ZECHARIAH IS OFTEN labeled a “minor prophet,” but his prophecies are of major importance, for he is alluded to or quoted over eighty times in the New Testament.
[In] his most famous prophecy (Zechariah 9:9) he exhorts God’s people, whom he calls the “daughter of Zion,” to celebrate their future – to rejoice in the promise of the coming King and in the establishment of his kingdom: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he…”
[In] contrast to the many wicked kings who have preceded him, we would only expect that God’s divinely appointed king would conform to the morality of God’s Law and bring with him redemption for God’s people… Yet, when the prophet goes on to depict this great king as being “humble and mounted on a donkey,” we are tempted to think something is wrong. Humble? Donkey? Is this a mistake? Is this a misprint? It should be “glorious.” It should be “warhorse.” But this is no mistake. This is no misprint. The prophet intentionally wrote of this king being humble.
In the context of the book of Zechariah, as well as the rest of the prophets, this word “humble” does not mean so much “gentle” as it means “lowly” or “bowed down” or even “full of suffering.” The word “humble” denotes, as C. F. Keil claims, “the whole of the lowly, miserable, suffering condition, as it is elaborately depicted in Isaiah 53.” So, in contrast with the arrogance and violence usually associated with earthly kings, this king, we are told, will be poor and afflicted; he will be a sovereign Lord and yet a suffering servant.
[To] prophesy that a king would come in this specific manner must have sounded bizarre to Zechariah’s original audience (perhaps as bizarre as it sounds to us), for since the time of King Solomon, when the breeding of horses was introduced, we are given no example in the Old Testament of any royal figure riding upon such a beast. in fact in all of antiquity we would be hard-pressed to find an example of any sort of ruler mounting a colt…
It’s laughable to think about a Roman emperor straddled over such a slow, dirty, undignified, and unpretentious beast. It would be like the President coming into Chicago and traveling down the Magnificent Mile on a tricycle. When a king comes to town, the expectation is that he will ride proudly upon a battle steed at the head of a parade of decorated troops, as Alexander the Great did when he rode into Jerusalem in 332 BC.
And yet the prophet Zechariah envisions a king (Jesus! – mb) who will ride into Jerusalem “mounted on…the foal of a donkey.” Douglas Sean O’Donnell, Matthew – All Authority in Heaven and on Earth, “The Son of God on a Child of a Donkey,” 501
“GOD LOVES YOU AND I LOVE YOU AND THAT’S THE WAY IT’S GONNA BE!” – MIKE