Why are you untying the colt? (Lk 19:33-19:33)

“As they were untying

The colt,

Its owners asked them.

‘Why are you untying

The colt?’”

 

λυόντων δὲ αὐτῶν τὸν πῶλον εἶπαν οἱ κύριοι αὐτοῦ πρὸς αὐτούς Τί λύετε τὸν πῶλον;

 

Luke said that that as these two disciples were untying the young colt (λυόντων δὲ αὐτῶν τὸν πῶλον), its owners or masters asked them (εἶπαν οἱ κύριοι αὐτοῦ πρὸς αὐτούς) why were they untying this colt (Τί λύετε τὸν πῶλον)?  This is similar to Mark, chapter 11:5, since Matthew had nothing about this.  Mark said that some of the bystanders (καί τινες τῶν ἐκεῖ ἑστηκότων), not the owners, spoke to Jesus’ two unnamed disciples (ἔλεγον αὐτοῖς).  They asked them what they were doing (Τί ποιεῖτε)?  Why were they untying the colt (λύοντες τὸν πῶλον)?  Jesus had told them to expect these kinds of questions.  Would you question someone who was taking your animal?

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They found the colt (Lk 19:32-19:32)

“Thus,

Those who were sent

Departed.

They found it

As he had told them.”

 

ἀπελθόντες δὲ οἱ ἀπεσταλμένοι εὗρον καθὼς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς.

 

Luke indicated that these two sent unnamed disciples (δὲ οἱ ἀπεσταλμένοι) left (ἀπελθόντες) and found things (εὗρον καθὼς) just as Jesus had told them (καθὼς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς).  Everything was going according to the plan laid out by Jesus.  Matthew, chapter 21:6, and Mark, chapter 11:4, are somewhat similar.  Mark indicated that the two disciples went away or departed (καὶ ἀπῆλθον).  They did just as Jesus had directed or commanded them to do.  They found a colt tied near a door (καὶ εὗρον πῶλον δεδεμένον πρὸς θύραν), outside in the open street (ἔξω ἐπὶ τοῦ ἀμφόδου).  Then they untied it (καὶ λύουσιν αὐτόν).  Everything seemed to be going according to plan.  In Matthew, chapter 21:6, the two disciples went out (πορευθέντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ).  They did just as Jesus had directed or commanded them to do (καὶ ποιήσαντες καθὼς συνέταξεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  They brought the donkey and the colt back (ἤγαγον τὴν ὄνον καὶ τὸν πῶλον) to Jesus.  However, Matthew, chapter 21:4-5, preceded this with a quotation from Zechariah, chapter 9:9, one of the 12 minor prophets that lived in the 6th century BCE under Persian rule.  This prophet Zechariah had said that the new king would be humble, mild, or gentle, but mounted on a donkey and a colt.  However, this was a misreading of the prophet, since Zechariah had spoken of a young colt donkey, not two separate animals.  Matthew used this passage to show how Jesus was the expected Israelite king, the prince of peace.  Matthew’s intention was clear.  Jesus was the expected messiah king.  Have you ever misread something?

The Lord needs it (Lk 19:31-19:31)

“If anyone asks you.

‘Why are you untying it?’

Just say this!

‘The Lord needs it.’”

 

καὶ ἐάν τις ὑμᾶς ἐρωτᾷ Διὰ τί λύετε; οὕτως ἐρεῖτε ὅτι Ὁ Κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told them if anyone asked them (καὶ ἐάν τις ὑμᾶς ἐρωτᾷ) why they were untying this colt (Διὰ τί λύετε), they were to simply say to them (οὕτως ἐρεῖτε) that the Lord needs it (ὅτι Ὁ Κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει).  Both Matthew, chapter 21:3, and Mark, chapter 11:3, are similar with slight differences.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that if anyone asked them (καὶ ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ) about what they were doing (Τί ποιεῖτε τοῦτο), in this stealing of a young tied up colt, they were to say (εἴπατε) that the Lord needs to have this animal (Ὁ Κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει).  Mark indicated that they also were to say that Jesus would immediately send it back (αὐτὸν ἀποστέλλει πάλιν ὧδε), which was not in the other two gospel accounts.  In Matthew, Jesus said that if anyone said anything to them about this donkey stealing (καὶ ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ τι), they were to say (ἐρεῖτε) to that person that the Lord needs these animals (Ὁ Κύριος αὐτῶν χρείαν ἔχει), as if that was some sort of clandestine password.  Was this a secret disciple of Jesus in this village? According to Jesus, they would immediately let them take both the donkey and the young colt (εὐθὺς δὲ ἀποστελεῖ αὐτούς), even though they had been tied up and belonged to someone else.  Matthew was the only one with a donkey besides the colt.  Do you have a friend with a secret password?

