The Book of Matthew-Chapter 21

(1) And when they approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage (“house of unripe figs”-relating to the statement of learning the parable of the fig tree. In Mark 11.1 it says that he also came to Bethany, which means “house of figs.” He is moving from the east, which is the direction Messiah will come from-Matt 24.27. This chapter and Yeshua’s criticism will be directed to the religious leaders of his day, but it applies anytime) to the Mount of Olives (called the “mount of Messiah” in Jewish thought), then Yeshua sent two talmidim, (2) saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you (called Nob, very near Jerusalem) and immediately you will find a donkey (a kingly animal) and a colt (the offspring) with her, untie them (both of them) and bring them to me. (3) And if anyone says something to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them (both),’ and immediately will send them (he is going to ride both).” (4) Now this took place that what was spoken through the prophet (Zech 9.9) might be fulfilled (given meaning, confirmed), saying, (5) Say to the daughter of Zion (the outskirt cities), Behold your king is coming to you, gentle and mounted upon a donkey (kingly animal), even upon a colt (young, new nature), the foal (offspring) of a beast of burden (he rides one, then the other. In the Jewish Encyclopedia on “Antichrist”-Sanhedrin 98a says that the Messiah will appear when the world is entirely righteous or wicked. If it is wicked, he will appear on a donkey, if righteous, on a horse). (6) And the talmidim went and did just as Yeshua had directed them, (7) and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid on them their garments, on which he sat. (8) And most of the multitude spread their garments in the road and others were cutting branches from the trees, and spreading them in the road (this alludes to the feast of Sukkot, which teaches the coming kingdom of God). (9) And the multitudes going before him, and those who followed after were crying out, saying, “Hosanna (“Hoshianu” in Hebrew which means “save us.” The seventh day of Sukkot is called “Hoshianu Rabbah” which means “the great salvation. This is a clear example of how the biblical feasts of God “overlap” in meaning because this was Passover season. Psa 118, sung at Passover and containing what they are saying here, applies to Yeshua) to the Son of David (a messianic title); Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord (this is said at a Jewish wedding to the groom); Hosanna in the highest!” (10) When he had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” (11) And the multitudes were saying, “This is the prophet Yeshua, from Nazareth in Galilee.” (12) And Yeshua entered the temple, and cast out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the table of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves (this fulfills Zech 14. 20-21 when Messiah comes and then there will be no “merchants” or “traffickers” in the temple. This happened in the royal stoa, in the Bazaars of Annas, who sttod to lose money from this. He received a “cut” from rental space in this area because he was high priest, and that is why this area was called this. He was the “godfather” of the temple. This was the second time he did this. The first is in John 2.13-16. This was Passover season, and there is a ceremony called “Bedikat Chametz” where a house throws out all the leaven found in preparation for the feast of unleavened bread)). (13) And he said to them, “It is written (on record), ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer (for everyone, including Gentiles-Isa 56.6-7)’, but you are making it a robbers’ den (he is quoting Jer 7.11 and in the portion about the destruction of Shiloh, who the people thought prevented the Lord from judging them because he would never destroy his place of worship. The allusion is obvious).” (14) And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. (15) But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he had done, and the children who were crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the son of David,” they became indignant (wanting them to stop), (16) and said to him, “Do you hear what these (the children) are saying?” And Yeshua said to them, “Yes; and have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes thou has prepared praise for thyself’?” (17) And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany (“house of figs) and lodged there. (18) Now in the morning, when he returned to the city, he became hungry. (19) And seeing a lone fig tree (Israel is alone among the nations) by the road, he came to it, and found nothing on it except leaves only (no figs is a type of “no people or fruit”-unfruitful is the same as “uncircumcised”-Jer 8.13; 9.26; Hag 2.19; Micah 7.1-2), and he said to it, “No longer shall there ever be fruit from you (meaning that the fig tree represented the false teachers in Israel. He came to them expecting fruit, which is accepting Yeshua as Messiah as a nation. Israel will eventually-Ezek 39.22; Rev 12. Israel will never bear fruit without Yeshua).” And at once the fig tree withered (which is what happened at the first coming, resulting in total destruction by 70 AD). (20) And seeing this, the talmidim marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” (21) And Yeshua answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith (action, confidence and agreement with God) and do not doubt, you shall not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain (the temple mount where they were at), ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea (a type of the abyss)’ it shall happen (this verse is used by prosperity teachers to mean something totally incorrect. This is not about “naming it