What does Hosanna mean?

Have you ever been singing a song in your car or at church and as you thought about the words you were singing you realized “I don’t really know what that word or concept means”

Well that recently happened to me with a song called Hosanna by Hillsong United. The song has begun to grow on me a bit but as I was listening I thought “I wonder what Hosanna means…it must mean something good since they keep repeating it over and over”

That lead me to try and find a Biblical answer. I found something from way back in 1983 by John Piper where he was attempting to clarify the very issue I am talking about, here are a few clips but you can find the entire article here:

[In the OT] It used to mean, “Save, please!” But gradually, it came to mean, “Salvation! Salvation! Salvation has come!” It used to be what you would say when you fell off the diving board. But it came to be what you would say when you see the lifeguard coming to save you! It is the bubbling over of a heart that sees hope and joy and salvation on the way and can’t keep it in.

So “Hosanna!” means, “Hooray for salvation! It’s coming! It’s here! Salvation! Salvation!”

And “Hosanna to the Son of David!” means, “The Son of David is our salvation! Hooray for the king! Salvation belongs to the king!”

And “Hosanna in the highest!” means, “Let all the angels in heaven join the song of praise. Salvation! Salvation! Let the highest heaven sing the song!”

The word moved from plea to praise; from cry to confidence.

Here is the song that sparked this though process by Hillsong United


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