21:1 Now 1 when they approached Jerusalem 2 and came to Bethphage, 3 at the Mount of Olives, 4 Jesus sent two disciples, 21:2 telling them, “Go to the village ahead of you. 5 Right away you will find a donkey tied there, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 21:3 If anyone says anything to you, you are to say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ 6 and he will send them at once.” 21:4 This 7 took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: 8
‘Look, your king is coming to you,
unassuming and seated on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” 10
21:6 So 11 the disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 21:7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks 12 on them, and he sat on them. 21:8 A 13 very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 21:9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those following kept shouting, 14 “Hosanna 15 to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! 16 Hosanna in the highest!” 21:10 As he entered Jerusalem the whole city was thrown into an uproar, 17 saying, “Who is this?” 21:11 And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth 18 in Galilee.”
21:12 Then 19 Jesus entered the temple area 20 and drove out all those who were selling and buying in the temple courts, 21 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,’ 22 but you are turning it into a den 23 of robbers!” 24
21:14 The blind and lame came to him in the temple courts, and he healed them. 21:15 But when the chief priests and the experts in the law 25 saw the wonderful things he did and heard the children crying out in the temple courts, 26 “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant 21:16 and said to him, “Do you hear what they are saying?” Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouths of children and nursing infants you have prepared praise for yourself’?” 27 21:17 And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and spent the night there.
21:18 Now early in the morning, as he returned to the city, he was hungry. 21:19 After noticing a fig tree 28 by the road he went to it, but found nothing on it except leaves. He said to it, “Never again will there be fruit from you!” And the fig tree withered at once. 21:20 When the disciples saw it they were amazed, saying, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” 21:21 Jesus 29 answered them, “I tell you the truth, 30 if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, if you believe, 31 you will receive.”
21:23 Now after Jesus 32 entered the temple courts, 33 the chief priests and elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority 34 are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 21:24 Jesus 35 answered them, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 21:25 Where did John’s baptism come from? From heaven or from people?” 36 They discussed this among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 21:26 But if we say, ‘From people,’ we fear the crowd, for they all consider John to be a prophet.” 21:27 So 37 they answered Jesus, 38 “We don’t know.” 39 Then he said to them, “Neither will I tell you 40 by what authority 41 I am doing these things.
21:28 “What 42 do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 21:29 The boy answered, 43 ‘I will not.’ But later he had a change of heart 44 and went. 21:30 The father 45 went to the other son and said the same thing. This boy answered, 46 ‘I will, sir,’ but did not go. 21:31 Which of the two did his father’s will?” They said, “The first.” 47 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, 48 tax collectors 49 and prostitutes will go ahead of you into the kingdom of God! 21:32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him. But the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe. Although 50 you saw this, you did not later change your minds 51 and believe him.
21:33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner 52 who planted a vineyard. 53 He put a fence around it, dug a pit for its winepress, and built a watchtower. Then 54 he leased it to tenant farmers 55 and went on a journey. 21:34 When the harvest time was near, he sent his slaves 56 to the tenants to collect his portion of the crop. 57 21:35 But the tenants seized his slaves, beat one, 58 killed another, and stoned another. 21:36 Again he sent other slaves, more than the first, and they treated them the same way. 21:37 Finally he sent his son to them, 59 saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 21:38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and get his inheritance!’ 21:39 So 60 they seized him, 61 threw him out of the vineyard, 62 and killed him. 21:40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 21:41 They said to him, “He will utterly destroy those evil men! Then he will lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him his portion at the harvest.”
21:42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:
‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 63
This is from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? 64
21:43 For this reason I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people 65 who will produce its fruit. 21:44 The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, and the one on whom it falls will be crushed.” 66 21:45 When 67 the chief priests and the Pharisees 68 heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 21:46 They wanted to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowds, because the crowds 69 regarded him as a prophet.
22:1 Jesus spoke 70 to them again in parables, saying: 22:2 “The kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 22:3 He sent his slaves 71 to summon those who had been invited to the banquet, but they would not come. 22:4 Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Look! The feast I have prepared for you is ready. 72 My oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.”’ 22:5 But they were indifferent and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. 22:6 The 73 rest seized his slaves, insolently mistreated them, and killed them. 22:7 The 74 king was furious! He sent his soldiers, and they put those murderers to death 75 and set their city 76 on fire. 22:8 Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but the ones who had been invited were not worthy. 22:9 So go into the main streets and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ 22:10 And those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all they found, both bad and good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. 22:11 But when the king came in to see the wedding guests, he saw a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 22:12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But he had nothing to say. 77 22:13 Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!’ 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”
22:15 Then the Pharisees 78 went out and planned together to entrap him with his own words. 79 22:16 They sent to him their disciples along with the Herodians, 80 saying, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful, and teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. 81 You do not court anyone’s favor because you show no partiality. 82 22:17 Tell us then, what do you think? Is it right 83 to pay taxes 84 to Caesar 85 or not?”
