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21他们回答:“凯撒的。”他就对他们说:“凯撒的应当归给凯撒, 神的应当归给 神。”
21 They say unto him, Cæsar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
21 Verse 21. They say unto him, Caesars.] The image was the head

of the emperor; the superscription, his titles. JULIUS CAESAR

was the first who caused his image to be struck on the Roman coin.

Tiberius was emperor at this time.



Render therefore unto Caesar] The conclusion is drawn from

their own premises. You acknowledge this to be Caesar's coin;

this coin is current, in your land; the currency of this coin

shows the country to be under the Roman government; and your

acknowledgment that it is Caesar's proves you have submitted.

Don't therefore be unjust; but render to Caesar the things which

you acknowledge to be his; at the same time, be not impious, but

render unto God the thing's which belong to God.



This answer is full of consummate wisdom. It establishes the

limits, regulates the rights, and distinguishes the jurisdiction

of the two empires of heaven and earth. The image of

princes stamped on their coin denotes that temporal things belong

all to their government. The image of God stamped on the soul

denotes that all its faculties and powers belong to the Most High,

and should be employed in his service.



But while the earth is agitated and distracted with the question

of political rights and wrongs, the reader will naturally ask,

What does a man owe to Caesar?-to the civil government under which

he lives? Our Lord has answered the question-That which IS

Caesar's. But what is it that is Caesar's? 1. Honour. 2.

Obedience. And 3. Tribute. 1. The civil government under which a

man lives, and by which he is protected, demands his honour and

reverence. 2. The laws which are made for the suppression of

evil doers, and the maintenance of good order, which are

calculated to promote the benefit of the whole, and the comfort of

the individual should be religiously obeyed. 3. The government

that charges itself with the support and defence of the whole,

should have its unavoidable expenses, however great, repaid by the

people, in whose behalf they are incurred; therefore we should pay

tribute. But remember, if Caesar should intrude into the things

of God, coin a new creed, or broach a new Gospel, and affect to

rule the conscience, while he rules the state, in these things

Caesar is not to be obeyed; he is taking the things of God, and he

must not get them. Give not therefore God's things to Caesar, and

give not Caesar's things to God. That which belongs to the

commonwealth should, on no account whatever, be devoted to

religious uses; and let no man think he has pleased God, by giving

that to charitable or sacred uses which he has purloined from the

state. The tribute of half a shekel, which the law, (Ex 30:13,14,)

required every person above twenty years of age to pay to the

temple, was, after the destruction of the temple, in the time of

Vespasian, paid into the emperor's exchequer. This sum,

Melanethon supposes, amounted annually to THREE TONS OF GOLD.