And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
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Augustine of Hippo
De Cons. Ev., ii, 66: In this quotation from the Prophet, there is some variety in the different Gospels. Matthew quotes it as if the Prophet had expressly mentioned the she-ass; but it is not so quoted by John , nor in the Church-copies of the translation in common use. This seems to me to be accounted for by the account, that Matthew wrote his Gospel in the Hebrew language. And it is clear that the translation called the LXX, has somethings different from what are found in the Hebrew, by those who know that tongue, and who have rendered the same books out of the Hebrew. If the reason of this discrepancy be asked, I consider nothing more likely than that the LXXinterpreted with the selfsame spirit with which the original was written, which is confirmed by that wonderful agreement among them of which we are told. It follows, “But the disciples went and didas Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt.” The other Evangelists say nothing of the ass. And if Matthew had not me...
Hosanna, or hosiah-na, was an acclamation of the Jews: when applied to God, means save us, I beseech Thee; when applied to a sovereign prince, means vivat, in Latin, or long live the king. (Bible de Vence)
Hosanna, says St. Jerome, is the same as, Save, I beseech thee. (Psalm cxvii.) Some will have the word Hosanna directed to Christ himself, and the sense to be, Save us, O thou Son of David; others understand Hosanna, directed to God, as if the people said, Save, O Lord, this our king; by which the people wished peace, safety, and prosperity to Jesus their Messias. (Witham)
It appears that the Holy Spirit, on this occasion secretly inspired their tongues, and through their means caused loud thanks to be offered to Jesus, for an approaching blessing, of which as yet they had no conception.
These same words of acclamation are daily used in the preface of the mass, and represent the exultations of both priest and people, expecting, as it were, and rejoicing at his coming. (Bristow)
Ap. Anselm: Or, The owner of the beasts will straightway send them to be engaged for Christ’s service. Hereto is added the testimony of the Prophet, that it may be shown that the Lord fulfilled all things which were written of Him, but that the Scribes and Pharisees, blinded by envy, would not understand the things that they read; “All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet;” to wit, Zacharias.
ap. Anselm: And the meaning is, “Blessed,” that is, Glorious, “is He thatcometh,” that is, is incarnate; “in the name of the Lord;” that is, of the Father, by glorifying Him. Again they repeat, “Hosanna,” that is, “Save, I praythee,” and define whither they would be saved, in the highest, that is in the heavenly, not in the earthly places.
Or by the ass and the colt is shown the twofold calling from among the Gentiles. For the Samaritans did serve after a certain fashion of obedience, and they are signified by the ass; but the other Gentiles wild and unbroken are signified by the colt. Therefore two are sent to loose them that are bound bythe chains of error; Samaria believed through Philip, and Cornelius as the first-fruits of the Gentiles was brought by Peter to Christ.
Is this the crowd who would applaud his crucifixion? How was their hatred earned from his grace? Even the words of their commendation pointed to the power of redemption. “Hosanna” in Hebrew signifies the redemption of the house of David. They are calling upon the Son of David. They are celebrating the inheritance of the eternal kingdom. They are proclaiming blessing in the name of the Lord. Soon their shouting of “Crucify him!” would be blasphemy. But at present, the deeds he was doing were exhibiting the form of the future. It is granted that the crowd was doing these things with very confused emotions. The things that would follow would be different. Nevertheless they were, inadvertently and without willing it, pointing to heavenly things unfolding. In this way the whole city of Jerusalem was stirred.
But it seems that the Lord could not in so short a distance have sate upon both animals; seeing then that the history has either an impossibility or ameanness, we are sent to higher things, that is, to the figurative sense.
The multitudes that came out of Jericho, and followed the Saviour, cast down their garments, and strewed the way with branches of trees; and therefore it follows, “But the multitudes spread their garments in the way;” that is, beneath the feet of the ass, that it should not stumble against a stone, nor tread upon a thorn, nor fall into a ditch. “Others cut down branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way;” from the fruit-trees, that is, with which mount Olivet was clothed. I shall shortly examine what is the meaning of this word, Hosanna. In the hundred and seventeenth Psalm, which is clearly written of the Saviour’s coming, we read this among other things; “Save me now,O Lord, send now prosperity. Blessed art thou that art to come in the name of the Lord.”...
