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also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle. -John xii. 12, 13. 17, 18.
And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David ! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest !- Matt. xxi. 9.
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee; and compass thee round about, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.—Luke xix. 41. 44.
And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple; and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves; and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple ; and he healed them. And when the chief Priests and Scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David ! they were sore displeased, and said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise.—Matt. xxi. 10-16.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE SACRED NARRATIVE.
Exult, daughter of Zion ; shout for joy, daughter of Jerusalem ;
The Messiah is displayed as a sovereign triumphing and widely reigning: but his triumphs are not those of force and violence; he comes not upon the terrible war-horse ; his path is not marked with tears and blood. His are the victories of truth, and holiness, and beneficence; the conquests of reason and conscience ; the reign of holiness and piety, of good-will and pardoning grace to men, and the highest glory to God; abolishing war, cruelty, and tyranny, and establishing peace upon the best foundation, in the delightful period when his religion shall have that universality of extent, and shall receive that cordiality of obedience, which are here foretold. This great happiness, to be enjoyed under the Messiah's reign, is pictured by the imagery of the richest plenty in the produce of Judæa, affording abundantly the enjoyments of affluence to all classes. Such imagery is frequently employed in the style of prophecy, as the emblem of the individual and social happiness which true religion will effect, where its precepts are faithfully observed. It is especially predicted that these triumphs of the Messiah shall be first and principally in the nations of Europe ; that the pride of Grecian philosophy, and the power of the Roman military domination, the guilty fascinations of the temples, and the consequent licentiousness of the people, the impostures of their priests, and the madness of their rulers, should fall in the strife with the crucified Galilæan and his despised disciples, meek and lowly of heart, with the weapons of a warfare not carnal, by weak things subduing the mighty, and by things deemed foolish, confounding the worldly wise. DR. J. P. SMITH.
The association of ideas in the prophet appears to have been to this purport. In contrast with the warlike Alexander, who had been so considerable a benefactor to the Jews, [and of whom Michaelis interprets the preceding connexion,] a much greater King is brought to view, whom Zion has to expect in later times. Gentle, and riding upon an ass.
The meaning of which might have occurred to any one, previously to the accomplishment of the prediction, would be a mild and pacific King, who is on that account represented as riding, not upon a war-horse, but upon an ass. This interpretation is confirmed by the following verse, in which God declares that he will abolish the war-cavalry in Jerusalem. It would not have been readily inferred beforehand, from these words, that the promised King would literally make his entrance into Jerusalem upon an ass: yet this really took place in Jesus.
PROFESSOR J. D. MICHAELIS.
Among the things written in the prophets, and relating to “ him who shall come,” were the words of Zechariah which were thus fulfilled. The accomplishment of the prophecy gave to the people a last opportunity of recognizing Jesus as the Messiah ;-a last opportunity, for this took place on the first day of the week of the crucifixion. The Jew who was reasonable and dispassionate, should have been led by what he saw and heard to consult his Scriptures, and compare them with the facts which were taking place before his eyes, and so learn that this was indeed “ he who should redeem Israel.” But the veil of prejudice was so closely drawn, that seeing, they saw not; and hearing, they did not understand : and God, who does all things well, saw no reason why the “ veil should be taken away.”
BISHOP J. B. SUMNER.
Sion's King comes to Sion, and the “ daughter of Sion” was told of his coming long before: yet he is not attended by the gentlemen of the country, nor met by the magistrates of the city in their formalities. His attendants were, however, a very great multitude;" they were the common people that graced the solemnity of Christ's triumph, and none but they. Observe, Christ is honoured by the multitude, more than by the magnificence of his followers : for he values men by their souls, not by their preferments, names, or titles of honour. REV. MATTHEW HENRY.
Jesus went, not like a temporal prince to the palace, but like the Lord of the temple to his own house, to exercise his authority there. And when he came to the outward court, the court of the Gentiles, he found a great number of traders ; some paying off bills of return from distant countries, for money to buy sacrifices, and changing money into half shekels, which every one of twenty years old and upwards was to give, as an offering to the Lord. Exod. xxx. 13, 14. And he found others buying and selling doves and cattle for sacrifices, under a pretence of its subservience to sanctuary-work, and of convenience to those that came from far, and could not easily bring such things along with them. But when he saw that this traffic, which ought, and formerly used, to be carried on in the markets of Jerusalem, was introduced, by the avarice of the priests, into the place which was consecrated to the immediate service of God, and that it was managed with extortion, he threw down the stalls of the money-changers, and of the sellers of doves, and the like, and turned them all out, saying, “ This place was designed, not for a market, but for the religious use of Gentile proselytes, who might not be admitted into the inner court of the temple, to worship, and offer up their prayers to the God of Israel, according as it is written, Isai. lvi. 7, — My house shall be called an house of prayer to all people, or nations : but ye have horribly perverted its use, and profaned it, by your covetous merchandize ; ye have thereby robbed God of his honour, and made an unlawful gain of the people, which is no better than theft ; and so, according to an antient complaint of the prophet, -Jer. vii. 11,-ye have turned it into a den or receptacle of thieves.” And such was the Divine Majesty and authority of his behaviour on this occasion, that, notwithstanding all the interest of the priests among the people, and all the gain which many had by this merchandize, their spirits were so
e-awed, that none dared to oppose him! What a wonderful conjunction of divine, human, and office-characters, do we meet with in Christ! Behold the Gon, in his perfect knowledge beforehand of every minute circumstance of things, and of the freest actions of men / in his command over their minds, and acting, like the Lord of his temple, to reform abuses there, and that without resistance from those, whose authority, inclinations, and interests, lay strongly against it; and in his healing diseases, and drying up the barren fig-tree at his pleasure ! Behold the man, in his being hungry! And behold the Messiah, in his riding on the ass's colt, amidst the loud Hosannas of the people, in his opening the eyes of the blind, in making the lame to walk, and in his being refused by the Jewish builders, according to ancient prophecies ! And yet how different were people's thoughts about him !- the Saviour of ISRAEL! What are all pretences to religion, if the life contradict them ? O how afraid should we be of a barren profession, or of stumbling at Christ!
