Mark 11:1
When they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bet-pagei and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,

Mark 11:2
and said to them, Go your way into the village that is opposite you. Immediately as you enter into it, you will find a young donkey tied, on which no one has sat. Untie him, and bring him.

Mark 11:3
If anyone asks you, Why are you doing this? say, The Lord needs him; and immediately he will send him back here.

Mark 11:4
They went away, and found a young donkey tied at the door outside in the open street, and they untied him.

Mark 11:5
Some of those who stood there asked them, What are you doing, untying the young donkey?

Mark 11:6
They said to them just as Yeshua had said, and they let them go.

Mark 11:7
They brought the young donkey to Yeshua, and threw their garments on it, and Yeshua sat on it.

The donkey and its link to ‘Shiloh’ is first mentioned in Genesis 49,

“Binding his foal to the vine, his donkey’s colt to the choice vine; he has washed his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.”
Genesis 49:11

The donkey has been historically linked with Redemption. Samson fought the battles of HaShem with the jawbone of a donkey (Judges 15:15), and King David went to face Goliath of Gath with a donkey,

“Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a young goat, and sent them by David his son to Saul.”
1 Samuel 16:20

The central message of redemption occurs in Genesis 22, which speaks of the Akedat Yitzchak in connection with the donkey,

“Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. He split the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went to the place of which God had told him.”
Genesis 22:3

donkey-316467_1280Moshe’s return to Israel is connected with a donkey,

“Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them on the donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt…”
Exodus 4:20

Interestingly, the Hebrew of Exodus 4 does not say “A donkey” but rather “THE donkey.” Rashi comments on this detail,

על החמר: חמור המיוחד, הוא החמור שחבש אברהם לעקידת יצחק והוא שעתיד מלך המשיח להגלות עליו, שנאמר (זכריה ט ט) עני ורוכב על חמור

“On the donkey. The particular donkey. It is the donkey that Abraham saddled for the binding of Isaac, and it is the one that Messiah, the King, is destined to be revealed upon, as it says, “a humble man, riding on a donkey.”
Rashi to Exodus 4:20, Mesorah Publishers pg. 37, cf. Pirkei de-Rebbi Eliezer 31

Rashi is citing Zechariah 9:9,

“Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you! He is righteous, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Zechariah 9:9

The Talmud comments,

“R. Alexandri said: R. Joshua b. Levi pointed out a contradiction. it is written, in its time [will the Messiah come], whilst it is also written, I [the Lord] will hasten it! — if they are worthy, I will hasten it: if not, [he will come] at the due time. R. Alexandri said: R. Joshua opposed two verses: it is written, And behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven34 whilst [elsewhere] it is written, [behold, thy king cometh unto thee . . . ] lowly, and riding upon an donkey! If they are meritorious, [he will come] with the clouds of heaven; if not, lowly and riding upon an donkey.”
Sanhedrin 98a, Soncino Press Edition

Kol HaTor comments,

“A lowly person, riding on a donkey” – Mashiach ben Yosef is a lowly person ….“I was brought low, and he saved me.” His lowliness protects him from death.”
Kol HaTor 2.114, translated by R’ Yechiel Bar Lev and K. Skaist

The Artscroll Siddur says,

“With the coming and arrival of the season of God’s love…the gazelle (God) observed through the lattice windows, and applied a cure to the bloodied nation. He leaped across time to peform wonders and to multiply new commandments upon the old…From the beginning the Lord established Nissan as the first, but He did not reveal its understanding in the book possessed by Adam…it was sanctified at its beginning, after a third [the tenth of Nissan], in its middle and after its majority to observe, to sanctify the new moon, to take a lamb for the Pesach…its beginning is reserved in every generation, for the coming of the pauper riding on a donkey [Messiah]…”
Yotzer for Parashas HaChodesh, Artscroll Nusach Sefard Siddur, Mesorah Publishers, pg. 949

The Maharal, R’ Judah Loew ben Betzalel (1520 CE – 1609 CE) comments on this passage in connection with the donkey (chamor),

