In the midst of a pretty dark chapter, what is called an oracle here, we find verses that we have used for centuries which shape and mold our understanding of the joyous and victorious entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Read vs.9 and you will hear a verse that I bet you have heard at some time in your life if you have been in church on Palm Sunday. Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, but Matthew in chapter 21:7 states: “they brought the donkey and the colt (italics mine).”
I think the safest thing to say is that Matthew misunderstood Zechariah’s descriptive terms which called out a donkey, nay a colt, nay a foal of a donkey. We are lucky Matthew doesn’t have Jesus riding three animals the way Zechariah described it. But it seems like these verses nestled in this chapter are the only ones which give us warm fuzzies as we think of the way in which we have celebrated Palm Sunday in the past. The rest of this chapter is pretty intense.
Look at vs.15 where we read that the battle will be fierce and as a result “they will drink their blood like wine…” But then there is a stark transition in vs.16 where we read that the Lord God will save them. The reason given for him saving them is that they are the jewels of his crown. What an image of who we are in God’s eyes.