Moneychangers

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Moneychangers

What was this whip and the moneychangers story all about? Was it an act of violence or was Jesus just doing his job as king of Judea? Was he tipping over tables or was he turning the treasury of that government back to the people?

The moneychangers were not involved in nickel and dime purchases where you could tip over a table and send change rolling on the floor lie you see in the movies. The Greek word for “moneychangers” was kollubistes[1], which was a word for a small coin or “clipped amount”. Kollubistes had to do with the commission charged by the holders of these lucrative offices on the left hand side of the Judean government that had come down to those days from the original Israelite Republic set up by Moses in the wilderness.

Over the centuries the national government shifted from the principles of that free Republic under God. Like Rome they were doing the business of government differently. The Temples were government buildings providing government services. Originally both Rome and Israel depended on freewill offerings or sacrifice called Corban to provide for the needy of their society. But people were offered a new deal where everyone would be compelled to pay their fair share if they were registered with the temple. John the Baptist was preaching something different than the Corban of the Pharisees and Herod. Rome had been setting up similar systems at leas since Polybius.

The people often chose whose job it was to insure the honesty of those who performed the charitable care of society in areas of health, education and welfare of the people. These overseers of the public trust might be called the Pontifex Maximus. But also men were chosen by the people through a network set up in patterns of tens where tithes were paid to men of peace like Melchizedeck and Abraham. Kings to like David were overseer of the Porters of the temple and of course if Jesus was the Christ or Messiah he too was a king who would have that power.

All this may seem knew and strange to people who have forgotten that Israel was a government and Jesus came to take the kingdom from those who had it[2] and appoint it to those who would bear fruit,[3] which he did. It may help to reexamine what we have come to believe is the meaning of Religion and what made Pure Religion pure?

Those in charge could take a portion for their labor. These commissioned moneychangers took a portion of the collected contributions of the people in the form of a commission. This commission had grown to become what we would call a large share or porterhouse cut.

The tribute could exceed 7,600,000 denarii in that one month. The money-changers were allowed to charge a silver meah, or about one-fourth of a denar. Their cut on this one event could be 950,000 denarii, worth more than $9,000,000 today. “Thus the immense offerings … to the Temple passed through the hands of the moneychangers.”[4]

Understanding who the money-changers were as government officials and what it meant to be fired from their lucrative commissioned position in the national treasury brings the motivation of crucifying Jesus into a new and revealing light.

“All these [which were] chosen to be porters in the gates [were] two hundred and twelve. These were reckoned by their genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer did ordain in their set office.” (1 Chronicles 9:22)

Jesus walked into the national bank, the gazophulakion or “the royal treasury,” and by laying a string whip[5] across their shoulders, according to the ancient tradition of His kingly office, simply fired these corrupt employees. As King, He was able to turn over their lucrative appointments to more worthy officers elected by the people, who now supported His reign as King by the thousands.[6] The people had again been taught the ancient ways by men like John, Jesus, and His faithful followers, who had been demonstrating the way of God, making it straight again.

The king had appointed these offices from the elected choices of the people. They were not elected as we often think of elections today, but were reckoned by their genealogy, which dealt with their family units, or “generations” which gathered together in Tens. They were not to hold this office by inheritance or by their lineage. Nor by the kings discretion alone.

The word “villages” is normally translated “court” and is based on their positions as servants of the tens and hundreds. Even though David and Samuel ordained them to their set offices, they had no authority to elect them. The king and high priest, as overseers, could reject those holding their specific positions, but they could not appoint their own cohorts, loyal crowd, nor cronies.

A sheep crook and string whip[5] were symbols of kings and pharaohs with their power to hire and fire public servants.

The people would reaffirm their network of Tens at the feast of Pentecost. Without perfect people, it could not be a perfect system; but it was a godly balance under the Perfect law of liberty for those who lived by lave in hope rather than force and greed. There was separation of Church and State, meaning that the giving of charity and the enforcement of law did not mix. There was a balance of power in the hands of the people.

“And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.” (Mark 12:41)

Jesus was the king and had been observing the practices in the public treasury[7] for some time. The words ”over against” were from katenanti, which was a metaphor meaning “before one, i.e. he being judge”. He had already begun to instruct men within the royal treasury in John 8. There are a number of misconceptions concerning what is taking place and where it all took place within that text.

“Jesus…came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them." (John 8:2)

There are numerous words translated into “set” in the New Testament including kathemai, epitithemi, paratithemi, histemi, duno, anakeimai, anapipto among others, but the words “sat down” in John 8:2 is kathizo, which is defined, “to set, appoint, to confer a kingdom on one.”[8]

From the book Thy Kingdom Comes

To understand how the Church handles things like banking accounts, we need to understand the full purpose, function, and nature of the Church. In the days of Rome, just as today, the transfer of funds from one place to another produced a need for what has become known as Banks. In Herod’s Temples the Royal Treasury stored large capital reserves managed by the ministers for the benefit of the people. The tables of the money changers were actually a part of this national “bank”[9]or royal treasury,[10] even receiving a compelled offering.[11]

Things in the Kingdom of God had changed since the day of Moses and not always for the better.

“These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.” (John 8:20)

The word treasury is from gazophulakion, meaning “the royal treasury” and “guarded vault or chamber.” It contained millions of dollars in silver, deposited in large chests which held the collected contributions of the citizenry for the running of the government, and to support the common welfare.

