Luke indicated that Jesus said to them (λέγων αὐτοῖς) that it was written (Γέγραπται) that my house shall be a house of prayer (Καὶ ἔσται ὁ οἶκός μου οἶκος προσευχῆς). However, they had made it into a den or hideout of robbers or thieves (ὑμεῖς δὲ αὐτὸν ἐποιήσατε σπήλαιον λῃστῶν). This first citation about the house of prayer is from 3rd Isaiah, chapter 56:7, while the second citation about how they have made his Temple into a den of robbers is from Jeremiah, chapter 7:11. These biblical citations of Jesus in the Temple can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:13, and Mark, chapter 11:17, almost word for word. John, chapter 2:16-17, was slightly different, since he used a citation from Psalm 69:9, where the Psalmist or David had great zeal for the house of Yahweh that he was about to construct. Mark said that Jesus was teaching (καὶ ἐδίδασκεν). He asked them if they knew where it was written in Scripture (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Οὐ γέγραπται) that his house shall be called a house of prayer (ὅτι Ὁ οἶκός μου οἶκος προσευχῆς κληθήσεται) for all the nations (πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν). Matthew and Luke did not mention all the nations. However, the Temple functionaries were making it into a den or hideout of robbers or bandits (ὑμεῖς δὲ πεποιήκατε αὐτὸν σπήλαιον λῃστῶν). Likewise, Matthew said that Jesus told them that it was written in Scripture (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Γέγραπται) that his house shall be called a house of prayer (Ὁ οἶκός μου οἶκος προσευχῆς κληθήσεται). However, they were making it into a den or hideout of robbers or bandits (ὑμεῖς δὲ αὐτὸν ποιεῖτε σπήλαιον λῃστῶν). In all cases, Jesus was upset that the Jerusalem Temple house of prayer had been hijacked by a bunch of thieves and robbers. What kind of house of prayer do you pray in?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that another slave came in (καὶ ὁ ἕτερος ἦλθεν) and said to this lord, nobleman (λέγων Κύριε), that he had saved his mina (ἰδοὺ ἡ μνᾶ σου). He had wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, a handkerchief or a napkin (ἣν εἶχον ἀποκειμένην ἐν σουδαρίῳ). Instead of trading with this money, he simply wrapped it up to keep it safe. There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 25:25, perhaps indicating a Q source. Unlike the first 2 slaves, this third slave did something else with his one talent. Jesus said this slave who had received one talent came forward to his master (προσελθὼν δὲ καὶ ὁ τὸ ἓν τάλαντον εἰληφὼς). However, this slave said that he was afraid (καὶ φοβηθεὶς), so he went and hid his talent in the ground (ἀπελθὼν ἔκρυψα τὸ τάλαντόν σου ἐν τῇ γῇ). Then he seemed happy to return this one talent back to his master. He said “Look! here it is (ἴδε ἔχεις τὸ σόν)!” He was glad to be rid of this burden of protecting this money from possible thieves or robbers. Sometimes people are too cautious, as they fear that they will lose something, as here in this parable story. Are you too cautious with your money?
This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:42-44. In Luke, chapter 23:35-37, there is only a mention of leaders and Roman soldiers, without any specific indication of which leaders, while there is nothing similar in John. Mark said that the taunting continued. They said if Jesus was the Messiah Christ (ὁ Χριστὸς), the King of Israel (ὁ Βασιλεὺς Ἰσραὴλ), let him come down or descend from the cross now (καταβάτω νῦν ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ). Then they would see (ἵνα ἴδωμεν) and believe (καὶ πιστεύσωμεν). Mark also said that the bandits or robbers, who were crucified with Jesus (καὶ οἱ συνεσταυρωμένοι σὺν αὐτῷ), also taunted or insulted him in the same way as the others had done (ὠνείδιζον αὐτόν). These robbers were just as bad as the Jewish leaders, Roman soldiers, and the others passing by. However, Luke, chapter 23:39-43, had an extended conversation between Jesus and these two bandits. One of the two thieves or bandits told Jesus to save himself and them also, but the other thief or robber said that they deserved to die. Only Luke had this story about the good and the bad thief. Here in Matthew and Mark, both of the bandits being crucified with Jesus taunted him. There was nothing about these thieves at all in John. When someone is down, do you taunt them? Would you have been among these people taunting Jesus?
