What does the word hosanna in the Bible stand for?

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The word “Hosanna” is in Greek hōsanna which is a transliteration of the Aramaic hosha‘ na’, meaning “save, now” or “save, I pray thee.” The Hebrew words yasha (“deliver, save”) and anna (“beg, beseech”) combine to form the word that, in English, is “hosanna.”

At Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the people shouted Hosanna “And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest” (Matthew 21:9).

The multitude welcoming Jesus Christ was likely referring to Psalm 118, a messianic psalm where the Hebrew phrase is translated “Save now” (Psalm:118:25). So, not only did the multitude acknowledge Jesus Christ as King they were also asking Him to save and deliver them. Here the expression is considered a prayer to God that salvation may come to Israel through Messiah King.

And when Jesus reached the temple, the children started again shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21:15). But the chief priests and the religious leaders were displeased: “‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him. ‘Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, “From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise”’?” (Matthew 21:16).

And within that week, Jesus fulfilled the plea of the people for salvation as He hung on the Cross to redeem humanity. “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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