Clearing out the Temple (Mk 11:15-11:15)

“Then they came

To Jerusalem.

Jesus entered

The Temple.

He began

To drive out

Those who were selling

And those who were buying

In the temple.

He overturned

The tables

Of the money-changers.

He overturned

The seats

Of those who sold doves.”

 

Καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα. Καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν ἤρξατο ἐκβάλλειν τοὺς πωλοῦντας καὶ τοὺς ἀγοράζοντας ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ, καὶ τὰς τραπέζας τῶν κολλυβιστῶν καὶ τὰς καθέδρας τῶν πωλούντων τὰς περιστερὰς κατέστρεψεν,

 

This description of Jesus in the Temple by Mark, can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:12, almost word for word, and Luke, chapter 19:45, with a short summary.  In John, chapter 2:14-16, there is a more elaborate description, but at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus.  Mark described how Jesus and his disciples entered Jerusalem (Καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα).  When they entered the Temple (Καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸ ἱερόν), Jesus began to drive out or throw out (ἤρξατο ἐκβάλλειν) those who was selling (τοὺς πωλοῦντας), or buying (καὶ τοὺς ἀγοράζοντας) animals for the sacrifice offerings in the Temple (ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ).  John said that he had whips.  He overturned the tables of the money-changers (καὶ τὰς τραπέζας τῶν κολλυβιστῶν), who converted foreign coins into the Temple shekels for the Temple offerings.  He also overturned the chairs or the seats of those who were selling doves (καὶ τὰς καθέδρας τῶν πωλούντων τὰς περιστεράς κατέστρεψεν) for the Temple sacrifices.  All these people were functionaries of the Temple.  They were trying to help people make the right sacrificial offerings there.  Obviously, they made money from these sales, but this was the normal customary thing in the Temple.  Jesus upset these people with this somewhat violent action.  Up until this point, Jesus had been very mild mannered.

 

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