What Were the Moneychangers at the Temple Changing Money for?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Secret Alias
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Re: What Were the Moneychangers at the Temple Changing Money for?

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:53 pm

John 2:13-16 corresponds to what season? Any guesses?
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: What Were the Moneychangers at the Temple Changing Money for?

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:50 pm

John contextualizes the moneychangers scene as being timed to Passover. But here is my problem:

1. as we all know the synoptics have one year, John many year ministry
2. the moneychangers scene occurs in John at the very beginning of the gospel as Origen notes:
The other three Evangelists say that the Lord, after His conflict with the devil, departed into Galilee. Matthew and Luke represent that he was first at Nazara, and then left them and came and dwelt in Capernaum. Matthew and Mark also state a certain reason why He departed thither, namely, that He had heard that John was cast into prison. The words are as follows: Matthew says, "Then the devil leaveth Him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto Him. But when He heard that John was delivered up, He departed into Galilee, and leaving Nazareth He came and dwelt at Capernaum on the seashore in the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali;" and after the quotation from Isaiah: "From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Mark has the following: "And He was in the desert forty days and forty nights tempted by Satan, and He was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto Him. But after John was delivered up Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of God, that the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe in the Gospel." Then after the narrative about Andrew and Peter and James and John, Mark writes: "And He entered into Capernaum, and straightway on the Sabbath He was teaching in thesynagogue." Luke has, "And having finished the temptation the devil departed from Him for a season. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and a fame went out concerning Him into all the region round about, and He taught in their synagogues being glorified of all. And He came to Nazara, where He had been brought up, and He entered as His custom was into the synagogue on the Sabbath day." Then Luke gives what He said at Nazara, and how those in the synagogue were enraged at Him and cast Him out of the city and brought Him to the brow of the hill on which their cities were built, to cast Him down headlong, and how going through the midst of them the Lord went His way; and with this he connects the statement, "And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He was teaching them on the Sabbath day."
I know this is not going to win me any fans but 'the beginning' of the gospel narrative is necessarily Yom Kippur. So we are down to one of two choices - Yom Kippur or Passover. I think it originally took place on Yom Kippur.

Interestingly Benny Tsedaka says that there are two times the Samaritans collect the redemption (half shekel):
twice a year to the High Priest any received 6 months of the calendar, once in Peshch and once in Succoth
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Charles Wilson
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Re: What Were the Moneychangers at the Temple Changing Money for?

Post by Charles Wilson » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:00 pm

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/yo ... s-finished

There's an article by Maccoby on this which I haven't found on first search but this might do...

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Re: What Were the Moneychangers at the Temple Changing Money for?

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:04 pm

Reinhard Pummer confirms (obviously) what Benny told me:
The Calendar The religious year of the Samaritans is governed by a special calendar which is calculated and distributed by the priests (PI. XXX and XXXI). Twice a year the high priest distributes it for the following six month period; once, one one week before Simmut Pesah, i.e. the 8th Sabbath before Pesah which is the 3rd or 4th Sabbath of the 11th or 12th month, and once, one week before Simmut one week before Simmut Sukkot, i.e. the 8th Sabbath before Sukkot which is the 3rd (or 4th) Sabbath of the 5th month. On these occasions each male Samaritan pays the high priest a certain sum of money, the "half shekel" of Exod. 30:11-16
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: What Were the Moneychangers at the Temple Changing Money for?

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:16 pm

van Goudoever:
The time of preparation for Passover is fixed differently : In the Mishnah it is said : ' On the first day of Adar they give warnings of the shekel - dues , . . . on the fifteenth thereof . . . they repair the paths and roads [ for the Passover - pilgrimage ] A baraita teaches , ' Pericopes regarding Passover must be read 30 days before Passover , others say 14 days before Passover ' 74 . The question of intercalation is directly connected with the preparation : only when it had been decided whether or not the year was a leap - year , could the preparations begin . In the Mishnah it is said “ They testified that the year could be declared a leap - year any time during Adar ( thus also after Purim ) ; whereas it has been taught : Only until Purim ' 75 . On 1 Adar , Exodus xxx . 11 - 16 is read , the pericope of the shekeldues . Dr J . Bowman pointed out to me the parallel with the Samaritan calendar . Each half year the priest of the Samaritans gives his people the calendar for the next half year . This calendar is given by the priest 60 days before Passover and 60 days before the Feast of Tabernacles 76 . These two days of the year are called zimmuth. In Samaritan synagogues on these days Exodus xxx . 11 - 16 is read , the pericope of the shekalim 77 . Zimmuth can mean ' gathering of the people for the purpose of paying the half - shekel ' , and at the same time it means ' the meeting of Moses and Aaron , before they went to Pharaoh ' ; the zimmuth of Passover ( i . e . 60 days before Passover ) is called the ' gate of the festivals ' ( scil . of 1 Nisan , of Passover and Unleavened Bread ) 78 . On this day they began to read the passages about the wonders in Egypt 79 . Could it be that the first day of the twelfth month in Ezekiel's calendar had the same character as the zimmuth of Passover in the Samaritan calendar? This first day of the month before Passover was perhaps for Ezekiel the beginning of the commemoration of the plagues in Egypt .
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Re: What Were the Moneychangers at the Temple Changing Money for?