The colt (Lk 19:30-19:30)

“Jesus said.

‘Go into the village

Ahead of you!

As you enter it,

You will find

A colt tied there,

That has never

Been ridden.

Untie it!

Bring it here!’”

 

λέγων Ὑπάγετε εἰς τὴν κατέναντι κώμην, ἐν ᾗ εἰσπορευόμενοι εὑρήσετε πῶλον δεδεμένον, ἐφ’ ὃν οὐδεὶς πώποτε ἀνθρώπων ἐκάθισεν, καὶ λύσαντες αὐτὸν ἀγάγετε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told (λέγων) these two disciples to go into the village ahead of them (Ὑπάγετε εἰς τὴν κατέναντι κώμην).  They were to enter the village (ἐν ᾗ εἰσπορευόμενοι) and find a colt tied there (εὑρήσετε πῶλον δεδεμένον), that had never been ridden or that no man had ever sat on (ἐφ’ ὃν οὐδεὶς πώποτε ἀνθρώπων ἐκάθισεν).  They were to untie it (καὶ λύσαντες αὐτὸν) and then bring it back (ἀγάγετε) to Jesus.  Jesus wanted these two unnamed disciples to go into the village in front of them to get a tied up unbroken colt and bring it back to him.  This sounded simple enough.  Both Matthew, chapter 21:2, and Mark, chapter 11:2 are similar, but Matthew had a colt and a donkey, while Luke and Mark had merely a colt.  Mark said that Jesus told the two unnamed disciples (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) to go into the village that was just ahead of them (Ὑπάγετε εἰς τὴν κώμην τὴν κατέναντι ὑμῶν).  There immediately on entering the village (καὶ εὐθὺς εἰσπορευόμενοι εἰς αὐτὴν), they would find a colt tied up (εὑρήσετε πῶλον δεδεμένον).  This was a colt that no person had ever ridden on before (ἐφ’ ὃν οὐδεὶς οὔπω ἀνθρώπων ἐκάθισεν).  Jesus told these two unnamed disciples to untie it (λύσατε αὐτὸν) and bring it back to him (καὶ φέρετε).  In Matthew, Jesus told the two disciples (λέγων αὐτοῖς) to travel into the village that was just ahead of them (Πορεύεσθε εἰς τὴν κώμην τὴν κατέναντι ὑμῶν).  There they would immediately find a donkey tied up (καὶ εὐθὺς εὑρήσετε ὄνον δεδεμένην) with a young colt next to it (καὶ πῶλον μετ’ αὐτῆς) also tied up.  Jesus told these two disciples to untie (λύσαντες) both of them.  Then they were to bring or guide them back to him (ἀγάγετέ μοι).  Matthew alone spoke about the donkey and the colt, not just the colt.  Otherwise, everything was pretty much the same in all three synoptic gospels.  Apparently, Jesus and his disciples always traveled on foot or by boat, but never riding animals.  Have you ever ridden on a donkey?