O Saviour ! whether shall I more wonder at thy majesty or thy humi. lity ? — that Divine Majesty, which lay hid under so humble an appearance; or that sincere humility, which veiled so great a glory? Thou, O Lord, whose “ chariots are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels," wouldst make choice of the silliest of beasts to carry thee in thy last and royal progress. How well is thy birth suited with thy triumph! Even that very ass, whereon thou didst ride, was prophesied of; neither couldst thou have made up those vatical predictions without this conveyance. O glorious and yet homely pomp !
Thou wouldst not lose aught of thy right; thou that wast a King, wouldst be proclaimed so: but, that it might appear thy kingdom was not of this world, thou, that couldst have commanded all worldly magnificence, thoughtest fit to abandon it. Instead of the Kings of the earth, who, reigning by thee, might have been employed in thine attendance, the people are thy heralds. How gladly did they spend their breath in acclaiming thee! “ Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord !”
Where now are the great masters of the synagogue, that had enacted the ejection of whosoever should confess Jesus to be the Christ ? Lo, here, bold and undaunted clients of the Messiah, that dare proclaim him in the public road, in the open streets! In spite of all Jewish malignity, his kingdom is confessed, applauded, blessed. “O thou fairer than the children of men, in thy Majesty ride on prosperously, because of truth, and meekness, and righteousness : and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things !”
In this princely, and yet poor and despicable pomp, doth our Saviour enter the famous city of Jerusalem, - Jerusalem, noted of old for the seat of kings, priests, and prophets : of kings, for there was the throne of David; of priests, for there was the temple; of prophets, for there they delivered their errands, and left their blood. Thither would Jesus come, as a King, as a Priest, as a Prophet: acclaimed as a King ; teaching the people, and foretelling the woeful devastation of it, as a Prophet; and, as a Priest, taking possession of his temple, and vindicating it from the foul profanations of Jewish sacrilege.
Oft before had he come to Jerusalem, without any remarkable change, because without any semblance of state ; now, that he gives some little glimpse of his royalty, “ the whole city was moved.” When the sages of
the East brought the first news of the “ King of the Jews, Herod was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him ;” and now that the King of the Jews comes himself, though in so mean a port, there is a new commotion, all saying, “ Who is this ?” " Who is this ?” Ask Moses, and he shall tell
66 The Seed of the woman” that “ shall break the Serpent's head.” Ask our father Jacob, and he shall tell
you, “ the Shiloh of the tribe of Judah." Ask David, and he shall tell you, “the King of Glory.” Ask Isaiah, he shall tell you, “ Immanuel, Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Ask Jeremiah, and he shall tell you, Righteous Branch.” Ask Daniel, he shall tell you, “ The Messiah.” Ask John the Baptist, he shall tell you, “ The Lamb of God.” If you ask the God of the prophets, he hath told you, “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Yea, if all these be too good for you to consult with, the devils themselves have been forced to say, “ I know who thou art, even that Holy One of God.” On no side, hath Christ left himself without a testimony; and, accordingly, the multitude here have their answer ready, “ This is Jesus, the Prophet of Nazareth in Galilee.”
Ye undervalue your Master, O ye well-meaning followers of Christ. “ A Prophet? yea, more than a prophet!” John Baptist was so; yet was but the harbinger of this Messiah | This was that God, by whom the prophets were both sent and inspired. “ Of Nazareth !” say you? Ye mistake him: Bethlehem was the place of his birth, the proof of his tribe, the evidence of his Messiahship! But oh, the wonderful hand of God, in the carriage of this whole business! The people proclaimed Christ first a King; and now they proclaim him a Prophet. Why did not the Roman bands run into arms, upon the one? Why did not the Scribes and Pharisees and the envious priesthood mutiny, upon the other ? They had made decrees against him; they had laid wait for him; yet now he passes in state through their streets, acclaimed both a King and Prophet, without their reluctation. What can we impute this unto, but to the powerful and overruling arm of his Godhead ? He that restrained the rage of Herod and his courtiers upon the first news of a King born, now restrains all the opposite powers of Jerusalem from lifting up a finger against this last and public avouchment of the Regal and Prophetical office of Christ.
We have here a compassionate lamentation in the midst of a solemn triumph. Our Lord's approach unto Jerusalem at this time carried some face of royal pomp, and some glimmerings only of that excellent Majesty, which both his Sonship and his Mediatorship entitled him unto. How little he was taken with this piece of state, is sufficiently seen : his mind is much more taken up in the foresight of Jerusalem's sad case; and therefore being come within view of it, in the descent of Mount Olivet, he beheld the city, and, it is said, “wept over it.” Two things concur to make
up the cause of this sorrow : the greatness of the calamity: Jerusalem, once so dear to God, was to suffer, not a scar, but a ruin ; and the lost opportunity of preventing it.