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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Matthew 21

Verse 1

when they drew nigh. There were two entries: the first in Matthew 21 : the second on "the first day" of the following week (Mark 11:1-3 .Luke 19:28-31 . Joh 12:12-15 ). See App-153 and App-156 .

were come = had arrived.

Bethphage = House of Figures of speech kef et Tor According to the Talmud, Bethphage consisted of some buildings and the space of ground extending from the wall of Jerusalem about a mile (or half-way) toward the town of Bethany (now el 'Azariyeh) .

unto = toward. Greek. pros . App-104 . All the texts read " eis " as in the preceding clause.

disciples. Not Apostles.

Verse 2

Go = go forward.

over against = or just off the high road. Greek. apenanti = facing you. In Mark and Luke katenanti = opposite and below, preferred, here, by all the texts. But the text may have been altered to make Matt, agree with Mark and Luke.

straightway = immediately.

ass . . . colt. Here the two are sent for, because Zechariah 9:9 was to be fulfilled. In Mark, and Luke, only one (only one being necessary to fulfill the part of Zechariah quoted by John 12:14 , John 12:15 ).

with. Greek. meta. The Lord. App-98 .

Verse 4

was done = came to pass, fulfilled. Compare Luke 21:24 ; Luke 21:32 .

spoken. As well as written.

by = through. Greek. dia. App-104 .Matthew 21:1 .

Verse 5

Tell ye, &c. Quoted from Zechariah 9:9 . See App-107 . Compare Isaiah 62:11 . App-117 .

Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .

upon. Greek. epi.

an ass = a beast of burden. Not the same word as in the preceding clause.

Verse 7

brought = led.

put on . . . clothes. Compare 2 Kings 9:13 (a mark of respect).

clothes = outer garments.

they set Him. "He took His seat", Greek. epikathizo. Occurs only here.

thereon = upon them: i.e. the garments.

Verse 8

a very great multitude = the greater part of the crowd: referring to the proportionate part, not to the actual size.

in. Greek. en .

from. Greek. apo. App-104 .

strawed = were strewing. Same word as "spread" in preceding clause. Eng. "straw" = to scatter straw. Here used of branches of trees.

Verse 9

Hosanna = Save now. Aramaic Hoshi'an-na' = Help now. See App-94 . Quoted from Psalms 118:25 , Psalms 118:26 . At the later entry (Luke 19:38 ) the cry was different in words, but similar in intent. For the order of events of these last six days, see App-156 .

the Son of David. App-98 . The seventh of nine occurances of this title in Matthew. See note on Matthew 1:1 .

the LORD = Jehovah. App-98 .

Verse 10

moved = agitated. Same word as "quake" (Matthew 27:51 ) and "shake" (Matthew 28:4 .Hebrews 12:26 . Revelation 6:13 ).

Who is This? The city was evidently taken by surprise at this first entry; but the second entry (Mark 11:1-11 .Luke 19:29-44; Luke 19:29-44 ) was known, and the people "met Him" (John 12:18 ), hence, there was no surprise.

Verse 11

of = from. Greek. apo.

Nazareth. See note on Matthew 2:23 . App-169 .

Verse 12

the temple. Greek. hieron, the temple courts. Not the naos. See note on Matthew 23:16 .

the moneychangers. The half-shekel had to be paid on the 15th of the month Adar, by every Israelite (even the poorest). In every city collectors sat to receive it. On the 25th day (18 or 19 days before the Passover) they began to sit in the temple; and then they distrained if not paid. Change was given at a profit for the moneychangers. (So Maimonides, quoted by Lightfoot, vol. iii, p. 45, Pitman's edn.)

doves. Required for the Temple offerings.

Verse 13

It is written = It standeth written.

My house, &c. A composite quotation from Isaiah 56:7 , and Jeremiah 7:11 . See App-107 and App-117 .

thieves = robbers. Same word as in Matthew 27:38 , Matthew 27:44 .

Verse 15

wonderful things = the wonders. Occurs only here. These were the Lord's final miracles, wrought at this crisis, and must have been very special in character.

did = wrought.

children. Greek. pais. See App-108 .

the Son of David. The eighth of nine occurances in Matthew. See note on Matthew 1:1 .

Verse 16

say = are saying.

have ye never read . . . ? See App-143 .

Out of the mouth, &c. Quoted from Psalms 8:2 . perfected = prepared. Greek. katartizo = to perfect by preparing See App-126 .

Verse 17

out of = without, outside. Not the same word as in Matthew 21:16 .

lodged = passed the night (in the open air). Occurs only here, and in Luke 21:37 .

Verse 18

in the morning = early in the morning. See App-97 .

Verse 19

a = one (single).

in = on. Greek. epi. App-104 .

to = up to. Greek. epi .

found nothing. See notes on Mark 11:13 .

for ever = for the age (see App-151 . a.), i.e. to the end of that Dispensation. The fig tree represents the national privilege of Israel (see notes on Judges 9:10 ), and that is to be restored (Romans 11:2 , Romans 11:26 ).

presently = at once, on the spot; Greek. parachrema, rendered "soon" in Matthew 21:20 . See note on "immediately", Luke 1:64 .

