Matthew 22

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

Jesus spoke
Grk “And answering again, Jesus spoke.” This construction is somewhat redundant in English and has been simplified in the translation.
to them again in parables, saying:
“The kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves
See the note on the word “slave” in 8:9.
to summon those who had been invited to the banquet, but they would not come.
Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Look! The feast I have prepared for you is ready.
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).”
My oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.”’
But they were indifferent and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. The
Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
rest seized his slaves, insolently mistreated them, and killed them.
Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
king was furious! He sent his soldiers, and they put those murderers to death
Grk “he sent his soldiers, destroyed those murderers.” The verb ἀπώλεσεν (apōlesen) 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.
and set their city
The Greek text reads here πόλις (polis), which could be translated “town” or “city.” The prophetic reference is to the city of Jerusalem, so “city” is more appropriate here.
on fire.
Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but the ones who had been invited were not worthy. So go into the main streets and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ 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. 11 But when the king came in to see the wedding guests, he saw a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But he had nothing to say.
Grk “he was silent.”
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!’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Paying Taxes to Caesar

15  Then the Pharisees
See the note on Pharisees in 3:7.
went out and planned together to entrap him with his own words.
Grk “trap him in word.”
16 They sent to him their disciples along with the Herodians,
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 mss also read “Herodians” instead of “Herod” in Mark 8:15). It is generally assumed that as a group the Herodians were Jewish supporters of the Herodian dynasty (or of Herod Antipas in particular). In every instance they are linked with the Pharisees. This probably reflects agreement regarding political objectives (nationalism as opposed to submission to the yoke of Roman oppression) rather than philosophy or religious beliefs.
saying, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful, and teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
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.
You do not court anyone’s favor because you show no partiality.
Grk “And it is not a concern to you about anyone because you do not see the face of men.”
17 Tell us then, what do you think? Is it right
Or “lawful,” that is, in accordance with God’s divine law. On the syntax of ἔξεστιν (exestin) with an infinitive and accusative, see BDF #409.3.
to pay taxes
According to L&N 57.180 the term κῆνσος (kēnsos) was borrowed from Latin and referred to a poll tax, a tax paid by each adult male to the Roman government.
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.
to Caesar
Or “to the emperor” (“Caesar” is a title for the Roman emperor).
or not?”

18  But Jesus realized their evil intentions and said, “Hypocrites! Why are you testing me? 19 Show me the coin used for the tax.” So
Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate their response to Jesus’ request for a coin.
they brought him a denarius.
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 (dēnarion) has been translated simply as “silver coin” with an explanatory note.
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.
20 Jesus
Grk “And he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
said to them, “Whose image
Or “whose likeness.”
In this passage Jesus points to the image (Grk εἰκών, eikōn) 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.
is this, and whose inscription?”
21 They replied,
Grk “they said to him.”
“Caesar’s.” He said to them,
Grk “then he said to them.” τότε (tote) has not been translated to avoid redundancy.
“Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Jesus’ answer to give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s was a both/and, not the questioners’ either/or. So he slipped out of their trap.
22 Now when they heard this they were stunned,
Grk “they were amazed; they marveled.”
and they left him and went away.

Marriage and the Resurrection

23  The same day Sadducees
See the note on Sadducees in 3:7.
(who say there is no resurrection)
This remark is best regarded as a parenthetical note by the author.
came to him and asked him,
Grk “and asked him, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
24 “Teacher, Moses said, ‘ If a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and father children
Grk “and raise up seed,” an idiom for fathering children (L&N 23.59).
for his brother .’
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.
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. 26 The second did the same, and the third, down to the seventh. 27 Last
Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
of all, the woman died.
28 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.”
Grk “For all had her.”
29 Jesus
Grk “And answering, Jesus said to them.” This is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation.
answered them, “You are deceived,
Or “mistaken” (cf. BDAG 822 s.v. πλανάω 2.c.γ).
because you don’t know the scriptures or the power of God.
30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels
Most witnesses have “of God” after “angels,” although some mss read ἄγγελοι θεοῦ (angeloi qeou; א L f13 {28} 33 892 1241 1424 al) while others have ἄγγελοι τοῦ θεοῦ (angeloi tou qeou; W 0102 0161 Maj.). Whether with or without the article, the reading “of God” appears to be motivated as a natural expansion. A few important witnesses lack the adjunct (B D Θ {0233} f1 700 {sa}); this coupled with strong internal evidence argues for the shorter reading.
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).
in heaven.
31 Now as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God,
Grk “spoken to you by God, saying.” The participle λέγοντος (legontos) is redundant here in contemporary English and has not been translated.
32  I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob ’?
A quotation from Exod 3:6.
He is not the God of the dead but of the living!”
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.
33 When the crowds heard this, they were amazed at his teaching.

The Greatest Commandment

34  Now when the Pharisees
See the note on Pharisees in 3:7.
heard that he had silenced the Sadducees,
See the note on Sadducees in 3:7.
they assembled together.
Grk “for the same.” That is, for the same purpose that the Sadducees had of testing Jesus.
35 And one of them, an expert in religious law,
Traditionally, “a lawyer.” This was an expert in the interpretation of the Mosaic law.
asked him a question to test
Grk “testing.” The participle, however, is telic in force.
36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
Or possibly “What sort of commandment in the law is great?”
37 Jesus
Grk “And he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
said to him, “‘ Love
Grk “You will love.” The future indicative is used here with imperatival force (see ExSyn 452 and 569).
the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind .’
A quotation from Deut 6:5. The threefold reference to different parts of the person says, in effect, that one should love God with all one’s being.
38 This is the first and greatest
Grk “the great and first.”
39 The second is like it: ‘ Love your neighbor as yourself .’
A quotation from Lev 19:18.
40 All the law and the prophets depend
Grk “hang.” The verb κρεμάννυμι (kremannumi) is used here with a figurative meaning (cf. BDAG 566 s.v. 2.b).
on these two commandments.”

The Messiah: David’s Son and Lord

41  While
Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
the Pharisees
See the note on Pharisees in 3:7.
were assembled, Jesus asked them a question:
Grk “asked them a question, saying.” The participle λέγων (legōn) is somewhat redundant here in contemporary English and has not been translated.
42 “What do you think about the Christ?
Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”
See the note on Christ in 1:16.
Whose son is he?” They said, “The son of David.”
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.
43 He said to them, “How then does David by the Spirit call him ‘Lord,’ saying,

44  The Lord said to my lord,
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.

Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet ”’?
A quotation from Ps 110:1.

45 If David then calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?”
Grk “how is he his son?”
46 No one
Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
was able to answer him a word, and from that day on no one dared to question him any longer.

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