12 After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his
brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.
[And the Jews passover was at hand] This was the reason he stayed
but a few days at Capernaum, as he wished to be present at the celebration
of this feast at Jerusalem.
14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
[Found in the temple those that sold oxen...] This is a similar fact to that mentioned in Matthew 21:12, Mark 11:15, Luke 19:45. It appears that Jesus cleansed the temple twice, here, in the first weeks of his public ministry and again during the last week of his life. The vindication of God's house from profanation was the first and last care of our Lord and it is probable that he began and finished his public ministry by this significant act.
15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of
the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money,
and overthrew the tables;
[The zeal of thine house] See Psalm 69:9. Zeal to promote thy glory and to keep thy worship pure.
18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
[What sign showest thou] When Moses came to deliver Israel he gave signs, or miracles, to show that he acted under a divine commission. What miracle do you work to show us that you are vested with a similar authority?
19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
[Destroy this temple] The explicit Greek words are, this very temple; perhaps pointing to his body at the same time.
20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building,
and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
Forty and six years was this temple in building] The temple of
which the Jews spoke was begun to be rebuilt by Herod the great in the 18th
year of his reign. But, though he finished the main work in nine years and
a half, yet additional building and repairs were carried on for many years
afterwards. Herod began the work sixteen years before the birth of our Lord:
the transaction which is here related took place in the thirtieth year of our
Lord, which makes 46 years. Josephus tells us that the whole of the buildings
belonging to the temple were not finished until Nero's reign, when Albinus,
the Governor of Judea, was succeeded by Gessius Florus, which was eighty
years after the eighteenth year of Herod's reign.
[Of the temple of his body] Rather, the temple, his body; his body was the temple of his Divinity - the place in which, as in the ancient temple, his Godhead dwelt. Notice how the chief priests and elders perverted his words, Matthew 26:60-61.
22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
[The deciples remembered...and they believed] See
these scriptures in a way in which they had never before understood them.
23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
[Many believed in his name] They believed him to be the promised Messiah, but did not believe in him to the salvation of their souls: for we find from the following verse that their hearts were not at all changed, because our blessed Lord could not trust himself to them.
24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
[He knew all men] Jesus knew all things. Why? Because he made all
things, and because he was the all-wise God, and he knew all men because he
alone searches the heart and tries the reins. He knows who is sincere and
who is hypocritical; he knows them in whom he can confide and those to whom
he can neither trust himself or his gifts.
Based upon excerpts from Adam Clarke's Commentary, 2nd edition published in New York by Lane and Scott, 1850. More recent editions may be purchased from Amazon.com
This page updated 10/19/2006Copyright (C) 1999,2003,2006 Robert C. Denig. All rights reserved