Book Review: The Coming King and The Rejected Shepherd

The Coming King and The Rejected Shepherd: Matthew’s Reading of Zechariah’s Messianic Hope by Clay Alan Ham

Another short book (1256pgs) but full of nuggets and good work. The first two chapters of the book are highly technical. The author is proficient in both Hebrew and Greek and uses the first two chapters to conclude that there are two quotations of Zechariah and eight allusions to Zechariah in Matthew:

  • Mt 25.1 – Zech 9.9
  • Mt 23.35 – Zech 1.1
  • Mt 24.30 – Zech 12.10-14
  • Mt 24.31 – Zech 2.6
  • Mt 24.36 – Zech 14.7
  • Mt 25.31 – Zech 14.5
  • Mt 26.15 – Zech 11.12
  • Mt 26.28 – Zech 9.11
  • Mt 26.31 – Zech 13.7
  • Mt 26.56 – Zech 13.7
  • Mt 27.9-10 – Zech 11.12-13

Making this conclusion he concludes:

Together these themes portray Zechariah’s predominant messianic images, the shepherd-king, an image which is most influential on the use of Zechariah in the Gospels in general, and in Matthew in particular. pg 108

The basis for this images as shepherd-king comes from 2Sam 5.2, and Ps 78.71-72. Both of which relate to King David as a shepherd. In Mt 2.6, the quotation of Micah 5.2 is interjected by the word ‘shepherd’ from 2Sam 5.2 – linking together the coming from Bethlehem, the city of David, and being a shepherd as David was to Israel. Ham has this wonderful remark in his conclusion about a whole picture of the Messianic King from the eyes of Matthew:

… Matthew’s Gospel, perhaps more explicitly than the Synoptic Gospels, develops the nature of Jesus’ Kingship, but Matthew does so in a way which emphasizes the humility of the Davidic King, whose ‘enthronement must await his return’…Here the Son of Man assumes the role of Yahweh in gathering the nations, an action which parallels the Son of Man’s assuming the role of Yahweh as eschatological judge in Mt 25.34. Finally, Mt 24.36 alludes to Zech 14.7 and identifies the coming day of Yahweh as the Parousia, a day whose arrival is known only to Yahweh. Thus, Matthew reminds the reader that the enthronement of the humble King in the line of David comes at a time unknown to himself. pg 114

Matthew quotes only Isaiah more frequently than Zechariah. And this book is a good study of this material.


One response to this post.

  1. thank you. shalom


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