Matthew 22:15

Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar

15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.

Matthew 22:15 in Other Translations

KJV
15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
ESV
15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words.
NLT
15 Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested.
MSG
15 That's when the Pharisees plotted a way to trap him into saying something damaging.
CSB
15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to trap Him by what He said.

Matthew 22:15 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 22:15

Then went the Pharisees
After they had heard the parables of the two sons being bid to go into the vineyard, of the vineyard let out to husbandmen, and of the marriage feast; for it is clear from hence, that these stayed and heard the last of these parables, in all which they saw themselves designed; and though they were irritated and provoked to the last degree, they were obliged to hide their resentments, nor durst they use any violence for fear of the people; wherefore they retired to some convenient place, to the council chamber, or to the palace of the high priest, or where the chief priests were gone, who seem to have departed some time before them: and took counsel;
among themselves, and of others, their superiors; not how they should behave more agreeably for the future, and escape due punishment and wrath to the uttermost, which the King of kings would justly inflict on them, very plainly signified in the above parables; but how they might entangle him in his talk,
or "take hold of his words", as in Luke; or "catch him in his words", as in Mark: they consulted to draw him into a conversation, on a dangerous and ensnaring subject; when they hoped a word might drop unwarily from him, which they might catch at, lay hold on, and improve to his disadvantage; either with the common people, or the government, and especially the latter; as is to be learned from Luke, who expressly says their end was, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the
governor;
the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, should he say any thing against Caesar, which they endeavoured to ensnare him into; by which means, they doubted not of setting the populace against him, and of screening themselves from their resentments; and of gaining their main point, the delivery of him up into the hands of the civil government, who, for treason and sedition, would put him to death.

Matthew 22:15 In-Context

13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.
16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are.
17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”