Matthew 21:13

ESV He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
NIV It is written,' he said to them, ''My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it 'a den of robbers.''
NASB And He *said to them, 'It is written: ‘MY HOUSE WILL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER’; but you are making it a DEN OF ROBBERS.'
CSB He said to them, "It is written, my house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of thieves! "
NLT He said to them, 'The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!'
KJV And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

What does Matthew 21:13 mean?

Jesus has entered the temple in Jerusalem and taken great offense at the buying and selling and money-changing going on inside. He has overthrown tables and benches and sent those doing business out into the streets. Why was Jesus so angry? Most commentators suggest it is either because this otherwise-legitimate business was being done inside the temple courtyard, or more likely because the money-changers and sellers were charging too much for their services and using the worship of God for disproportionate profit.

Now Jesus quotes, again, from Old Testament Scripture. First, He references Isaiah 56:7 to say that "My house shall be called a house of prayer." Jesus may be applying Isaiah's quote of the Lord to Himself, describing the temple as His house. One of the purposes of the house of God was to be a place for people to pray to the Lord, including people from "all the nations" (Mark 11:17).

Jesus then references Jeremiah 7:11, saying the Jewish religious leaders have made God's temple a "den of robbers." The context of Jeremiah's statement takes the meaning of Jesus' phrase beyond a mere accusation of dishonesty. It also implies that the existence of the temple would not protect Israel from the wrath of God in judgment.
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