Interesting Word #2

When you hear the word, hosanna, you probably think of Palm Sunday. According to the disciple John, when Jesus came into Jerusalem for the Passover festival a crowd of people:

….took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”“Blessed is the king of Israel!” John 12:13

But have you thought about exactly what hosanna means? Is it just an exclamation of approval or excitement? Here’s what my husband, our Pastor, explained it in a recent sermon:

“The word ‘hosanna’ is intriguing. I was taught that it meant ‘Save’ as an imperative verb. In other words, the sense would have been something like ‘save now!’ or maybe ‘save please!’ But in my word study ths week, I also looked up what it meant in Aramaic, the common language of that time and place (and also in Greek). While all these languages treat it as dealing with salvation rather than something like ‘hurray’ or ‘yah’, Aramaic usage was as a noun — Savior. Since most of the people of the day would have been speaking Aramaic rather than Hebrew, I think we can say they were calling out to Jesus –‘Savior, Savior.'”

For more posts about Palm Sunday see:

Praise God With One Another

In the Direction of the Cross #2

Lenten Discipline

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