Select your language

logo br en 1

A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

  • Classification – name: Literary studies
  • Author: Olga E. Nesterova
  • Pages: 359–386
  • Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS Publ.)
  • Rights – description: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 (СС BY-ND)
  • Rights – URL: Visit Website
  • Language of the publication: Russian
  • Type of document: Research Article
  • Collection: Translation, Interpretation, Commentary in the Eastern and Western Literature
  • DOI:
  • EDN:

  • Year of publication: 2023
  • Place of publication: Moscow
  • PDF

  • Nesterova, O.E. “The Donkey and its Colt (Zech 9: 9 and Matth 21): the Principles of Inner-Biblical Exegesis and the Intertextual Approach to the Interpretation of Biblical Texts.” Perevod, interpretatsiia, kommentarii v literaturakh Vostoka i Zapada [Translation, Interpretation, Commentary in the Eastern and Western Literature], ex. ed. by Olga E. Nesterova and others. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2023, pp. 359–386. (In Russ.)

Information about the author:

Olga E. Nesterova, PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


The paper deals with a notion and techniques of so-called inner-biblical exegesis, as applied to varying accounts of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem in the four canonical Gospels, and examines particular modes of establishment and employment of intertextual links, which provided assimilation of veterotestamental prophesies in the neotestamental messianic context. In Mt 21: 1–11, as well as in Jn 12: 12–16, this account contain a direct reference to the prophesy of Zech 9: 9 (on the forthcoming King, sitting upon an ass), which is absent in Mark and Luke. The customary messianic interpretation of this prophesy was corroborated by an implicit association with the Jacob’s blessing upon Judah, where it was used a similar image of a colt, the donkey’s foal (Gen 49: 11). Though neither Mark, nor Luke cite Zechariah’s text, it seems that both of them had in mind Zech. 9:9 and probably also Gen. 49: 11. But Matthew is the only one, who discerns in the prophesy of Zechariah a dual image of a mother-ass and its foal. To explain, for which reason Matthew refuses to identify a banal figure of synonymic parallelism and insists, against common sense, on the fact that Jesus was riding two mounts at once, it can be presumed, that such a forced interpretation was implied by a particular manner of treating the prophetic proof-texts, which probative value could be reinforced by such a kind of hyperliteralist reading, providing its unequivocal application to the person of Jesus Christ.

  • Keywords: Bible, Old Testament, New Testament, inner-biblical exegesis, intertextuality, Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, proof-texts.


Find book in the current section