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Matthew 21:1-11

Context
The Triumphal Entry

21:1 Now 1  when they approached Jerusalem 2  and came to Bethphage, 3  at the Mount of Olives, 4  Jesus sent two disciples, 21:2 telling them, “Go to the village ahead of you. 5  Right away you will find a donkey tied there, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 21:3 If anyone says anything to you, you are to say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ 6  and he will send them at once.” 21:4 This 7  took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: 8 

21:5Tell the people of Zion, 9 

Look, your king is coming to you,

unassuming and seated on a donkey,

and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” 10 

21:6 So 11  the disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 21:7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks 12  on them, and he sat on them. 21:8 A 13  very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 21:9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those following kept shouting, 14 Hosanna 15  to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! 16  Hosanna in the highest!” 21:10 As he entered Jerusalem the whole city was thrown into an uproar, 17  saying, “Who is this?” 21:11 And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth 18  in Galilee.”

1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

2 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

3 sn The exact location of the village of Bethphage is not known. Most put it on the southeast side of the Mount of Olives and northwest of Bethany, about 1.5 miles (3 km) east of Jerusalem.

4 sn “Mountain” in English generally denotes a higher elevation than it often does in reference to places in Palestine. The Mount of Olives is really a ridge running north to south about 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) long, east of Jerusalem across the Kidron Valley. Its central elevation is about 30 meters (100 ft) higher than Jerusalem. It was named for the large number of olive trees which grew on it.

5 tn Grk “the village lying before you” (BDAG 530 s.v. κατέναντι 2.b).

6 sn The custom called angaria allowed the impressment of animals for service to a significant figure.

7 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

8 tn Grk “what was spoken by the prophet, saying.” The present participle λέγοντος (legontos) is redundant and has not been translated.

9 tn Grk “Tell the daughter of Zion” (the phrase “daughter of Zion” is an idiom for the inhabitants of Jerusalem: “people of Zion”). The idiom “daughter of Zion” has been translated as “people of Zion” because the original idiom, while firmly embedded in the Christian tradition, is not understandable to most modern English readers.

10 tn Grk “the foal of an animal under the yoke,” i.e., a hard-working animal. This is a quotation from Zech 9:9.

11 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of Jesus’ instructions in vv. 2-3.

12 tn Grk “garments”; but this refers in context to their outer cloaks. The action is like 2 Kgs 9:13.

13 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

14 tn Grk “were shouting, saying.” The participle λέγοντας (legontas) is redundant here in contemporary English and has not been translated.

15 tn The expression ῾Ωσαννά (Jwsanna, literally in Hebrew, “O Lord, save”) in the quotation from Ps 118:25-26 was probably by this time a familiar liturgical expression of praise, on the order of “Hail to the king,” although both the underlying Aramaic and Hebrew expressions meant “O Lord, save us.” In words familiar to every Jew, the author is indicating that at this point every messianic expectation is now at the point of realization. It is clear from the words of the psalm shouted by the crowd that Jesus is being proclaimed as messianic king. See E. Lohse, TDNT 9:682-84.

sn Hosanna is an Aramaic expression that literally means, “help, I pray,” or “save, I pray.” By Jesus’ time it had become a strictly liturgical formula of praise, however, and was used as an exclamation of praise to God.

16 sn A quotation from Ps 118:25-26.

17 tn Grk “was shaken.” The translation “thrown into an uproar” is given by L&N 25.233.

18 map For location see Map1 D3; Map2 C2; Map3 D5; Map4 C1; Map5 G3.



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