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Cleansing the Temple

45 Then[a] Jesus[b] entered the temple courts[c] and began to drive out those who were selling things there,[d] 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house will be a house of prayer,’[e] but you have turned it into a den[f] of robbers!”[g]

47 Jesus[h] was teaching daily in the temple courts. The chief priests and the experts in the law[i] and the prominent leaders among the people were seeking to assassinate[j] him, 48 but[k] they could not find a way to do it,[l] for all the people hung on his words.[m]

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  1. Luke 19:45 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
  2. Luke 19:45 tn Grk “he.”
  3. Luke 19:45 tn Grk “the temple” (also in v. 47).sn The merchants (those who were selling things there) would have been located in the Court of the Gentiles.
  4. Luke 19:45 sn Matthew (21:12-27), Mark (11:15-19) and Luke (here, 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.
  5. Luke 19:46 sn A quotation from Isa 56:7.
  6. Luke 19:46 tn Or “a hideout” (see L&N 1.57).
  7. Luke 19:46 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.
  8. Luke 19:47 tn Grk “And he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
  9. Luke 19:47 tn Grk “and the scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 5:21.
  10. Luke 19:47 tn Grk “to destroy.”sn The action at the temple was the last straw. In their view, if Jesus could cause trouble in the holy place, then he must be stopped, so the leaders were seeking to assassinate him.
  11. Luke 19:48 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.
  12. Luke 19:48 tn Grk “they did not find the thing that they might do.”
  13. Luke 19:48 sn All the people hung on his words is an idiom for intent, eager listening. Jesus’ popularity and support made it unwise for the leadership to seize him.