22:18 But Jesus realized their evil intentions and said, “Hypocrites! Why are you testing me? 22:19 Show me the coin used for the tax.” So 86 they brought him a denarius. 87 22:20 Jesus 88 said to them, “Whose image 89 is this, and whose inscription?” 22:21 They replied, 90 “Caesar’s.” He said to them, 91 “Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 92 22:22 Now when they heard this they were stunned, 93 and they left him and went away.
22:23 The same day Sadducees 94 (who say there is no resurrection) 95 came to him and asked him, 96 22:24 “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and father children 97 for his brother.’ 98 22:25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children he left his wife to his brother. 22:26 The second did the same, and the third, down to the seventh. 22:27 Last 99 of all, the woman died. 22:28 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.” 100 22:29 Jesus 101 answered them, “You are deceived, 102 because you don’t know the scriptures or the power of God. 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels 103 in heaven. 22:31 Now as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, 104 22:32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 105 He is not the God of the dead but of the living!” 106 22:33 When the crowds heard this, they were amazed at his teaching.
22:34 Now when the Pharisees 107 heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, 108 they assembled together. 109 22:35 And one of them, an expert in religious law, 110 asked him a question to test 111 him: 22:36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 112 22:37 Jesus 113 said to him, “‘Love 114 the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 115 22:38 This is the first and greatest 116 commandment. 22:39 The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 117 22:40 All the law and the prophets depend 118 on these two commandments.”
22:41 While 119 the Pharisees 120 were assembled, Jesus asked them a question: 121 22:42 “What do you think about the Christ? 122 Whose son is he?” They said, “The son of David.” 123 22:43 He said to them, “How then does David by the Spirit call him ‘Lord,’ saying,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet”’? 125
[21:1] 4 sn “Mountain” in English generally denotes a higher elevation than it often does in reference to places in Palestine. The Mount of Olives is really a ridge running north to south about 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) long, east of Jerusalem across the Kidron Valley. Its central elevation is about 30 meters (100 ft) higher than Jerusalem. It was named for the large number of olive trees which grew on it.
[21:5] 9 tn Grk “Tell the daughter of Zion” (the phrase “daughter of Zion” is an idiom for the inhabitants of Jerusalem: “people of Zion”). The idiom “daughter of Zion” has been translated as “people of Zion” because the original idiom, while firmly embedded in the Christian tradition, is not understandable to most modern English readers.
[21:9] 15 tn The expression ῾Ωσαννά (Jwsanna, literally in Hebrew, “O Lord, save”) in the quotation from Ps 118:25-26 was probably by this time a familiar liturgical expression of praise, on the order of “Hail to the king,” although both the underlying Aramaic and Hebrew expressions meant “O Lord, save us.” In words familiar to every Jew, the author is indicating that at this point every messianic expectation is now at the point of realization. It is clear from the words of the psalm shouted by the crowd that Jesus is being proclaimed as messianic king. See E. Lohse, TDNT 9:682-84.
[21:9] sn Hosanna is an Aramaic expression that literally means, “help, I pray,” or “save, I pray.” By Jesus’ time it had become a strictly liturgical formula of praise, however, and was used as an exclamation of praise to God.
[21:12] sn The merchants (those who were selling) would have been located in the Court of the Gentiles.
[21:12] 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.
[21:13] 24 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.
[21:25] 36 tn The plural Greek term ἀνθρώπων (anqrwpwn) is used here (and in v. 26) in a generic sense, referring to both men and women (cf. NAB, NRSV, “of human origin”; TEV, “from human beings”; NLT, “merely human”).
[21:25] sn The question is whether John’s ministry was of divine or human origin.
[21:27] 39 sn Very few questions could have so completely revealed the wicked intentions of the religious leaders. Jesus’ question revealed the motivation of the religious leaders and exposed them for what they really were – hypocrites. They indicted themselves when they cited only two options and chose neither of them (“We do not know”). The point of Matt 21:23-27 is that no matter what Jesus said in response to their question, they were not going to believe it and would in the end use it against him.
[21:29] 44 tn The Greek text reads here μεταμέλομαι (metamelomai): “to change one’s mind about something, with the probable implication of regret” (L&N 31.59); cf. also BDAG 639 s.v. The idea in this context involves more than just a change of mind, for the son regrets his initial response. The same verb is used in v. 32.
[21:30] 46 tn Grk “And answering, he said.” This is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation. Here δέ (de) has not been translated. Here the referent (“this boy”) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
[21:31] 47 tc Verses 29-31 involve a rather complex and difficult textual problem. The variants cluster into three different groups: (1) The first son says “no” and later has a change of heart, and the second son says “yes” but does not go. The second son is called the one who does his father’s will. This reading is found in the Western
[21:32] 51 sn The word translated change your minds is the same verb used in v. 29 (there translated had a change of heart). Jesus is making an obvious comparison here, in which the religious leaders are viewed as the disobedient son.
[21:33] 53 sn The vineyard is a figure for Israel in the OT (Isa 5:1-7). The nation and its leaders are the tenants, so the vineyard here may well refer to the promise that resides within the nation. The imagery is like that in Rom 11:11-24.
