3.20.2016

hosanna

Today is Palm Sunday, one more beginning of the "Passion Week," the week leading up to Jesus crucifixion and resurrection. I'd argue this is one of the most significant weeks in all of history, so I like to read from the gospels about the events of each day. And thanks to my study of Biblical Hebrew this year, I found something really exciting! Read on. 
"Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,
“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
    humble, and mounted on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,
“‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies
    you have prepared praise’?”
17 And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.
The word "Hosanna" can be somewhat meaningless to us today. We use it in praise songs, and I grew up thinking it meant essentially the same as "Hallelujah." I learned, however, that is means "save us," or something like that. Today, I decided to look it up. 
"Hosanna" is a combination of two Hebrew words that trace back particularly to Psalm 118:25, where it is translated into English as "Save us." The words are Hoshiyah-na. The "na" is simply a term of plea, often translated "please." Hoshiyah is the "save us" part, and it comes from the verb "yasha," which is the root word of the name Yeshua, which is Jesus. Personally, I think it is amazing that as the people that Palm Sunday, "Hosanna!" they were actually shouting the name of the one who would save them. He is indeed salvation. 


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