& Meaning •
Meaning and etymology of the word Hosanna
Hoshi'a na —
Originally, Hosanna is not, as is commonly believed, an exclamation of exuberance. It doesn't mean YOOHOO!
The word Hosanna consists of two elements:
Hosanna is formed from the imperative (that means it's a command) of the verb , meaning to save. This part of the word Hosanna means Save! or Bring About Salvation!
Biblical names that are formed from this verb are
Shoa / Shua(h).
2) The final part of the word Hosanna is the Hebrew word (na), the common particle of entreaty: please! At times it's also used admonishingly or even exhortatory. This particle shows up tied to all kinds of verbs:
(amari-na), literally meaning speak please, or simply: say (Genesis 12:13).
(sa'na), lift please (your eyes; look! - Genesis 13:14.
But tied to the verb it occurs only once: in Psalm 118:25, and that's where the word Hosanna comes from. Actually, this "birth" of Hosanna, this proto-Hosanna, comes with a kind of double entreaty. Following the verb and the particle , comes the rarer and even more reflective of desperation , usually translated with something like "Ah, now! I (we) beseech thee!"
In Christian circles, Psalm 118 quickly became one of the most popular of all. "He has become my salvation" (v14) almost perfectly contains the name Jesus. The references to God's right hand (v15-16) return in Matthew 26:64 and Mark 16:19. The stone which the builders rejected (v22) is applied to Christ by Peter (Acts 4:11 & 1 Peter 2:7). "This is the day that the Lord has made" (v24) became its own evergreen song in our times. And the Hebrew phrase hoshi'a na of verse 25 became the Hosanna with which the people of Jerusalem greeted Christ during his triumphal entry through "the gates of righteousness; the gate of the Lord" (118:19-20).
All four gospels cover the triumphant entry but Luke (19:28-44) never uses the word Hosanna. Why that is we don't know. Matthew uses it in 21:9 and 15. Mark uses it in 11:9-10 and John uses it in 12:13. By the time of the triumphant entree, Hosanna had curiously evolved from expression of deep anguish to a kind of cheer. The seventh day of Sukkoth—the Feasts of Booths that the Jews were celebrating in Jerusalem when Jesus entered—was known as Hosanna Rabba, or Great Hossana.
By applying the word Hosanna to Jesus Christ, the celebrators of Jerusalem were (a) equating Him with the God to whom the Psalmist's original Hoshi'a na was directed, and (b) indicating that Jesus personified the completion of the Feast Of Booths.
Soon after that, Jesus was arrested and crucified.
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