John 2:13

Cleansing the Temple Complex

13 The Jewish Passover was near, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

John 2:13 Meaning and Commentary

John 2:13

And the Jews' passover was at hand
That feast which was kept on the fourteenth day of Nisan, in commemoration of the Lord's passing over, and by the houses of the Israelites, when he slew the firstborn in Egypt: and it is called the Jews' passover, because they only were obliged to keep it: nor was it obligatory upon the Gentiles; and, besides, was now abolished when John wrote this Gospel, though still retained by the Jews. And moreover, John was now among the Gentiles, and for whose sake he penned this Gospel; and therefore so distinguishes this feast, which was typical of the Christian passover, or of Christ our passover that is sacrificed for us. This was the first "passover" after Christ's baptism, which is generally thought to have been about half a year before; though so much time cannot be made out from the scriptural account; for from his baptism, to his return out of the wilderness to John, were forty days; and from thence, to his coming to Cana, four or, five days more; and perhaps he might be seven days in Cana; for so long a wedding was usually kept; and his stay at Capernaum was but a few days; all which do not amount to above eight or nine weeks at most: the second passover after this, is, by some, thought to be the feast mentioned in ( John 5:1 ) , and the third in ( John 6:4 ) , and the fourth and last, at which he suffered, in ( John 18:28 ) . The Evangelist John is the only writer that gives an account of the passovers after Christ entered on his public ministry; by which is known the duration of it, which is generally thought to be about three years and a half. "Three years and a half", the Jews say F1, the Shekinah sat upon the Mount of Olives, expecting that the Israelites would repent, but they did not; and this seems to be the term of time for disciples to learn of their masters: it is said {b}, one came from Athens to Jerusalem, and he served "three years and a half" to learn the doctrine of wisdom, and he learned it not.

And Jesus went up to Jerusalem;
not alone, but his disciples with him, as appears from ( John 2:17 ) , to keep the passover as he had been wont to do, and as the law required; and he being under the law, as a son of Abraham, and the surety of his people, it became him to fulfil all righteousness, ceremonial, as well as moral, and which he strictly observed. He is said to go up to Jerusalem, because that stood on higher ground than the low lands of Galilee, and was the only place where the passover might be kept; see ( Deuteronomy 16:2 ) .


F1 Praefat. Echa Rabbati, fol. 40. 4.
F2 Echa Rabbati, fol. 44. 4.

John 2:13 In-Context

11 Jesus performed this first sign in Cana of Galilee. He displayed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
12 After this, He went down to Capernaum, together with His mother, His brothers, and His disciples, and they stayed there only a few days.
13 The Jewish Passover was near, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
14 In the temple complex He found people selling oxen, sheep, and doves, and [He also found] the money changers sitting there.
15 After making a whip out of cords, He drove everyone out of the temple complex with their sheep and oxen. He also poured out the money changers' coins and overturned the tables.
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