and claiming it” but it is about Israel and all the false teaching coming out of it. Look at the context this was said in. The “mountain” represents the temple mount and all the false teachings coming from it. The “sea” represents sheol, the abyss. Yeshua is saying that the false teachings of the leaders have left no “food” to be eaten by the people and these teachings can be overcome by faith and cast into the abyss. This applies today with all the false teachers and supposed “prophets” who teach things not in line with the Word of God). (22) And everything you ask in prayer (in agreement with his will and word contained in the covenant and promises) believing, you shall receive” (23) And when he had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders (the zekanim) of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things (cleansing the temple of “chametz”=leaven), and who gave you this authority?” (24) But Yeshua answered and said to them, “I will ask you one thing too (this is called a “pilpul” or peppered argument, which is a rabbinical technique to teach a concept that the rabbi is trying to get across. He will ask a question, let the hearers discuss the question, then come back and give an answer to him. From there, the rabbi will approve or correct their answer), which if you tell me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. (25) The baptism (immersion) of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?” And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven, he will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?” (26) “But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude (notice all through this chapter that multitudes believed in Yeshua, which refutes the teaching that nobody believed in him. They may not have all believed he was the Messiah, but they all believed he was a prophet sent by God); for they all hold John to be a prophet (and he pointed the people to Yeshua).” (27) And they answered Yeshua and said, “We do not know.” He also said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. (28) But what do you think (this midrashic aggadah is to show the deceit and hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees)?” A man has two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ (29) And he answered and said, ‘I will, sir’, and he did not go (the scribes and the Pharisees). (30) And he came to the second and said the same thing, but he answered and said, ‘I will not’, yet afterward regretted it (repented, like the tax-gatherers and sinners) and went. (31) Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The latter.” Yeshua said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax-gatherers and the harlots will get into the kingdom of God before you. (32) For John came to you in the way of righteousness (commissioned by God) and you did not believe him; but the tax-gatherers and harlots did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward (repent) so as to believe him. (33) Listen to another parable (midrashic aggadah). There was a landowner (God) who planted a vineyard (Israel-Isa 5; Ezek 17) and put a wall around it (he protected them) and dug a wine press (teaching) in it, and built a tower (the temple) and rented it out to the vine-growers (kings, rulers, priests) and went on a journey. (34) And when the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves (these would be the prophets who were sent to find the fruits of correct teaching and justice) to the vine-growers to receive his produce. (35) And the vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third (persecuted the prophets before Israel was sent into Babylon). (36) Again he sent another group of slaves (other prophets after the exile) larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them. (37) But afterward he sent his son (Yeshua) to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ (38) But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir (son of David-1 Kings 11.36), come, let us kill him, and seize his inheritance.’ (39) And they took him, and cast him out of the vineyard (rejected by Israel corporately), and killed him. (40) Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers (those who dispensed teaching)?” (41) They said to him, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and he will rent out the vineyard to other growers (little did they know they were naming there own end. These new vine-growers are those who believe in Yeshua from another generation), who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons.” (42) Yeshua said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures ‘The stone (Messiah-Dan 2. 31-35)) which the builders (the first vine-growers) rejected (they were rejecting the kingdom offer), this became the chief cornerstone (on which the kingdom will be built); this came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? (43) Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God (it was being offered) will be taken away from you (the generation and people he was speaking to) and given to a nation (another generation, which would be Israel in the messianic kingdom) producing the fruit (correct teaching) of it (the kingdom). (44) And he who falls on this stone (that generation will be broken, stumbling over Yeshua) but on whomever it falls (on), it will scatter him like dust (a later generation 40 years later will be scattered to the nations after Jerusalem and the temple are destroyed in the first Jewish war in 70 AD). (45) And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables (midrashic aggadah), they understood that he was speaking about them. (46) And when they sought to seize him, they became afraid of the multitudes, because they held him to be a prophet.

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