[b-hebrew] "Hosanna in the highest" in Hebrew?

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Wed Dec 24 00:37:36 EST 2003

On Tuesday 23 December 2003 20:46, Bearpecs at aol.com wrote:
> Wouldn't it make sense to think that NT use of hosanna appropriately
> reflects the cry of "hosha` na" addressed to someone considered to be the
> messiah by the callers?  What doesn't make sense is "in the highest", which
> seems to indicate that the expression "hosha` na" was misunderstood as a
> call of praise rather than petition.
> I wonder if Greek-speaking Jews were using it in the Hallel (psalms of
> praise) as part of the liturgy, and just didn't understand the literal
> meaning.  (I suppose many English-speaking Jews today would make a similar
> mistake.)  They then simple used it to express praise, and added "in the
> highest" to make it superlative.

Isn't it equally possible that the meaning of the expression had shifted to a 
shout of praise?  The question is not what it "originally" meant (whatever 
that means) but what it meant at the time of Jesus.  It also seems quite 
possible that its usage included both meanings.

Dave Washburn
Insert clever quote here (or not)

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