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.

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The invaders from the north (Jer 6:22-6:23)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘See!

A people is coming

From the north country.

A great nation is stirring

From the farthest parts of the earth.

They grasp the bow.

They grasp the javelin spear.

They are cruel.

They have no mercy.

Their sound is

Like the roaring sea.

They ride on horses.

They are equipped

Like a warrior for battle,

Against you,

O daughter Zion!’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, tells them of the invasion coming from the north country. This invader was a great nation coming from far away that had bows and arrows along with spears. They were a cruel merciless group that made the sounds of a roaring sea. These well equipped warriors would be riding on their horses in battle against Zion.

Oracle about Egypt (Isa 19:1-19:4)

“An oracle concerning Egypt.

See!

Yahweh is riding on a swift cloud.

He comes to Egypt.

The idols of Egypt

Will tremble at his presence.

The heart of the Egyptians

Will melt within them.

‘I will stir up

Egyptians against Egyptians.

They will fight

One against the other,

Neighbor against neighbor,

City against city,

Kingdom against kingdom.

The spirit of the Egyptians,

Within them,

Will be emptied out.

I will confound their plans.

They will consult

The idols,

The spirits of the dead,

The ghosts,

The mediums,

The wizards,

And the familiar spirits.

I will destroy the Egyptians

Into the hand of a hard master.

A fierce king will rule over them.’

So says the Sovereign,

Yahweh of hosts.”

Isaiah presents an oracle of Yahweh about Egypt. He said that Yahweh was riding high on a cloud as he came to Egypt as the false idols of Egypt trembled. The hearts of the Egyptians began to melt. Then Yahweh said that he was going to stir up fighting among the Egyptians themselves against each other, brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. They would all lose their spirit. They would be confused. Then they would consult their idols, their dead spirits, their ghosts, their mediums, their wizards, and all kinds of their strange spirits. Yahweh said that he was going to destroy the Egyptians as he was going to hand them over to a fierce king. Clearly Yahweh has spoken.

Upside down world (Eccl 10:4-10:7)

“If the anger of the ruler

Rises against you,

Do not leave your post.

Calmness will undo great offenses.

There is an evil

That I have seen

Under the sun.

It proceeded from the ruler.

Folly is set in many high places.

The rich sit in a low place.

I have seen

Slaves on horseback.

I have seen

Princes walking on foot

Like slaves.”

Even if the ruler is mad at you, do not leave your post. Calmness will set in so that the king will no longer be angry at you. One of the great evils that Qoheleth has seen is foolish rulers. They made the rich sit in low places. In fact, he has seen slaves riding on horses. At the same time, he has seen princes walking on foot as if they were slaves in this Topsy-Turvy world.

Yahweh controls the heavens (Ps 18:9-18:15)

“He bowed the heavens.

He came down.

Thick darkness was under his feet.

He rode on a cherub.

He flew in the air.

He came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.

He made darkness his covering around him.

His canopy was thick clouds

Dark with water.

Out of the brightness before him

There broke through his clouds

Hailstones and coals of fire.

Yahweh also thundered in the heavens.

The Most High uttered his voice.

He sent out his arrows.

He scattered them.

He flashed forth lightning.

He routed them.

Then the channels of the sea were seen.

The foundations of the world were laid bare.

At your rebuke!

Yahweh!

At the blast of the breath of your nostrils!”

This psalm talks about Yahweh and his control of the heavens just like in 2 Samuel, chapter 22. Yahweh came out of the clouds with darkness beneath him. He came down from heaven riding in the sky on an angelic cherub on the wings of the wind. He, of course, was the source of the thunder and the lightning. His voice was like thunder as he sent lightening to chase his enemies. The seas shook and the foundations of earth trembled from the blast of breath from his nose.  Yahweh had laid the foundations of the earth at the bottom of the sea. His nose had a big effect as a blast of his breath came upon the earth. Yahweh was directly interfering with the earth to help David through the use of thunder and lightning.