Matthew 21:4-5, The Ass’ Colt

Must read Zack 9:9 thru 11:1 to familiarize yourself with the text first

donkey-foal-and-mom-3“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt the foal of an ass.” Zech. 9:9

Who could doubt the fulfillment of this prophecy when reading the New Testament account of what is now called “The Triumphal Entry”. He came to them riding on an ass’ colt yet the crowds clearly rose up and choose the itinerant Rabbi from Nazareth as their king. They shouted the words from Psa. 118:26, “Blessed be he who enters in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.” They called him the Son of David. They shouted, “Hosanna” meaning, “Save us we pray thee”.

Well, that triumph and acclaim only lasted for a few days. Just a few days later the people would be shouting for the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of the man whom they thought of as an imposter in the end for He did not shape up to the rabbinical interpretation of a Messiah who would come to overthrow the Roman Empire.

We, who know Him as our Messiah, know that he came to fulfill the need for a sacrificial lamb and that was the significance of His humble entry into Jerusalem on the day the lambs would be chosen for Passover sacrifice.

This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of an ass.” Matt. 21:4-5

roman-sword-detailAt this point in the continuing prophecy of Zechariah chapters 9 & 10 you will find that we separate ourselves from the Dispensationalists. The Dispensationalist interpret the rest of the passage to be about a yet unfulfilled, future war, Judah and Ephraim [see 9:13] versus Egypt and Assyria.

The most glaring problem with this interpretation is that it ignores the fact that Assyria no longer exists; and Zech 10:11 states that the scepter of Egypt is forever gone. The last pharaoh of Egypt was Cleopatra VII who died Aug. 12, 30 BC. Since then Egypt has been controlled by one empire after another; Rome, Byzantine, Ottoman, British, finally reemerging as an independent country fulfilling, on its part, Rev 16:12 in 1953.

Hermeneutically the fulfillment of the prophecies in Zech 9-10 must be limited to happenings between the time periods beginning with the fulfillment of the riding of the ass’ colt in 32AD [Matt 21:4] and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. [Zech 11:1]

Please note: The phrase “Open your doors, O Lebanon,” was a reference to the doors of The Temple which were made out of the cedar from Lebanon. [See Temple Omens] Chapter 11 goes on to explain how Judah will be laid to waste.

Now if one was to interpret Zech 9 literally then you would expect that Greece would have been utterly destroyed in order to bring about peace [vs 9:13]. But Greece still exists!

Hermeneutically let’s look at it from a symbolic interpretive view. True to Zech 10:2 Greece, Egypt, and Assyria are no longer the centers of pagan diviners and mysticism. The battle was not to destroy these nations, it was to save them. [9:16-17] The prophetic fulfillment was to be the beginning of a change in the way the whole world would view the pagan gods.

God set them free from Zeus, Rhea, Hera, Mars, Hermes, etc. He destroyed the Pagan deities’. Up until this time point all nations worshiped multiple gods. This made for a very uncivil, civilization. If a nation or people have more than one god than there is lots of wiggle room around what is right and wrong; what is good or evil. If you do something to make Zeus angry; maybe your actions will make Mars happy. You could always bargain your way out with the proper sacrifice.

But the true God said, “But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your yes be yes and your no be no, that you may not fall under condemnation.” James 5:12 In other words, you are not allowed to cheat or lie to even an enemy.

God built His temple in our hearts. The pagan temples of old have all crumpled away and their resident deities, if they survived, are only found in museums today.

The sword to be wielded over Greece wasn’t a sword of violence and oppression, but one of The Word and truth. [vs 9:13]

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Heb. 4:12

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Eph. 6:17

Egypt, Assyria and Greece is where it all started; the epicenter for the early church. That is where the early church fathers were living when they wrote their letters to the churches. The peace that He/ God brought them was not the peace that lack of war brings, but rather the “peace that passes all understanding”. This is peace between man and God; not, between man and man.

And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:7

So you can see now that the prophecy sandwiched between 32Ad and 70AD was not about a war that would bring about the demise of these nations of peoples, but about how the Word of God would bring salvation to those nations and a peace that no MAN can destroy.

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