John 2 – clearing the temple with authority

John 2:2  Jesus clears temple


       Context [John 12:12-19 (Matthew 21: Mk 11, Luke 19, )]

Luke 19:45-46

Matthew 21:12-13

Mark 11:15-17

John 2:13-17


The build up of the info in each Gospel acct. How Matt to John in parallel bible gives more info on what is going on. Creates a full picture.



Mark 11:11

he went into the temple, into the court of the Gentiles; “


In the year 20-19 BC, King Herod began a major renovation, almost a restructuring of the Temple of Jerusalem, the second,  one that had been built after the exile. In addition to the areas reserved to the members of the people of Israel (men, women, priests) in this temple there was a space in which everyone could enter, Jews and non-Jews, circumcised and uncircumcised, members or not of the chosen people, people educated in the law and people who weren’t. Here gathered the rabbis and teachers of the law ready to listen to people’s questions about God, and to respond in a respectful and compassionate exchange. This was the Court of the Gentiles and pagans, in Latin the atrium gentium, a space that everyone could traverse and could remain in, regardless of culture, language or religious profession. It was a meeting place and of diversity.–.html

The entire Temple compound was considered holy, but it became increasingly more holy as one entered farther in, from east to west. King Herod had enclosed the outer court with colonnades and it was referred to as the Court of the Gentiles because the “gentiles” (non-Jews) were permitted to enter the Temple area. They could walk within in it but they were forbidden to go any further than the outer court. They were excluded from entering into any of the inner courts, and warning signs in Greek and Latin were placed that gave warning that the penalty for such trespass was death. The Romans permitted the Jewish authorities to carry out the death penalty for this offence, even if the offender were a Roman citizen. It was for this alleged crime that Paul was attacked and nearly beaten to death by an angry crowd during his last visit to Jerusalem (Acts 21:27-32).

Judaism at this time regarded images as forms of idolatry, and coins with images had to be exchanged for temple currency.6 The exchange of money was considered vulgar, and animals for sale dirtied the space with their droppings. Clearly, this secular and ritually impure space was incompatible with the function of the Temple as the Jews’ holiest place of worship. ….

…..A series of “keep out” signs in both Greek and Latin were posted along this wall at regular intervals to warn away those who were non-Jewish and thus, unfit to enter the sacred space. Two of these “keep out” signs have survived to the present day. The most complete of the two, discovered on the Temple Mount in 1871, reads: “No alien may enter within the balustrade around the sanctuary and the enclosure. Whoever is caught, on himself shall he put blame for the death which will ensue.”10

where he found and overturned the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and healed the lame and the blind:”

House of prayer for all nations….

Is 56:6-7

6And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORDto minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant—

7these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”