And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples,
1. And when they approached Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, to the mountain of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,  2. Saying to them, Go into the village which is opposite to you, and immediately you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them to me. 3. And if any man shall say anything to you, say, The Lord hath need of them; and immediately he will send them.  4. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5. Say to the daughter of Zion, Lo, thy King cometh to thee, meek, and sitting on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of one that is under the yoke.  6. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus had commanded them. 7. And they brought the ass and the colt, and laid on them their garments, and placed him upon them.  8. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; and others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. 9. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed be he  that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. 
1. And as they approach Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the mountain of Olives, he sendeth two of his disciples. 2. And saith to them, Go away into the village which is opposite to you, and, just as you are entering into it, you will find a colt tied, on which no man ever sat; loose him, and bring him. 3. And if any man shall say to you, Why do you this? say, Because the Lord hath need of him; and immediately he will send him hither. 4 And they went away, and found a colt tied near a door where two ways meet, and they loose him. 5. And some of those who stood there said to them, What do you,  loosing the colt? 6. And they said to them as Jesus had commanded, and they allowed them.  7. And they brought the colt to Jesus, and threw their garments on him, and he sat upon him, 8. And many spread their garments in the way; and others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. 9. And they that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Blessed be he  that cometh in the name of the Lord: 10. Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. 
29. And it happened, when he approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the mountain which is called the mountain of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 30. Saying, Go into the village which is opposite; and, as you enter into it, you will find a colt tied, on which no man ever sat; loose him, and bring him. 31. And if any man shall ask you, Why do you loose him? thus shall you say to him, Because the Lord hath need of him. 32. And they that were sent went away, and found as he had said to them. 33. And while they were loosing the colt, its owners  said to them, Why do you loose the colt? 34. And they said, The Lord hath need of him. 35. And they brought him to Jesus; and, having thrown their garments on the colt, they set Jesus upon it. 36. And while he was going, they strawed their garments in the way. 37. And when he was already of the mountain of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples, rejoicing, began to praise God with a loud voice, for all the miracles which they had seen, 38. Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord; peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. 
Matthew 21:1. Then Jesus sent two disciples Jesus sends his disciples to bring an ass to him, not because he was wearied with the journey, but for a different reason; for, in consequence of the time of his death being at hand, he intended to show, by a solemn performance, what was the nature of his kingdom. He had begun, indeed, to do this at his baptism, but it remained that this demonstration should be given by him towards the end of his calling: for why did he hitherto refrain from the title of King, and now at length openly declare himself to be a King, but because he is not far from the end of his course?  So then, as his removal to heaven was at hand, he intended to commence his reign openly on earth.
This would have been a ridiculous display, if it had not been in accordance with the prediction of Zechariah, (9:9.) In order to lay claim to the honors of royalty, he enters Jerusalem, riding an ass. A magnificent display, truly! more especially when the ass was borrowed from some person, and when the want of a saddle and of accouterments compelled the disciples to throw their garments on it, which was mark of mean and disgraceful poverty. He is attended, I admit, by a large retinue; but of what sort of people? Of those who had hastily assembled from the neighboring villages. Sounds of loud and joyful welcome are heard;  but from whom? From the very poorest, and from those who belong to the despised multitude. One might think, therefore, that he intentionally exposed himself to the ridicule of all. But as he had two things to do at the same time, -- as he had to exhibit some proof of his kingdom, and to show that it does not resemble earthly kingdoms, and does not consist of the fading riches of this world, it was altogether necessary for him to take this method.
To wicked men, no doubt, this might be very unacceptable, had not God long before testified by his Prophet that such would be the king who would come to restore the salvation of his people. In order, therefore, that the mean aspect of Christ may not hinder us from perceiving in this exhibition,  his spiritual kingdom, let us keep before our eyes the heavenly prediction, by which God conferred more honor on his Son under the revolting aspect of a beggar, than if he had been decorated with all the dazzling ornaments of kings. Without this seasoning, we shall never have any relish for this history; and therefore there is great weight in the words of Matthew, when he says, that the prediction of the Prophet was fulfilled  Perceiving that it was hardly possible that men, who are too much devoted to wealth and splendor, should derive any advantage from this narrative, when viewed according to the feeling of the flesh, he leads them away from the simple contemplation of the fact to the consideration of the prophecy.
2. Go into the village. As he was at Bethany, he did not ask for an ass to relieve the fatigue of traveling; for he could easily have performed the rest of the journey on foot.  But as kings are wont to ascend their chariots, from which they may be easily seen, so the Lord intended to turn the eyes of the people on himself, and to place some mark of approbation on the applauses of his followers, lest any might think that he unwillingly received the honor of a king. 
From what place he ordered the ass to be brought is uncertain, except, what may naturally be inferred, that it was some village adjoining to the city; for the allegorical exposition of it, which some give, as applying to Jerusalem, is ridiculous. Not a whit more admissible is the allegory which certain persons have contrived about the ass and the colt "The she-ass," they tell us, "is a figure of the Jewish nation, which had been long subdued, and accustomed to the yoke of the Law. The Gentiles, again, are represented by the colt, on which no man ever sat. Christ sat first on the ass for this reason, that it was proper for him to begin with the Jews; and afterwards he passed over to the colt, because he was appointed to govern the Gentiles also in the second place." And indeed Matthew appears to say that he rode on both of them; but as instances of Synecdoche occur frequently in Scripture, we need not wonder if he mentions two instead of one. From the other Evangelists it appears manifestly that the colt only was used by Christ; and all doubt is removed by Zechariah, (9:9,)who twice repeats the same thing, according to the ordinary custom of the Hebrew language. 