Verse 20

How soon, &c. Figure of speech Erotesis (in wonder). App-6 .

Verse 21

Verily. See note on Matthew 5:18 .

If ye have faith, &c. This is the third occasion that this was repeated. The first was in Matthew 17:20 ; Mark 11:23 ; and the second in Luke 17:6 . The condition is quite hypothetical. See App-118 .

doubt. App-122 .

Be thou removed, &c. It was a common proverb to say of a great teacher, who removed difficulties, that he was "a rooter up of mountains". See note on Luke 17:6 .

Verse 22

ask. Greek. aiteo. App-134 .

receive. Supply the Ellipsis: "[it, if it he His will]", from Matthew 26:39-44 .James 5:14 , James 5:15 ; 1 John 5:14 , 1 John 5:15 . This is the one abiding condition of all prayer; and this Ellipsis must always be supplied.

Verse 23

temple = the Temple courts. Greek. hieron. See note on Matthew 23:16 .

what = what kind of.

authority. Greek. exousia. App-172 .

Verse 24

thing = question. Greek. logos = word, or matter.

if. The condition being quite dependent on a contingency. App-118 .

I in like wise = I also. Note the Figure of speech Anteisagoge. App-6 .

Verse 25

baptism. App-115 .

heaven. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject), App-6 , for "God", singular.

of = from. Same word as "from" in preceding clause.

Verse 26

people = crowd.

all. Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Genus), for the greater part.

Verse 27

cannot tell = do not ( App-105 .) know.

tell = know. Greek. oida . App-132 .

Verse 28

A certain man, &c. Here follow three parables spoken in the Temple.

sons = children. Greek. teknon.

Go work to day = Go to-day, work.

Verse 29

I will not = I do not choose [to go].

repented. Greek. metamelomai.

Verse 30

the second. Tischendorf reads "the other" (Greek. heteros, App-124 .)

Verse 31

Whether of them twain = Which of the two.

the will = the desire. Greek. thelema (the Noun of App-102 ).

publicans = tax-gatherers.

go into . . . before = go before you into.

the kingdom of God. See App-114 . The fourth of five occurrences in Matthew. See note on Matthew 6:33 .

Verse 33

another. Greek. alios. App-124 .: i.e. a similar. The second parable spoken in the Temple.

householder = master of a house.

hedged it round about = placed about it a fence.

winepress. Septuagint for Hebrew. gath, the press, not the vat. Isaiah 5:2 .

tower. For the watchmen. See Isaiah 1:8 ; Isaiah 5:2 ; Isaiah 24:20 . Job 27:18 .

let it out. There were three kinds of leases: (1) where the labourers received a proportion of the produce for their payment; (2) where full rent was paid; (3) where a definite part of the produce was to be given by the lessees, whatever the harvest was. Such leases were given by the year, or for life, or were even hereditary. From Matthew 21:34 and Mark 12:2 the word "of" shows that the latter kind of lease is referred to in this parable.

went into a far country = went abroad, or journeyed. As in Matthew 25:14 , Matthew 25:15 .Mark 12:1 ; Mark 13:34 .Luke 15:13 ; Luke 20:9 .

Verse 34

time = season.

to. Greek. pros .

Verse 35

beat one, &c. = one they beat, and one they killed, and one they stoned.

and. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton, App-6 .

another = one.

Verse 37

last of all = at last.

his son = his own son. Here is the real answer to Matthew 21:23 .

reverence = stand in awe of.

Verse 38

among. Greek. en . App-104 .

seize on = hold on to, or hold fast. See note on 2 Thessalonians 2:6 , "withholdeth": which should be rendered as here.

Verse 39

out = without, outside (as in Hebrews 13:12 ).

Verse 40

Cometh = shall have come.

Verse 41

miserably . . . wicked. Note the Figure of speech Paronomasia ( App-6 ). Greek. kakous kakos. In Eng. "miserably destroy those miserable [men]" (Revised Version); or, "those wretches he will put to a wretched death".

which = of such character that they.

Verse 42

Did ye never read, &c. ? See App-117 and App-143 :4.

The Stone, &c. Quoted from Psalms 118:22 . Compare Acts 4:10-12 . See App-107 .

the LORD'S = Jehovah's. App-98 . Literally "from Jehovah".

Verse 43

given to a nation. The new Israel, as prophesied in Isaiah 66:7-14 .

Verse 44

on = upon. Greek. epi. App-104 .

grind him to powder. Supposed to mean winnow or scatter as dust. But in a Papyrus (Fayyum, second or third cent, A.D.) it is used for ruining a thing in some way. This supplies the contrast here. Occurs else where only in Luke 20:18 ; Septuagint (Theodotion) for utter destruction, in Daniel 2:44 . Compare Job 27:21 .

Verse 45

perceived = got to know. Greek. ginosko. App-132 .

Verse 46

multitude = crowds.

took Him, &c. = were holding Him as a prophet.

for. Greek = as; but all the texts read " eis " = for.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Matthew 21". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.