And when he had made a scourge of small cords
That is, Jesus, as the Persic version expresses it. This scourge might be made either of thongs cut out of the hides of beasts slain in sacrifice; or of the cords, with which the owners of the cattle had brought them to this place; or with which they had fastened them in it. And it seems to be made, and used, not so much for force and terror, as to intimate, that these persons, the violators of the holy place, deserved the scourge of divine wrath and punishment; as well as to show the miraculous power of Christ in driving such a number of men before him, with so small and insignificant a weapon; for the phrase is diminutive. The reason given by Dr. Lightfoot, and others, why Christ made use of a whip, or scourge, rather than a staff, is, because it was contrary to a Jewish canon F4 to go into the mountain of the house, or temple, with a staff in the hand; and yet the man of the mountain of the house, or the master of it, who used to go about every ward with torches burning before him, if he found a Levite asleep in his ward F5, struck him (wlqmb) , with his staff, and had power to burn his clothes.
He drove them all out of the temple;
that is, he drove out "the men", as the Persic version reads; the merchants, the sellers of oxen, sheep, and doves, and the money changers: "and the sheep, and the oxen" likewise; the Persic version adds, "doves"; but these are after mentioned:
and poured out the changers money;
off of the tables, or out of the boxes, or dishes, or drawers, or purses, in which it was put:
and overthrew the tables;
at which they sat, and on which they told their money.
F4 Misn. Beracot, c. 9. sect. 5.
F5 Misn. Middot, c. 1. sect. 2.