Bethany (Lk 19:29-19:29)

“When Jesus

Drew near

To Bethphage

And Bethany,

At the place

Called

The Mount of Olives,

He sent

Two of the disciples.”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤγγισεν εἰς Βηθφαγὴ καὶ Βηθανίαν πρὸς τὸ ὄρος τὸ καλούμενον Ἐλαιῶν, ἀπέστειλεν δύο τῶν μαθητῶν

 

Luke said that Jesus drew near to Bethphage (Καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤγγισεν εἰς Βηθφαγὴ), a village on the way from Jericho to Jerusalem, and Bethany (καὶ Βηθανίαν), about a mile and a half east of Jerusalem, near the place called the Mount of Olives (πρὸς τὸ ὄρος τὸ καλούμενον Ἐλαιῶν), overlooking the Kidron Valley.  Jesus sent out 2 of his disciples (ἀπέστειλεν δύο τῶν μαθητῶν).  Both Matthew, chapter 21:1, and Mark, chapter 11:1, are almost word for word to what is here.  Mark said that when they were approaching near to Jerusalem (Καὶ ὅτε ἐγγίζουσιν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), Jesus then sent out 2 disciples (ἀποστέλλει δύο τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ).  They were at Bethphage (εἰς Βηθφαγὴ) and Bethany (καὶ Βηθανίαν), near the Mount of Olives (πρὸς τὸ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν), not far from Jerusalem.  Matthew said that when they got near to Jerusalem (Καὶ ὅτε ἤγγισαν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), Jesus then sent out 2 disciples (τότε Ἰησοῦς ἀπέστειλεν δύο μαθητὰς).  They were at Bethphage (καὶ ἦλθον εἰς Βηθφαγὴ), near the Mount of Olives (εἰς τὸ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν).  Matthew did not mention Bethany.  John had nothing about this at all.  Have you ever been to Jerusalem?

On to Jerusalem (Lk 19:28-19:28)

“After Jesus had said this,

He went on ahead.

He was going up

To Jerusalem.”

 

Καὶ εἰπὼν ταῦτα ἐπορεύετο ἔμπροσθεν ἀναβαίνων εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα.

 

Luke said that Jesus had said these things (Καὶ εἰπὼν ταῦτα).  He had finished this parable about the slaves and how they used the 10 minas.  Then he went on ahead (ἐπορεύετο ἔμπροσθεν) going up to Jerusalem (ἀναβαίνων εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα).  This would begin the so-called Passion week narrative.  Not only will the 3 synoptic gospel writers but also the Gospel of John describe this passion week.  This triumphal entry into Jerusalem will be the highlight of the career of Jesus.  For Luke, Jesus had been on a long journey to the holy city that began 10 chapters earlier.  His entrance into Jerusalem was like a royal procession that has led to the Roman Catholic practice of Palm Sunday, that is actually based on John, chapter 12:12-13.  John said that a great crowd had come to Jerusalem for the Passover festival, so that they took palm tree branches and went out to meet Jesus.  Do you like Palm Sunday?

Kill my enemies (Lk 19:27-19:27)

“But as for these enemies

Of mine,

Who did not want me

To be king

Over them,

Bring them here!

Slaughter them

In my presence!”

 

πλὴν τοὺς ἐχθρούς μου τούτους τοὺς μὴ θελήσαντάς με βασιλεῦσαι ἐπ’ αὐτοὺς ἀγάγετε ὧδε καὶ κατασφάξατε αὐτοὺς ἔμπροσθέν μου.

 

Luke uniquely has this comment of Jesus about the nobleman talking about his enemies (πλὴν τοὺς ἐχθρούς μου τούτους) who did not want him to be their king (τοὺς μὴ θελήσαντάς με βασιλεῦσαι ἐπ’ αὐτοὺς).  He wanted them brought to him (ἀγάγετε ὧδε) so that they could kill them in his presence (καὶ κατασφάξατε αὐτοὺς ἔμπροσθέν μου).  Once again, there is a unique word in Luke, κατασφάξατε, meaning to kill off, slaughter, or slay, that is not found in any of the other Greek biblical literature.  This will be a bloodbath.  This concludes the comments that were in verse 14, earlier in this chapter.  There was nothing about this killing in Matthew, only the weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Perhaps Luke combined two stories here.  Do you punish people who do not like you?