Matthew 17:24 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 17:24, NIV: "After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, 'Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?'"

Matthew 17:24, ESV: "When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?”"

Matthew 17:24, KJV: "And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?"

Matthew 17:24, NASB: "When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, 'Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?'"

Matthew 17:24, NLT: "On their arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax came to Peter and asked him, 'Doesn't your teacher pay the Temple tax?'"

Matthew 17:24, CSB: "When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the temple tax approached Peter and said, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?""

What does Matthew 17:24 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Exodus 30:13–16 commands that every Jewish man 20 years and older was required to give a half-shekel to the work of the tent of meeting as an offering of atonement. What began in the time of Moses was still being practiced in Jesus' day. Two drachmas were the equivalent of a half-shekel. The money now went to support the temple instead of the tabernacle.

When Jesus and the disciples arrive in Jesus' adopted hometown of Capernaum (Matthew 4:13), they are approached by the collectors of this temple tax. This was not a tax levied by the Romans. This was given to the Jewish leaders, by the Jews, to support their own religious practices and to comply with the law of Moses.

The temple tax collectors speak to Peter and not to Jesus Himself. Perhaps this was in deference to Jesus' status or because He was unavailable. This once again portrays Peter as the de-facto leader of the disciples. The collectors ask Peter if his teacher does not pay the tax, which was a round-about way of asking if Jesus would be contributing to the collection. It's possible that some issue had caused them to wonder if Jesus would object to paying the tax or if He had perhaps paid it already in another location.