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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter 21 - Verse 9

Verse 9. Hosanna to the Son of David\ etc. The word hosanna means, "Save now," or, "Save, I beseech thee." It is a Syriac word, and was the form of acclamation used among the Jews. It was probably used in the celebration of their great festivals. During those festivals they sang the 115th, 116th, 117th, and 118th psalms. In the chanting or singing of those psalms, the Jewish writers inform us, that the people responded frequently hallelujah or hosanna. Their use of it on this occasion was a joyful acclamation, and an invocation of a Divine blessing by the Messiah.

Son of David. The Messiah.

Blessed is he, etc. That is, blessed be the Messiah. This passage is taken from Ps 118:25,26. To come in the name of the Lord, is to come by the authority of the Lord; to come commissioned by him to reveal his will. The Jews had commonly applied this to the Messiah.

Hosanna in the highest. This may mean either "Hosanna in the highest, loftiest strains;" or it may mean a prayer to God, "Save now, O thou that dwellest in the highest heaven, or among the highest angels." Perhaps the whole song of hosanna may be a prayer to the Supreme God, as well as a note of triumphant acclamation: "Save now, O thou supremely great and glorious God; save by the Messiah that comes in thy name."

Mark adds, that they shouted "Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord." That is, the kingdom, promised to David, 1 Ki 2:4; 8:25. Coming in the name of the Lord, means coming according to the promise of the Lord. Its meaning may be thus expressed: "Prosperity to the reign of our father David, advancing now according to the promise made to him, and about to be established by the long-promised Messiah, his descendant." Luke adds,

"Lu 19:38

that they said, "Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest." The word peace is used here as significant of joy, triumph, exultation in heaven at this event. There will be increased peace and rejoicing from the succession of the redeemed: and let glory and praise be given to God among the highest angels.

There is no contradiction here among the evangelists. Among such a multitude the shouts of exultation and triumph would by no means be confined to the same words. Some would say one thing, and some another; and one evangelist recorded what was said by a part of the multitude, and another what was said by another part.

{z} "Blessed" Ps 118:26; Mt 23:39 {a} "in the highest" Lu 2:14

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