There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 20:21, but here the brothers, rather than their mother spoke with Jesus. Mark said that the 2 brothers responded to Jesus (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ). They wanted him to let them sit at his right hand (Δὸς ἡμῖν ἵνα εἷς σου ἐκ δεξιῶν) and at his left hand (καὶ εἷς ἐξ ἀριστερῶν καθίσωμεν) when Jesus came in all his glory (ἐν τῇ δόξῃ σου). After all, they had been with Peter at the transfiguration and were among the four original disciples. Thus, they were already very special. Perhaps, they thought of this as an earthly kingdom. Ironically enough at the crucifixion of Jesus, it would be two thieves on the right and left side of Jesus.
This is another unique saying of Jesus in Matthew, although the idea can be found in Luke, chapter 12:33-34, with the last verse exactly the same.You should not store up treasures (Μὴ θησαυρίζετε ὑμῖν θησαυροὺς) here on earth (ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς), because it was too much trouble to store things. Either moths (ὅπου σὴς) would eat up the garments or rust would consume them. This is one of the 3 times that moths are mentioned in the biblical New Testament. The other was the Luke comparative and later in Matthew. Garments were often considered treasures. Rust was a more common term and applied to other goods. Otherwise, thieves might break in and steal it anyhow (καὶ ὅπου κλέπται διορύσσουσιν καὶ κλέπτουσιν). The opposite of the earthly treasures were the heavenly treasures (θησαυρίζετε δὲ ὑμῖν θησαυροὺς ἐν οὐρανῷ) that you should store up. Moths and rust could not consume them (ὅπου οὔτε σὴς οὔτε βρῶσις ἀφανίζει). Thieves could not break in and steal them either (καὶ ὅπου κλέπται οὐ διορύσσουσιν οὐδὲ κλέπτουσιν). Finally, we have the wonderful saying about where your treasure is (ὅπου γάρ ἐστιν ὁ θησαυρός σου), there is your heart (ἐκεῖ ἔσται καὶ ἡ καρδία σου). What you really care about is what is important to you.
Edom has suffered like as if thieves had come to them at night. However, these robbers would only take what they wanted. Unlike grape-gatherers who leave gleanings for the poor, these attackers have pillaged Edom and taken its treasures. It was their own allies that deceived Edom. They drove them out of their own country to the border. Their former friends had prevailed against them. The very people, who they used to sit down to break bread with, were the ones who set the trap for them. Who could understand such a thing?
Even after Israel would be healed, the corruption of Ephraim and the wickedness of Samaria would be revealed. Samaria had been the capital of the northern Israelite kingdom across the border from Ephraim in the Manasseh tribal territory. They dealt with each other falsely. The thieves would break into houses. The robbers would raid those who were passing by. They did not think that Yahweh would remember all their wicked deeds. Now their bad deeds surrounded them. Yahweh always remembered.
This author says that these wooden gods, overlaid with silver or gold, are unable to save themselves from thieves or robbers. Anyone can strip away their gold or silver. Anyone can take the robes that these gods wear. These robbers can vandalize and take things from these gods, because they are not able to help themselves.
Isaiah reminds the Israelites that their silver money in Jerusalem has become worthless scum dross. Their wine is not pure, since it is mixed with water, or watered down. The princes of Jerusalem have become rebels and companions of thieves. They love bribes and run after gifts. There is no one left to defend and help the orphans and the widows, which is so important for Israelite life.
This is one of the few times where God speaks directly to the wicked. It is usually about them. He asked them what right they had to recite his statutes. What right did they have to put the covenant on their lips? The wicked hated discipline. They put God’s word behind them. They made friends with thieves and adulterers. This is a strong direct description and rebuke of the wicked.