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32 And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you?
33 They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened.
34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes : and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.
i Christ rideth into Jerusalem upon an ass, 12 driveth the buyers and sellers out of the
temple, 17 curseth the fig-tree, 23 putteth to silence the priests and elders, 28 and rebuketh them by the similitude of the two sons, 35 and the husbandmen, who slew such as were sent unto them.
1 AND ` when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, 2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you,
a Mark xi. 1; Luke xix. 29.
to be rendered, charged them, and iva, not Luke say,“ Bethphage and Bethany;” the because, but that. The parallel place, confines of these districts adjoining each Mark x. 48, is, “ Many charged him that other, Bethphage being between Bethany he should hold his peace.”
and Jerusalem, but near the latter, the These blind men, having heard of his village being within sight of the walls. character and works, believed him to be Bethany was two miles distant from Jethe Messiah, and therefore address him rusalem, and the Mount of Olives one. as “the Son of David,” the common title This eminence was so called from the of the Messiah among the Jews; they number of olive trees which grew upon earnestly implore his mercy; and, though it. A few trees of this kind still remain charged by the multitude to hold their scattered through this district. peace, as thinking perhaps they were cla- Verse 2. The village over against you. mouring for alms, they cry out the more. This village is supposed by some to be Our Lord at first appears not to regard Nob, distant about two miles. them, intending to try their faith, and An ass tied, and a colt with her. The pursues his way; but at length he stood ancient judges and kings of Israel rode still, and granted their request, thereby en- upon asses; horses, as well as chariots couraging, as in other instances, impor- of war, being forbidden; so that when tunate and persevering prayer. Mr. Solomon and his successors multiplied Baxter here remarks,“ Bodily calamities horses, they were rebuked for it by the are easily felt, and bodily welfare easily prophets. The leading reasons of this desired; but though Christ most values prohibition appear to have been, 1. That those who prefer spiritual mercies, yet he they should not be tempted by a cavalry hath compassion also on men's bodies, as force to invade other nations, either for serviceable to their souls, and to his predatory purposes, or for conquest, but glory."
be content with their own land assigned
by God; and, 2. That they might trust in CHAPTER XXI. Verse 1 And were God to give them the victory against all come to Bethphage.-St. Mark and St. invaders by means of their own peasant
and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her : loose them, and bring them unto me.
3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.
4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
infantry alone ; and so the prohibition that his kingdom was not a civil one, by reminded them always of God's promises, his taking no step to avail himself of the and of their dependence. Solomon and popular excitement to seize the reins of succeeding kings violated this rule, and government ; for after the events of this were often sharply reproved for it by the triumphal day he retired into the secrecy prophets. They affected horses both for, and solitude of the Mount of Olives. 2. war, and for state and show, the horse To give an opportunity to the people being a nobler animal than the ass or publicly to declare their belief that he was mule ; and our Lord's making his royal the Messias, the Son of David, of which entry into Jerusalem on an ass is there they were now generally persuaded, fore noted by the prophet Zechariah as a although their views of the true character mark of his lowliness; for though in an- of the Messiah were confused and erring. cient times the princes of Israel made use 3. To profess more publicly than hereof asses, that custom had long ceased. tofore, and in the very metropolis of
The ass and the colt were both brought Judea, that he was that “ King” of Zion to our Lord; but he rode only on the lat- of whom the prophet Zecharias had spoter. The other evangelists add, “On ken, as coming “ riding upon the foal of which never man had sat.” It had never an ass ;” and thus to apply to himself a been used for common purposes, and was prophecy which both ancient and modern appropriated to a sacred one. As the colt Jewish commentators have referred to only was needed, though the ass followed their Messiah, as Bochart has shown by by natural instinct, St. Mark and St. several extracts. 4. To allow his followLuke mention the colt only.
ers to acknowledge him, by their acclaVerse 3. The Lord hath need of them. - mations, as the Messiah, in order to reProbably nothing more is here intended by strain the chief priests and Pharisees, by “the Lord,” than our Master, answering fear of the popular feeling in his favour, to the Hebrew 27. Christ, who knew from an immediate attempt upon his life, that an ass and colt would be found by and to gain time for the delivery of those his disciples in such a place, doubtless important discourses, consisting of proknew also that the owner of them was so phecies and rebukes, which for five sucwell acquainted with his character, and cessive days before his crucifixion he prowas so well affected towards him, that he nounced in the temple, whilst at night he would grant the loan of his beasts as soon retired to the Mount of Olives. as the disciples should declare for whose The prophecy cited is from Zech. ix. use they were intended.
