Matthew 22:21

New Testament

15 Then the Pharisees went out and planned together to entrap him with his own words. 16 They sent to him their disciples along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful and teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You do not court anyone’s favor because you show no partiality. 17 Tell us then, what do you think? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus realized their evil intentions and said, “Hypocrites! Why are you testing me? 19 Show me the coin used for the tax.” So they brought him a denarius. 20 Jesus said to them, “Whose image is this, and whose inscription?” 21 They replied, “Caesar’s.” He said to them, “Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 Now when they heard this they were stunned, and they left him and went away.

Tanchuma Noach 10


Go forth from the ark (Gen. 8:16). Scripture says elsewhere in reference to this verse: I counsel thee: keep the king’s command, and that in regard of the oath of God. Be not hasty to go out of His presence (Eccles. 8:2–3). The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel: If a government imposes harsh decrees upon you, I adjure you not to rebel against that government but rather to keep the king’s command. However, if the government should decree that you must violate the Torah and its commandments, do not hearken unto it. Say to that government: 'I will keep the king’s command in whatever you desire, but with regard to an oath to God, Scripture states: Be not hasty to go out of His presence.' They want you to violate the commandments so that you will ultimately repudiate the Holy One, blessed be He. Hence, it says: In regard of the oath of God, be not hasty to go forth from His presence (ibid.).

 Notes and References

"... To Samuel of Nehardea (c. 165-257 A.D.) belongs the honour of formulating the principle which made it possible for Jews from the early middle ages onwards to live under alien laws. Jeremiah bad admonished his exiled brothers: 'Seek ye the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it; for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.' It grew necessary to become more explicit, and the Rabbis proclaimed a principle which was as influential with the synagogue as 'Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's' became with the Church. 'The law of the government is law' (dina d'malchutha dina, T.B. Baba Qama 113 b; Bava Bathra 54a; Gillin 10b; Nedarim 21a) said Samuel, and ever since it has been a religious duty for the Jews to obey and accommodate themselves as far as possible to the laws of the country in which they are settled or reside, "To Jeremiah and Mar Samuel," says Graetz, 'Judaism owes its possibility of existence in a foreign country' ..."

Abrahams, Israel Studies in Pharisaiam and the Gospels (pp. 62-65) Cambridge University Press, 1917

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