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Matthew 21:9

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Hosanna to the son of David - When persons applied to the king for help, or for a redress of grievances, they used the word hosanna, or rather from the Hebrew נא הושיעה Hoshiah Na ! Save now! or, Save, we beseech thee! - redress our grievances, and give us help from oppression! Thus both the words and actions of the people prove that they acknowledged Christ as their king, and looked to him for deliverance. How easily might he have assumed the sovereignty at this time, had he been so disposed! For instances of the use of this form of speech, see 2 Samuel 14:4; 2 Kings 6:26; Psalm 118:25.

Son of David - A well-known epithet of the Messiah. He who cometh in the name, etc. He who comes in the name and authority of the Most High.

Hosanna in the highest - Either meaning, Let the heavenly hosts join with us in magnifying this august Being! - or, Let the utmost degrees of hosanna, of salvation, and deliverance, be communicated to thy people! Probably there is an allusion here to the custom of the Jews in the feast of tabernacles. During the first seven days of that feast, they went once round the altar, each day, with palm and other branches in their hands, singing Hosanna: but on the eighth day of that feast they walked seven times round the altar, singing the hosanna; and this was termed the hosanna rabba, the Great hosanna: i.e. Assist with the greatest succor. Probably answering to the τοις υψιστοις of the evangelist, for on this day they beg the most speedy and powerful help against their enemies, and likewise pray for a prosperous and fruitful year. See Stehlin's Jewish Traditions, vol. ii. p. 322.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Hosanna to the son of David … - The word “hosanna” means “save now,” or “save, I beseech thee.” It is a Syriac word, and was a form of acclamation used among the Jews. It was probably used in the celebration of their great festivals. During those festivals they sang Psalm 117:1-2; Psalm 118:25-26. To come “in the name of the Lord” here means to come “by the authority” of the Lord, or 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 be for 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 Kings 2:4; 1 Kings 8:25. “Coming in the name” of the Lord here evidently means coming according to the “promise” of the Lord. The sense 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 predicted Messiah, his descendant.”

Luke adds Luke 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 at this event. There will be increased peace and rejoicing in heaven from the accession of the redeemed: there will be augmented glory - new songs of praise “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.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
This coming of Christ was described by the prophet Zechariah, Zec 9:9. When Christ would appear in his glory, it is in his meekness, not in his majesty, in mercy to work salvation. As meekness and outward poverty were fully seen in Zion's King, and marked his triumphal entrance to Jerusalem, how wrong covetousness, ambition, and the pride of life must be in Zion's citizens! They brought the ass, but Jesus did not use it without the owner's consent. The trappings were such as came to hand. We must not think the clothes on our backs too dear to part with for the service of Christ. The chief priests and the elders afterwards joined with the multitude that abused him upon the cross; but none of them joined the multitude that did him honour. Those that take Christ for their King, must lay their all under his feet. Hosanna signifies, Save now, we beseech thee! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord! But of how little value is the applause of the people! The changing multitude join the cry of the day, whether it be Hosanna, or Crucify him. Multitudes often seem to approve the gospel, but few become consistent disciples. When Jesus was come into Jerusalem all the city was moved; some perhaps were moved with joy, who waited for the Consolation of Israel; others, of the Pharisees, were moved with envy. So various are the motions in the minds of men upon the approach of Christ's kingdom.
Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 358.3

Christ is now acknowledged as the King of Glory. “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 21:9). The question of His divinity is forever settled. Where are those who held the Saviour bound at Pilate's bar, who smote Him in the face, who scourged Him, who drove the nails through His hands and feet? those who mocked Him, saying, “He saved others; himself he cannot save....” (Matthew 27:42)? Where is the puny arm that will be lifted against Him now? The scene is changed. At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Christ, Lord of heaven and earth.... HP 358.3

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 662

At the close of the thousand years, Christ again returns to the earth. He is accompanied by the host of the redeemed and attended by a retinue of angels. As He descends in terrific majesty He bids the wicked dead arise to receive their doom. They come forth, a mighty host, numberless as the sands of the sea. What a contrast to those who were raised at the first resurrection! The righteous were clothed with immortal youth and beauty. The wicked bear the traces of disease and death. GC 662.1

