "they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear." In his parable he proposed to moderate the wild romantic enthusiasm of his immediate followers and of the Passover crowds by painting for them a quiet picture of the future of work and waiting which lay before them. The parable contains three sets of lessons.
(1) The varieties of reward apportioned to different degrees of zeal and industry in the Master's service.
(2) The eternity of loss and shame which will be the portion of the slothful and unfaithful servant.
(3) The terrible doom of his enemies.
He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
Verse 12. - He said therefore, A certain noblemen went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. There was a singular fitness in the Master's choice of a framework for his parable, which at first sight would seem strange and unreal. Two nobles, Herod and Archelaus, in that age had literally gone from Jericho, where the Speaker of the parable-story then was, to a far country across the sea - to Rome, to receive a kingdom from Caesar (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 14:14; 17:9). And one of these two nobles, Archelaus, had rebuilt the stately royal palace of Jericho, under the very shadow of which the Speaker and the crowds were perhaps standing.
And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
Verse 13. - And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. No doubt when our Lord spoke these parables he considerably enlarged the details, made many parts of the framework clearer than the short reports which we possess can possibly do. The meaning of the great noble's action here is that he wished to test his servants - to try their various capabilities and dispositions, intending, when he should return from his long journey, having received his kingdom, to appoint them to high offices in the administration, to such positions, in fact, as their action in regard to the small deposit now entrusted to them should show themselves capable of filling. The Greek verb rendered "occupy" (πραγματεύσασθε) occurs here only in the New Testament: a compound form of it is rendered (ver. 15) by "gained by trading."
But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
Verse 14. - But his citizens hated him. Again history supplies the framework. This was what the Jews had done in the case of Archelaus. They had sent a hostile deputation to complain of their future king before the emperor's court at Rome. In the parable, in these "citizens who hated him" a thinly veiled picture is given of those Jews who utterly rejected the mission of Jesus, and by whose designs the Crucifixion was brought about.
And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
Verse 16. - Thy pound. At first the smallness of the sum given to each of the servants is striking. Was it not a sum unworthy of a noble about to receive a kingdom? The Attic pound was in value somewhat less than £4 sterling. In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), where although very different lessons are inculcated, yet the imagery is somewhat similar, the amounts, however, are vastly larger, varying from five talents, which would represent about £1000. Here the very smallness of the sum entrusted to the servants has its deep meaning. The "nobly born" one who is about to receive a kingdom, represents our Lord, who here is in a state of the deepest poverty and humiliation. The little sum In one sense represents the work he was able then to entrust to his own. Again, the paltriness of the sum given them seems to suggest what a future lay before them. No sharing in what they hoped for - the glories of a Messianic kingdom on earth. No rest in repose under the shadow of the mighty throne of King Messiah. The "very little" (ver. 17) told them - if they would only listen - that their future as his servants would be a life of comparatively obscure inglorious activity, without rank or power, landless, homeless, well-nigh friendless. But the sequel of the parable told more than this. It proclaimed that their Master was able to estimate the moral worth of those who had been faithful and true in a "very little;" ay, more, was in a position to reward the faithful servant. And the recompense, a city for a pound, just hints at the magnificent possibilities of the heaven-life, just suggests the splendour of its rewards.
And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
Verse 17. - Well, thou good servant. It is noticeable that, in the bestowal of the "five cities" upon the servant who had with his one pound gained five, no expression of praise like this "good servant" is used by the King on his return. Now, what does this omission teach us? Christ, we know, was very careful and very sparing in his use of moral epithets. "Why callest thou me good?" was his stern address to the young ruler who used the expression, not because he was convinced of its applicability, but because he was desirous of paying a flattering compliment to the wise Rabbi from whom he desired information. We may safely conclude that, from the second servant in the story, the one who had earned but five pounds, he withheld the noble appellation "good" because he felt he had not deserved it. He had done well, it is true, and was splendidly recompensed, but he might have done more. He had won a high and responsible place in the kingdom; he was appointed the ruler over five cities; but he had not earned the noble title, ἄγαθος, "good." Very accurately, indeed, it seems, will places and names and power be awarded in the heaven-life, exactly in proportion to merits and deserts.
