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Meaning of “Hosanna”

The Greek form of the Hebrew phrase hoshana, "hosanna" was the term used by the people to acclaim Jesus on his entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. In Psalm 118:25. The word is translated "save now" and, as in the gospels, is followed by the phrase "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." Psalm 118 was used liturgically at the Feast of Tabernacles, and verse 25 was the cue for the waving of the palm branches. In the NT and later rabbinic Judaism, the phrase no longer denoted a prayer for safety and success but rather a proclamation of religious enthusiasm coupled with the waving of palm branches. By the end of the 1st century A.D. the term had become merely an utterance of praise and exaltation in the Christian liturgy.

 


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