New International Version
"Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "So give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
King James Bible
They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
Darby Bible Translation
They say to him, Caesar's. Then he says to them, Pay then what is Caesar's to Caesar, and what is God's to God.
World English Bible
They said to him, "Caesar's." Then he said to them, "Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
Young's Literal Translation
they say to him, 'Caesar's;' then saith he to them, 'Render therefore the things of Caesar to Caesar, and the things of God to God;'
Matthew 22:21 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
They say unto him, Caesars - The image was the head of the emperor; the superscription, his titles. Julius Caesar was the first who caused his image to be struck on the Roman coin. Tiberius was emperor at this time.
Render therefore unto Caesar - The conclusion is drawn from their own premises. You acknowledge this to be Caesar's coin; this coin is current, in your land; the currency of this coin shows the country to be under the Roman government; and your acknowledgment that it is Caesar's proves you have submitted. Don't therefore be unjust; but render to Caesar the things which you acknowledge to be his; at the same time, be not impious, but render unto God the thing's which belong to God.
This answer is full of consummate wisdom. It establishes the limits, regulates the rights, and distinguishes the jurisdiction of the two empires of heaven and earth. The image of princes stamped on their coin denotes that temporal things belong all to their government. The image of God stamped on the soul denotes that all its faculties and powers belong to the Most High, and should be employed in his service.
But while the earth is agitated and distracted with the question of political rights and wrongs, the reader will naturally ask, What does a man owe to Caesar? - to the civil government under which he lives? Our Lord has answered the question - That which IS Caesar's. But what is it that is Caesar's? 1. Honour. 2. Obedience. And 3.Tribute.
1. The civil government under which a man lives, and by which he is protected, demands his honor and reverence.
2. The laws which are made for the suppression of evil doers, and the maintenance of good order, which are calculated to promote the benefit of the whole, and the comfort of the individual should be religiously obeyed.
3. The government that charges itself with the support and defense of the whole, should have its unavoidable expenses, however great, repaid by the people, in whose behalf they are incurred; therefore we should pay tribute.
But remember, if Caesar should intrude into the things of God, coin a new creed, or broach a new Gospel, and affect to rule the conscience, while he rules the state, in these things Caesar is not to be obeyed; he is taking the things of God, and he must not get them. Give not therefore God's things to Caesar, and give not Caesar's things to God. That which belongs to the commonwealth should, on no account whatever, be devoted to religious uses; and let no man think he has pleased God, by giving that to charitable or sacred uses which he has purloined from the state. The tribute of half a shekel, which the law, (Exodus 30:13, Exodus 30:14), required every person above twenty years of age to pay to the temple, was, after the destruction of the temple, in the time of Vespasian, paid into the emperor's exchequer. This sum, Melancthon supposes, amounted annually to Three Tons Of Gold.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
are Caesar's. This conclusion is drawn from their own maxims and premises. They held that 'wherever the money of any king is current, there the inhabitants acknowledge that king for their lord.' Now, by admitting that this was Caesar's coin, and by consenting to receive it as the current coin of their country, they in fact acknowledged their subjection to his government, and of course their obligation to pay the tribute demanded of them. This answer was full of consummate wisdom, and it completely defeated the insidious designs of his enemies. He avoided rendering himself odious to the Jewish people by opposing their notions of liberty, or appearing to pay court to the emperor, without exposing himself to the charge of sedition and disaffection to the Roman government.
LibrarySacrifice to Caesar or to God
Eversley, 1869. Chester Cathedral, 1872. Matthew xxii. 21. "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." Many a sermon has been preached, and many a pamphlet written, on this text, and (as too often has happened to Holy Scripture), it has been made to mean the most opposite doctrines, and twisted in every direction, to suit men's opinions and superstitions. Some have found in it a command to obey tyrants, invaders, any and every government, …
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons
On the Same Words of the Gospel, Matt. xxii. 42
The Heavenly Banquet.
Profession and Practice.
and he asked them, "Whose image is this? And whose inscription?"
Then Jesus said to them, "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed at him.
He said to them, "Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
1 Peter 2:17
Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
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