Atlanta Bible Students

The Book of Matthew

Chapter 21
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[1] And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, [2] Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. [3] And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. [4] All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, [5] Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

Verse 1  Expanded Bible Comments

And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,
QuestionAnswer
They came from Jericho. What is the elevation of Jericho? About 800 ft. below sea level.
What is the elevation of Jerusalem? 2,474 ft.
What is the elevation of the Mount of Olives? Wikipedia: 2,710 ft.
Latlong.net: 2,582 ft.
What is the distance from Jericho to Jerusalem? According to one web site: "The straight-line distance from Jericho to Jerusalem is 15 miles; however, the precipitous mountain road between the two cities takes the traveler much further. It winds a hazardous path from 800 feet below sea level to 2,500 feet above sea level an elevation of 3,300 feet. It was, at one time a dangerous road to travel, frought with rugged terrain and the fear of marauding bandits."

Verses 2-3  Expanded Bible Comments

Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. [3] And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.
QuestionAnswer
What did Jesus instruct his disciples to do? Locate the ass with her colt, loos them and bring them to Jesus.
What does this tell us about who Jesus was? It tells us that he had "superhuman power by designating where and how the animals would be found." R2745
What were they to do if anyone challenged them? Tell them "The Lord has need of them."

Verses 4-5  Expanded Bible Comments

All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, [5] Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.
QuestionAnswer
Why did Jesus have his disciples bring the two animals? To fulfill Zech. 9:9.
What did this say about who Jesus was? 1) That he was indeed their King.
2) That he was their Messiah (see
Zech. 9:9) which adds "having salvation."

[6] And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, [7] And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. [8] And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and spread them in the way. [9] 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. [10] And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? [11] And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

Verses 6-7  Expanded Bible Comments

And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, [7] And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.
QuestionAnswer
Is there anything unusual about this account of Jesus riding the ass? In this account, perhaps not. In Mark's parallel account (Mark 11:2) we are told of this colt "whereon never man sat." The significance of this is there is no record of this animal attempting to remove its rider. This proves that Jesus was a perfect man who had dominion over the animals.

Verse 8  Expanded Bible Comments

And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and spread them in the way.
QuestionAnswer
We have seen several times before that "great multitudes followed him." What is different about this time? This account says "a very great multitude." There may have been as many as 1 million jews in Jerusalem for Passover.
Is there any significance of the them "spreading their garments be in the way." This was done so that neither he nor the animal carrying him would have to walk directly on the ground. This is not that different from "rolling out the red carpet" for a dignitary to walk on, except in this case it was their own garments. Indeed they were hailing him as their king.
Why did they "cut down branches from trees, and spread them in the way?" Palm branches are associated with the feast of tabernacles (a little like the American holiday Thanksgiving.) It was a feast of rejoicing (Lev. 23:40.) Palm branches are also associated with victory. In the case of the feast of Tabernacles it is rejoicing for the victory over Egypt resulting in their release from slavery. R3677

Verse 9  Expanded Bible Comments

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.
QuestionAnswer
How many "went before" Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem? We are not directly told other than it was "multitudes." However we may assume many thousands because much of the people of Israel (those who had enough faith) were gathered there for Passover.
What does "Hosanna" mean?
Strong's G5614
ὡσαννά
hōsanna
ho-san-nah'
Of Hebrew origin [H3467] and [H4994]; oh save!; hosanna (that is, hoshia-na), an exclamation of adoration: - hosanna.
Who did the multitudes say was entering the city? "The son of David," i.e., the Messiah.
What prophecy were the people quoting as they shouted? It would appear they were quoting Psa. 118:26
Why did the multitudes also say "Hosanna in the highest?" This would appear to be a repetition with emphasis, especially by adding the phrase "in the Highest."

Verses 10-11  Expanded Bible Comments

And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? [11] And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.
QuestionAnswer
Does this verse tell us that all the residence of Jerusalem were questioning "Who is this?" No. It says all of the Jerusalem was so moved. This would include not only the residence, but also the enormous number of visitors their for Passover.
What response was given to their question? "This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee."
Who gave the response? "The multitude said.."
How many were included in "the multitude?" According to the historian Josephus, "that sometimes the population of Jerusalem on such an occasion [as Passover] was swelled to the number of two millions." – R4122

[12] 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 moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, [13] 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. [14] And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. [15] 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, [16] And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? [17] And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.