And immediately you will find That the disciples may feel no hesitation about immediate compliance, our Lord anticipates and replies to their questions. First, he explains that he does not send them away at random, and this he does by saying that, at the very entrance into the village, they will find an ass-colt with its mother; and, secondly, that nobody will hinder them from leading him away, if they only reply that He hath need of him In this way he proved his Divinity; for both to know absent matters, and to bend the hearts of men to compliance,  belonged to God alone. It was, no doubt, possible that the owner of the ass, entertaining no unfavorable opinion of Christ, would cheerfully grant it; but to foresee if he would be at home, if it would then be convenient for him, or if he would place confidence in unknown persons, was not in the power of a mortal man. Again, as Christ strengthens the disciples, that they may be more ready to obey, so we see how they, on the other hand, yield submission. The result shows that the whole of this affair was directed by God.
5. Say to the daughter of Zion. This is not found, word for word, in Zechariah; but what God commanded one Prophet to proclaim, the Evangelist justly and appropriately applies to all godly teachers; for the only hope, on which the children of God ought both to build and to rely, was, that the Redeemer would at length come. Accordingly, the Prophet shows that the coming of Christ yields to believers a full and complete ground of joy; for, since God is not reconciled to them in any other way than through the agency of the Mediator, and as it is the same Mediator who delivers his people from all evils, what can there be, apart from him, that is fitted to cheer men ruined by their sins, and oppressed by troubles? And as we must be altogether overwhelmed with grief when Christ is absent, so on the other hand, the Prophet reminds believers that, when the Redeemer is present with them, they ought to be perfectly joyful. Now though he bestows on Christ other commendations -- namely, that he is just, and having salvation -- Matthew has taken but a single portion, which applied to the object he had in view, which is, that Christ will come, poor or meek; or in other words, that he will be unlike earthly kings, whose apparel is very magnificent and costly. Another mark of poverty is added, that he will ride on an ass, or the foal of an ass; for there can be no doubt that the manner of riding which belongs to the common people is contrasted with royal splendor.
6. And the disciples went It was just now remarked, that the zeal and readiness of the disciples to obey are here mentioned with commendation; for the influence of Christ was not so great, that his name alone would be sufficient to produce an impression on unknown persons; and besides, there was reason to fear that they would be blamed for theft. It is therefore a proof of the deference which they paid to their Master, when they make no reply, but proceed readily towards that place to which he has ordered them to go, relying on his command and promise. Let us also learn by their example to press forward through every kind of difficulty, so as to render to the Lord the obedience which he demands from us; for he will remove obstacles, and open up a path, and will not permit our endeavors to be unavailing.
8. And a very great multitude. Here the Evangelists relate that Christ was acknowledged as a king by the people. It might, indeed, appear to be a ludicrous exhibition,  that a multitude of obscure persons, by cutting down trees, and strawing their garments, bestowed on Christ the empty title of King; but as they did this in good earnest, and as they gave an honest testimony of their reverence, so Christ looked upon them as fit heralds of his kingdom. Nor ought we to wonder at such a beginning, when even in the present day, while sitting at the right hand of the Father, he commissions from the heavenly throne obscure men, by whom his majesty is celebrated in a despicable manner. I do not think it probable that the branches of palm-trees were cut down, as some interpreters conjecture, in accordance with an ancient and solemn rite appointed for that day. On the contrary, it would seem to have been by a sudden movement of the Spirit that this honor was rendered to Christ, when nothing of this nature had been intended by the disciples, whom the rest of the multitude imitated by doing the same thing; for this also may be inferred from the words of Luke.
9. Hosanna to the Son of David. This prayer is taken from Psalm 118:25. Matthew relates expressly the Hebrew words, in order to inform us, that these applauses were not rashly bestowed on Christ, and that the disciples did not utter without consideration the prayers which came to their lips, but that they followed with reverence the form of prayer, which the Holy Spirit had prescribed to the whole Church by the mouth of the Prophet. For, though he speaks there of his own kingdom, yet there is no reason to doubt that he principally looks, and intends others to look, to the eternal succession, which the Lord had promised to him. He drew up a perpetual form of prayer, which would be observed, even when the wealth of the kingdom was decayed; and therefore it was a prevailing custom, that prayers for the promised redemption were generally presented in these words. And the design of Matthew was, as we have just hinted, to quote in Hebrew a well-known psalm, for the purpose of showing that Christ was acknowledged by the multitude as a Redeemer. The pronunciation of the words, indeed, is somewhat changed; for it ought rather to have been written, Hoshiana, (hvsy n') Save now, we beseech thee; but we know that it is scarcely possible to take a word from one language into another, without making some alteration in the sound. Nor was it only the ancient people whom God enjoined to pray daily for the kingdom of Christ, but the same rule is now laid down for us. And certainly, as it is the will of God to reign only in the person of his Son, when we say, May thy kingdom come, under this petition is conveyed the same thing which is expressed more clearly in the psalm. Besides, when we pray to God to maintain his Son as our King, we acknowledge that this kingdom was not erected by men, and is not upheld by the power of men, but remains invincible through heavenly protection.
In the name of the Lord. He is said to come in the name of God, who not only conducts himself, but receives the kingdom, by the command and appointment of God. This may be more certainly inferred from the words of MARK, where another exclamation is added, Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, which cometh in the name of the Lord; for they speak thus in reference to the promises; because the Lord had testified that he would at length be a deliverer of that nation, and had appointed as the means the restoration of the kingdom of David. We see then that the honor of Mediator, from whom the restoration of all things and of salvation was to be expected, is ascribed to Christ. Now as it was mean and uneducated men by whom the kingdom of Christ was called the kingdom of David, let us hence learn that this doctrine was at that time well known, which in the present day appears to many to be forced and harsh, because they are not well acquainted with Scripture.
