John 2:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 2:15, NIV: "So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables."

John 2:15, ESV: "And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables."

John 2:15, KJV: "And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;"

John 2:15, NASB: "And He made a whip of cords, and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables;"

John 2:15, NLT: "Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers' coins over the floor, and turned over their tables."

John 2:15, CSB: "After making a whip out of cords, he drove everyone out of the temple with their sheep and oxen. He also poured out the money changers' coins and overturned the tables."

What does John 2:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Too often, Jesus is depicted as a soft, sappy, guru, instead of the powerhouse He truly was. Incidents such as this show that Jesus was capable of action, righteous anger, and confrontation when it was necessary. One critical point to note is that Jesus personally makes the whip which He used to drive these men from the temple. He didn't pick something up in a rage and start swinging. There was deliberate intent behind His actions, and no mistaking His justified anger.

The sad situation in the temple reflected Israel's spiritual state: stuck in a rut, wealth-obsessed, and uninterested in heavenly things. Jesus' disruption of the business there was certainly against local civil laws. So, it's to be expected that the local guards and priests would be upset with His actions. And yet, nothing in the Bible suggests that He harmed anyone, or any animals, or damaged any property. As verse 16 shows, Jesus doesn't just cause a commotion, He stays to explain His reasons. Another question the Bible does not answer is whether any of the scribes, priests, or merchants recognized Jesus. As a young boy He had amazed crowds—at this very temple—with His spiritual knowledge (Luke 2:46-47).