Matthew 21:7
And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) They set him thereoni.e., on the garments which served as a saddle. Our Lord rode on the colt, and the ass followed, or went along by His side. St. Mark and St. Luke mention the colt only.

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.And put on them their clothes - This was done as a token of respect, 2 Kings 9:13. CHAPTER 21

Mt 21:1-9. Christ's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on the First Day of the Week. ( = Mr 11:1-11; Lu 19:29-40; Joh 12:12-19).

For the exposition of this majestic scene—recorded, as will be seen, by all the Evangelists—see on [1333]Lu 19:29-40.

See Poole on "Matthew 21:9". 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.

And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their {c} clothes, and they set him {d} thereon.

(c) Their uppermost garment.

(d) Upon their garments, not upon the ass and the colt.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 21:7. They spread their outer garments upon both animals, being uncertain which of them Jesus intended to mount.

The (second) ἐπάνω αὐτῶν must necessarily be referred, with Theophylact, Euthymius Zigabenus, Castalio, Beza, Homberg, Fritzsche, Winer, p. 165 [E. T. 219], to the garments, in which case it is clear from Matthew 21:5 that Jesus sat upon the foal. Were we to refer αὐτῶν to the animals, the result would be the absurd idea (which Strauss, B. Bauer, Volkmar make use of against Matthew) that Jesus mounted both of them at once, not one after the other (Fritzsche, Fleck), seeing that κ. ἐπεκάθισεν ἐπ. αὐτῶν denotes the instantaneous, finished act which followed the spreading of the garments. To suppose (Ebrard, Olshausen), by way of justifying the reference to the animals, that we have here a loose form of speech, corresponding to the German phrase: he leaps from the horses, and such like, is out of the question, for the simple reason that no such σύλληψις can be assumed in the case of Matthew 21:5, all the less so that, from this verse, it would appear that it was the dam on which Jesus rode, with the foal walking by her side.Matthew 21:7-11. τὴν ὄνον καὶ τὸν πῶλον: that both were brought is carefully specified in view of the prophetic oracle as understood by the evangelist to refer to two animals, not to one under two parallel names.—ἐπέθηκαν: the two disciples spread their upper garments on the two beasts, to make a seat for their Master.—καὶ ἐπεκάθισεν ἐπ. αὐτῶν: if the second αὐτῶν be taken to have the same reference as the first the meaning will be that Jesus sat upon both beasts (alternately). But this would require the imperfect of the verb instead of the aorist. It seems best, with many ancient and modern interpreters, to refer the second αὐτῶν to the garments, though on this view there is a certain looseness in the expression, as, strictly speaking, Jesus would sit on only one of the mantles, if He rode only on one animal. Fritzsche, while taking the second . as referring to ἱμάτια, thinks the evangelist means to represent Jesus as riding on both alternately.7. put on them their clothes] Their upper garments, the abbas of modern Arabs. Cp. with this the throne extemporised for Jehu, 2 Kings 9:13.Matthew 21:7. Ἐπεκάθισεν,[911] He sat upon) becomingly; His disciples attending on Him;[912] see Luke 19:35. The Persian kings were rather placed by others, than themselves got on horseback. See Brisson.—ἐπάνω αὐτῶν, on them) though, strictly speaking, on the foal; see Mark 11:2-3; John 12:14-15.

[911] BC Origen read, as Beng., ἐπεκάθισεν, He sat: abcd also have ‘sedebat:’ D has ἐκάθητο. Vulg. has imposuerunt; and so Rec. Text ἐπεκάθισαν, they set Him thereon. This last plainly comes through Harmonists from Luke 19:35, ἐπβίβασαν, they set Jesus thereon.—ED.

[912] That is, His disciples helped Him to mount, which harmonises the statements, that He sat upon the colt, in Matt., and that His disciples set Him on, in Luke.—ED.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. Set him thereon

But the preferable reading is ἐπεκάθισεν, he took his seat upon.

A very great multitude (ὁ πλεῖστος ὄχλος)

The A. V. is wrong. The reference is not to the size, but to the proportionate part of the multitude which followed him. Hence Rev., correctly, The most part of the multitude.

Their garments (ἑαυτῶν)

Lit., "their own garments." The disciples spread their garments on the beasts; the multitude strewed their own garments in the way. Dr. Edward Robinson, cited by Dr. Morison, speaking of the inhabitants of Bethlehem who had participated in the rebellion of 1834, says:" At that time, when some of the inhabitants were already imprisoned, and all were in deep distress, Mr. Farrar, then English consul at Damascus, was on a visit to Jerusalem, and had rode out with Mr. Nicolayson to Solomon's Pools. On their return, as they rose the ascent to enter Bethlehem, hundreds of people, male and female, met them, imploring the consul to interfere in their behalf, and afford them his protection; and all at once, by a sort of simultaneous movement, they spread their garments in the way before the horses."

The variation of tenses is not preserved in the English versions. Spread their garments, aorist tense, denoting one definite act. Cut down, spread in the way, imperfects, denoting continued action. As Jesus advanced, they kept cutting branches and spreading them, and the multitude kept crying.

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