Luke adds a few words, Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest;  in which there would be no obscurity, were it not that they do not correspond to the song of the angels, (Luke 2:14;) for there the angels ascribe to God glory in heaven, and to men peace on earth; while here both peace and glory are ascribed to God. But there is no contradiction in the meaning; for, though the angels state more distinctly the reason why we ought to sing, Glory to God -- namely, because through his mercy men enjoy peace in this world -- yet the meaning is the same with what is now declared by the multitude, that there is peace in heaven; for we know that there is no other way in which wretched souls find rest in the world, than by God reconciling himself to them out of heaven.
 "Deux de ses disciples;" -- "two of his disciples?"
 "Et incontinent les laissera aller;" -- "and immediately he will allow them to go."
 "Et la petit asnon de celle qui est sous le ioug;" -- "and the young ass-colt of her that is under the yoke." -- Campbell brings out, in the same manner, the force of Greek, "even the colt of a laboring beast." -- Ed.
 "Et le feirent asseoir sur iceux vestemens;" -- "and made him sit on these garments."
 "Benit soil celuy;" -- "blessed be he."
 "Es tres-hauts lieux;" -- "in the very high places."
 "Que voulez-vous faire?" -- "Witat do you wish to do?"
 "Et ceux-la les laisserent aller;" -- "and those men allowed them to go."
 "Benit soil celuy;" -- "blessed be he."
 "Es tres-hauts lieux;" -- "in the very high places."
 "Ceux a qui il estoit;" -- "those to whom it belonged."
 "Es tres-hauts lieux;" -- "in the very high places."
 "Pource qu'il se voit estre bien pres du but de sa course;" -- "because he sees that he is very near the end of his course."
 "Les voix retentissent pour luy faire honneur, et le recevoir en grande ioye et triomphe;" -- "voices resound to do him honor, and to receive him in great joy and triumph."
 "Sous la couverture des choses yci recitees;" -- "under the disguise of the things here related."
 "Quand il dit que tout cela se faisoit afin que ce qui avoit este dit loaf le Prophete fust accompli;" -- "when he says that all this was done, in order that what had been said by the Prophet might be fulfilled."
 "Car il y avoit si pen de la iusques en Ierusalem, qu'il y fust aisee-merit alle a pied;" -- "for it was so short a distance from that place to Jerusalem, that he would easily have gone thither on foot."
 "Afin qu'on ne pensast point qu'il prinst cela a desplaisir, et qu'on lui attribuast l'honneur de Roy contre son vouloir;" -- "that it might not be thought that he took offense at this, and that the honor of King was given to him in opposition to his will."
 "Car voyla ses mots, Estant monte sur an asne, et sur un asnon poullain d'asnesse;" -- "for his words are these, Sitting on an ass, and on an ass-colt, the foal of an ass."
 "Et de faire flechir les coeurs des hommes, pour accorder ce qu'il luy plaist;" -- "and to bend the hearts of men to grant what he pleases."
 "Vray est qu'il pouvoit sembler que c'estoit un ieu de petits enfans;" -- "true, it might be thought that it was a game of little children."
 "Es lieux tres-hauts;" -- "in the very high places."
And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him.
And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.
And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him.
And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt?
And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.
And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.
And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way.
And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.
And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.
10. And when he entered into Jerusalem, the whole city was moved, saying, Who is this? 11. And the multitudes said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth in Galilee. 12. And Jesus entered into the temple of God, and drove out all that sold and bought in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of those who sold doves; 13. And said to them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of robbers. 14. And the blind and lame came to him in the temple, and he cured them. 15. When the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful works which he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David! They were enraged,  16. And said to him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith to them, Yes; and have you never read, Out of the mouth  of infants and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? 17. And, leaving them, he went out of the city into Bethany, and lodged there. 18. And in the morning, returning to the city, he was hungry. 19. And when he saw a fig tree near the road, he came to it, and found nothing on it but leaves only. And he said to it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforth forever; and immediately the fig tree withered. 20. And when his disciples saw it, they wondered, saying, How quickly is the fig tree withered! 21. And Jesus answering said to them, Verily I say to you, If you have faith, and do not doubt, not only will you do what has taken place in the fig tree, but also, if you shall say to this mountain, Be thou removed, and thrown into the sea, it shall be done. 22. And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing,  you shall receive.
11. And the Lord entered  into Jerusalem, and into the temple; and when he had looked around on all things, and it was now evening, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. 12. And the next day, when they departed from Bethany, he was hungry. 13. And when he saw at a distance a fig tree having leaves, he came, if perhaps he would find anything on it.  And when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season for figs. 14. And Jesus answering said o the fig tree, Let no man eat fruit from thee henceforth forever. And his disciples heard it. 15. And they come to Jerusalem. And Jesus entered into the temple, and began to drive out those who sold and bought in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers, and the seats of those who sold doves; 16. And did not suffer any man to carry a vessel through the temple. 17 And taught, saying to them, Is it not written, My house shall be called by all nations a house of prayer? But you have made it a den of robbers. 18. And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they would put him to death; for they dreaded him, because the whole multitude admired his doctrine. 19. And when it was evening, he went out of the city. 20. And in the morning, passing by the fig tree, they saw that it was dried up from the root.  21. And Peter, remembering, saith to him, Rabbi,  lo, that fig tree which thou cursedst is dried up! 22. And Jesus answering saith to them, Have faith in God. 23. Verily I say to you, Whoever shall say to this mountain, Be thou removed, and thrown into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what he saith shall be, he shall have whatever he saith. 24. Therefore I say to you, Whatever you ask, praying, believe that you will receive it, and you shall have it.