And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
Verses 20, 21. - And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: for I feared thee, because thou art an austere man; thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. This is the third class into which the servants who knew their Lord's will are roughly divided. We have, first, the devoted earnest toiler, whose whole soul was in his Master's work - great, indeed, was his reward. And, second, we have the servant who acquitted himself fairly respectably, but not nobly, not a hero in the struggle of life; he, too, is recompensed magnificently, far above his most ardent hopes, but still his reward is infinitely below that which the first brave toiler received at his Lord's hands. The third falls altogether into a different catalogue. He is a believer who has not found the state of grace offered by Jesus so brilliant as he hoped; a legal Christian, who has not tasted grace, and knows nothing of the gospel but its severe morality. It seems to him that the Lord gives very little to exact so much. "Surely," such a one argues, "the Lord should be satisfied with us if we abstain from doing ill, from squandering our talent." The Master's answer is singularly to the point: "The more thou knowest that I am austere, the more thou shouldest have tried to satisfy me!" The Christian who lacks the experience of grace ought to be the most anxious of workers. The punishment here is very different from that awarded to the enemies (ver. 27). We hear nothing of darkness and gnashing of teeth; it is simply deprivation. Still, even this modified penalty seems to tell of an eternity of regret and loss. Instead of the ten cities, or even the five, there is not even the poor pound left to the hapless condemned one, unworthy even to retain that little heritage.
For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
Verse 23. - Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? Many in "the bank" have seen mirrored those Christian societies and religious organizations to which every believer may entrust the resources which he is uncertain how best to use himself. Without particularizing, however, it seems better to understand the Lord here simply intending to teach, by his image of the bank, that no man in this world is doomed to inactivity or uselessness, but that there will be opportunity afforded to every one who is willing to use his talent in a humble and obscure, if not in a heroic and conspicuous, way.
And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
Verse 27. - But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. An obvious reference to the Lord's dealings with the chosen people, and an unmistakable reference to the awful ruin and disaster which was so soon to overwhelm the city and temple and the whole nationality. But behind this temporal reference there looms in the background the vast shadow of a terrible eternal doom reserved for the enemies of the Redeemer. Godet has a beautiful and suggestive note on the signification of the ten and five cities, the reward of the faithful toiler here. "They," the "cities," "represent mortal beings in a lower state of development, but whom the glorified faithful are commissioned to raise to their Divine destination."
And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.
Verses 28-48. - Jesus enters Jerusalem as King Messiah (vers. 29-44). His work in the temple (vers. 45-48). St. Luke here passes over in silence the events which happened after the episode at the house of Zacchaeus at Jericho and the speaking the great parable of "the pounds." This parable may have been spoken in the house of Zacchaeus before leaving Jericho, but it seems better to place it somewhere in the course of the walk from Jericho to Bethany, a distance of some twelve miles. St. John fills up the gap left in the narrative of St. Luke. The main body of pilgrims to the feast, with whom Jesus and his company were travelling, left him on the Jericho road at Bethany: they going on to their caravanserai in the holy city, he remaining for two nights with his friends at Bethany - the next evening Jesus was entertained at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper (Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9) - the feast at which Lazarus the risen sat a guest and Martha served, and to which Mary brought her precious ointment and her contrition (John 11:1-9). Jesus must have arrived at Bethany before sunset on Friday, Nisan 7, and therefore before the sabbath began. The sabbath was spent in quiet. The supper probably took place directly after the end of the sabbath. The next morning (Palm Sunday)the Lord started for Jerusalem, and entered the holy city in the triumphant way as King Messiah related by St. Luke in our Gospel.
