Now the scripture that you are quoting comes from Mark 12:14-17. When Jesus said this, he was totally aware of God's Law, and we can be sure that He was not telling the teachers of the law to do contrary to God's Law. So Let's see what Jesus meant by "the things which are

Caesar's" when He said this.


The context for the "Render to Caesar" quote above was that the Pharisees wanted to trap Jesus. They were the teachers of the Law, and knew full well what God's word says about laws and governments other than God's. The Pharisees knew ALL of the following:


(1) They knew that even their own Israelite kings could not make any law, but could only administer God's law, not turning aside from God's commandments, to the right hand, or to the left: Deuteronomy 17:14, 18-20


Not adding to it, or diminishing from it: Deuteronomy 12:32


(2) They knew that it was a sin to walk in the statutes of the heathen, and that if their OWN ISRAELITE KINGS made any statutes, it was a SIN to walk in their statutes as well: 2 Kings 17:6-8, 18-19


(3) They knew that God's people have laws that are different from all other people's [God's Laws] and that even in foreign lands they do not keep the king's law: Esther 3:8


(4) They knew that the principle that consenting with a thief, be he king or commoner, makes one a partaker with that thief- and apostate: Psalm 50:18


Adulterers-Strong's reference number: 5003


Hebrew: na'aph


Definition: to commit adultery; fig. to apostatize.


(4) They knew that those who participate in evil through the use of an agent are guilty of the act themselves: 2 Samuel 11:14-17, 26-27; 12:9


Therefore, by the same principle, the Pharisees knew that participating in a heathen government by financing someone else [an agent] to enforce heathen laws makes the one who pays the tribute guilty of the acts of the heathen government.


(5) They knew that those who are obedient to God will not pay toll, tribute, and custom to a heathen king [Caesar]: Ezra 4:6, 12-13, 16


(6) They knew that the throne of iniquity cannot have fellowship with God: Psalm 94:20


(7) They knew that the people in whose heart is God's law are to obey His Law and are not to fear the reproach of men: Isaiah 51:7, 12


(8) They knew God's admonition about doing after the manners of the heathen: Ezekiel 11:10, 12


NOTE: The Hebrew word translated to "manners" speaks specifically of governmental and judicial activity. Here, Ezekiel is not speaking of "ways or customs" of the heathen, he is speaking about the "statutes, ordinances, judgements, laws and government" of the heathen.


Manners-Strong's reference number: 4941


Hebrew: mishpat


Derivation: Derived from 8199


Definition: prop. a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judicially, espec. A sentence or formal decree (human or [partic.] divine law, individual or collect.) include. The act, the place, the suit, the crime, and the penalty; abstr. justice, include. right, or privilege (statutory or customary), or even a style


Manners-Strong's reference number: 8199


Hebrew: shaphat


Derivation: A primary word.


Definition: to judge, i.e., pronounce sentence (for or against); impl. vindicate or punish; by extens. to govern; pass. to litigate (lit. or fig.)


(9) They knew that God's people do not obey wicked governments that have other gods even if they are thrown into a fiery furnace: Daniel 3:16-19


(10) The Pharisees knew that God 's people do not obey wicked governments that have other gods even if they are thrown into a fiery furnace: Daniel 3:16-20


(11) The Pharisees knew that God's people do not obey wicked governments even if they are thrown into a lion's den: Daniel 6:7, 10, 16


(12) The Pharisees knew that those who have set up kings and princes [governments] but not by God's hand, have trespassed against His law: Hosea 4:1; 8:1, 4


(13) The Pharisees knew that it is a sin to keep statutes made by Israelite kings, let alone a heathen "Caesar": Micah 6:13, 16


(14) The Pharisees were fully aware that God only allowed "Caesar" to be in power to prove Israel to see whether they would keep the way of the Lord to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not: Judges 2:21-22; 3:4

And the Pharisees were aware of the conclusion of the whole matter: Ecclesiastes 12:13


(15) The Pharisees knew that when a people, and especially believers, refuse to correct or rebuke sin in their society, then the unrebuked sin of even one evil man could curse the whole society and separate that society from the blessings of the Lord. In the Pharisees time, the evil was that of the King Caesar, which they could not and would not rebuke and thus became hypocrites, as Jesus called them: Matthew 23:23


(16) The Pharisees knew their hypocrisy in the matter of rebuking sin at the time they asked the question of Jesus about rendering taxes to Caesar because the Book of Joshua, Chapter 7, written 1400 years earlier, tells the story about Moses' successor Joshua, who lost a war with the Amorites and the blessings of God because one of his men illegally stole a treasure that was the spoils of war and hid it under his tent and would not confess or right his wrong before God and his people, and preferred to lie about it. The result was that the people felt guilty and cowardly in battle and ran away from the enemy to become the laughing stock of the land. They were cursed by God because they would not confront and correct this evil in their society, which consisted of theft and deceit: Joshua 7:11-13


(17) Therefore, knowing all of this the Pharisees laid a trap for Jesus. They were certain that they could trap Jesus into affirming that either: it was lawful to pay tribute to "Caesar", which they knew to be against God's Law, and thereby condemning him under God's Law to pay tribute to a heathen government [Caesar], thereby condemning him under "Caesar's" "law". Then the Pharisees could go tell "Caesar", and thereby get rid of Jesus with the sword of Caesar: Matthew 22:17


Jesus was also versed in the above scriptures. He was fully aware that it is against God's Law to give tribute to a heathen "Caesar". He also knew that it would enrage "Caesar" for him to say so. Jesus knew that giving the correct answer was a trap laid for him by the Pharisees, and He evaded their trap by the following: He didn't define what was or was not" Caesar's". He didn't even affirm that the penny with "Caesar's" image and superscription was to be rendered to "Caesar". Jesus' answer was that the Pharisees should render to "Caesar", a heathen who did not know or obey God's Law, exactly what was due to any heathen or Israelite who did not obey God's Law: Numbers 15:15-16; Deuteronomy 27:26


Therefore, the Pharisees knew that what they had just been told was to render unto "Caesar" what God's Law required: death, and since they were declining to carry out the sentence of the law, they were hypocrites, since they were the enforcement officials of God's Law and knew what "Caesar" was due under God's Law. They had also been told that they were doing presumptuously by not harkening to carry out the sentence of the law and they themselves should be put to death along with"Caesar" in order to put their own evil away from Israel: Deuteronomy 17:11-12


This is obviously why the Pharisees marveled at him. they were not about to tell "Caesar" that God's Law required him to be put to death, because "Caesar" would have then come after the Pharisees. In addition, Jesus had just rebuked both "Caesar" and the Pharisees by stating publicly that both "Caesar" and the Pharisees should be put to death, and the Pharisees who hated Jesus knew it but couldn't go tell "Caesar" in order to get Jesus in trouble. Also "Caesar" and his agents didn't know enough about God's Lae to realize that Jesus said that "Caesar" should be put to death, and "Caesar" thinks to this very day [including some leaders or modern day Pharisees] that Jesus was saying to pay tribute.


Jesus will, incidentally, render to "Caesar" what is "Caesar's" at His coming: Luke 19:27; Psalm 2:7,9-10 [NOTE: These verses in Psalm 2 are confirmed to be about Jesus in Acts 13:33; Hebrew 1:1-5; 5:5 and by Jesus Himself in Revelation 2:26-27]; Zechariah 14:9, 12 [NOTE: These verses can be seen to be about Jesus in Matthew 25:31-32; 28:18; John 18:37; 1 Timothy 6:13-15; Revelation 11:15; 19:14; 20:4-6

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