Conditions of the World

He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.

The idea being extravagantly expressed is the idea of Judah’s prosperity. The pronouns “he” and “his” in verse 11 refer to Judah, as the representative of his tribe, not to the Messiah. As you read this verse, remember that the Kingdom prosperity will not be limited to the tribe of Judah. It will extend beyond Judah to all Israel and beyond Israel to the entire world.

The donkey in biblical thinking is a symbol of peace and well being.[1] In contrast, the horse is a symbol of war. The Messiah will bring to Judah, and to the world, a reign of peace.

Vineyards and wine are symbols of prosperity and blessing.[2] In the kingdom, valuable commodities will be so abundant that they can be put to common everyday use. The thrust of the imagery is that prosperity and blessing will be so plentiful that even the choicest vines will be put to such ordinary use for tethering animals. One will be able to tie a donkey to the choicest plant and be unconcerned about how much of it he has for lunch. Let him eat freely because choice vines are flourishing everywhere.

Another lavish picture closes verse 11. The picture is that wine will be so plentiful that the people of Judah can wash their clothes in it.

Verse 11 is a one verse summary of the extreme and lavish abundance that will be found in the kingdom. There will be no more famines, no more poverty, and no more war. There will be only an excess of joy and fullness.

The description of the Messianic Kingdom closes in verse 12 by telling the characteristics of the people who inhabit the kingdom period.

  1. ^ Zlotowitz, vol. 6, p. 2155

  2. ^ Gaebelein, vol. 2, p. 277