And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,
Verse 29. - And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany. Bethphage is never mentioned in the Old Testament, but in the Talmud we find it specified in some interesting ceremonial directions. It was evidently an outlying suburb of Jerusalem. Bethphage, which lay between the city and Bethany, was by the rabbis legally counted as part of Jerusalem. Bethany signifies" House of Dates," no doubt so called from its palm trees. Bethphage, "House of Green Figs," from its fig-orchards. The modern Bethany is known as El-Azarieh or Lazarieh, the name attaching to its connection with the history of Lazarus.
Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither.
Verse 30. - Ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. The account of this transaction is less circumstantial in St. Luke than in the other evangelists. The reference to the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 is here left out. This prophecy is, however, necessary for the full understanding of the mystic act of riding upon an ass's colt. St. Luke, compiling especially for Gentile readers, would feel that such a reference to the old Hebrew story would scarcely interest a foreigner, and would serve to distract such a one's interest in the progress of the great recital. For us, however, the meaning of the scene, read in the light of the Zechariah 9:9 words and of Hebrew story generally, is as follows: The disciples and multitude wished their Master to claim a kingdom. At this moment in his eventful history, aware that death awaited him in the course of the next few days, he chose to gratify them; so he claimed his kingdom, but a kingdom utterly unlike what they longed for. He came to his royal, sacred city in the strange guise foreshadowed by Zechariah, as a Prince of Peace, not with chariot and horse, but meekly riding on an ass's colt, claiming, too, a dominion from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth (Zechariah 9:10). Whereon yet never man sat. For this reason specially adapted for a sacred use (see Numbers 19:2; Deuteronomy 21:3; 1 Samuel 6:7).
And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.
Verse 31. - And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. Had he not right here? surely the cattle on a thousand hills were his I St. Matthew not only mentions the colt, but also the ass. This little detail is unnoticed by St. Luke. Probably the colt, though not broken in, would go the more quietly accompanied by its mother. But the reason of St. Matthew's special mention of the ass as well as of the colt was the reference to Genesis 49:11, in which Justin Martyr, in a curious chapter of the 'Dialogue with Trypho,' finds a direct reference to the ass and the foal (see Justin Martyr, 'Dialogue with Trypho,' c. 53.).
And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them.
And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt?
And they said, The Lord hath need of him.
And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon.
Verse 35. - They cut their garments upon the colt. "An extemporized housing in default of the purple trappings. Doubtless the fittest of the proffered robes would be selected by the disciples" (Morrison).
And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.
Verse 36. - And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. A common act of homage to a king or royal personage. So in the case of Jehu, the officers of the army offered him this tribute (2 Kings 9:13). So Agamemnon walked on costly carpets and tapestry when he entered his palace at Mycenae. Clytemnestra, in the' Agamemnon' of AEschylus, says -
"But, my loved lord, Leave now that car; nor on the bare ground set
That royal foot, beneath whose mighty tread
Troy trembled. Haste, ye virgins, to whose care
This pleasing office is entrusted, spread
The streets with tapestry; let the ground be covered
With richest purple, leading to the palace,
That honour with just state may grace his carry."
And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;
Verse 37. - At the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen. At this point on the Bethany road the city of Jerusalem comes into view. Here a crowd of pilgrims to the Passover Feast, many of whom were well acquainted with Jesus, came out to meet and welcome him with their branches of palm. These joined his friends who accompanied him from Bethany. This enthusiasm was excited among the Passover pilgrims in great measure owing to the report which by this time had got abroad of the raising of Lazarus (see John 12:17, 18). Many had already gone out from the city to Bethany to see Jesus and Lazarus. Of the Messianic shouts of welcome which sounded in the crowd, St. Luke does not mention the "Hosanna!" of St. Matthew, no doubt because this peculiar Hebrew cry would not have conveyed any meaning to the Gentile readers to whom his story was especially addressed. The two incidents which follow - the crying out of the stones, and the weeping of the Master over his beautiful doomed city (vers. 39-44) - occur only in St. Luke. His source of information here was evidently quite different to the other two synoptists or St. John.
Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.
