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Verse 13. And said—It is written, etc. This is written in Is 56:7. The first part of this verse only is quoted from Isaiah. The rest, "but ye have made it a den of thieves," was added by Jesus, denoting their abuse of the temple. Thieves and robbers live in dens and caves. Judea was then much infested with them. In their dens, thieves devise and practise iniquity. These buyers and sellers imitated them. They made the temple a place of gain; they cheated and defrauded; they took advantage of the poor, and by their being under a necessity of purchasing these articles for sacrifice, they robbed them, by selling what they had at an enormous price.

The following reasons may be given why this company of buyers and sellers obeyed Christ:

(1.) They were overawed by his authority; and struck with the consciousness that he had a right to command.

(2.) Their own consciences reproved them; they knew they were guilty, and dared make no resistance.

(3.) The people generally were then on the side of Jesus, believing him to be the Messiah.

(4.) It had always been the belief of the Jews that a prophet had a right to change, regulate, and order the various affairs relating to external worship, They supposed Jesus to be such, and they dared not resist him.

Mark and Luke add, that in consequence of this, the scribes and chief priests attempted to put him to death, Mr 11:18,10 Lu 19:47,48. This they did from envy, Mt 27:18. He drew off the people from them, and they envied and hated him. They were restrained then for fear of the people; and this was the reason why they plotted secretly to put him to death, and why they afterwards so gladly heard the proposals of the traitor, Mt 26:14,15.

{c} "is written" Is 56:7 {d} "den of thieves" Je 7:11

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