Every eye in that vast multitude is turned to behold the glory of the Son of God. With one voice the wicked hosts exclaim: “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!” It is not love to Jesus that inspires this utterance. The force of truth urges the words from unwilling lips. As the wicked went into their graves, so they come forth with the same enmity to Christ and the same spirit of rebellion. They are to have no new probation in which to remedy the defects of their past lives. Nothing would be gained by this. A lifetime of transgression has not softened their hearts. A second probation, were it given them, would be occupied as was the first in evading the requirements of God and exciting rebellion against Him. GC 662.2

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 18

His tears were not for Himself, though He well knew whither His feet were tending. Before Him lay Gethsemane, the scene of His approaching agony. The sheepgate also was in sight, through which for centuries the victims for sacrifice had been led, and which was to open for Him when He should be “brought as a lamb to the slaughter.” Isaiah 53:7. Not far distant was Calvary, the place of crucifixion. Upon the path which Christ was soon to tread must fall the horror of great darkness as He should make His soul an offering for sin. Yet it was not the contemplation of these scenes that cast the shadow upon Him in this hour of gladness. No foreboding of His own superhuman anguish clouded that unselfish spirit. He wept for the doomed thousands of Jerusalem—because of the blindness and impenitence of those whom He came to bless and to save. GC 18.1

The history of more than a thousand years of God's special favor and guardian care, manifested to the chosen people, was open to the eye of Jesus. There was Mount Moriah, where the son of promise, an unresisting victim, had been bound to the altar—emblem of the offering of the Son of God. There the covenant of blessing, the glorious Messianic promise, had been confirmed to the father of the faithful. Genesis 22:9, 16-18. There the flames of the sacrifice ascending to heaven from the threshing floor of Ornan had turned aside the sword of the destroying angel (1 Chronicles 21)—fitting symbol of the Saviour's sacrifice and mediation for guilty men. Jerusalem had been honored of God above all the earth. The Lord had “chosen Zion,” He had “desired it for His habitation.” Psalm 132:13. There, for ages, holy prophets had uttered their messages of warning. There priests had waved their censers, and the cloud of incense, with the prayers of the worshipers, had ascended before God. There daily the blood of slain lambs had been offered, pointing forward to the Lamb of God. There Jehovah had revealed His presence in the cloud of glory above the mercy seat. There rested the base of that mystic ladder connecting earth with heaven (Genesis 28:12; John 1:51)—that ladder upon which angels of God descended and ascended, and which opened to the world the way into the holiest of all. Had Israel as a nation preserved her allegiance to Heaven, Jerusalem would have stood forever, the elect of God. Jeremiah 17:21-25. But the history of that favored people was a record of backsliding and rebellion. They had resisted Heaven's grace, abused their privileges, and slighted their opportunities. GC 18.2

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Ellen G. White
Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 62-3

We were firm in the belief that the preaching of definite time was of God. It was this that led men to search the Bible diligently, discovering truths they had not before perceived. Jonah was sent of God to proclaim in the streets of Nineveh that within forty days the city would be overthrown; but God accepted the humiliation of the Ninevites, and extended their period of probation. Yet the message that Jonah brought was sent of God, and Nineveh was tested according to His will. The world looked upon our hope as a delusion, and our disappointment as its consequent failure; but though we were mistaken in the event that was to occur at that period, there was no failure in reality of the vision that seemed to tarry. LS 62.1

Those who had looked for the coming of the Lord were not without comfort. They had obtained valuable knowledge in the searching of the Word. The plan of salvation was plainer to their understanding. Every day they discovered new beauties in the sacred pages, and a wonderful harmony running through all, one scripture explaining another, and no word used in vain. LS 62.2

Our disappointment was not so great as that of the disciples. When the Son of man rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, they expected Him to be crowned king. The people flocked from all the region about, and cried, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” Matthew 21:9. And when the priests and elders besought Jesus to still the multitude, He declared that if they should hold their peace, even the stones would cry out, for prophecy must be fulfilled. Yet in a few days these very disciples saw their beloved Master, whom they believed would reign on David's throne, stretched upon the cruel cross above the mocking, taunting Pharisees. Their high hopes were disappointed, and the darkness of death closed about them. Yet Christ was true to His promises. Sweet was the consolation He gave His people, rich the reward of the true and faithful. LS 62.3

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