39. And some of the Pharisees out of the multitude said to him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40. To whom he said, I say to you, that if these be silent, the stones will cry out.  (A little after.) 45. And having entered into the temple, he began to drive out those who sold and bought in it, 46. Saying to them, It is written, My house is a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of robbers. 47. And he taught daily in the temple. And the chief priests, and scribes, and rulers of the people, sought to put him to death, 48. And did not find what to do; for all the people hung upon his lips, while they were hearing him.
There is a difference between Matthew and Mark in their narrative of the withering of the fig tree; for Matthew says that it was on the day after that Christ made a public appearance as King, while Mark appears to throw it back to the following day.  But the solution is easy; for they agree in this respect, that Christ, on the day after that he made his solemn entrance into the city, cursed the tree; only Mark states what Matthew had omitted, that the occurrence was observed by the disciples on the following day., So then, though Mark has stated more distinctly the order of time, he makes no contradiction.
He appears to differ more openly both from Matthew and from Luke in the narrative of chastising the traders;  for while both of them declare that Christ, as soon as he entered into the city and temple, drove out those who sold and bought, Mark simply says that he looked around on all things, but has thrown back the driving of them out till another day.  But I reconcile them in this way, that Mark, not having spoken about the purifying of the temple, afterwards inserts it, though not in its proper place. He relates that, on the first day, Christ came into the temple, and there looked round on all things.  Now why did he look so earnestly, except for the purpose of correcting something that was wrong? For, having been formerly accustomed to pay frequent visits to the temple, it was not the novelty of the sight that affected him. Now as Mark ought immediately to have added, that those who sold and bought in the temple were driven out of it, he says that Christ went out of the city; but, having omitted what was worthy of being related, he inserts it afterwards.
But perhaps some will be more inclined to believe that, in this narrative also, Mark observed the order of time, which the other two Evangelists had disregarded; for though they appear to indicate an uninterrupted succession of events, yet as they do not name a particular day, there would be no impropriety in dividing what we find to be connected in their writings. For my own part, however, I prefer the conjecture which I stated first; for it is probable that this demonstration of his power was made by Christ in presence of a large multitude. But any one who will consider how little care the Evangelists bestowed on pointing out dates will not stumble at this diversity in the narrative.
Matthew 21:10. When he entered into Jerusalem. Matthew says that the city was moved, in order to inform us that the transaction did not take place secretly, or by stealth, but in the presence of all the people, and that the priests and scribes were not ignorant of it. Under this despicable aspect of the flesh the majesty of the Spirit was apparent; for how would they have endured that Christ should be conducted into the city, attended by the splendor of royalty, with so great danger to themselves, if they had not been seized with astonishment? The substance of it therefore is, that Christ's entrance was not made in a private manner, and that his enemies abstained from opposing it, not because they treated him with contempt, but rather because they were restrained by secret fear; for God had struck them with such alarm, that they dare not make any attempt. At the same time, the Evangelist glances at the careless indifference of the city, and commends the piety of those who have just reached it; for when the inhabitants, on hearing the noise, inquire, Who is this? it is manifest that they do not belong to the number of Christ's followers.
12. And Jesus entered into the temple. Though Christ frequently ascended into the temple, and though this abuse continually met his eye, twice only did he stretch out his hand to correct it; once, at the commencement of his embassy,  and now again, when he was near the end of his course. But though disgraceful and ungodly confusion reigned throughout, and though the temple, with its sacrifices, was devoted to destruction, Christ reckoned it enough to administer twice an open reproof of the profanation of it. Accordingly, when he made himself known as a Teacher and Prophet sent by God, he took upon himself the office of purifying the temple, in order to arouse the Jews, and make them more attentive; and this first narrative is given by John only in the second chapter of his Gospel. But now, towards the end of his course, claiming again for himself the same power, he warns the Jews of the pollutions of the temple, and at the same time points out that a new restoration is at hand.
And yet there is no reason to doubt that he declared himself to be both King and High Priest, who presided over the temple and the worship of God. This ought to be observed, lest any private individual should think himself entitled to act in the same manner. That zeal, indeed, by which Christ was animated to do this, ought to be held in common by all the godly; but lest any one, under the pretense of imitation, should rush forward without authority, we ought to see what our calling demands, and how far we may proceed according to the commandment of God. If the Church of God have contracted any pollutions, all the children of God ought to burn with grief; but as God has not put arms into the hands of all, let private individuals groan, till God bring the remedy. I do acknowledge that they are worse than stupid who are not displeased at the pollution of the temple of God, and that it is not enough for them to be inwardly distressed, if they do not avoid the contagion, and testify with their mouth, whenever an opportunity presents itself, that they desire to see a change for the better. But let those who do not possess public authority oppose by their tongue, which they have at liberty, those vices which they cannot remedy with their hands.
But it is asked, Since Christ saw the temple filled with gross superstitions, why did he only correct one that was light, or, at least, more tolerable than others? I reply, Christ did not intend to restore to the ancient custom all the sacred rites, and did not select greater or smaller abuses for correction, but had only this object in view, to show by one visible token, that God had committed to him the office of purifying the temple, and, at the same time, to point out that the worship of God had been corrupted by a disgraceful and manifest abuse. Pretexts, indeed, were not wanting for that custom of keeping a market, which relieved the people from trouble, that they might not have far to go to find sacrifices; and next, that they might have at hand those pieces of money which any man might choose to offer. Nor was it within the holy place that the money-changers sat, or that animals intended for sacrifice were exposed to sale, but only within the court, to which the designation of the temple is sometimes applied; but as nothing was more at variance with the majesty of the temple, than that a market should be erected there for selling goods, or that bankers should sit there for matters connected with exchange, this profanation was not to be endured. And Christ inveighed against it the more sharply, because it was well known that this custom had been introduced by the avarice of the priests for the sake of dishonest gain. For as one who enters a market well-stocked with various kinds of merchandise, though he does not intend to make a purchase, yet, in consequence of being attracted by what he sees, changes his mind, so the priests spread nets in order to obtain offerings, that they might trick every person out of some gain.