“It is reasonable to ask how this donkey is different from others – why does the Torah single this one out? A donkey is a donkey! The midrash points out that this donkey was created at twilight; it is the donkey that Moshe rode, and it is the one that will ultimately be ridden by the son of David. . . the rabbis wanted to juxtapose Avraham, Moshe and Mashiach, who had what no other creations had – a special exalted status. . . As for the Mashiach, the prophet says, “Behold my servant shall succeed, he will be exalted and become high and exceedingly lofty” [Isaiah 52:13]. The midrash interprets: “exalted” – more than Avraham; ‘high’ – even more than Moshe; and ‘exceedingly lofty’ – more than the ministering angels [Tanchuma, Toldot 14]. Only these three are loftier than time, space and the universe…The donkey is the only non-kosher animal specified forth performance of a commandment – its firstborn must be redeemed. Chamor [donkey] gets its name from chomri [physical, material]…Kings reign over the material world, which is symbolically represented by the image of a man riding an animal. These three spiritual kings – Avraham, Moshe and Mashiach – who ascend to the highest levels of spirituality, symbolically ride the donkey, which represents the material world. A horse would, as a rule, be more fitting for a king, but these are spiritual kings…”
Maharal of Prague, Gur Arye, on Exodus and Leviticus, translated by Moshe David Kuhr, Gefen Publishers, pgs. 34-35 


Mark 11:8
Many spread their garments on the way, and others were cutting down branches from the trees, and spreading them on the road.


Mark 11:9
Those who went in front, and those who followed, cried out, Hoshia’na! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!


Mark 11:10
Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming in the name of the Lord! Hoshia’na in the highest!

Mark 11:11
Yeshua entered into the temple in Jerusalem. When he had looked around at everything, it being now evening, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

Mark 11:12
The next day, when they had come out from Bethany, he was hungry.

Mashiach’s hunger was not for physical food. It was for spiritual righteousness,

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
Matthew 5:6


Mark 11:13
Seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came to see if perhaps he might find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.

“When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit, and ate; and she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate. The eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. They heard the voice of HaShem Elokim walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of HaShem Elokim among the trees of the garden.”
Genesis 3:6-8


Mark 11:14
Yeshua told it, May no one ever eat fruit from you again! and his disciples heard it.

“He spoke this parable. ‘A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it, and found none.  He said to the vine dresser, ‘Behold, these three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and found none. Cut it down. Why does it waste the soil?’  He answered, ‘Lord, leave it alone this year also, until I dig around it, and fertilize it.  If it bears fruit, fine; but if not, after that, you can cut it down.’”
Luke 13:6-9

Mark 11:15
They came to Jerusalem, and Yeshua entered into the temple, and began to throw out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of those who sold the doves.

“…according to the Talmud, the booths for the sale of pigeons and doves were not in the Temple at all, but in “the hill of anointing,” i.e. the Mount of Olives. But in Jesus’ time the Sadducee-Boethuseans controlled the Temple, and they may not have treated the outer court as too holy to permit the sale of doves and pigeons or of money-changing for the purchase of seals for the various Temple-offerings; and such may have been allowed in the Herodian basilica to the south of the outer court, the site of the present Mosque el-Aksa.”
Joseph Klausner, Jesus of Nazareth, translated from the Hebrew by Herbert Danby, Macmillan Company, pg 314


Mark 11:16
He would not allow anyone to carry a container through the temple.

“Man must not be light with his head [frivolous] near the eastern gate, for it is near the foundation of the house of the Holy of Holies. One may not enter the Holy Mount with his staff, or with his sandal, or with his belt-pouch, or with dust on his feet, and may not make it a shortcut…”
Mishnah, Berakhot 9.5,

Joseph Klausner comments,

“In other words, he forbade what the Mishna also forbade: “they may not make it (the Temple) a short-cut.”
Joseph Klausner, Jesus of Nazareth, translated from the Hebrew by Herbert Danby, Macmillan Company, pg 315


Mark 11:17
He taught, saying to them, Isnt it written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations? But you have made it a den of robbers!

