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Matthew 21:5-9

Context

21:5Tell the people of Zion, 1 

Look, your king is coming to you,

unassuming and seated on a donkey,

and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” 2 

21:6 So 3  the disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 21:7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks 4  on them, and he sat on them. 21:8 A 5  very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 21:9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those following kept shouting, 6 Hosanna 7  to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! 8  Hosanna in the highest!”

1 tn Grk “Tell the daughter of Zion” (the phrase “daughter of Zion” is an idiom for the inhabitants of Jerusalem: “people of Zion”). The idiom “daughter of Zion” has been translated as “people of Zion” because the original idiom, while firmly embedded in the Christian tradition, is not understandable to most modern English readers.

2 tn Grk “the foal of an animal under the yoke,” i.e., a hard-working animal. This is a quotation from Zech 9:9.

3 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of Jesus’ instructions in vv. 2-3.

4 tn Grk “garments”; but this refers in context to their outer cloaks. The action is like 2 Kgs 9:13.

5 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

6 tn Grk “were shouting, saying.” The participle λέγοντας (legontas) is redundant here in contemporary English and has not been translated.

7 tn The expression ῾Ωσαννά (Jwsanna, literally in Hebrew, “O Lord, save”) in the quotation from Ps 118:25-26 was probably by this time a familiar liturgical expression of praise, on the order of “Hail to the king,” although both the underlying Aramaic and Hebrew expressions meant “O Lord, save us.” In words familiar to every Jew, the author is indicating that at this point every messianic expectation is now at the point of realization. It is clear from the words of the psalm shouted by the crowd that Jesus is being proclaimed as messianic king. See E. Lohse, TDNT 9:682-84.

sn Hosanna is an Aramaic expression that literally means, “help, I pray,” or “save, I pray.” By Jesus’ time it had become a strictly liturgical formula of praise, however, and was used as an exclamation of praise to God.

8 sn A quotation from Ps 118:25-26.



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