13. It is written. Christ quotes two passages taken out of two Prophets; the one from Isaiah 56:7, and the other from Jeremiah 7:11. What was written by Isaiah agreed with the circumstances of the time; for in that passage is predicted the calling of the Gentiles. Isaiah, therefore, promises that God will grant, not only that the temple shall recover its original splendor, but likewise that all nations shall flow to it, and that the whole world shall agree in true and sincere piety.  He speaks, no doubt, metaphorically; for the spiritual worship of God, which was to exist under the reign of Christ, is shadowed out by the prophets under the figures of the law. Certainly this was never fulfilled, that all nations went up to Jerusalem to worship God; and therefore, when he declares that the temple will be a place of prayer for all nations, this mode of expression is equivalent to saying, that the nations must be gathered into the Church of God, that with one voice they may worship the true God, along with the children of Abraham. But since he mentions the temple, so far as it then was the visible abode of religion, Christ justly reproaches the Jews with having applied it to totally different purposes from those to which it had been dedicated. The meaning therefore is: God intended that this temple should exist till no as a sign on which all his worshippers should fix their eyes; and how base and wicked is it to profane it by thus turning it into a market?
Besides, in the time of Christ, that temple was actually a house of prayer; that is, so long as the Law, with its shadows, remained in force. But it began to be a house of prayer for all nations, when out of it resounded the doctrine of the Gospel, by which the whole world was to be united in one common faith. And though shortly afterwards it was totally overthrown, yet even in the present day the fulfillment of this prophecy is manifest; for, since
those who wish to pray aright must look to that beginning. I do acknowledge that there is no distinction of places, for it is the will of the Lord that men should call upon Him everywhere; but as believers, who profess to worship the God of Israel, are said to
speak in the language of Canaan, (Isaiah 19:18,)
so they are also said to come into the temple, because out of it flowed the true religion. It is likewise the fountain of the waters, which, enlarged to an astonishing degree within a short period, flow in great abundance, and give life to those that drink them, as Ezekiel (Ezekiel 47:9) mentions,  which, going out from the temple, spread, as Zechariah (Zechariah 14:8) says, from the rising to the setting sun. Though in the present day we make use of temples (or churches) for holding the holy assemblies, yet it is for a different reason; for, since Christ was manifested, no outward representation of him under shadows is held out to us, such as the fathers anciently had under the Law.
It must also be observed, that by the word prayer the prophet expresses the whole worship of God; for, though there was at that time a great variety and abundance of religious rites, yet God intended briefly to show what was the object of all those rites; namely, that they might worship him spiritually, as is more clearly expressed in the fiftieth psalm, where also God comprehends under prayer all the exercises of religion.
But you have made it a den of robbers. Christ means that the complaint of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 7:11) applied equally well to his own time, in which the temple was not less corrupted. The prophet directs his reproof against hypocrites, who, through confidence in the temple, allowed themselves greater liberty in sinning. For, as it was the design of God to employ outward symbols, as a sort of rudiments, for instructing the Jews in true religion, so they satisfied themselves with the empty pretense of the temple, as if it were enough to give their attention to outward ceremonies; just as it is customary with hypocrites to
change the truth of God into a lie (Romans 1:25.).
But the prophet exclaims that God is not bound to the temple, or tied to ceremonies, and therefore that they falsely boast of the name of the temple, which they had made a den of robbers. For as robbers in their dens sin with greater hardihood, because they trust that they will escape punishment, so by means of a false covering of godliness hypocrites grow more bold, so that they almost hope to deceive God. Now as the metaphor of a den includes all corruptions, Christ properly applies the passage of the prophet to the present occasion.
Mark adds, that Christ gave orders that no man should carry a vessel through the temple; that is, he did not permit any thing to be seen there that was inconsistent with religious services; for by the word vessel the Hebrews denote any kind of utensil. In short, Christ took away whatever was at variance with the reverence and majesty of the temple.
14. And the blind and lame came to him. That the authority which Christ had claimed for himself out of the usual course might not be suspected of rashness, he supported it by miracles. He therefore cured the blind and lame in the temple, in order to proclaim that the rights and honor of Messiah truly belonged to him; for by these marks the prophets describe him. Hence we again perceive what I hinted a little ago that it is not every one of the people who is called to imitate this action of Christ lest he inconsiderately raise himself to the throne of the Messiah. We ought indeed to believe that the lame and blind, who were cured, were witnesses of the divine power of Christ, as if God, by his voice from heaven, approved what had been proclaimed by the multitude. 
15. When the chief priests and scribes saw. Luke relates that the Pharisees began to grumble, while he was still on the road.  It was the disciples that were then crying out: the others wished to have them silenced. Christ replied, that it was in vain for them to make opposition; because God would rather make the stones cry out than permit the reign of His Son to be forgotten. It is probable that, as the crying out was not diminished, and as even the children now joined in it, the scribes and priests were roused to still fiercer indignation, and then commenced a new attack on Christ. They appear indirectly to reproach him by alleging that he is desirous to obtain the praises of children.
But we must observe whence their displeasure arose. That it was connected with ungodly malice and outrageous contempt of God is evident from the fact, that his miracles gave them not less uneasiness than the shouts of applause. But I now inquire about some more special reason. What was it that chiefly vexed them? Now we know how eagerly they contended for their authority; for the object to which their zeal carried them was, that the tyranny, which they had once claimed, might continue to be enjoyed by them; and it was no slight diminution of their power, if the people were at liberty to bestow on Christ the title of King. Even in trifling matters they wished their decisions to be regarded as oracles,  so that it might not be permitted to approve or reject any thing but according to their pleasure. They therefore reckon it to be foolish and unreasonable, that the people should confer the title of Messiah on one whom they do not treat with any respect. And certainly, if they had done their duty, it would have been proper for them to direct the whole people, and to go before them as their leaders. For the priests had been appointed, that from their lips all might seek the knowledge of the Law, and, in short, that they might be the messengers and interpreters of the God of armies, (Malachi 2:7.) But as they had basely extinguished the light of truth, Christ appropriately replies, that they gain nothing by endeavoring to suppress the doctrine of salvation, for it will rather break out from the stones.
