Why were there money changers in Jerusalem’s temple?

Shortly before his death, Jesus addressed a gross injustice taking place in the temple. The Bible reports: “Jesus . . . threw out all those selling and buying in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. And he said to them: ‘It is written, “My house will be called a house of prayer,” but you are making it a cave of robbers.’”

First-century Jews and Jewish proselytes traveled from many lands and cities to the temple in Jerusalem, bringing with them coins from their local area. Yet, they were required to use acceptable currency to pay the annual temple tax, to buy sacrificial animals, and to make other voluntary offerings. Thus, money changers would, for a fee, convert coins of different origins and denominations into the required currency. As Jewish festivals approached, these money changers would set up stalls in the temple’s Court of the Gentiles.

Jesus’ criticism that the money changers were turning the temple into “a cave of robbers” evidently indicates that the charges for their services were exorbitant.

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~ by DJ Camstar on 09/04/2017.

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