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Matthew 21:12-13

Context
Cleansing the Temple

21:12 Then 1  Jesus entered the temple area 2  and drove out all those who were selling and buying in the temple courts, 3  and turned over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 21:13 And he said to them, “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer, 4  but you are turning it into a den 5  of robbers!” 6 

1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

2 tn Grk “the temple.”

sn The merchants (those who were selling) would have been located in the Court of the Gentiles.

3 tn Grk “the temple.”

sn Matthew (here, 21:12-27), Mark (11:15-19) and Luke (19:45-46) record this incident of the temple cleansing at the end of Jesus’ ministry. John (2:13-16) records a cleansing of the temple at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. See the note on the word temple courts in John 2:14 for a discussion of the relationship of these accounts to one another.

4 sn A quotation from Isa 56:7.

5 tn Or “a hideout” (see L&N 1.57).

6 sn A quotation from Jer 7:11. The meaning of Jesus’ statement about making the temple courts a den of robbers probably operates here at two levels. Not only were the religious leaders robbing the people financially, but because of this they had also robbed them spiritually by stealing from them the opportunity to come to know God genuinely. It is possible that these merchants had recently been moved to this location for convenience.



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