There is likewise an implied admission; for Christ does not deny that it is an unnatural order for the uneducated multitude and children to be the first to magnify with their voice the coming of the Messiah, but as the truth is wickedly suppressed by those who ought to have been its lawful witnesses, it is not wonderful if God raise up others, and -- to their shame -- make choice of children. Hence we derive no slight consolation; for though wicked men leave no stone unturned for concealing the reign of Christ, we learn from this passage that their efforts are in vain. They hope that, when some of the multitude, that is carrying forward the kingdom of Christ, shall have been put to death, and others shall be silenced by fear, they will gain their object. But God will disappoint them; for He will sooner give mouths and tongues to stones than allow the kingdom of His Son to be without witnesses.
16. And have you never read? The scribes and priests seize on this as an opportunity of calumniating Christ, that he allows himself to be called a King by children; as it is always the custom of wicked people haughtily to despise the mean condition of the disciples of Christ. This malicious design Christ checks by a quotation from David, who makes even infants to be the heralds of the glory of God. Literally the words run,
Out of the mouth of infants and sucklings thou hast founded strength, (Psalm 8:2;)
by which David means that, though every tongue were silent,  God needs no other orators to proclaim his power than mere infants, who are still hanging on their mothers' breasts. In themselves, no doubt, they are silent; but the wonderful providence of God, which shines in them, serves the purpose of splendid and powerful eloquence. For he who considers with himself how the child is formed in the mother's womb, is nourished there for nine months, afterwards comes into the world, and finds nourishment provided as soon as it is born, must not only acknowledge that God is the Creator of the world, but will be altogether carried away into admiration of Him.  Thus the sun and moon, though they are dumb creatures, are said to have a loud and distinct voice for singing the praises of God, (Psalm 19:1, 2.) But since the praises of God are heard from the tongue of infants, Christ infers from this, that it is not strange if He cause them to be uttered by children who have already acquired the use of speech.
18. And returning in the morning. Between that solemn entrance of Christ, of which we have spoken, and the day of the Passover, he had passed the night in Bethany; and during the day he appeared in the temple for the purpose of teaching. Matthew and Mark relate what happened during that interval, that Christ, when coming into the city, was hungry, approached a fig-tree, and, having found nothing on it but leaves, cursed it; and that the tree, which had been cursed by his voice, immediately withered. I take for granted that Christ did not pretend hunger, but was actually hungry; for we know that he voluntarily became subject to the infirmities of the flesh, though by nature he was free and exempt from them.
But here lies the difficulty. How was he mistaken in seeking fruit on a tree that had none; more especially, when the season of fruit had not yet arrived? And again, Why was he so fiercely enraged against a harmless tree? But there would be no absurdity in saying, that as man, he did not know  the kind of tree; though it is possible that he approached it on purpose, with full knowledge of the result. Certainly it was not the fury of passion that led him to curse the tree, (for that would not only have been an unjust, but even a childish and ridiculous revenge;) but as hunger was troublesome to him according to the feeling of the flesh, he determined to overcome it by an opposite affection; that is, by a desire to promote the glory of the Father, as he elsewhere says,
My meat is to do the will of my Father, (John 4:34;)
for at that time he was contending both with fatigue and with hunger. I am the more inclined to this conjecture, because hunger gave him an opportunity of performing a miracle and of teaching his disciples. So when he was pressed by hunger, and there was no food at hand, he finds a repast in another way; that is, by promoting the glory of God. He intended, however, to present in this tree an outward sign of the end which awaits hypocrites, and at the same time to expose the emptiness and folly of their ostentation.
19 Let no fruit grow on thee henceforth. Let us learn from this what is the meaning of the word curse, namely, that the tree should be condemned to barrenness; as, on the other hand, God blesses, when by his voice he bestows fertility. It appears more clearly from Mark, that the fig-tree did not instantly wither, or, at least, that it was not observed by his disciples, until they saw it next day stripped of leaves. Mark, too, attributes to Peter what Matthew attributes equally to all the disciples; but as Christ replies in the plural number, it may naturally be inferred that one put the question in the name of all.
21 And Jesus answering. The use of the miracle is still farther extended by Christ, in order to excite his disciples to faith and confidence. By Mark, the general exhortation is placed first, to have faith in God; and then follows the promise, that they would obtain by faith whatever they asked from God. To have faith in God means, to expect, and to be fully assured of obtaining, from God whatever we need. But as faith, if we have any, breaks out immediately into prayer, and penetrates into the treasures of the grace of God, which are held out to us in the word, in order to enjoy them, so Christ adds prayer to faith; for if he had only said that we shall have whatever we wish, some would have thought that faith was presumptuous or too careless. And therefore Christ shows that those only are believers who, relying on his goodness and promises, betake themselves to him with humility.
