John 12:13
Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that comes in the name of the Lord.
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(13) Took branches of palm trees.—Better, took branches of the palm trees. Literally, the Greek means “the palm branches of the palm trees.” They were branches of the palms growing on the spot, or possibly such as were in general use at festivities. For the word rendered “branches,” comp. 1 Maccabees 13:51 (“branches of palm trees”), and for that rendered “palm trees,” comp. Revelation 7:9. Neither word occurs elsewhere in the New Testament. Again, the fuller Synoptic narrative includes but does not state this particular.

Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.—The better reading is, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, and the King of Israel. These words of their cry are peculiar to St. John. The fullest report is St. Matthew’s (see Note on John 12:9). That all the accounts differ is natural, and they have all preserved to us some distinctive acclamation with which the crowds welcomed Him whom they received as the Messiah. The 118th Psalm, from which these acclamations are taken (see John 12:25-26), was currently interpreted as Messianic, and formed part of the Hallel chanted at Tabernacles and Passover. (Comp. Note on John 7:37.)

It is important to observe that St. John, like St. Matthew, does not follow the Greek of the LXX. in translating the Hebrew word “Hosanna,” but preserves the Hebrew sound in Greek letters. Comp. Revelation 19:6, where the word “Alleluia” is transliterated in the same way.

12:12-19 Christ's riding in triumph to Jerusalem is recorded by all the evangelists. Many excellent things, both in the word and providence of God, disciples do not understand at their first acquaintance with the things of God. The right understanding of spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom, prevents our misapplying the Scriptures which speak of it.See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 21:1-16. Also Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44.Joh 12:12-19. Christ's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.

(See on [1838]Mt 21:1-9; and Lu 19:29-36).

12. On the next day—the Lord's day, or Sunday (see on [1839]Joh 12:1); the tenth day of the Jewish month Nisan, on which the paschal lamb was set apart to be "kept up until the fourteenth day of the same month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel were to kill it in the evening" (Ex 12:3, 6). Even so, from the day of this solemn entry into Jerusalem, "Christ our Passover" was virtually set apart to be "sacrificed for us" (1Co 5:7).

See Poole on "John 12:12" Took branches of palm trees,.... The Ethiopic version adds, "and young shoots from Jerusalem"; these grew in great plenty, on one part of the Mount of Olives, that next to Bethany, from whence that town had its name; for it signifies the house of dates, the fruit of the palm tree; See Gill on Matthew 21:17. And as that tree was a sign of joy and victory, they carried branches of it in their hands, as they met the King Messiah, who was about to make his public entrance into Jerusalem, in triumph; and where by his sufferings and death, he should gain the victory over sin, Satan, the world, and death; and lay a solid foundation for joy and peace, to all that believe in him: the Jews say (n),

"if a man takes (the very Greek word here used,) palm tree branches in his hands, we know that he is victorious.''

The Persic version reads, "branches of olives".

And went forth to meet him, and cried; when they came up to him, and as he passed by them:

Hosanna, blessed is the King of Israel, that cometh in the name of the Lord; See Gill on Matthew 21:9.

(n) Vajikra Rabba, sect. 30. fol. 170. 3.

Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
John 12:13. εἰς ὑπάντησιν αὐτῷ. “Substantives derived from verbs which govern a dative are sometimes followed by this case, instead of the ordinary genitive.” Winer, 264. They left no doubt as to the meaning of the demonstration, ἔκραζον ὩσαννάἸσραήλ. These words are taken from Psalm 118:25-26; written as the Dedication Psalm of the second Temple. Ὡσαννά is the Hebrew הוֹשִׁיעָה נָּא, “save now”. The words were originally addressed to approaching worshippers; here they designate the Messiah; but that no mistake might be possible as to the present reference, the people add, ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ.13. branches of palm trees] More literally, the palm-branches of the palm-trees; i.e. those which grew there, or which were commonly used at festivals. Comp. Simon’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem (1Ma 13:51). The palm-tree was regarded by the ancients as characteristic of Palestine. ‘Phœnicia’ (Acts 11:19; Acts 15:3) is probably derived from phœnix = ‘palm.’ The tree is now comparatively rare, except in the Philistine plain: at ‘Jericho, the city of palm-trees’ (Deuteronomy 34:3; 2 Chronicles 28:15) there is not one.

Hosanna] This is evidence that the writer of this Gospel knows Hebrew. In the LXX. at Ps. 117:25 we have a translation of the Hebrew, ‘save we pray,’ not a transliteration as here. (Comp. ‘Alleluia’ in Revelation 19:1; Revelation 19:6.) This Psalm is said by some to have been written for the Feast of Tabernacles after the return from captivity, by others for the founding or dedicating of the second Temple. In what follows the better reading is Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord even the king of Israel. The cry of the multitude was of course not always the same, and the different Evangelists give us different forms of it.John 12:13. Ἔλαβον, took) not caring for that ‘commandment,’ as to which ch. John 11:57 speaks, “The chief priests and Pharisees had given a commandment, that if any man knew where He was, he should show it, that they might take Him.”—τὰ βαιΐα τῶν φοινίκων, branches of palms) The use of the palm was frequent in Judea. Leviticus 23:40, “Ye shall take you on the first day—of the feast of tabernacles, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when for seven days they dwelt in booths—branches of palm trees.”Branches of palms (τὰ βαΐ́α τῶν φοινίκων)

The A.V. overlooks both the articles, the branches of the palms. βαΐ́α occurs only here in the New Testament, and means palm branches, or, strictly, tops of the palms where the fruit is produced. Of the palms may have been added by John for readers unacquainted with the technical term, but the expression palm branches of the palms, is similar to housemaster of the house (οἰκοδεσπότης τῆς οἰκίας, Luke 22:11). The articles are commonly explained as marking the trees which were by the wayside on the route of the procession. Some think that they point to the well-known palm branches connected with the Feast of Tabernacles. On the different terms employed by the Evangelists for "branches," see on Mark 11:8.

To meet (εἰς ὑπάντησιν)

Very literally, to a going to meet.

Cried (ἔκραζον)

Imperfect, kept crying as he advanced.


Meaning O save!

Blessed (εὐλογημένος)

A different word from the blessed of Matthew 5:3 (μακάριος). This is the perfect participle of the verb εὐλογέω, to speak well of, praise, hence our eulogy. Matthew's word applies to character; this to repute. The ascription of praise here is from Psalm 118:25, Psalm 118:26. This Psalm, according to Perowne, was composed originally for the first celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles after the completion of the sacred temple. The words of the twenty-fifth verse were sung during that feast, when the altar of burnt-offering was solemnly compassed; that is, once on each of the first six days of the feast, and seven times on the seventh day. This seventh day was called "the Great Hosanna," and not only the prayers for the feast, but even the branches of trees, including the myrtles which were attached to the palm branch, were called "Hosannas."

The King of Israel

The best texts add καὶ, even the king, etc.

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