“Son of David” is a messianic tide referring here to Jesus.


Some translations, such as the one by the New Jewish Publication Society, translate the l– as “for”: “It is time to act for the Lord.” This seems wrong to me. Acting for the Lord is at least questionable theology, tantamount to chutzpah or hubris.


In the Hebrew, “king” (melech) is preceded by the definite article (the, ha), which is used here, as elsewhere, to indicate the vocative.



Slight variants of the passage may be found in Mark 11:9–10 and John 12:13.


Other examples may be found in 2 Samuel 14:4; 2 Kings 6:26; Psalms 12:2, 20:10, 28:9, 60:7 and 108:7.


William F. Albright, in Matthew (Anchor Bible), recognized the vocative l– in this line (p. 252). He failed to recognize it, however, following the second hosanna in this passage. See endnote 4.


Because the noun “upright” in Psalm 33:1b is preceded by the vocative particle l-, the parallel word “righteous” in the preceding line (Psalm 33:1a) can also be understood as vocative and may be translated “O righteous ones.” The entire verse may be understood as follows: “Rejoice, O righteous ones, in the Lord (Yahweh); O upright ones, praise the Glorious One.” The Revised Standard Version recognizes the vocative in verse la even though the l– does not precede it. Dahood’s Anchor Bible translation recognizes the vocative in line 1b.


See Patrick D. Miller, “Vocative Lamed in the Psalter: A Reconsideration,” Ugarit Forschungen 11 (1980), pp. 617–637.


ElyoÆn was the oldest of the four generations of gods in the ancient Canaanite-Hurrian-Hittite theoganies, In the later Greek version of the theoganies, Hypsistos, “Most High,” replaced the Semitic ‘ElyoÆn.


Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel According to John (Anchor Bible), p. 457.


In this, he is echoing the suggestion of E. D. Freed, “The Entry into Jerusalem in the Gospel of John,” Journal of Biblical Literature 80 (1961), pp. 329–338.


Brown is also mistaken in suggesting that “hosanna” is a transliteration of Aramaic; it is the normal Hebrew short-form plus the precative particle.


The Greek Septuagint from the third century B.C. also translates the phrase as “help [soµson de], King.”