Topic: Hebrew/Greek Word Meanings: Donkey (Ass) ḥāmar

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From Isaiah 21:7
From Matthew 21:7

The root meaning of a male donkey (ass) is H2560 – ḥāmar: TO BOIL.

What does “boiling” have to do with a donkey? Perhaps the frustration men experience trying to get a donkey to co-operate.

  • HEBREW: In Isaiah 21:7 the introduction of a donkey hamar is symbolic of great trouble when the sea of people are boiling.
  • GREEK: In Matthew 21:7 the Greek word for donkey is onos, simply meaning “ass” (losing its connection to trouble and boiling although every verse in the New Testament with the word donkey suggests a problem. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey the people were ardently praising Him while the Jewish leaders “boiled”.)

An interesting commandment seems to appear from nowhere without rhyme or reason concerning a male donkey in Exodus.

Exo 13:13 “But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.

“Donkeys are not kosher (clean for eating), since they neither chew their cud nor have split hooves.

It is interesting, however, that the donkey is the single non-kosher animal whose firstborn is considered holy. Now, in the case of a kosher animal, such as a sheep or goats, the firstborn was sacrificed in the Holy Temple and then eaten by the Kohanim (priests). Since donkeys are not kosher and they cannot be sacrificed in the Temple, what should be done with their firstborn? Scripture tells us that the firstborn donkey is redeemed for (exchanging it with) a lamb.”
https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/4660885/jewish/Are-Donkeys-Kosher.htm

Notice in Exodus 13:13, the firstborn of a male donkey being redeemed by a lamb is immediately followed by the redemption of man.

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on His triumphal entry on a donkey. The saying goes “It took a Lamb to redeem the donkey that the Lamb rode upon.”

What significance is there in a holy non-kosher animal?

Men are like donkeys: hard headed, uncooperative, stubborn, and impossible to control. However; a man redeemed by God’s Lamb is considered “holy”. He does not have to be sacrificed to be saved because the Lamb was. If he is not redeemed by the Lamb, his neck will be broken.

(Literally, almost all donkeys today have a cross marked on their back.)


The definition of donkey is: “boil”. The world is boiling. The waters of people are befouled. People fret, stew, and storm because Satan is in their waters. Satan is their sea monster, the leviathan, that fouls their waters and causes them to boil. (a)(b)(c)

Men are like donkeys and Satan has them frothing and boiling.


(a) Job 41:31 He (the leviathan) makes the deep boil like a pot;
(b) Job 41:34 He (the leviathan) beholds every high thing; He is king over all the children of pride.”
(c) Ezekiel 32:2 “And you (the pharaoh) are like a monster in the seas (the leviathan), Bursting forth in your rivers, Troubling the waters with your feet, And fouling their rivers.”

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