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Matthew 21:13

    Matthew 21:13 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And said to them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    and he saith unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer: but ye make it a den of robbers.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And he said to them, It is in the Writings, My house is to be named a house of prayer, but you are making it a hole of thieves.

    Webster's Revision

    and he saith unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer: but ye make it a den of robbers.

    World English Bible

    He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a den of robbers!"

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    and he saith unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer: but ye make it a den of robbers.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 21:13

    My house shall be called the house of prayer - This is taken from Isaiah 56:7.

    But ye have made it a den of thieves - This is taken from Jeremiah 7:11.

    Our Lord alludes here to those dens and caves in Judea, in which the public robbers either hid or kept themselves fortified.

    They who are placed in the Church of Christ to serve souls, and do it not, and they who enjoy the revenues of the Church, and neglect the service of it, are thieves and robbers in more senses than one.

    Our Lord is represented here as purifying his temple; and this we may judge he did in reference to his true temple, the Church, to show that nothing that was worldly or unholy should have any place among his followers, or in that heart in which he should condescend to dwell. It is marvellous that these interested, vile men did not raise a mob against him: but it is probable they were overawed by the Divine power, or, seeing the multitudes on the side of Christ, they were afraid to molest him. I knew a case something similar to this, which did not succeed so well. A very pious clergyman of my acquaintance, observing a woman keeping a public standing to sell nuts, gingerbread, etc., at the very porch of his Church, on the Lord's day, "desired her to remove thence, and not defile the house of God, while she profaned the Sabbath of the Lord." She paid no attention to him. He warned her the next Sabbath, but still to no purpose. Going in one Lord's day to preach, and finding her still in the very entrance, with her stall, he overthrew the stall, and scattered the stuff into the street. He was shortly after summoned to appear before the royal court, which, to its eternal reproach, condemned the action, and fined the man of God in a considerable sum of money!

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 21:13

    And said It is written ... - This is written in Isaiah 56:7. The first part of this verse only is quoted from Isaiah. The rest - "but ye have made it a den of thieves" - was added by Jesus, denoting their abuse of the temple. Thieves and robbers live in dens and caves. Judea was then much infested with them. In their dens thieves devise and practice iniquity. These buyers and sellers imitated them. They made the temple a place of gain; they cheated and defrauded; they took advantage of the poor, and, by their being under a necessity of purchasing these articles for sacrifice, they "robbed" them by selling what they had at an enormous price.

    The following reasons may be given why this company of buyers and sellers obeyed Christ:

    1. They were overawed by his authority, and struck with the consciousness that he had a right to command,

    2. Their own consciences reproved them; they knew they were guilty, and they dared make no resistance.

    3. The people generally were then on the side of Jesus, believing him to be the Messiah.

    4. It had always been the belief of the Jews that a "prophet" had a right to change, regulate, and order the various affairs relating to external worship. They supposed Jesus to be such, and they did not dare to resist him.

    Mark and Luke add, that in consequence of this, the scribes and chief priests attempted to put him to death, Mark 11:18-19; Luke 19:47-48. This they did from "envy," Matthew 27:18. He drew off the people from them, and they envied and hated him. They were "restrained," then, for the fear of the people; and this was the reason why they plotted "secretly" to put him to death, and why they afterward so gladly heard the proposals of the traitor, Matthew 26:14-15.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 21:13

    21:13 A den of thieves - A proverbial expression, for a harbour of wicked men. Isa 56:7; Jer 7:11.