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Treasures New and Old
Beloved: Grace and Peace
Called to Light

Meanings Behind Aspects of Christ's Triumphal Entry

Unfolding Prophecy Truth
May God bless you all!
Palm Branches on Triumphal Entry Day - Why?
I have drawn the verses to answer this question primarily from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. But I did so by merging them into a single narrative. This allows the reader to see what all four gospel writers said, but also gives us a flavor of the moment since the crowd would have been shouting continuously (over and over) the same phrases for the full length of the procession. So that you can see which words come from which gospel writer, I have encompassed them in brackets of different types and colored them as follows:
Matthew 21:1-11
[Mark 11:1-11]
{Luke 19:28-44}
white, Mark - blue, Luke - green, John - black):
| [M]uch people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, |
And a very great multitude spread their garments in the
way; others cut down branches from the
| palm |
| and went forth to meet
and strewed
in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that
Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; }
saying, Hosanna to the
| Blessed
the King of Israel [;] |
he that cometh in the
name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
[ Blessed
the kingdom of our father
David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.]
the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.}
Did they wave just palm branches or the
- or both?
The waving of the
is a positive
commandment from the Torah (Leviticus 23:40) to gather together the Four Species during Sukkot - the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall that lasted a week (and other events): "And ye shall take you on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm-trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days" (The Holy Scriptures: A New Translation (JPS 1917)).
"The first day" refers to the first day of Sukkot. "Fruit of goodly trees" refers to the
(citron). "Branches of palm trees" refers to the
"Boughs of thick trees" refers
to the myrtle (
). "Willows of the brook" refers to the
The four are lumped together under the inclusive term
, since the
is the
largest and most prominent. Thus, while the mitzvah is to wave the
, this actually
refers to the four taken together as one. It is quite possible that not just the
branches) were waved that day, but that all four in the full
were waved. Another
tradition on Sukkot was the singing of Psalm 118 which has the very same words that the crowd was crying out that day. Because of this, many scholars believe that at least some of the crowd may have been waving the full
, not just palm branches.
 is a word used in some songs of praise, particularly on Palm Sunday. It is of
Hebrew origin and was part of the shout of the multitudes as Jesus entered Jerusalem: "Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed
he that cometh in the name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest" (Matthew 21:9b).
is often thought of as a declaration of praise, similar to
actually a plea for salvation. The Hebrew root words are found in Psalm 118:25, and the people were actually quoting that Psalm: "
Save now [hosanna], I beseech thee, O
LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Blessed
in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD
(Psalm 118:25-26; emphasis added).
So the verse is saying, "
Save us, we pray, O LORD!
" The Hebrew words
(deliver, save) (Strong's H3467) and
(beg, beseech) (Strong's H4994) combine to
form the word that, in English, is
means "I beg you to
save!" or "please deliver us!"
So as Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem, the crowds were perfectly right to shout, "Hosanna!" They were acknowledging Jesus as their Messiah, as shown in their address, "Son of David." Theirs was a cry for salvation and a recognition that Jesus is able to save.
What is the significance of the
(citrus), which possesses both
good taste
pleasant fragrance
symbolizes those who possess both scriptural truth and do the truth (good deeds). The
palm branch (
possesses taste
(dates) but
no fragrance
, symbolizing those who possess truth
but do not perform the truth (good deeds) - hearers of the Word only.
The myrtle is the inverse of the palm, possessing
no taste
(no eatable fruit), but having a
; this is likened to those who do not know
the truth but do good deeds (a good moral man who is not saved?).
Finally, the willow has
neither good taste nor good fragrance
and is poisonous to eat,
symbolizing those who possess neither truth nor good deeds.
By waving the
at Sukkot and possibly on the entry of the Lord Jesus Christ as he
presented Himself that day to all of Israel (and the world), we get a sense that all kinds of people are represented - indeed, God is not willing that any should perish.
We, of course, as Believers in Jesus Christ, want to be the
, possessing both truth
and doing the truth (obedience).
Later that day, Jesus was in the temple, and the children present were again shouting, "Hosanna to the son of David" (Matthew 21:15b)! The chief priests and the teachers of the Law were displeased: "Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read, 'From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise'?" (Matthew 21:16; paraphrased). In saying, "Hosanna!" the people were crying out for salvation, and that's exactly why Jesus would be hanging on a cross in a few days as our Saviour.
Why did Jesus ride a donkey that day?
Question: "Why would a king ride a donkey instead of a warhorse (Zechariah 9:9-10)?"
Answer: Two good reasons:
First: Many have wondered why the king mentioned in Zechariah 9:9-10 would ride a donkey into Jerusalem rather than a warhorse. It seems an odd choice for royalty. Kings ride chargers, don't they? In the ancient Middle Eastern world, leaders rode
they rode to war
, but
donkeys if they came in peace
. 1 Kings 1:33 mentions
Solomon riding a mule on the day he was recognized as the new King of Israel. Other instances of leaders riding donkeys are in Judges 5:10; 10:4; 12:14; and in 2 Samuel 16:2.
Zechariah 9:9-11:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he
just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an
ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion
shall be
from sea
and from the river
to the ends of the earth. As for thee also, by the blood of
no water.
Note the many details symbolic of peace:
Second: Jesus presented Himself to Jerusalem (and by extension all of Israel and the world) on the 10th day of Nissan: the first month of the Jewish religious year. The significance of this is that in Exodus 12 all of Israel was to take a lamb without blemish of the first year on the 10th of Nissan which is Passover. Jesus was literally presenting Himself to the world as THE PASSOVER LAMB! He didn't come as the Royal King the first time, but as the Suffering Messiah.
Jesus' death is premeditated - He came to
save by His sacrifice!
Wow - the people were crying Hosanna - Save us - and that is exactly why Jesus came, to save them from their (and our) sins!
, and |John 12:12-19| (Matthew -
him |
{ And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of
son of David:
horses if
to sea,
thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein
Retrieved from Taken from
The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text: A New Translation with the Aid of Previous Versions and with Constant Consultation of Jewish Authorities.
Public Domain.
he that cometh
Return to top of the page.
but it is
[computer software] . Franklin, TN: Equipping Ministries Foundation. (Original work published 1890)
Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.
Strong, J.
Meyers, R. (2005). e-Sword.