|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:1-11 This coming of Christ was described by the prophet Zechariah, Zec 9:9. When Christ would appear in his glory, it is in his meekness, not in his majesty, in mercy to work salvation. As meekness and outward poverty were fully seen in Zion's King, and marked his triumphal entrance to Jerusalem, how wrong covetousness, ambition, and the pride of life must be in Zion's citizens! They brought the ass, but Jesus did not use it without the owner's consent. The trappings were such as came to hand. We must not think the clothes on our backs too dear to part with for the service of Christ. The chief priests and the elders afterwards joined with the multitude that abused him upon the cross; but none of them joined the multitude that did him honour. Those that take Christ for their King, must lay their all under his feet. Hosanna signifies, Save now, we beseech thee! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord! But of how little value is the applause of the people! The changing multitude join the cry of the day, whether it be Hosanna, or Crucify him. Multitudes often seem to approve the gospel, but few become consistent disciples. When Jesus was come into Jerusalem all the city was moved; some perhaps were moved with joy, who waited for the Consolation of Israel; others, of the Pharisees, were moved with envy. So various are the motions in the minds of men upon the approach of Christ's kingdom.
Verse 7. - Brought the ass. The unbroken foal would be more easily subdued and guided when its mother was with it; such an addition to the ridden animal would usually be employed to carry the rider's luggage. They put on them (ἐπάνω αὐτῶν) their clothes (ἱμάτια). The two disciples, stripping off their heavy outer garments, abbas, or burnouses, put them as trappings on the two beasts, not knowing on which their Master meant to ride. They set him thereon (ἐπάνω αὐτῶν). Thus the received text, and the Vulgate, Et eum desuper sedere fecerunt. But most modern editors, with great manuscriptural authority, read, "he sat thereon." Some have taken the pronoun αὐτῶν to refer to the beasts, and Alford supports the opinion by the common saying, "The postilion rode on the horses," when, in fact, he rode only one of the pair. But the analogy is erroneous. The postilion really guides and controls both; but no one contends that Christ kept the mother ass in hand while mounted on the colt. The pronoun is more suitably referred to the garments, which formed a saddle for the Saviour, or housings and ornamental appendages (comp. 2 Kings 9:13). He came invested with a certain dignity and pomp, yet in such humble guise as to discountenance all idea of temporal sovereignty.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And brought the ass and the colt,.... To Jesus, as Mark and Luke add, and who only make mention of the colt: both were undoubtedly brought; the colt being unloosed and taken away, the ass, its dam, followed after:
and put on them their clothes; their loose upper garments, to be instead of saddles and trappings, and that Christ might sit thereon with ease and decency: the other evangelists say, that they cast their garments on the colt; and the Syriac version here reads, "they put their garments on the colt, and Jesus rode upon it": but as both were brought, it is clear from hence, that their clothes were put upon both; not knowing which Christ would choose to ride on. And it should seem, that it was not unusual to put garments on asses to ride on; for the Targumist on Judges 5:10 represents the princes of Israel as riding upon asses, strewed or saddled with all kind of "painted garments". The Persic version, without the least colour of authority from the original text, renders it, "and Jesus put his own garment on the colt, and sat thereon"; which is ridiculous, as well as contrary to truth:
and they sat him thereon, or "on them": meaning either on the ass and colt, that is, on one of them, or both successively, or on the clothes they put upon them.
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