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Matthew 17:24-27

Context
The Temple Tax

17:24 After 1  they arrived in Capernaum, 2  the collectors of the temple tax 3  came to Peter and said, “Your teacher pays the double drachma tax, doesn’t he?” 17:25 He said, “Yes.” When Peter came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, 4  “What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly kings collect tolls or taxes – from their sons 5  or from foreigners?” 17:26 After he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons 6  are free. 17:27 But so that we don’t offend them, go to the lake and throw out a hook. Take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth, you will find a four drachma coin. 7  Take that and give it to them for me and you.”

1 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

2 map For location see Map1 D2; Map2 C3; Map3 B2.

3 tn Grk “Collectors of the double drachma.” This is a case of metonymy, where the coin formerly used to pay the tax (the double drachma coin, or δίδραχμον [didracmon]) was put for the tax itself (cf. BDAG 241 s.v.). Even though this coin was no longer in circulation in NT times and other coins were used to pay the tax, the name for the coin was still used to refer to the tax itself.

sn The temple tax refers to the half-shekel tax paid annually by male Jews to support the temple (Exod 30:13-16).

4 tn Grk “spoke first to him, saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant in English and has not been translated.

5 sn The phrase their sons may mean “their citizens,” but the term “sons” has been retained here in order to preserve the implicit comparison between the Father and his Son, Jesus.

6 sn See the note on the phrase their sons in the previous verse.

7 sn The four drachma coin was a stater (στατήρ, stathr), a silver coin worth four drachmas. One drachma was equivalent to one denarius, the standard pay for a day’s labor (L&N 6.80).



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