This passage is exceedingly adapted to point out the power and nature of faith; that it is a certainty, relying on the goodness of God, which does not admit of doubt. For Christ does not acknowledge as believers any but those who are fully convinced that God is reconciled to them, and do not doubt that he will give what they ask. Hence we perceive by what a diabolical contrivance the Papists are bewitched, who mingle faith with doubt, and even charge us with foolish presumption, if we venture to appear before God under the conviction of His fatherly regard toward us. But this benefit derived from Christ is that on which Paul chiefly dwells, when he says that
by the faith of him we have boldness
This passage shows also that the true test of faith lies in prayer. If it be objected, that those prayers are never heard, that mountains should be thrown into the sea, the answer is easy. Christ does not give a loose rein to the wishes of men, that they should desire any thing at their pleasure, when he places prayer after the rule of faith;  for in this way the Spirit must of necessity hold all our affections by the bridle of the word of God, and bring them into obedience. Christ demands a firm and undoubting confidence of obtaining an answer; and whence does the human mind obtain that confidence but from the word of God? We now see then that Christ promises nothing to his disciples, unless they keep themselves within the limits of the good pleasure of God.
Luke 19:47. And he taught daily in the temple. Mark and Luke point out, first, what was the class of men of which the Church consisted, namely, of the despised multitude; and again, what enemies Christ had, namely, the priests and scribes, and all the rulers. Now this is a part of the folly of the cross, that God, passing by the excellence of the world, chooses what is foolish, weak, and despised. Secondly, they relate that those worthy guardians of the Church of God sought an occasion of putting Christ to death, by which their wicked impiety was discovered; for though there had been good grounds for pursuing Christ, yet they had no right to proceed to murder after the manner of robbers, or secretly to hire assassins. Thirdly, they show that the wicked conspiracy of those men was frustrated, because, by the secret purpose of God, Christ was appointed to the death of the cross.
 "Ils en furent indignez;" -- "they were enraged at it."
 "Par la bouche;" -- "by the mouth."
 "Ayans foy;" -- "having faith."
 "Ainsi le Seigneur entra;" -- "thus the Lord entered."
 "Il y alla pour veoir s'il y trouveroit quelque chose;" -- "he went to it to see if he would find anything on it."
 "Estoit sech? jusq'aux racines;" -- "was withered even to the roots."
 "Maistre;" -- "Master."
 "Les pierres soudain crieront;" -- "the stones will suddenly cry out."
 "Que le jour ensuyvant les disciples prindrent garde ? ce qui estoit advenu ? l'arbre;"-- "that, on the following day, the disciples took notice of what had happened the tree."
 "En l'histoire des marchans chassez hors du temple;" -- "in the narrative of the merchants driven out of the temple."
 "Et puis il remet ? l'autre jour ensuyvant ceste reformation du temple;" -- "and then he throws back to the other following day that reformation of the temple."
 "Et l? regarda tout autour ce qui s'y faisoit;" -- "and there looked all around at what was done in it."
 "Quand il commen?a ? exercr son office d'ambassadeur;" -- "when he began to discharge his office as ambassador."
 "A la vraye et droiet cognoissanc de Dieu;" -- "in the true and right knowledge of God."
 "Et aussi c'est ceste source des quatre fleuves desquels Ezekiel (47:2) parle, qui doyvent arrouser les quatre coins du monde;" -- "and this is also the source of the four rivers of which Ezekiel (47:2) speaks, which are to water the four quarters of the world."
 "Comme si Dieu eust d'enhaut approuv? par sa voix les louanges que le peuple avoit proclamees en l'honneur de Christ;" -- "as if God had from on high approved by his voice the praises which the people had proclaimed in honor of Christ."
 "Christ estant encore en chemin;" -- "Christ being still on the road."
 "Pour arrests ou revelations celestes;" -- "as decisions or revelations from heaven."
 "Quand toutes bouches seroyent closes, et toutes langues se tairoyent;" -- "though every mouth were closed, and every tongue were silent."
 "Mais aussi il entrera en une grande admiration de sa puissance et sagesse infinie;" -- "but also will greatly admire His infinite power and wisdom."
 "Il n'a pas cognu de loin;" -- "he did not know at a distance."
 "Veu qu'il met les prieres apres la regle de foy, et veut qu'elles soyent conduites par icelle;" -- "since he places prayers after the rule of faith, and wishes that they should be regulated by it."
And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:
And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.
And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.
And when even was come, he went out of the city.
And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.
And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
14. For if you shall forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15. But if you shall not forgive men their trespasses, neither will you Father forgive your trespasses.
25. And when ye shall stand praying, forgive, if you have any thing against any one, that your Father also, who is in heaven, may forgive you your trespasses. 26. But if you shall not forgive, neither will your Father, who is in heaven, forgive you your trespasses.
Here Christ only explains the reason why that condition was added, Forgive us, as we forgive The reason is, that God will not be ready to hear us, unless we also show ourselves ready to grant forgiveness to those who have offended us. If we are not harder than iron, this exhortation ought to soften us, and render us disposed to forgive offenses.  Unless God pardon us every day many sins, we know that we are ruined in innumerable ways: and on no other condition does he admit us to pardon, but that we pardon our brethren whatever offenses they have committed against us. Those who refuse to forget the injuries which have been done to them, devote themselves willingly and deliberately to destruction, and knowingly prevent God from forgiving them. 
 "Pour nous rendre faciles a oublier les injures qu'on nous a faites." -- "To make us ready to forget the injuries which have been done to us."
 "Et de propos delibere veulent que Dieu procede contre eux en toute rigueur;" -- "and deliberately resolve that God may proceed against them to the utmost rigor."
But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders,
23. And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and elders of the people came to him, saying By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee that authority?  24. And Jesus answering said to them, I also will ask you something, which if you shall tell me, I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25. Whence was the baptism of John? From heaven, or from men? But they thought within themselves saying, If we shall say, From heaven, he will say to us, Why then did you not believe him? 26. But if we shall say, From men, we dread the multitude, for they all hold John for a prophet. 27. And answering Jesus, they said, We do not know. And he saith to them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.