Verses 12-13  Expanded Bible Comments

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 moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, [13] 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.
QuestionAnswer
Did Jesus go to Herod's palace and demand that he vacate his throne because the new king – Jesus – had come? No.
Where did he go and why? Jesus went to the temple of God, because it was the House of His Father. He was the Messiah and this was the appropriate place for him to be.
What did Jesus do when he got to the temple? He overthrew the money-changers.
Was this in violation of the Law? No. Please see R2746
Begin Here August 20, 2017
Was His action strictly for those who were there at that time? Please explain your answer. Rev. 18:4
Who, at the Second Advent, might be pictured by the money-changers? Titus 1:9-11
Our Lord said "It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer." Where is it thus written? Isa. 56:7.
Into what had they turned the Lord's house? Jer. 7:11

Verse 14  Expanded Bible Comments

And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.
QuestionAnswer
What did our Lord do next?
Of what was this work typical?

Verses 15-16  Expanded Bible Comments

This combines the wording from the Matthew and Luke accounts.
And when the chief priests, the scribes and the Pharisees from among the multitude 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, Master, rebuke your disciples. [16] And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. Yea; have you never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you have perfected praise?
QuestionAnswer
What did the chief priests, the scribes and the Pharisees witness?
What was their reaction?
Why did they have this reaction? Luke 11:43; 20:46-47
What did they tell Jesus to do?
Why did Jesus say "if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out?"
Is there a Second Advent fulfillment of this? C375:2
What did Jesus mean by the last sentence?
From where is Jesus quoting? Psa. 8:2

Verse 17  Expanded Bible Comments

And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.
QuestionAnswer

[18] Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. [19] And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. [20] And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! [21] Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. [22] And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Verses 18-19  Expanded Bible Comments

Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. [19] And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
QuestionAnswer

Verses 20-22  Expanded Bible Comments

And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! [21] Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. [22] And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
QuestionAnswer

[23] And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? [24] And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. [25] The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? [26] But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. [27] And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. [28] But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. [29] He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. [30] And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. [31] Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. [32] For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him. [33] Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: [34] And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. [35] And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. [36] Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. [37] But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. [38] But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. [39] And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. [40] When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? [41] They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. [42] Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? [43] Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. [44] And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. [45] And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. [46] But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

Verse 23  Expanded Bible Comments

And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?
QuestionAnswer

Verse 24  Expanded Bible Comments

And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things.
QuestionAnswer

Verse 25  Expanded Bible Comments

The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?
QuestionAnswer

Verse 26  Expanded Bible Comments

But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.
QuestionAnswer

Verse 27  Expanded Bible Comments

And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.
QuestionAnswer

Verse 28  Expanded Bible Comments

But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
QuestionAnswer

Verse 29  Expanded Bible Comments

He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
QuestionAnswer

Verse 30  Expanded Bible Comments

And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.
QuestionAnswer

Verse 31  Expanded Bible Comments

Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
QuestionAnswer

Verse 32  Expanded Bible Comments

For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
QuestionAnswer

Verse 33  Expanded Bible Comments

Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:
QuestionAnswer

Verse 34  Expanded Bible Comments

And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
QuestionAnswer

Verse 35  Expanded Bible Comments

And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
QuestionAnswer

Verse 36  Expanded Bible Comments

Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
QuestionAnswer

Verse 37  Expanded Bible Comments

But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
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Verse 38  Expanded Bible Comments

But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
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Verse 39  Expanded Bible Comments

And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
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Verse 40  Expanded Bible Comments

When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
QuestionAnswer

Verse 41  Expanded Bible Comments

They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
QuestionAnswer

Verse 42  Expanded Bible Comments

Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
QuestionAnswer

Verse 43  Expanded Bible Comments

Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
QuestionAnswer

Verse 44  Expanded Bible Comments

And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
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Verse 45  Expanded Bible Comments

And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.
QuestionAnswer

Verse 46  Expanded Bible Comments

But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.
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Chapter 20   Chapter 22