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11 And the multitude said, This them that sold and bought in the is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of temple, and overthrew the tables Galilee.
of the money-changers, and the 12 T And Jesus went into the seats of them that sold doves, temple of God, and cast out all 13 And said unto them, It is much excitement among the inhabi- and who much affected to patronize tants, and induced the very pertinent external decorum in religion, should inquiry, Who is this? Some, per- have permitted so gross a violation of haps, hoped it might be the Messiah ; decency. But, let it be remembered, while others feared a mutiny against that the merchandize was transacted in the government had broken forth. the court of the Gentiles, a place allot
11. This is Jesus, the prophet of Naz- ted for the devotions of the proselytes areth of Galilee. They did not describe of the gate, those who, having renounhim as the Messiah, whatever might ced idolatry, worshipped the true God, have been their impressions concerning but did not subject themselves to cirhis character; but used a title by l cumcision and the ceremonial law. To which he was better known at Jerusa- the religious service of such, the narlem,--the prophet of Nazareth. His row-souled Pharisees paid no regard. fame as a prophet was widely extended | The place they did not account holy. even among his enemies.
It is even not improbable that, in order 12. Matthew records here the trans- to put an indignity on those half-conactions in the temple, before noticing formists, they had introduced and prothe matter of the fig-tree, ver. 18—22; | moted this flagrant abuse. The zeal of perhaps because he chose to narraté our Lord, which breathed nothing of that whole affair at once. But Mark is the pharisaical malignity, tended as very particular in his record. He says much to unite and conciliate, as theirs that Jesus entered the temple on the tended to divide and alienate. Nor day of his entrance into the city; but was there anything in the leaven of the having taken a brief view of it, he re- i Pharisees, which he more uniformly tired to Bethany. On the next day, he opposed, than that assuming spirit, the returned to the city, and then entered surest badge of the sectary, which the temple and purified it as recorded would confine the favor of the universal by Matthew. Mark xi. 11-17. The Parent to those of his own sect, denomtwo accounts agree, except in the order | ination, or country. See Matt. viii. of time; and, in that, Mark is un- 11, 12, Luke iv. 23, &c. X. 29, &c."doubtedly correct, as he says expressly Campbell. Money-changers. The that this visit to the temple was on the offerings of money in the temple were
nert day, whereas Matthew does not required to be in Jewish coin. But. I say whether it was on that day or the after the subjection of Judea to Rome, į next. He records the event, but does the Roman coin became the principal
not definitely fix the time. Into the circulating currency. The money-changtemple of God, &c. “ The temple, to ers were those who exchanged Jewieron, (to lepov.) Let it be observed ish for Roman coin, to accommodate that the word here is not naos, (vuós.) | those who desired. Their business By the latter was meant properly the was similar to that of the class now house, including only the vestibule, the called brokers, who exchange one kind holy place or sanctuary, and the most of money for another, on such terms as
holv Whereas the former compre- to accommodate others, while they eni hended all the courts. It was in the rich themselves. I Them that sold I outermost court, that this sort of traffic doves. The poor, who had not the
was exercised. For want of peculiar ability to offer the sacrifices prescribed names in European languages, these by the law, were permitted to substitwo are confounded in most modern tute doves or pigeons. Lev. v. 7; xii. translations. To the temple, strictly 8. The sale of doves, for this purpose, so called, none of those people had ac- is said to have been great; and those cess, not even our Lord himself, be- who sold often took most unrighteous
cause not of the posterity of Aaron. It advantage of the purchasers. So much I may be thought strange, that the Phar- | is plainly indicated concerning them, 1 isees, whose sect then predominated, I and the money-changers also, in ver. written, My house shall be called crying in the temple, and saying, the house of prayer, but ye have Hosanna to the Son of David ; they made it a den of thieves.
were sore displeased, 14 And the blind and the lame 16 And said unto him, Hearest came to him in the temple ; and he thou what these say? And Jesus healed them.
saith unto them, Yea : have ye 15 And when the chief priests never read, Out of the mouth of and scribes saw the wonderful babes and sucklings thou hast perthings that he did, and the children fected praise ?
13, where they are, by necessary im- less mother, and he made provision to plication, denounced as thieves and secure her against future distress. robbers.