27. And they come again to Jerusalem; and while he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, and scribes, and elders, come to him. 28. And they say to him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee that authority  to do these things? 29. And Jesus answering said to them, I will also ask you something, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30. Whether was the baptism of John from heaven or from men? Answer me. 31. And they thought within themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven, he will say, Why then did you not believe him? 32. But if we say, From men, they dreaded the people;  for all reckoned John that he was truly a prophet. 33. And they answering say to Jesus, We do not know. And Jesus answering saith to them, Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
1. And it happened on one of those days, while he was teaching the people in the temple, and preaching the gospel, the chief priests, and scribes, with the elders, came upon him, 2. And spoke to him saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee that authority? 3. And Jesus answering said to them, I will also ask you something, and answer me. 4. Was the baptism of John from heaven, or from men? 5. But they reasoned within themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven, he will say, Why then did you not believe him? 6. But if we shall say, From men, all the people will stone us; for they are convinced that John is a prophet. 7. And they answered, That they did not know whence it was. 8. And Jesus said to them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.
Matthew 21:23. By what authority doest thou these things. As the other schemes and open attempts to attack Christ had not succeeded, the priests and scribes now attempt, by indirect methods, if they may possibly cause him to desist from the practice of teaching. They do not debate with him as to the doctrine itself, whether it was true or not--for already had they often enough attacked him in vain on that question--but they raise a dispute as to his calling and commission. And, indeed, there were plausible grounds; for since a man ought not, of his own accord, to intermeddle either with the honor of priesthood, or with the prophetical office, but ought to wait for the calling of God, much less would any man be at liberty to claim for himself the title of Messiah, unless it were evident that he had been chosen by God; for he must have been appointed, not only by the voice of God, but likewise by an oath, as it is written, (Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 7:21.)
But when the divine majesty of Christ had been attested by so many miracles, they act maliciously and wickedly in inquiring whence he came, as if they had been ignorant of all that he had done. For what could be more unreasonable than that., after seeing the hand of God openly displayed in curing the lame and blind, they should doubt if he were a private individual who had rashly assumed this authority? Besides, more than enough of evidence had been already laid before them., that Christ was sent from heaven., so that nothing was farther from their wish than to approve of the performances of Christ, after having learned that God was the Author of them. They therefore insist on this., that he is not a lawful minister of God, because he had not been chosen by their votes, as if the power had dwelt solely with them. But though they had been the lawful guardians of the Church, still it was monstrous to rise up against God. We now understand why Christ did not make a direct reply to them. It was because they wickedly and shamelessly interrogated him about a matter which was well known.
25 Whence was the baptism of John? Christ interrogates them about the baptism of John, not only to show that they were unworthy of any authority, because they had despised a holy prophet of God, but also to convict them, by their own reply, of having impudently pretended ignorance of a matter with which they were well acquainted. For we must bear in mind why John was sent, what was his commission, and on what subject he most of all insisted. He had been sent as Christ's herald. He was not deficient in his duty, and claims nothing more for himself than to
In short., he had pointed out Christ with the finger, and had declared him to be the only Son of God. From what source then do the scribes mean that the new authority of Christ should be proved, since it had been fully attested by the preaching of John?
We now see that Christ employed no cunning stratagem in order to escape, but fully and perfectly answered the question which had been proposed; for it was impossible to acknowledge that John was a servant of God, without acknowledging that he was Himself the Lord. He did not therefore shelter arrogant men,  who without any commission, but out of their own hardihood, take upon themselves a public office; nor did he countenance, by his example, the art of suppressing the truth, as many crafty men falsely plead his authority. I do acknowledge that, if wicked men lay snares for us, we ought not always to reply in the same way, but ought to be prudently on our guard against their malice, yet in such a manner that truth may not be left without a proper defense.
Baptism denotes here not only the sign of washing, but the whole ministry of John; for Christ intended to draw out a reply, Was John a true and lawful prophet of God, or an impostor? Yet this mode of expression contains a useful doctrine, Is the of John from God, or from men? For hence we infer, that no doctrine and no sacrament ought to be received among the godly, unless it be evident that it has come from God; and that men are not at liberty to make any invention of this nature. The discourse relates to John, whom our Lord, in another passage, raises, by a remarkable commendation, above all the prophets, (Luke 7:26, 28.) Yet Christ declares that his baptism ought not to be received, unless it had been enjoined by God. What, then, must we say of the pretended sacraments, which men of no authority have foolishly introduced without any command from God? For Christ plainly declares by these words, that the whole government of the Church depends on the will of God in such a manner, that men have no right to introduce any thing from themselves.
But they thought within themselves. Here we perceive the impiety of the priests. They do not inquire what is true, nor do they put the question to their own conscience;  and they are so base as to choose rather to shuffle than to acknowledge what they know to be true, that their tyranny may not be impaired. In this manner, all wicked men, though they pretend to be desirous of learning, shut the gate of truth, if they feel it to be opposed to their wicked desires. So then Christ does not allow those men to go without a reply, but sends them away ashamed and confounded, and, by bringing forward the testimony of John, sufficiently proves that he is furnished with divine power. 
 "Et qui est celuy qui t'a donn? ceste authorit??" -- "And who is he that gave thee that authority?"
 "Et qui est celuy qui t'a donn? ceste authorit??" -- "And who is he that gave thee that authority?"
 "Nous craignous le peuple;" -- "we dread the people."
 "Ainsi done Christ n'a point voulu yei armer de response des glorieux et outrecuidez;" -- "so then Christ did not intend here to arm, by his reply, haughty and presumptuous men."
 "Et n'examinent point la chose selon leur conscience;"--" and do not examine the thing according to their conscience."
 "Qu'il est muni et authoriz? d'une puissance divine;" -- "that he is furnished and authorized by a divine power."
And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?
And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.
And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?
But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.
And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.