A native of Topsfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from Brown University in 2004 with a degree in classics and history. (Here, I am reading the version in John 2, where the use of the whip, or scourge, is specifically mentioned.). A basic interpretation of the event takes it at face value: Jesus was justly angered that worldly commercial activities had corrupted the holiness of the temple. Both the selling of animals for sacrifices and the payment of the temple tax were activities required by Jewish law and central to the temple’s functions. In John chapter 2, Jesus arrives in Jerusalem during the festival of Passover and drives the money-changers out of the temple. Jesus cleansed the Temple because sinful activities interfered with worship. And He said to those who sold doves, "Take these things away! But who were the money-changers, and why was their presence at this sacred site so offensive? Herod the Great doubled the size of the Temple Mount. The Mishnah states that on the 15 th of Adar, every year, "tables" were set up in the provinces (or in Jerusalem) for the collection of the statutory annual half-shekel, and on the 25 th of Adar they were set up in the Temple itself (Shek. Because pilgrims were unfamiliar with Jerusalem, the Temple … © Copyright 2020 Catholic Exchange. It’s not the first time that such inference has been drawn from the story: the gospel account has also been invoked as a justification for the crusades. 15 So he made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen. He is the author of "Hope for Hurting Singles: A Christian Guide to Overcoming Life's Challenges. The high priest ordered that only Tyrian shekels would be accepted for the annual half-shekel Temple tax because they contained a higher percentage of silver, so the money changers exchanged unacceptable coins for these shekels. Bible scholars think this incident happened at Solomon's Porch, the outermost part on the east side of the Temple. He drove the exchangers out of the area, along with the men selling pigeons and cattle. He ran about, knocking over the tables of the money changers, spilling coins on the ground. So what is the real meaning of the story? As he cleansed the Temple of greed and profit, Jesus quoted from Isaiah 56:7: "My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you make it a den of robbers." Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!" Jesus not only drove money changers from the temple, but he also cleared out those who were selling animals. Here Augustine, in his sermons on John, makes a helpful observation about the sacrificial system then in place at the temple: For you know, beloved, that sacrifices were given to that people, in consideration of the carnal mind and stony heart yet in them, to keep them from falling away to idols: and they offered there for sacrifices oxen, sheep, and doves: you know this, for you have read it. ", Learn Religions uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Why is this? Do I need to cleanse my heart of attitudes or actions that are coming between me and God? Money-Changers in the Temple. The money changers in the temple courts were similar to tax collectors in that they extorted money from their own people. 1:3). Archaeologists have found a Greek inscription dated to 20 B.C. Read in light of this interpretation, the text makes more sense. ^ The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary by Craig A. Evans 2005 ISBN 0-7814-4228-1 page 49 The common people were impressed by Jesus' teaching, but the chief priests and scribes feared him because of his popularity. Like and subscribe, or I will find you, and I will kill you. He also prevented people from using the court as a shortcut. All rights reserved. In John 2:14-16 we read that Jesus drove the money changers and those selling sacrificial animals out of the temple in Jerusalem. This cleansing of the temple is, with Chrysostom, Paulus, Kuinoel, Tholuck, Olshausen, Kern, Ebrard, Baumgarten He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.

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