A reference in the Mishnah explains that the prices of some sacrifices experienced inflation. This may be due to market forces, but it is possible that some in the marketplace were over-inflating the prices of sacrificial animals for gain. The Mishnah says,

“It once happened in Jerusalem that the price of nest [a pair of sacrificial birds] stood at a golden Dinar [a specific unit of money]. Rabban Shimon ben Gamaliel said: By this sanctuary! I shall not sleep tonight until it costs a [silver] Dinar! He entered the court and taught:[If a woman] had five certain births, [or] five certain blood discharges, she brings one sacrifice and may eat sacrificial meat, and the others [pose] no obligations for her. And the price of a nest stood at a quarter of a [silver] Dinar.”
Mishnah Keritot 1:7,

The Jewish Theological Seminary comments,

“What is fascinating is the awareness shown by Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel (who lived in the late Second Temple period) of the impact of his court’s rulings on the economic situation of the people. A gold dinar was worth twenty-five silver dinarim; hence it seems that the rabbinic action caused a precipitous decline in the market price of pigeons. Rabban Shimon apparently considered the financial well-being of the people to be of greater concern than the quantity of sacrifices offered at the Temple.”
Mishnah HaShavuah: Keritot 1:7, Jewish Theological Seminary [2]

Samuel Tobias Lachs writes,

“Here we do have evidence of abuse, as a result of the profiteering in the sale of doves.”
A Rabbinic Commentary on the New Testament, Ktav Publishing House, pg 347

Mark 11:18
The chief priests and the scribes heard it, and sought how they might destroy him. For they feared him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching.

The Talmud says of the High Priests,

“…Abba Saul b. Batnit said in the name of Abba Joseph b. Hanin: Woe is me because of the house of Boethus, woe is me because of their staves! Woe is me because of the house of Hanin, woe is me because of their whisperings! Woe is me because of the house of Kathros, woe is me because of their pens! Woe is me because of the house of Ishmael the son of Phabi, woe is me because of their fists! For they are High Priests and their sons are [Temple] treasurers and their sons-in-law are trustees and their servants beat the people with staves.”
Pesachim 57a, Soncino Press Edition

Commenting on the phrase “their whisperings,” the Soncino commentary says this is “Their secret conclaves to devise oppressive measures.” The Tosefta adds the following detail,

“Said R’ Yochanan b. Torta, “…but as to the latter [building] we know that they devoted themselves to Torah and were meticulous about tithes. On what account did they go into exile? Because they love money and hate one another.”
Tosefta, Menachot 13:22, translated by Jacob Neusner, Hendricksen Publishers, pg. 1468

Micah says,

“Misery is mine! Indeed, I am like one who gathers the summer fruits, as gleanings of the vineyard: There is no cluster of grapes to eat. My soul desires to eat the early fig. The godly man has perished out of the earth, and there is no one upright among men. They all lie in wait for blood, every man hunts his brother with a net.”
Micah 7:1-2

The Artscroll commentary on Micah says,

“Micah compares the small number of righteous people of his generation to the spare number of summer fruit (Metsudos) or to the unripe figs of inferior quality that remain on the trees after the harvest (Rashi). . . Alternatively, he is lamenting over Israel who refused to hearken to his rebuke. He grieves over the extent of their wickedness and the retribution that God has prepared for them (Radak).”
Artscroll Commentary on Micah, Chapter 7, Trei Asar, The Twelve Prophets, Volume II, Mesorah Publications, pg 52

Mark 11:19
When evening came, he went out of the city.


Mark 11:20
As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away from the roots.

“From the prophet even to the priest everyone deals falsely. For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, “Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” Were they ashamed when they had done an abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed, nor could they blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall, in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down,’ says Hashem. ‘I will utterly consume them,’ says HaShem,’there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade, and the things that I have given them, those who pass over them.”
Jeremiah 8:10-13


Mark 11:21
Peter, remembering, said to him, Rabbi, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered away.

Mark 11:22
Yeshua answered them, Have faith in God.


Mark 11:23
For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, and doesnt doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says.


Mark 11:24
Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them.


Mark 11:25
Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father, who is in heaven, may also forgive you your transgressions.


Mark 11:26
But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions.

Mark 11:27
They came again to Jerusalem, and as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders came to him,


Mark 11:28
and they began saying to him, By what authority do you do these things? Or who gave you this authority to do these things?

Mark 11:29
Yeshua said to them, I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.


Mark 11:30
The immersion of Yochanan – was it from heaven, or from men? Answer me.


Mark 11:31
They reasoned with themselves, saying, If we should say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did you not believe him?


Mark 11:32
If we should say, From men–they feared the people, for all held Yochanan to really be a prophet.


Mark 11:33
They answered Yeshua, We don’t know. Yeshua said to them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.