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Zechariah 9:9 – King on a Donkey

Summary

The king riding into Jerusalem "on a colt, the foal of a donkey" has been universally applied by Christians to Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (Matthew 21:5, John 12:15).

Analysis

Kings rode horses; poor people rode donkeys. The irony of Palm Sunday is that Jesus rode not only a donkey, but is described as "humble, and mounted on a donkey" (Matthew 21:5), even as the people hailed him as the son of the mighty king David, no doubt in the hope that he would exercise his power to drive out the Romans. Applying the Zechariah verse to Jesus' entry into Jerusalem was clearly meant to exemplify the true nature of Jesus' ministry.

Zechariah 9:9

The Coming Ruler of God’s People


9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
   Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
   triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
   on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

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10 February 2011

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