Verses 39, 40. - And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. These Pharisees were probably some of that great and influential sect who had all along listened with respect and attention to the Master, looking upon him as a most able and powerful Rabbi, but refusing to entertain any of the growing Messianic conceptions respecting his person. Godet graphically paints the scene in his suggestion that the words, "Rebuke thy disciples," were accompanied with an irritated and anxious look towards the frowning citadel of Antonia, where the Roman garrison of Jerusalem lay. It was there in full view of Jesus and the crowds. The anxious look seemed to say that the Romans were on the watch for any signs of disaffection on the part of the hated and suspected Jews. The answer of Jesus, continues the same writer, has a terrible majesty. "If I could silence all these," looking round on the impassioned faces of the multitude as they waved their palm branches in homage to their King, "the very stones on the ground would cry aloud." This striking imagery was a memory of our Lord of the prophecy of Habakkuk: "The stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it" (Habakkuk 2:11).
And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
Verse 41. - He beheld the city. It was a very different view to what the traveller of the present day would see from the same spot. Though Jerusalem, when Jesus Christ was teaching on earth, was subject to the stranger Herodian, and the Herodian to the great Italian power, yet the beauty and glory of the city were remarkable. Still glittered in the midst of the great city that "mass of gold and snow" known as the temple. The far-extending suburbs were covered with the gardens and palaces of the wealthy Jews. But the mighty memories which hung so thickly round the sacred city and the glorious house of God after all constituted its chief charm. What might not that city have been! what splendid and far-reaching work might it not have done l and now the cup of its iniquities was just brimming over; only a few more short years, and a silence the most awful would brood over the shapeless ruins of what was once Jerusalem and her house on Zion, the joy of the whole earth. And wept over it. No merely silent tears of mute sorrow, but ἔκλαυσεν, he wept aloud. All the insults and the sufferings of the Passion were powerless to elicit from the Man of sorrows that expression of intense grief which the thought of the ruin of the loved city called forth.
Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
Verse 42. - If thou hadst known,' even thou, at least in this thy day. The emphatic repetition of the "thou" and the broken form of the sentence, tell of the intense feeling of the Divine Speaker. "In this thy day." There was still time, still one day left, before his terrible trial-time began, Which filled up the measure of Jerusalem and her people's iniquity. Still one day in which, had they only known "the things which belonged to their peace," they might have won a forgiveness for all the past centuries of sin.
For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;
Verses 45, 46. - And he went into the temple. The recital of St. Luke here is more general and less precise than that of the other two synoptists. The Lord on that "Palm Sunday" evening simply went into the temple, ,, and when he had looked round about upon all things" it was then evening, and he returned to his lodging at Bethany with the twelve (Mark 11:11). The expulsion of the money-changers, mentioned in the next verse (46), took place on the following day. St. Matthew adds another interesting detail respecting the excitement caused by the presence of Jesus in the city. "When he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?" (Matthew 21:10). And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. This visit of the Lord to the temple, in which he spoke and acted as King Messiah, was a fulfilment of Malachi 3:1, 2. In the outer court of the temple stalls had been erected in which money-changers were located (geld-wechsel comptoir - change de monnaies), in order that pilgrims from foreign lands might be able to exchange their foreign coins for the purchase of sacrificial victims. These also seem to have been sold in the precincts. All this made the courts of the Lord's house a scene of noise and tumult, and, from the Master's stern words, a scene often of cheating and overreaching. The words of Jesus were taken from Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11.
Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.
And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him,
Verse 47. - And he taught daily in the temple. This and the following verses give, after the manner of St. Luke, both in his Gospel and in the Acts, a general picture of the Lord's life in these last days of his public ministry in Jerusalem; anal of the effect of his last teaching (l) upon the priests and scribes, etc., and
(2) upon the mass of the people. The Greek word rendered "very attentive to hear (him)" is an expressive one, and describes the intense attention with which the people generally listened to the last solemn public utterances of the Master. It means literally, "they hung upon his lips."
And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.