John xix. 26, 27. 13. It is written, &c. See Isa. lvi. 7; 15. Wonderful things. His exercise Jer. vii. 11. It was the usual practice of authority which belonged to a of our Lord, when rebuking the Jewish prophet, and his miraculous cures. rulers and people for their ungodliness, The children. Some commentators to appeal to their prophets, whose au- understand this of children literally, thority they at least professed to re who were present, and, after their usual spect. He thus gave them no opportu- manner, united their shouts with the nity to cavil at his reproofs. So, in this acclamations of their elders. Others case, he quotes from Isaiah, to remind understand it of the disciples, who are them that the temple, with all its elsewhere often called children. The courts, was designed as a place of reli-language of Matthew seems clearly to gious worship; and applies a passage justify the former interpretation; while from Jeremiah, in proof that they had the latter is favored by the parallel desecrated this holy place, and made it place, Luke xix. 37-39. I They were a den of thieves, by allowing in it a sore displeased. Very much displeased. species of traffic which was abused for The reason is given, John xii. 19. the purpose of gain and extortion. In They perceived that their own influthe phrase den of thieves, allusion is ence among the people would probably made to the practice of depredators on | be injured by the words and deeds of the property of others to shelter them- Jesus. They were not willing that he selves in dens and caves of the earth. should receive honor at their expense. It has been supposed, by some, that | They were jealous of him from the beour Lord could not have driven these ginning, and displeased at any manmen from the temple, without the exer- ifestation of popular favor towards cise of miraculous power. But perhaps him. no miracle was necessary. The guilty | 16. Hearest thou what these say? were awed by his dignity and solem- | That is, what these children say. Or, nity: they were also unmanned by las Luke records it, “Master, rebuke shame, for they knew themselves to be thy disciples.” Luke xix. 39. They guilty: they knew that prophets had desired him to check immediately this always been considered authorized to offensive expression of joy and thankfuluse authority, and that the people, just ness. Have ye never read, &c. See at that time, believed Jesus to be a Ps. viii. 2; quoted according to the prophet. The last named reason prob- Septuagint, but somewhat differing ably had as much effect on their minds from the Hebrew. Babes and suckas any other; and they departed from lings are here to be understood as chilthe temple, because they dared not dren in ver. 15. Luke records the anlonger remain there.
swer thus; “I tell you, if these should 14. The blind and the lame, &c. hold their peace, the stones would imHere, as in all other places, he relieved mediately cry out.” Luke xix. 40. the suffering. Wherever he was, and These passages are generally regarded however engaged, he never turned a as parallel. But perhaps the two evandeaf ear to the supplications of the gelists may not refer to the same conmiserable. Even while he hung on the versation ; for not only is there a concross, in that hour of agony, his atten- siderable variety in the expressions, but tion was turned to his tender and help- | from Luke's account it would seem
- 17 And he left them, and found nothing thereon, but leaves t went out of the city into Bethany, only, and said unto it, Let no fruit and he lodged there.
grow on thee henceforward for 18 Now, in the morning, as he ever. And presently the fig-tree & returned into the city, he hungered. withered away.
19 And when he saw a fig-tree 20 And when the disciples saw t in the way, he came to it, and it, they marvelled, saying, How
that he described a conversation which passover, the first fruits were to be occurred before Jesus entered Jerusa-offered to God in the temple. Lev. lem, while Matthew speaks of one xxiii. 11. That the time of figs, that which occurred in the temple.
is, of ripe figs, was then present, has 17-19. Parallel with Mark xi. 11 been showed to have been very proba
ble.- What is now intended here is, to 17. Into Bethany. See note on ver. / show that, by the word kairos,( xalpos,) 1. In this village “Lazarus was, may be meant the time of gathering which had been dead, whom he raised them. And for proof of this, let the from the dead.” John xii. 1. It has following places be considered. (LXX.) been supposed, not without reason, that I Ps. i. 4. (3:) Mark xii. 2. and Matt our Lord made his home, for the few | xxi. 34, in all which places, the word remaining days of his earthly life, with kairos (valgos) seems to require this Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Mar- sense, especially in the last, where the tha. A very affecting circumstance ! lord of the vineyard is said to have which occurred there is recorded, John sent his servants, that they might rexii. 1-8.