[21:34] sn These slaves represent the prophets God sent to the nation, who were mistreated and rejected.
[21:42] 63 tn Or “capstone,” “keystone.” Although these meanings are lexically possible, the imagery in Eph 2:20-22 and 1 Cor 3:11 indicates that the term κεφαλὴ γωνίας (kefalh gwnia") refers to a cornerstone, not a capstone.
[21:42] sn The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. The use of Ps 118:22-23 and the “stone imagery” as a reference to Christ and his suffering and exaltation is common in the NT (see also Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; 1 Pet 2:6-8; cf. also Eph 2:20). The irony in the use of Ps 118:22-23 here is that in the OT, Israel was the one rejected (or perhaps her king) by the Gentiles, but in the NT it is Jesus who is rejected by Israel.
[21:44] 66 tc A few witnesses, especially of the Western text (D 33 it sys Or Eussyr), do not contain 21:44. However, the verse is found in א B C L W Z (Θ) 0102 Ë1,13 Ï lat syc,p,h co and should be included as authentic.
[21:44] tn Grk “on whomever it falls, it will crush him.”
[22:4] 72 tn Grk “Behold, I have prepared my dinner.” In some contexts, however, to translate ἄριστον (ariston) as “dinner” somewhat misses the point. L&N 23.22 here suggests, “See now, the feast I have prepared (for you is ready).”
[22:7] 75 tn Grk “he sent his soldiers, destroyed those murderers.” The verb ἀπώλεσεν (apwlesen) is causative, indicating that the king was the one behind the execution of the murderers. In English the causative idea is not expressed naturally here; either a purpose clause (“he sent his soldiers to put those murderers to death”) or a relative clause (“he sent his soldier who put those murderers to death”) is preferred.
[22:16] 80 sn The Herodians are mentioned in the NT only once in Matt (22:16 = Mark 12:13) and twice in Mark (3:6; 12:13; some
[22:16] 81 sn Teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Very few comments are as deceitful as this one; they did not really believe this at all. The question of the Pharisees and Herodians was specifically designed to trap Jesus.
[22:17] sn This question concerning taxes was specifically designed to trap Jesus. If he answered yes, then his opponents could publicly discredit him as a sympathizer with Rome. If he answered no, then they could go to the Roman governor and accuse Jesus of rebellion.
[22:19] 87 tn Here the specific name of the coin was retained in the translation, because not all coins in circulation in Palestine at the time carried the image of Caesar. In other places δηνάριον (dhnarion) has been translated simply as “silver coin” with an explanatory note.
[22:19] sn A denarius was a silver coin worth approximately one day’s wage for a laborer. The fact that they had such a coin showed that they already operated in the economic world of Rome. The denarius would have had a picture of Tiberius Caesar stamped on it.
[22:20] sn In this passage Jesus points to the image (Grk εἰκών, eikwn) of Caesar on the coin. This same Greek word is used in Gen 1:26 (LXX) to state that humanity is made in the “image” of God. Jesus is making a subtle yet powerful contrast: Caesar’s image is on the denarius, so he can lay claim to money through taxation, but God’s image is on humanity, so he can lay claim to each individual life.
[22:24] 98 sn A quotation from Deut 25:5. This practice is called levirate marriage (see also Ruth 4:1-12; Mishnah, m. Yevamot; Josephus, Ant. 4.8.23 [4.254-256]). The levirate law is described in Deut 25:5-10. The brother of a man who died without a son had an obligation to marry his brother’s widow. This served several purposes: It provided for the widow in a society where a widow with no children to care for her would be reduced to begging, and it preserved the name of the deceased, who would be regarded as the legal father of the first son produced from that marriage.
[22:30] 103 tc Most witnesses have “of God” after “angels,” although some
[22:30] sn Angels do not die, nor do they eat according to Jewish tradition (1 En. 15:6; 51:4; Wis 5:5; 2 Bar. 51:10; 1QH 3.21-23).
[22:32] 106 sn He is not God of the dead but of the living. Jesus’ point was that if God could identify himself as God of the three old patriarchs, then they must still be alive when God spoke to Moses; and so they must be raised.
[22:42] 123 sn It was a common belief in Judaism that Messiah would be the son of David in that he would come from the lineage of David. On this point the Pharisees agreed and were correct. But their understanding was nonetheless incomplete, for Messiah is also David’s Lord. With this statement Jesus was affirming that, as the Messiah, he is both God and man.
[22:44] 124 sn The Lord said to my Lord. With David being the speaker, this indicates his respect for his descendant (referred to as my Lord). Jesus was arguing, as the ancient exposition assumed, that the passage is about the Lord’s anointed. The passage looks at an enthronement of this figure and a declaration of honor for him as he takes his place at the side of God. In Jerusalem, the king’s palace was located to the right of the temple to indicate this kind of relationship. Jesus was pressing the language here to get his opponents to reflect on how great Messiah is.