Matthew 22:20

20 he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped 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.''


FOOTNOTES:

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 But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me?
19 Here, show me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed him a Roman coin,
20 he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”
21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. “Well, then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”
22 His reply amazed them, and they went away.
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