ceive the fruits of it. And when was it 18,19. Returning from Bethany to the that he sent them? We are told, that city, in the morning, our Lord was hun it was when the time of the fruits drew gry; and seeing a fig-tree which ap. | near, that is, the time of gathering peared to have fruit, though it was not them. To this ma ay be
at we yet the usual time of harvest, he ap- read in LXX. Job v. 26, where the proached it, but found nothing thereon time of corn is the time of reaping it." except leaves. To confirm the confi- / -Pearce. dence of his disciples in the power of ! 20-22. Parallel with Mark xi. 20faith, he devoted the tree to perpetual | 26. barrenness, which presently thereupon 20. When the disciples saw it, &c. withered away. This is one of the That is, on the morrow after the tree very few cases, in which the miracles was devoted. Mark xi. 20. Ther of our Lord were destructive in their marvelled. They were amazed at this character. But here it should be ob-display of power. They had seen served, that, as the tree stood in the many miracles performed by their Maspublic' highway, it was not private ter, but none like this: they seem not property : as it bore no fruit, it was to have been aware that the same comparatively valueless, except for power, which could quiet the raging fuel; and it was as serviceable for this waves of the sea, could also affect the use after it withered as before. To vegetable world. How soon is the
n matter of surprise. fig-tree withered away. " Behold, the that our Lord sought figs on this tree, fig-tree which thou cursedst is withwhile " the time of figs was not yet.” | ered away." Mark xi. 21. All the curse, Mark xi. 13. “ It has been questioned, however, which Jesus pronounced, was whether any ripe figs could be expected that it should thenceforth be barren. It to be found on fig-trees at this time of should be observed, that, to curse, and the year: and that there were then ripe devote to death or destruction, were offigs will appear from the following con- ten expressed, in the Hebrew language siderations. Jesus went up to this fig. by the same word. “It has been comtree on the eleventh day of the month monly thought that he did this to de. Nisan, that is, three days before the note the sudden withering away, or passover, which was always on the destruction, of the Jewish people. They, fourteenth day of it. On the morrow like the fig-tree, promised fair. That after the Sabbath which followed the was full of leaves, and they full of pro
soon is the fig-tree withered away! | into the temple, the chief priests
21 Jesus answered and said unto and the elders of the people came them, Verily, I say unto you, If ye unto him as he was teaching, and have faith, and doubt not, ye shall said, By what authority doest thou not only do this which is done to the these things ? and who gave thee fig-tree, but also, if ye shall say this authority ? unto this mountain, Be thou re- 24 And Jesus answered and said moved, and be thou cast into the unto them, I also will ask you one sea ; it shall be done.
| thing, which if ye tell me, I in like 22 And all things whatsoever ye wise will tell you by what authorshall ask in prayer, believing, ye ity I do these things. shall receive.
25 The baptism of John, whence 23 | And when he was come was it? from heaven, or of men? fessions. Yet both were equally bar- 23—27. Parallel with Mark xi. 27– ren. And as that was destroyed, so 33, and Luke xx. 148. were they soon to be. It is certain this 23. By what authority, &c. There would be a good illustration of the de was at least a seeming propriety in this struction of the Jewish people; but question. On the preceding day, Jesus there is not the least evidence that our had assumed authority to purge the Saviour intended it as such ; and with-| temple of much which defiled it. On out such evidence, we have no right the day preceding that, he had entered to say that that was its meaning." the city with kingly pomp, as if he Barnes. The same may be said of were about to claim dominion. In another opinion, entertained by many, short, he had appeared to exercise the that this event was emblematical of various offices of priest, prophet and the rejection and .utter destruction of king, which pertained to the Messiah. unfruitful professors. We have no evi- | The chief priests and elders, as the redence that such was the design of our ligious teachers of the people, might Lord, nor any right to say that this was have honestly desired an explanation his meaning
of the matter, that they might know 21. This mountain. The mount of whether or not to announce him to the Olives. See note on Matt. xvii. 20. people, as the long-expected prince and The idea is, that any and all difficulties deliverer. But they had no such demay be surmounted by faith._"Have sign. Their purpose in this, as in faith in God." Mark xi. 22. The time many other ques was approaching, when they must en- posed, was to entrap him if possible, counter difficulties which might seem and to draw from his reply somewhat insuperable. And our Lord graciously of which they might accuse him. He pointed out the only effectual method | perceived their craft, and answered of overcoming them. Moreover, he en- | them accordingly. couraged them to have faith in miracu- 24. I also will ask you, &c. This lous power, with which they them was not done with a design to shrink selves were soon to be clothed more from a direct answer. He had already, abundantly.
