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.
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.
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 358.3Read in context »
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 662.2Read in context »
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Zechariah 9:9. DA 569.1Read in context »
Let us follow Jesus as He so meekly rode into Jerusalem, when “the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice, ... saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him, Master, rebuke Thy disciples. And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” A large portion of those who profess to be looking for Christ would be as forward as the Pharisees were to have the disciples silenced, and they would doubtless raise the cry, “Fanaticism! Mesmerism! Mesmerism!” And the disciples, spreading their garments and branches of palm trees in the way, would be thought extravagant and wild. But God will have a people on the earth who will not be so cold and dead but that they can praise and glorify Him. He will receive glory from some people, and if those of His choice, those who keep His commandments, should hold their peace, the very stones would cry out. EW 109.1
Jesus is coming, but not as at His first advent, a babe in Bethlehem; not as He rode into Jerusalem, when the disciples praised God with a loud voice and cried, “Hosanna”; but in the glory of the Father and with all the retinue of holy angels to escort Him on His way to earth. All heaven will be emptied of the angels, while the waiting saints will be looking for Him and gazing into heaven, as were the men of Galilee when He ascended from the Mount of Olivet. Then only those who are holy, those who have followed fully the meek Pattern, will with rapturous joy exclaim as they behold Him, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us.” And they will be changed “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump”—that trump which wakes the sleeping saints, and calls them forth from their dusty beds, clothed with glorious immortality, and shouting, “Victory! Victory over death and the grave!” The changed saints are then caught up together with the angels to meet the Lord in the air, never more to be separated from the object of their love. EW 110.1
With such a prospect as this before us, such a glorious hope, such a redemption that Christ has purchased for us by His own blood, shall we hold our peace? Shall we not praise God even with a loud voice, as did the disciples when Jesus rode into Jerusalem? Is not our prospect far more glorious than was theirs? Who dare then forbid us glorifying God, even with a loud voice, when we have such a hope, big with immortality, and full of glory? We have tasted of the powers of the world to come, and long for more. My whole being cries out after the living God, and I shall not be satisfied until I am filled with all His fullness. EW 110.2Read in context »