Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Triumphal Entry: An observation

This came up in my Greek and Roman Religions class. Most are familiar with the myth of the Phoenix, a being that dies and then rises from the ashes to live again. Interestingly, this comes up in Jesus' triumphal entry.

Greek NT:
τῇ ἐπαύριον ὁ ὄχλος πολὺς ὁ ἐλθὼν εἰς τὴν ἑορτήν, ἀκούσαντες ὅτι ἔρχεται ὁ ἰησοῦς εἰς ἱεροσόλυμα,ἔλαβον τὰ βαΐα τῶν φοινίκων καὶ ἐξῆλθον εἰς ὑπάντησιν αὐτῶ, καὶ ἐκραύγαζον, ὡσαννά· εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι κυρίου, [καὶ] ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦ ἰσραήλ.

New American Bible:
On the next day, when the great crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took palm branches and went out to meet him, and cried out: "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, (even) the king of Israel."

The "palm tree" from which the "palm branches" come is called a φοινιξ, -ικος - a phoenix! Here in John 12, the people are waving symbols of Jesus at Jesus as He rides by.


Hypatia said...

φοινιξ also means Phoenician, probably in this context the phoenician date-palm. According to the OCD the Phoenician people may have got their name through their trading of dye - also φοινιξ. Its name derives from its colour, φοινος crimson or purple - the colour of blood, or the colour of royalty!

Josh McManaway said...

Another interesting thing. Thanks!