Matthew 22:20

20 "This engraving - who does it look like? And whose name is on it?"

Matthew 22:20 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 22:20

And he saith unto them
Having the penny in one hand, and pointing to it with the other,

whose is this image and superscription? or inscription?
for the penny that was, brought him had an image upon it, the form of a man's head struck on it, and round about it an inscription, or writing, showing who it was the image of, and whose money it was, and when it was coined: this is enough to show, that this penny was not a Jewish, but a Roman one; for the Jews, though they put inscriptions, yet no images on their coin; and much less would they put Caesar's thereon, as was on this: it is asked F18,

``What is the coin of Jerusalem? The answer is, David and Solomon on one side, and Jerusalem the holy city off the other side, i.e. as the gloss observes, David and Solomon were "written" on one side, and on the other side were written Jerusalem the holy city.''

It follows,

``and what was the coin of Abraham our father? an old man and an old woman, (Abraham and Sarah,) on one side, and a young man and a young woman, (Isaac and Rebekah,) on the other side.''

The gloss on it is,

``not that there was on it the form of an old man and an old woman on one side, and of a young man and a young woman on the other, for it is forbidden to make the form of a man; but so it was written on one side, an old man and an old woman, and on the other side, a young man and a young woman.''


F18 T. Bab. Bava Kama, fol. 97. 2. Vid. Bereshit Rabbas sect. 39. fol. 34. 4. & Midrash Kohelet, fol 95. 4.

Matthew 22:20 In-Context

18 Jesus knew they were up to no good. He said, "Why are you playing these games with me? Why are you trying to trap me?
19 Do you have a coin? Let me see it." They handed him a silver piece.
20 "This engraving - who does it look like? And whose name is on it?"
21 They said, "Caesar." "Then give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his."
22 The Pharisees were speechless. They went off shaking their heads.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.