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Matthew 21:1-17 Thieves, Robbers & the House of Prayer

The big, bold, beautiful ministry of Yeshua is put on full display in this portion of Matthew as Yeshua gives His disciples instructions to go into the city, find His ride, and bring it to Him to make His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. 

Yeshua’s festive entrance became the cause of much celebration for the inhabitants and visitors in Jerusalem at the time. However, the celebration of the people invoked the anger and wrath of the religious community who confronted Yeshua because of the words and phrases the people shouted out.

Several prophecies are fulfilled in this passage as Yeshua confronts, condemns, and clears out the merchants who conducted their businesses in the Temple Courts. Yeshua’s actions on the scene continued to confuse the leaders of the day and maneuvered individuals to comply with YeHoVaH’s plan to bring about the desired end goal of sending Yeshua into the world as the sacrificial lamb for the sins of mankind.

Yeshua’s entrance into the city of Jerusalem, the exploits performed by Him in the Temple Courts, and the prophetic fulfillments of the prophets spoken hundreds of years prior, are the topics of this teaching, Thieves, Robbers and the House of Prayer. 

This event, in this portion of Matthew, is one of those unique events in the life of Yeshua that is captured by all four Gospels from different vantage points. 

Various prophecies and prophetic passages are fulfilled from: 





Mt 21:1 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Yeshua two disciples, 

Mk 11:1 And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples,

Lk 19:29 And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,


Bethphage – 967 Βηθφαγή Bethphage {bayth-fag-ay'} 

Meaning:  Bethphage = "house of unripe figs" 1) the name of a hamlet between Jericho and Jerusalem, close to Bethany 

Origin:  of Aramaic origin cf 01004 and 06291;; n pr loc

Usage:  AV - Bethphage 3; 3

Mount of Olives – known for its olive groves, elevation, and view of Jerusalem.

Bethany was the hometown of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha.

According to John’s Gospel, Yeshua and His disciples arrived 6 days before Passover.

  • Jn 12:1 Then Yeshua six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. 
  • Jn 12:2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. 
  • Jn 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Yeshua, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. 
  • Jn 12:4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, 
  • Jn 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 
  • Jn 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. 
  • Jn 12:7 Then said Yeshua, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. 
  • Jn 12:8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always. 
  • Jn 12:9 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Yeshua' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. 
  • Jn 12:10 But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; 
  • Jn 12:11 Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Yeshua. 
  • Jn 12:12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Yeshua was coming to Jerusalem, 
  • Jn 12:13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. 
  • Jn 12:14 And Yeshua, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,

Yeshua sent His disciples to go into the village.

  • Mt 21:2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. 
  • Mt 21:3 And if any man say aught unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. 
  • Mt 21:4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 
  • When Yeshua fulfilled prophecy, it was clearly mentioned and which prophecy He fulfilled.
  • Mt 21:5 Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

Zechariah prophesied after the Babylonian captivity.

  • Zec 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
  • Mt 21:6 And the disciples went, and did as Yeshua commanded them, 
  • Mt 21:7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 
  • Mt 21:8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. 
  • Mt 21:9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. 

The people were shouting a passage from the Psalms.

  • Ps 118:25 Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. 
  • Ps 118:26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.

Some knew who Yeshua was, others did not.

  • Mt 21:10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? 
  • Mt 21:11 And the multitude said, This is Yeshua the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. 
  • Mt 21:12 And Yeshua went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 
  • Mt 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
  • Matthew, Mark, and Luke have this event at the end of Yeshua’s ministry.
  • John has this event at the beginning of Yeshua’s ministry.
  • Jn 2:13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem, 
  • Jn 2:14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 
  • Jn 2:15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; 
  • Jn 2:16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

YeHoVaH’s plan from the very beginning was inclusive of all people as Paul acknowledged in 1 Timothy.

  • 1Ti 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 
  • 1Ti 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 
  • 1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 
  • 1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 
  • 1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Messiah Yeshua; 
  • 1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.  

The Tabernacle and the Temple were to be a place for all people to gather and worship, to present themselves, give their offerings, and to learn from the Torah.


Isaiah prophesied during the reign of King Uzziah and before the Babylonian captivity.

  • Isa 56:1 Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. 
  • Isa 56:2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. 
  • Isa 56:3 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. 
  • Isa 56:4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; 
  • Isa 56:5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. 
  • Isa 56:6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 
  • Isa 56:7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

Jeremiah prophesied during the Babylonian captivity.

  • Jer 7:8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. 
  • Jer 7:9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; 
  • Jer 7:10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? 
  • Jer 7:11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.
  • Mt 21:14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. 
  • Mt 21:15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased, 
  • Mt 21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Yeshua saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? 
  • Ps 8:1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 
  • Ps 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
  • Mt 21:17 And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.

As we will see, during the Passover, Yeshua would come into Jerusalem for the Feast during the day and go to Bethany or the mount of Olives to spend the night.


Last Updated on October 18, 2021 by Arthur Bailey Ministries

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