9: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; Verse 4. All this was done that it might shout, O daughter of Jerusalem : behold, be fulfilled, &c.—The end of the action thy king cometh unto thee : he is just, was not merely or chiefly to fulfil the and having salvation; lowly, and riding prophecy, but the prophecy was uttered upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of with reference to it, and was fulfilled by an ass," or rather, “EVEN upon a colt, the it, whilst the action itself rested upon foal of an ass,” the last clause being an other reasons. These appear to have explanatory parallelism. The first clause been, 1. To assert his majesty, as in truth mentions the species of beast, the second the King Messiah, and yet still to show its age ; and this greater particularity in the prophecy rendered the fulfilment the represented, amidst all his lowliness, as more striking. The evangelist has quo. “ a king,” “righteous,” “having salvated rather the substance than the exact tion,” and so answering to Melchizedec, words of the prophecy; which, as writing as “ king of righteousness,” and “king for the Jews, was sufficient to refer them of peace,” Heb. vij. 2. And as the proto their own scriptures. Both St. Mat- phecy proceeds, it gives an important thew and the Septuagint seem to have and most interesting reason why our Lord read 139, meek, instead of 19, abased or rode into his metropolis upon an ass ; it afflicted, which is supported by the Tar- was to declare that his kingdom was to gum, Jarchi, and Kimchi, who all explain be one of peace, not of war: “And I it by iniy, humble or meek. This pro- will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, phecy is incapable of being applied to any and the horse from Jerusalem ; ” both other than Christ, even in a lower sense. which the Jews were forbidden by the Those who would refer it to Zerubbabel law to use, in order to take away the forget that it was written subsequent to temptation to offensive wars, as above his residence in Jerusalem ; beside that in stated. “And the battle bow shall be cut no sense could he be called king, who was off, and he shall speak Peace unto the but the deputy of a foreign power. Ne- heathen, and his dominion shall be from hemiah was also appointed by Artaxerxes sea even to sea, and from the river to the to be “ governor,” the viceroy, but not a ends of the earth ;” and yet these er. king; and certainly, of neither of these, tensive conquests were to be made withnor of Judas Maccabeus and his succes- out “chariots" of war, without battle sors, could it be said that “he should “horses,” or the “ battle bow.” So that speak peace to the heathen, and have do the spiritual nature of Christ's reign could minion from sea to sea, and from the not be more strongly expressed ; and river to the ends of the earth.” On these that the prophecy was not so interpreted grounds, a few of the Rabbins, who, to by the Jews is in proof that their earthly. avoid the application of this prophecy to mindedness and ambition wholly blinded Jesus of Nazareth, pretended that it rela- them to the meaning of their own scripted not to the Messiah, but to one or tures. Yet it is curious to observe that other of the above persons, are stoutly some of their more modern commentators opposed by others, who generally allow come so much nearer to the truth. Rabbi that to Messiah alone it can be consis. Saadias Gaon, on Dan. vii. 13, says, “Is tently applied. Thus, Rabbi Solomon, it not written in Zechariah, of Messiah, upon Zech. ix. 9: “This place cannot be lowly and riding on an ass ? Shall be interpreted of any other, because it is not rather come with humility, than with said of him, “And his dominion shall be equipage and grandeur?” And David from sea to sea '” It looks directly to Kimchi, “He shall ride upon an ass, Christ, without the intervention of any not through any want, because the whole other; and it may be asked of the Jews, world shall be under his dominion, but what king of theirs ever came to Zion in through his humility, and to acquaint the manner described by the prophet, the Jews that there was no farther need save Jesus of Nazareth? Sion is put for of horses and chariots ; for the prophet Jerusalem; and both are personified, ac- adds, I will cut off the chariot from cording to oriental custom, as a virgin, Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem."" or “ daughter.”
Here again, the light of the gospel could This prophecy is quoted both by St. not be wholly excluded from these RabMatthew and St. John in brief, to direct bins, who, in the controversy which had attention to the whole section in which it been excited with the Christians, were stands, and which will be found richly compelled, by the force of the prophecies charged with the most important views brought against them, to admit a humof the character of the Messiah, and the bled as well as an exalted Messiah ; only great results of his reign. There he is they either feigned two Messiahs, or took
5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.
6 ° And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,
7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.