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:24 pm

As a tangential discussion - more on the Samaritan simmut:

Marqe - Moses and Aaron are “two great lights” who “will illumine the congregation of Israel.” They are understood to go down into Egypt like the two angels who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, they were “like two lights, their faces giving light in Pharaoh's abode,” “two lights shone among the stars of Sarah and Abraham.” (1.6) He speaks of them as 'conjoined' as heavenly spheres - “O magnificent ones, as I have united the two of you in goodness, so you shall be united as one in uprightness … I have vested you (Moses) with my name and I have vested him (Aaron) with yours"(1.9) and again "the two of them were united in perfection and at various places unions took place for them in their mission to Pharaoh.” (3.1) and "when the two were joined together, when the world was magnified” (4.4) and again "excellent these two, their glory fills the earth and heavens!”

The thirteenth century poem by Aaron ben Maner is developed from these ideas first established by Mark and is still sung each Zimmot of Passover. Here we see in most explicit terms Aaron’s meeting with Moses literally described as the moon being drawn into the fire of the sun:

Listen to my words,
Beautiful and heavy words,
Coming from full heart,
And the Almighty supports it,
My words will inform you,
what is quickly done,
Between the Man that testify,
The Great Prophet,
When Aaron went out to meet him,
With happiness and greatness,
He raised his eyes from far,
Saw an honored light,
Hid the light of the sun,
Like a flame of fire,
He said: Is it an Angel?
Or Prophet? or a king? or a obedience?
And he was wondering in his heart,
Could not stand still.
And the Angel of God said to him
With an honorable way,
Aaron, He is you brother Moses,
That promoted and honored,
Go forward and greet him,
And kiss his hand.
Aaron went towards Moses
And bowed down before him,
Saying to him, Hello my brother Moses,
The honorable man,
Hello the messenger of the Almighty
The Slave of the Almighty,
Hello the Man of the Almighty,
That his hand was raised,
I never expected to see your face,
And be hold the Almighty let us meet,
Today is between you and me,
In happiness and kindness,
Today the Will
Established in it,
The meeting of Aaron and his brother,
The meeting of kind with kind
The meeting of the moon and sun,
Meeting of teacher with teacher.
There Aaron prayed,
And honored and praised,
And said: The World Creator,
Should be bowed to the Almighty.
And the Angels Commented and said:
The Almighty is King and the world witness.
In no uncertain terms then
When Aaron went out to meet him,
With happiness and greatness,
He raised his eyes from far,
Saw an honored light,
Hid the light of the sun,
Like a flame of fire.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Ulan
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Re: What Were the Moneychangers at the Temple Changing Money for?

Post by Ulan » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:35 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:50 pm
I know this is not going to win me any fans but 'the beginning' of the gospel narrative is necessarily Yom Kippur. So we are down to one of two choices - Yom Kippur or Passover. I think it originally took place on Yom Kippur.
The Barabbas scene is also a Yom Kippur story, even though that makes Barabbas the offering for the sins of the people and gives the death of Jesus a different meaning than the standard Christian interpretation, which is the main reason why this is usually downplayed.

Regarding the image of Melqart on the official temple coinage, we have been discussing the implications for the story regarding Jesus and the coins in the temple in some old thread already. The original of that story may have had a completely different context, too.

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Re: What Were the Moneychangers at the Temple Changing Money for?

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:05 pm

Great points. Dp you think the "be skillful moneychangers" agrapha was related to this scene? How couldn't it on the one hand. On the other who knows.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Ulan
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Re: What Were the Moneychangers at the Temple Changing Money for?

Post by Ulan » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:27 pm

I don't see any strong connection, other than the point that some quality of a moneychanger is invoked.

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Re: What Were the Moneychangers at the Temple Changing Money for?

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:57 pm

What about the number of tax gatherers and at least two references to moneychangers? remember Matthew 17: 24 “the collectors of the half-shekel tax” approach the apostle outside the home to inquire of Jesus.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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