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Verses 4-5

Matthew 21:4-5. All this was done, & c. Ινα πληρωθη το ρηθεν δια του προφητου , that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that is, not only hereby the words of the prophet were fulfilled, but our Lord directed this to be done, that they might be fulfilled. As the prophets looked forward to him, and all bore witness to him; so he looked back upon them, that all things which were written of the Messiah might be punctually accomplished in him. Tell ye the daughter of Zion That is, Jerusalem, so called from mount Zion, which was in the city, and on which was erected a fortress for its defence. This poetical manner of personifying the cities and countries, to which they addressed themselves, was familiar to the prophets. The first words of the passage are cited from Isaiah 62:11, the rest from Zechariah 9:9. The ancient Jewish doctors were wont to apply these prophecies to the Messiah. On an ass The Prince of peace did not take a horse, a warlike animal: but he will ride on that by and by, Revelation 19:11. In the patriarchal ages, illustrious persons thought it no disgrace to make use of this animal: but it by no means appears that this opinion prevailed, or this custom continued, till the reign of Tiberius. Was it a mean attitude wherein our Lord then appeared? mean even to contempt? We grant it: we glory in it: it is for the comfort of our souls, for the honour of his humility, and for the utter confusion of all worldly pomp and grandeur. Upon an ass, and a colt, &c. “From the other evangelists it would appear that our Lord rode only on the colt; from this passage we should be apt to think that both had been used. But it is not unusual with the sacred authors, when either the nature of the thing spoken of, or the attendant circumstances are sufficient for precluding mistakes, to employ the plural number for the singular.” Campbell.

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