both by word and deed, exhibited evi. 22. Believing, ye shall receive. Seedence by what authority he acted. He note on Matt. xviii. 19. Whatever had performed miracles in their sight; power or aid in the prosecution of their if they would not acknowledge the tes labor they might desire, if they would timony afforded by these, would they ask, exercising a spirit of faith that it have been more satisfied by a direct was consistent with the will of God to assertion that he had authority from grant it, they should receive it. This God? According to a rule admitted by promise was made to the apostles, the Jewish doctors, he proposed a ques. for their special encouragement. And | tion, in his turn; by answering which, however true the same fact may be, in as they perceived on reflection, they regard to others, yet I conceive the must not only render any further reply promise, as such, does not extend be- from him unnecessary, but effectually yond the apostles.
| condemn themselves.
hich they pro
And they reasoned with them- | not; but afterward he repented,
26 But if we shall say, Of men ; swered and said, I go, sir : and we fear the people : for all hold | went not. John as a prophet.
31 Whether of them twain did 27 And they answered Jesus, the will of his father? They say and said, We cannot tell. And he unto him, The first. Jesus saith 1 said unto them, Neither tell I you unto them, Verily I say unto you, by what authority I do these things. That the publicans and the harlots
28 | But what think ye? A go into the kingdom of God before certain man had two sons; and he you. came to the first, and said, Son, go 32 For John came unto you in work to-day in my vineyard. the way of righteousness, and ye
29 He answered and said, I will believed him not : but the publi
25, 26. The baptism of John. By or, we will not tell, they would have baptism is here probably meant his expressed the plain and exact truth. ministry. A part is put for the whole, Neither tell 1 you, &c. According
as in his name, John the Baptist; and to their own rules, as they had failed to as for the same reason, namely, because answer his question, he was under no a baptism was the most prominent and obligation to answer theirs. And they En striking feature in his ministry. From had too much shrewdness to insist on a on heaven. That is, of divine authority. I reply, or to ask him why he withheld
1 Or of men? That is, of human au- it. Such an inquiry would have led to er thority. The Pharisees felt the diffi- a more open and direct exposure of their # culty of their position; and they rea-hypocrisy and iniquity. But though I soned with themselves, how they might Jesus gave them no direct answer, in
escape the dilemma. They rightly the following parables he sufficiently judged, that, if they should say from indicated the authority by which he heaven, he would inquire why they did | acted. not believe him, for they professed to 28–30. But what think ye? By this
believe all the prophets of God; and if introduction, our Lord called their atsi they believed him and his testimony, tention particularly to what he was y they could give no reason for rejecting about to say, as it intimated that he
Jesus, for John testified of him :-but would expect a reply. Vineyard. if they should say, of men, they feared See note on Matt. xx. 1. Repented. the people; the people all regarded His mind was changed; and he reJohn as a prophet; and if they denied solved to do what he had at first de
his prophetic character, openly, the clined. te people would despise them. Which- 31, 32. Twain. Two. They say
ever way, then, they might answer the unto him, the first. This answer was question, they would be involved in correct. But it is singular, that, under difficulty. On the one hand, they must all the existing circumstances, they did confess their insincerity and be dis- not perceive that they were pronouncing graced in the sight of Jesus and those their own condemnation. Our Lord who stood around ; on the other, they immediately explained the design of the must hazard the loss of reputation parable, and made a direct application
among the people. Luke says, they of it to them. By the son, who refused meni feared they should be stoned.
obedience, he intended the publicans 27. We cannot tell. An absolute and harlots, those whom the Pharisees falsehood, in effect, if not in terms. regarded as profane, ungodly, and unFor in reasoning what answer to give, worthy of salvation. They had never they left out of the question all the evi- professed a willingness to obey God, dence in the case, and considered only but had openly violated his laws. Yet what effects might result from their when John came in the way of rightreply. Had they said, we dare not tell, I cousness, they believed him. They for