8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. b Isaiah lxii. 11; Zech. ix. 9; John xii. 15.
c Mark xi. 2.
refuge in the figment of the Messiah reconciled with the other evangelists, being for a long time hidden before he who say, “They cast their garments on the would manifest himself. These were not, colt.” It is easy to conceive that they at however, the views of the Jewish doc- first put their garments upon each, as tors in the time of our Lord, who looked not knowing which of the animals he only for a sudden advent of Messiah in might choose to ride ; or whether, if he all his glory, to set up his dominion among continued a long time in the procession, them. Nor does the prophecy terminate both might not be wanted. This reconhere. “Captives” are to be delivered; ciles the accounts ; for as he used the another work, would the Jews say, of a colt only, St. Mark and St. Luke are less conquering Messiah ; but they are to be minute than St. Matthew, who was an delivered “by the blood of the covenant,” eye-witness. not by arms. “As for thee also, by the And they set him thereon.-Kai erekadlo ay BLOOD OF THY COVENANT I have sent forth fravw aulwv: “not,” as Euthymius and thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no Theophylact observe, “upon the two water;” and then, as “prisoners of asses, but upon the garments.' hope,” they are exhorted to turn to Verse 8. Spread their garments in the the “strong hold,” the Zion, the city of way, 8c.- When Jehu was proclaimed God, and there to receive “the double,” king, “they hasted and took every man the abundance of all blessings. To show his garment, and put it under him on the then to the Jews that he was the king top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, Messiah, he made a triumphal entry into saying, Jehu is king,” 2 Kings ix. 13. Jerusalem ; but to show that he was that The practice of strewing the way with meek and peaceful king spoken of by garments, branches, and flowers, to do Zechariah, he rode upon the foal of an ass, honour to great men, and especially and thus turned their attention to a pro. princes, was common among many anphecy which, if they had closely examined cient nations. Plutarch mentions it as it, would have dissipated all their carnal a circumstance of respect shown by the conceptions, as to an earthly kingdom soldiers to Cato the younger, that they and a warlike Messiah.
laid down their garments for him to tread Verse 7. And put on them their clothes. upon. Herodian mentions the strewing --Much unnecessary discussion has taken of garlands and flowers when Commodus place among critics, whether our Lord was joyfully received by the Romans; and rode by turns both on the ass and the Herodotus relates that the way was strewed colt, which is most improbable; or how with myrtle branches before Xerxes. The the clothes being laid as a saddle upon garments mentioned in the text were the both, as stated by St. Matthew, is to be upper or flowing robes worn by the Jews,
9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.
10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this ?
11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.
12 | And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
Mark xi. 15; Luke xix. 45; John ii. 13.
Verse 9. Hosanna to the Son of David, surprised by this unlooked-for triumphal &c.—It was customary with the Jews, at procession, and not knowing for whose the feast of tabernacles, to carry about honour it was intended; and accordingly branches of palm and other trees in their the multitude, those who attended Christ, hands, and to sing, “Hosanna, save now, answered, This is Jesus, the prophet of I beseech thee," Psalm cxviii. 25. This Nazareth, of Galilee. Yet many went custom they now adopted in honour of out from Jerusalem with palm branches our Lord, as proclaiming him to be the in their hands, to join in the acclamagreat personage for whom they looked, the tions of those who had gone up with him Messiah. Hosanna is an abbreviated from Jericho and other parts. These form of the two words 70'W17, save, and were doubtless those who believed on him X3, now; and, as here used, was equivalent in consequence of the discourses they had to, “ God preserve the Son of David.” heard from him in Jerusalem on his former Blessed is he that cometh in the name of visit, and the miracles he had wrought, the Lord, is taken from Psalm cxviii 26. especially the raising of Lazarus at BeHosannah in the highest, ev tous ubotois, thany, the impression of which upon in the highest places, or heavens, is an ad. many of the inhabitants of Jerusalem dress to God in favour of Messiah. Some, must have been very great. however, understand it, in the highest de- Verse 12. Went into the temple.-Eus to gree. The whole formed a scene of tu- lepov, which comprehends the whole buildmultuous joy, expressing the strongly ing with its courts, as distinguished from excited feelings of the people, who poured the vaos or temple strictly so called, whicb out blessings upon the head of the long- included the sanctuary and the holy of expected Messiah, and offered their most holies, into which our Lord did not enter. fervent wishes to God for his success, from St. Mark we learn, that when our now they imagined he was about to claim Lord on this day entered the temple, he the throne of his father David. The merely “looked round upon all things; multitudes, who on this occasion attend- and even-tide being come, he went out to ed him, had chiefly come up from the counBethany with the twelve." It was on the try, and do not appear to have been com. day following that he cast out the traders; posed of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, in which distinction of time St. Matthew, any great numbers ; for it is added, “all whose object was merely to relate the the city," the inhabitants of Jerusalem, fact, does not notice; but he says nothing “ were moved, saying, Who is this?” as inconsistent with it. It was in the court