“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,”
King James Version (KJV)
21:12 He cast out all that sold and bought - Doves and oxen for sacrifice. He had cast them out three years before, #John 2:14|; bidding them not make that house a house of merchandise. Upon the repetition of the offence, he used sharper words. In the temple - That is, in the outer court of it, where the Gentiles used to worship. The money changers - The exchangers of foreign money into current coin, which those who came from distant parts might want to offer for the service of the temple. #Mark 11:11|,15; Luke 19:45.
Mt 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple. According to Mark, on this day, after the triumphal entry, he entered the temple, looked around, perhaps to note the abuses, and then at eventide went out to Bethany (Mr 11:11). The next day, returning, he again entered the temple, and wrought the cleansing that is here recorded. He went into the temple, not as a worshiper, but as its Lord. Cast out all them. This casting of the traders out of the temple is not to be confounded with that recorded in John, at the commencement of Christ's ministry. See notes on Joh 2:13-17. Them that sold and bought in the temple. A Market was held there for the sale of animals and those things necessary for the temple service. Not the less a desecration because so great a convenience. The part of the temple occupied by the traders was not in the temple proper, but the Court of the Gentiles. In the accompanying plan of the temple, the open space next to the outer walls is the court. Tables of the moneychangers. Money would be required, (1) to purchase materials for the offerings; (2) to present as free-offerings to the temple treasury (Mr 12:41 Lu 21:1); (3) to pay the yearly temple tax of half a shekel due from every Jew, however poor. All this had to be paid in native coin called the temple shekel, which was not generally current. Strangers, therefore, had to change their Roman, Greek, or Eastern money, at the stalls of the money-changers, to obtain the coin required. This trade gave ready means for fraud, which was only too common. Christ's act was a defiance to those who sought his death. Of them that sold doves. Required for poor women coming for purification (Le 12:6,8 Lu 2:24) from all parts of the country, and for other offerings.