John 12:15
Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.
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(15) Fear not, daughter of Sion.—The quotation is made freely, and in an abbreviated form. (Comp. the fuller form in Matthew 21:5, and Note upon it there.) It is in the two Hebrew Gospels only that the connection of the fact with the prophecy is mentioned.

Sitting on an ass’s colt.—The Greek (LXX.) has “a young ass.” St. John’s translation is nearer to the Hebrew. (Comp. Introduction, p. 374).

12:12-19 Christ's riding in triumph to Jerusalem is recorded by all the evangelists. Many excellent things, both in the word and providence of God, disciples do not understand at their first acquaintance with the things of God. The right understanding of spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom, prevents our misapplying the Scriptures which speak of it.See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 21:1-16. Also Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44.Joh 12:12-19. Christ's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.

(See on [1838]Mt 21:1-9; and Lu 19:29-36).

12. On the next day—the Lord's day, or Sunday (see on [1839]Joh 12:1); the tenth day of the Jewish month Nisan, on which the paschal lamb was set apart to be "kept up until the fourteenth day of the same month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel were to kill it in the evening" (Ex 12:3, 6). Even so, from the day of this solemn entry into Jerusalem, "Christ our Passover" was virtually set apart to be "sacrificed for us" (1Co 5:7).

See Poole on "John 12:12"

Fear not, daughter of Zion,.... But rejoice; see Zechariah 9:9 and See Gill on Matthew 21:5. Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.
15. Fear not, &c. The quotation is freely made; ‘fear not’ is substituted for ‘rejoice greatly,’ and the whole is abbreviated, Zechariah 9:9. In adding ‘thy’ to ‘king’ and in writing ‘an ass’s colt’ the Evangelist seems to be translating direct from the Hebrew. The best editions of the LXX. omit ‘thy’ and all have ‘a young colt’ for the words here rendered ‘an ass’s colt.’ Comp. John 1:29, John 6:45, John 19:37. If the writer of this Gospel knew the O.T. in the original Hebrew he almost certainly was a Jew.

John 12:15. Μὴ φοβοῦ, fear not) The Majesty of so great a King might well excite fear: but His mildness, to which His mode of entry corresponds, takes away fear.

Verse 15. - John, as well as Matthew, sees here a symbolical fulfillment of what had been declared by one of the latest of the prophets, as the peculiarity of the Messiah (Zechariah 9:9): Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt. This oracle is admitted by commentators of opposite schools to refer to the Messiah. There was no need, in order to fulfill the spirit of the whole passage, that the King should come to his own literally upon the back of a beast of burden. The prophecy does, however, suggest the modesty, the absence of all pomp or display of worldly wealth and power; nay, the humiliation on the part of the true King. Both Matthew and John omit the characteristics of "righteous and saved," i.e. "delivered" from the hands of his cruel enemies. The suffering Servant of God of the great oracle of Isaiah 53. was in the mind of the Prophet Zechariah, and he adds this feature to the triumphant coming of the true Prince of Peace, that he would "cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem," i.e. so act that even the national pride and power and military prowess should come to an end; "Speak peace to the nations; rule from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth." As John and Matthew both see the symbolical fulfillment of the prophecy, they doubtless would have us bear in mind the whole passage. John transforms the "Rejoice greatly, shout," etc., of the prophet into "Fear not." He seems to take it at one stage only of fulfillment, when anxiety might momentarily be put to rest. The "Fear not" is a lower form of "great rejoicing." It is something for men to dismiss their doubts and hush their unrest, even when they cannot burst into song. Hengstenberg and Godet urge that the "meekness and lowliness" to which the prophet referred, and which Matthew cited from him, was imaged in the lowly beast on which never man sat. But it must not be forgotten that the ass was used by distinguished personages (Judges 5:9, 10; Judges 10:4; 2 Samuel 17:23; 2 Samuel 19:26). And all that was really meant by it was the choice of a creature associated rather with daily life than with military display. Meyer and Moulton urge that it was a chosen symbol of peace (καθήμενος ισ substituted for the ἐπιβεβηκὼς ἐπὶ of the LXX. and Matthew 21:5). Contrary to Keim's animadversion, our Lord and his disciples adopted here the idea of a Jewish Messiah, stripping it of its worldly characteristics. It should be observed that, while John's narrative is in harmony with the synoptists, he greatly abbreviates it. John 12:15
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