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Mark 11:15

11:15 temple. That is, the Gentile court, the outermost court in the complex of structures surrounding the temple proper. It was the only area where Gentiles were allowed (cf. v. 17).

began to drive out. John 2:12–22 describes the temple cleansing at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, while all three Synoptic Gospels report one occurring at the end. It is likely that Jesus cleansed the temple twice. John’s account is carefully dated (John 2:20; Mark 1:9 note), and the accounts are by no means identical. In John, Jesus comes with His disciples, and His actions recall to their minds Ps. 69:9. In the Synoptic accounts, Jesus comes in triumphal messianic glory and justifies His actions by quoting Is. 56:7 and Jer. 7:11. Jesus was no doubt aware that the prophet Jeremiah twice cursed the temple (Jer. 7:1–14; 26:2–6).

money-changers. This service was necessary because the temple tax and offerings had to be paid in the local currency, but it had become so corrupt that Jesus described the scene as “a den of robbers” (v. 17; Luke 19:45, 46 note). Jesus is also judging the Sadducean high-priestly families who were not attuned to the character of the Father whose house it was (cf. 12:18–27).