Even Diana’s temple at Ephesus was nothing more than a world bank built by the commitment of over 127 different nations who deposited funds in their vault. It was the most secure depository in all the Mediterranean, and also invested in lucrative commercial and social enterprises on an international basis.

Ephesus, and the temples of Herod under the administration of the Pharisees and Sadducees, indulged in practices which Moses and Jesus opposed. As the Messiah, He spoke against the Corban of the Pharisees with its social entitlements and compelled offerings. They were storing up silver and gold within a central government[12] to provide the benefits of social security, but allowed an exercising authority over the people in the gathering of those contributions and the filling of the treasury.

This consolidation of funds and the ability to compel the sacrifices of the people centralized power, tempted and corrupted the ministers, and subverted the word of God by taking away the charitable choice exercised by a free people.

“And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.” (Mark 12:41)

Jesus, the anointed King, was setting policy for the repository of the public treasury. The words ‘over against’ were from katenanti meaning “before one i.e. he being judge”. He was instructing men within the royal treasury in John 8. “Jesus … came again into the temple, and all the people came unto Him; and he sat down, and taught them.” There are many words in the Bible translated into ‘set’ but in John 8:2, “sat down,” which is from “kathizo,” meant: “to set, appoint, to confer a kingdom on one.”[13]

These are specific words of authority.

Jesus desired charity and forbade benefactors who exercised authority. When there were serious needs among the people during Claudius’ reign, instead of calling upon Caesar, it was the Church[14] who provided assistance to the people by way of the ministry of Barnabas and Saul.[15]

So the firing of the moneychangers was the job of the king and his use of a string whip[5] made it public. New men would take their position at Pentecost but under the Fervent Charity taught by John the Baptist and Jesus. To regain their power over the One purse of the nation they would have remove Christ before Pentecost. Now you know why they rushed to crucify Christ. Like most Socialists they did not believe in charity but coveted their neighbor's goods.

The Church's service to the living body of Christ in the modern world must be as real as that Church of the first century. We must be as concerned about other congregations as we are about our own in an effective and world-wide way. We must come together and attend to the Weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith which include caring for the needs of our neighbors, the widows and orphans of our society through Pure Religion in matters of health, education, and welfare. We are NOT to do so by the Covetous Practices of modern governments.

The Way of Christ was not like the way of the world, nor the governments of the gentiles who depend on benefactors who exercise authority. Christ's ministers and true Christians do not depend upon systems of social welfare that force the contributions of the people like the corban of the Pharisees which made the word of God to none effect. Many people have been deceived to go the way of Balaam and the Nicolaitan and out of The Way of Christ.

The Christian conflict of the first century Church appointed by Christ was because they would not apply to the fathers of the earth for benefits but instead relied upon a voluntary network providing a daily ministration to the needy of society through Faith, Hope, and Charity by way of freewill offerings of the people, for the people, and by the people through the perfect law of liberty in Free Assemblies according to the ancient pattern of Tuns or Tens.

The modern Christians are in need of repentance.


"Follow me!" —Jesus the Christ.


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Footnotes

  1. “kollubistes, (i.q. a. a small coin, cf. Clipped; b. rate of exchange, premium), a money-changer, banker: Mt.xxi. 12; Mk. Xi. 15; Jn.ii. 15.” Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, page 353.
  2. Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
  3. Luke 22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
  4. New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Bible says Jesus made this whip or scourge of schoinos which was "a rush, bulrush" material. That material would only produce a small "cord" made of rush fibers. On the other hand a Roman scourge, also called the "flagrum" or "flagellum" was a short whip made of two or three leather (ox-hide braids) thongs or ropes connected to a handle. It could have knots or objects tied to it to increase damage and pain. The small cord made from bulrushes would not only be fragile but virtually harmless. It had long been a symbol of kings and their authority to make determinations and was even used to measure length or sizes of fields(see image of Egyptian rulers). A "schoinos" measures 4.605 miles.
  6. Acts 2:41, “...three thousand souls.” “...men was about five thousand.”
  7. Gazophulakion a repository of treasure, especially of public treasure.
  8. 2523 kathizo another (active) form for 2516; AV-sit 26, sit down 14, set 2, be set 2, be set down 2, continue 1, tarry 1; 48 1) to make to sit down 1a) to set, appoint, to confer a kingdom on one 2) intransitively
  9. The word for “table” of the moneychangers which Jesus overthrew is the same word for “bank” in Luke 19:23 In the Greek today the word trapezia still means bank. Bank is from the Italian banca meaning bench.
  10. Gazophulakion a repository of treasure, especially of public treasure.
  11. Salome- Alexandra (about 78 BC), that the Pharisaical party carried an enactment by which the Temple tribute was to be enforced at law. Alfred Edersheim’s book The Temple. See Thy Kingdom Comes, The Hasmonean Appeal.
  12. Deuteronomy 17:17 “... neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.”
  13. kathizo another (active) 1) to make to sit down 1a) to set, appoint, to confer a kingdom on one 2) intransitively
  14. Acts 11:28 “And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.”
  15. Deuteronomy 19:15 “... at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Matthew 11:2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, Luke 19:29 And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called [the mount] of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,”
  16. Matthew 20:25-26 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
    Mark 10:42-43 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
    Luke 22:25-26 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

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