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?

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Jesus blesses the children (Mk 10:16-10:16)

“Jesus took them up

In his arms.

He blessed them.

He laid his hands

Upon them.”

 

καὶ ἐναγκαλισάμενος αὐτὰ κατευλόγει τιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας ἐπ’ αὐτά.

 

This story about Jesus blessing the little children can be found in Matthew, chapter 19:15, but slightly different.  Mark said that Jesus took them up in his arms (καὶ ἐναγκαλισάμενος).  He blessed them (αὐτὰ κατευλόγει).  Then he laid his hands upon them (τιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας ἐπ’ αὐτά).  Jesus picked them up and blessed the little children with a gentle hand laying.  What a wonderful gesture!

Prophecy of Zechariah (Mt 21:4-21:5)

“This took place

To fulfill

What had been spoken

Through the prophet.

Saying.

‘Tell the daughter of Zion!

Look!

Your king is coming

To you,

Humble,

Mounted on a donkey,

And on a colt,

The foal of a donkey.’”

 

Τοῦτο δὲ γέγονεν ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος

Εἴπατε τῇ θυγατρὶ Σιών Ἰδοὺ ὁ Βασιλεύς σου ἔρχεταί σοι πραῢς καὶ ἐπιβεβηκὼς ἐπὶ ὄνον καὶ ἐπὶ πῶλον υἱὸν ὑποζυγίου.

 

This is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that this activity took place (Τοῦτο δὲ γέγονεν) to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet (ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος).  Although not named, this prophet was Zechariah, chapter 9:9, one of the 12 minor prophets that lived in the 6th century BCE under Persian rule.  This prophet had said to tell the daughter of Zion (Εἴπατε τῇ θυγατρὶ Σιών) to look for their king coming to them (Ἰδοὺ ὁ Βασιλεύς σου ἔρχεταί σοι).  He would be humble, mild, or gentle (πραῢς), but mounted on a donkey (καὶ ἐπιβεβηκὼς ἐπὶ ὄνον) and a colt, that was the foal or son of a donkey (καὶ ἐπὶ πῶλον υἱὸν ὑποζυγίου).  This was an actual misreading of the prophet, since Zechariah had spoken of a young colt donkey, who had been the foal of a donkey, not two separate animals.  Matthew used this passage to show how Jesus was the expected Israelite king.  He was to be the prince of peace.  Originally, Yahweh wanted Zion or Jerusalem to shout and rejoice, because their new king was coming.  He would be triumphant, victorious, and humble at the same time, but riding on a young donkey colt.  Matthew’s intention was clear.  Jesus was the expected messiah king.

The easy yoke of labor (Mt 11:28-11:30)

“Come to me!

All you who are

Growing weary!

All you who are

Laden with a heavy burden!

I will give you rest.

Take my yoke!

Learn from me!

I am gentle.

I am lowly in heart.

You will find rest

For your souls.

My yoke is easy.

My burden is light.”

 

Δεῦτε πρός με πάντες οἱ κοπιῶντες καὶ πεφορτισμένοι, κἀγὼ ἀναπαύσω ὑμᾶς.

ἄρατε τὸν ζυγόν μου ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς καὶ μάθετε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ, ὅτι πραΰς εἰμι καὶ ταπεινὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ, καὶ εὑρήσετε ἀνάπαυσιν ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὑμῶν·

 ὁ γὰρ ζυγός μου χρηστὸς καὶ τὸ φορτίον μου ἐλαφρόν ἐστιν.

 

Matthew concluded this chapter with a unique saying of Jesus.  Jesus wanted his followers to pick up the yoke of his message.  A yoke was put on the shoulders of farm animals to help with plowing and planting.  The term was also used to represent the yoke of the Torah on the shoulders of many Israelites.  Jesus invited all those who were growing weary to come to him (Δεῦτε πρός με πάντες οἱ κοπιῶντες).  He wanted all those with a heavy burden (καὶ πεφορτισμένοι), so that he might give them rest (κἀγὼ ἀναπαύσω ὑμᾶς).  They were to take his yoke (ἄρατε τὸν ζυγόν μου ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς) and learn from him (καὶ μάθετε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ).  He was gentle and lowly in heart (ὅτι πραΰς εἰμι καὶ ταπεινὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ).  They would find rest for their souls (καὶ εὑρήσετε ἀνάπαυσιν ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὑμῶν) because his yoke was easy (ὁ γὰρ ζυγός μου χρηστὸς) and his burden light (καὶ τὸ φορτίον μου ἐλαφρόν ἐστιν).  The yoke of Jesus was light in comparison to the yoke of the Torah.

Second devastation of Moab (Isa 16:13-16:14)

“This is the word

That Yahweh spoke

Concerning Moab

In the past.

But now

Yahweh says.

‘In three years,

Like the years of a hired worker,

The glory of Moab

Will be brought

Into contempt.

In spite of all its great multitude,

Those who survive

Will be very few.

They will be feeble.’”

Now we have a clear oracle of Yahweh presented by Isaiah. Should this have been at the beginning of this section on Moab? Or is this another devastating blow to Moab in 3 years? It appears to be the later, another attack. The glory of Moab will again be brought into contempt. Even though there are a lot of Moabites, very few will survive. Those that do survived will be feeble. Thus ends this long but gentle 2 chapter diatribe against Moab that was also part of the territory of Reuben.

The northern cold wind snow (Sir 43:17-43:20)

“At the Lord’s will,

The storm

From the north comes.

The whirlwind comes.

He scatters the snow

Like birds flying down.

Its descent is

Like locusts alighting.

The eye is dazzled

By the beauty

Of its whiteness.

The mind is amazed

As it falls.

He pours frost

Over the earth

Like salt.

When it freezes,

Icicles form

Like pointed thorns.

The cold north wind blows.

Ice freezes on the water.

It rests upon every pool of water.

It settles on every pond of water.

The water puts it on

Like a breastplate.”

Everything happened according to God’s will. Thus, according to Sirach, the cold north wind with bird like snow is sent by the Lord. Sometimes the snow storm looks like locusts descending on a field. However, we are dazzled by the soft gentle beautiful white snowflakes. Sometimes the snowflakes are like salt that forms pointed thorn icicles. This northern wind freezes the ponds, so that they look like they have a protective breastplate shield on them. This is very beautiful descriptive language about snow and frost.

The test of the righteous one (Wis 2:17-2:20)

“‘Let us see if his words are true.

Let us test what will happen

At the end of his life.

If the righteous man is God’s son,

He will help him.

He will deliver him

From the hand of his adversaries.

Let us test him with insult.

Let us test him with torture.

Thus we may find out how gentle he is.

Let us make trial of his forbearance.

Let us condemn him to a shameful death.

According to what he says,

He will be protected.’”

They were going to test this righteous one to see if his words were true (λόγοι αὐτοῦ ἀληθεῖς). If he is a true righteous son of God (ὁ δίκαιος υἱὸς Θεοῦ), God will help him. He will deliver him from the hands of his adversaries. They were going to test him with insults and torture to see how gentle he really was. They wanted to condemn him to a shameful death (θανάτῳ ἀσχήμονι). Then they would see if he was protected. Interesting enough, this is some of the same things that were said about Jesus of Nazareth, about a couple of hundred years later.