Mark 12:13

Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar

13 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words.

Mark 12:13 in Other Translations

KJV
13 And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.
ESV
13 And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk.
NLT
13 Later the leaders sent some Pharisees and supporters of Herod to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested.
MSG
13 They sent some Pharisees and followers of Herod to bait him, hoping to catch him saying something incriminating.
CSB
13 Then they sent some of the Pharisees and the Herodians to Him to trap Him by what He said.

Mark 12:13 Meaning and Commentary

Mark 12:13

And they send unto him
That is, the chief priests, Scribes, and elders, who had been with Jesus in the temple, and were silenced by his reasonings, and provoked by his parables; and therefore left him, and went together to consult what methods they should take to get him into their hands, and be revenged on him; the result of which was, they send to him

certain of the Pharisees.
The Syriac and Persic versions read "Scribes", who were the more skillful and learned part of that body of men, and scrupled paying tribute to Caesar, he being an Heathen prince, and they the Lord's free people:

and of the Herodians;
who were, as the Syriac and Persic versions read, "of the household of Herod"; his servants and courtiers, and consequently in the interest of Caesar, under whom Herod held his government, and must be for paying tribute to him: these two parties of such different sentiments, they sent to him,

to catch him in his words;
or "in word", or discourse; either with their word, the question they should put to him, or with his word, the answer he should return: and so the Ethiopic version supplies it, reading it, "with his own word"; they thought they should unavoidably catch him, one way or other; just as a prey is hunted, and taken in a net or snare, as the word used signifies: for if he declared against giving tribute to Caesar, the Herodians would have whereof to accuse him, and the Pharisees would be witnesses against him; and if he should be for it, the latter would expose him among the people, as an enemy to their civil liberties, and one that was for subjecting them to the Roman yoke, and consequently could not be the Messiah and deliverer they expected; (See Gill on Matthew 22:16).

Mark 12:13 In-Context

11 the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
12 Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.
13 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words.
14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?
15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.”

Cross References 2

  • 1. Matthew 22:16; Mark 3:6
  • 2. S Matthew 12:10