Matthew 17

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Matthew 17
Tuenger Facetie.jpg
The Apostle Peter paying the temple tax with a coin from a fish's mouth by Augustin Tünger, 1486.
BookGospel of Matthew
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part1

Matthew 17 is the seventeenth chapter in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament section of the Christian Bible. Jesus continues his final journey to Jerusalem ministering through Galilee.


The chapter opens six days after the events of the previous chapter, which take place in the region of Caesarea Philippi, near the southwestern base of Mount Hermon. Matthew in verse 16:21 states that Jesus must go to Jerusalem, but this journey does not properly begin until Matthew 19:1. With Peter, James and John, he goes to a high mountain, traditionally understood and commemorated as Mount Tabor,[1] where he is transfigured. Mount Tabor is in the south of Galilee.[2] By verse 14 they have returned to a location where the crowd is gathered, verse 22 notes that they are still in Galilee, and in verse 24 they have returned to Capernaum at the northern end of the Sea of Galilee.

James Burton Coffman suggests that the location of the transfiguration would have been either Mount Hermon, closer to Caesarea Philippi, "or one of its adjacent peaks": "Mount Tabor, in the days of Christ and the apostles was populated and had a fortress on top of it; and Christ's taking his apostles there would not have been taking them 'apart', as Matthew said" (Matthew 17:1 in the King James Version), nor was Mount Tabor a particularly "high" mountain.[3]


The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 27 verses.

Textual witnesses

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

Chapter organisation

The New King James Version organises this chapter as follows:

Verse 1

Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves.[4]

In Luke's gospel, the account of the transfiguration of Jesus comes about eight days after the previous events. Protestant theologian Heinrich Meyer notes, in accordance with the observations of "Chrysostom, Jerome, Theophylact, Erasmus, and many others ... that Luke has included the dies a quo and ad quem" (i.e. inclusive of the days at the start and end of the interval).[5]

Coin in the fish's mouth

An Athenian tetradrachm from after 499 BCE.
Tilapia zilli ("St. Peter's fish") - served in a Tiberias restaurant.

The coin in the fish's mouth is one of the miracles of Jesus, told in verses 24–27.[6][7][8]

The four-drachma (or shekel) coin would be exactly enough to pay the temple tax (two-drachma coin) for two people.[9] It is usually thought to be a Tyrian shekel.[10][11]

The Bible does not specify the species of the fish caught by Peter, but Tilapia is sometimes referred to as "St. Peter's fish".

See also


  1. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia: Location of the Transfiguration, accessed 27 January 2017
  2. ^ Benson, J. (1857), Benson Commentary: Matthew 17, accessed 7 March 2021
  3. ^ Coffman, J. B. (1992), Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible: 2 Peter 1, accessed 7 March 2021
  4. ^ Matthew 17:1–13: NKJV
  5. ^ Meyer, H. A. W., Meyer's NT Commentary on Matthew 17, accessed 19 September 2019
  6. ^ Daniel J. Scholz (2009), Introducing the New Testament ISBN 0-88489-955-1 page 86
  7. ^ Steven L. Cox, Kendell H Easley, 2007 Harmony of the Gospels ISBN 0-8054-9444-8 page 349
  8. ^ Herbert Lockyer, All the Miracles of the Bible (Zondervan, 1988) page 219.
  9. ^ Keener, Craig S., 2009, The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, ISBN 0-8028-6498-8, page 445.
  10. ^ Hendin, David. "The coin in the fish's mouth". Coins Weekly. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  11. ^ Lewis, Peter E.; Bolden, Ron (2002). The Pocket Guide to Saint Paul: Coins Encountered by the Apostle on His Travels. Wakefield Press. p. 21. Retrieved 19 February 2016.

External links

Preceded by
Matthew 16
Chapters of the New Testament
Gospel of Matthew
Succeeded by
Matthew 18
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