￼The prophet Zechariah, describes the Messiah as arriving at Jerusalem with the title: “King of the Jews.” When Jesus finally makes His entrance into the city and the people begin to recite the words from Psalm 118, this prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 is completed. We see the fulfillment of Zechariah’s words in Matthew chapter 21.
The Messiah will be proclaimed as King and The Son of David, at Jerusalem.
Zechariah 9:9b Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.
New Testament Fulfillment:
Matthew 21:8-11 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!” And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”
Pontius Pilate confirmed the prophecy of Zechariah by writing the words: “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”
John 18:37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world…”
Mark 15:2 Then Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He answered and said to him, “It is as you say.”
John 19:19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
The second of the Zechariah 9 prophecies, is the prediction that the Messiah will be introduced as the King of Israel, at Jerusalem.
Working in conjunction with Zechariah, the prophet Daniel was given the exact date that the Messiah would come to Jerusalem. There are six prophecies from Daniel that concern the coming of the Messiah to Jerusalem.
Daniel 9:24: A period of 490 years are determined.
Daniel 9:24: What the Messiah will accomplish.
Daniel 9:25: The exact date the Messiah will arrive.
Daniel 9:26: The Messiah will be killed.
Daniel 9:26: The Messiah will die for the sins of the world.
Daniel 9:26: Jerusalem destroyed 70 years later
Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”
First: The beginning of the 70 weeks of years will begin upon a decree to “Restore and Rebuild” Jerusalem.
Second: In recorded history, there is only one such decree ever recorded.
Third: This decree is a matter of history and happened on March 14, 445 B.C., being issued by Artaxerxes, the King of Persia.
Fourth: The historical record indicates that the reconstruction of the city of Jerusalem began on this exact day.
Fifth: The Julian calendar date of the 1st of Nissan is the 14th day of March, 445 B.C.
Sixth: If we take 69 times 7 weeks of years, we get 483 years. Multiply 483 years by 360 days per year (Babylonian calendar), we get 173,880 days.
Seventh: Taking the date that Artaxerxes issued the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem as March 14, 445 B.C., and adding 173,880 days, we come to April 6th, 32 A.D. This is the precise day recorded in the Bible as the Palm Sunday before Jesus was crucified. On this day, the Lord rode into Jerusalem; and for the first time, allowed Himself to be proclaimed as “The Messiah.”
Luke records the events that transpired on April 6, 32 A.D.
Luke 19:29-42 And it came to pass, when Jesus came near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose him and bring him here. And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ ” So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him.
On April 6, Jesus told His disciples to go over to Bethphage and bring Him the foal of a donkey. Incredibly, Jesus rides this young donkey into Jerusalem on the precise day that Daniel predicted the Messiah would arrive in Jerusalem and allows the assembled crowd to hail Him as “The Son of David,” a clear title for the Messiah.
Matthew 21:8-9 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!”
It is interesting that up to this point, Jesus had refused all requests to announce to the world that He was the promised Messiah, despite several attempts by His disciples.
John 7:3-6 His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For even His brothers did not believe in Him. Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.”
Jesus was waiting for one specific day, when Daniel’s prophecy should be fulfilled. He intentionally set out at the beginning of His ministry to fulfill every Old Testament prophecy that was written of the Messiah, so that it would be indisputable who He was.
There was no mistake what the people were proclaiming Jesus as. The crowd was shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David” and the Pharisees understood what they were saying by their demand that Jesus order the people to cease in their praises that were directed to Him. The leaders of Israel acknowledged that what was being ascribed to Jesus, could only be given to the true Messiah upon His entrance into the world. The gathered crowd believed that Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promise to send a Savior and Jesus received their praise in recognition of His arrival.
Luke 19:39-42 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.”
Jesus said, “If you had known this your day…”
This was one unique day in all the history of the world when the Son of God would come to Jerusalem and be hailed as the Messiah. The Book of Psalms has a specific text that David wrote for this very special day.
Psalms 118:24-26 This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!
On one of those very rare and beautiful mornings when the sun is warm, the air is cool, the grass is green and the flowers are blooming, we might proclaim: “This is the day that the Lord has made.” This phrase would be quite appropriate on such a day, but this was not the intended purpose for David’s writing of Psalm 118. Under the direction of the Holy Spirit, David was prophesying of the specific day when Daniel’s prophecy of the Messiah’s arrival was fulfilled.
Psalm 118 contains the language, “save now” and “blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD,” because these were the specific words that would be spoken to the Messiah when He came in fulfillment of the scriptures. The people who had gathered to greet Jesus as the Messiah were well aware of Psalm 118, and this is why they were reciting these words from Psalm 118 as Jesus made His entrance into the Jerusalem.
On Palm Sunday, 32 A.D., Jesus rides into Jerusalem and is proclaimed the “Son of David,” the Messiah. This fulfilled Daniel prophecy of the coming Messiah from Chapter 9, verse 25.
The prophet Zechariah also spoke of this very special day when he wrote:
Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion. Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.
Matthew noted that when Jesus came into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, that He was fulfilling Zechariah’s prophecy.
Matthew 21:4 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!”
Zechariah made this prediction that the Messiah would come to Jerusalem on a donkey, about 600 years before Jesus was born. Daniel’s prophecy of the specific day the Messiah would arrive at Jerusalem was written almost 700 years before Jesus was born. Jesus was arriving in Jerusalem in fulfillment of Daniel’s and Zechariah’s prophecies, to proclaim the time when all people could make peace with God by experiencing the forgiveness of their sins.
For an in-depth study on the entire prophecy of Daniel Chapter 9, see “Arrival of the Messiah.”
See also “Arriving at Jerusalem.”
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2. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009 Edition.
3. 1.Iran-e-Bastan/Pirnia Book, 1 page 873, 2. Dandamayev 3. History of Persian Empire-Olmstead pages 289-90