He said not to His disciples, Say, Thy Lord, or Your Lord, hath need of them; that they may understand, that He is Lord alone, not of the beasts only, but ofall men; for even sinners are by the law of nature His, though by their own will they are the Devil’s.
And think not this a little thing which was now done, for who was it that wrought with the owners of the beasts that they refused not, but yielded them? By this also He instructs His disciples that He could have restrained the Jews, but would not; and further teaches them that they should grant whatever is asked of them; for if they who knew not Christ, now granted this, much more it becomes His disciples to give unto all. For that which is said, “But will straightway let them go,”.
it is to be understood, that after He had entered into Jerusalem, the beast was returned by Christ to its owner.
“Behold,” is a word used in pointing out any thing; look, that is, not with the bodily eye, but with the spiritual understanding, at the wo...
In history, Daughter of Sionis the name given to the city of Jerusalem, which stands on mount Sion. But mystically, it is the Church of the faithful pertaining to the Jerusalem which is above.
Whence Matthew, who wrote his Gospel to the Jews, is the only one who mentions that the ass was brought to the Lord, to show that this same Hebrew nation, if it repent, need not despair of salvation. The ass was tied, that is, bound in the chain of diabolic error, so that it had not liberty to go whither it would; for before we do any sin we have free will to follow, or not, the will of the Devil; but if once by sinning we have bound ourselves to do his works, we areno longer able to escape by our own strength, but, like a vessel that has lost its rudder is tossed at the mercy of the storm, so man, when by sin he has forfeited the aid of Divine grace, no longer acts as he wills, but as the Devil wills. And if God, by the mighty arm of His mercy, do not loose him, he will abide till death in the c...
The Evangelist related above that the Lord departed from Galilee, and began togo up to Jerusalem. Being now occupied with telling what He did by the way, he proceeds in his purpose, saying, “And when they drew nigh to Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage.” Bethphage was a small village of the priests, situated on the declivity of Mount Olivet, one mile distant from Jerusalem. For the priests who ministered in the temple their apportioned time, when their office of ministration was discharged, withdrew to this village to abide; as also did they who were to take their place. Because it was commanded by their Law that none should travel on the Sabbath more than a mile.
Notwithstanding, it was possible that the Lord might have sate upon both animals.
And it is confounded of one perfect and one imperfect word. For ‘Hosi’signifies ‘save,” ‘anna’ is an interjection used in entreating.
Because, namely, in all His good actions, He sought not His own but His Father's glory.
The Lord therefore s...
Indeed, on the one hand, the fact that the donkey walks on the branches and leaves of palm trees would make it clearly known that not only he who was mounted upon it but also those who would believe in him were going to subdue all their enemies, trample them under their feet and win a glorious victory. For the branches and leaves of palm trees are the emblems of the victory. On the other hand, the fact that the people took off their coats and threw them on the ground was a proclamation—in an immediate and manifest fashion—to speak of what appeared in reality in the events that followed. Indeed, when these believers were ridding themselves of all they possessed and even of their clothes, which is a sketch in miniature, they were following the gospel of grace. For it is written in the book of Acts that “all who were owners of land and houses, when they sold them, took the money from what had been sold and laid it at the feet of the apostles, and one gave to each according to his need.” I...
. In the literal account, laying down of clothing is a sign of great reverence, and the cutting of branches is a sign of festivity. But in the spiritual sense, learn that the apostles first laid down their garments, which are their virtues, and then the Lord sat upon them. For God is not conveyed by a soul that has not been adorned with apostolic virtues. Those that went before are the prophets who lived before Christ’s incarnation, while those who followed are the martyrs and teachers who lived after these events. They laid down their garments for Christ, that is, they subjected the flesh to the spirit, for the body is a garment and covering for the soul. They laid them down in the way, that is, in Christ Who said, "I am the Way." For unless a man lays down his garment in the way, that is, unless he humbles his flesh, abiding in the Way which is Christ, and not turning to heresy, the Lord will not be carried by him. Some say that "Hosanna" means "hymn" or "psalm"; others say, more acc...