*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Psalm 118:24-26 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Psalm 118:24
  • Psalm 118:25
  • Psalm 118:26

The psalmist continues his poetic narrative testifying of the LORD’s salvation with a praise that this day is the day of salvation which the LORD has made. He then beseeches the LORD to send the Messiah, before saying “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD.” This portion of Psalm 118 gives voice to what the crowds proclaimed of Jesus the Messiah as He triumphantly entered Jerusalem.

King David, the likely psalmist, resumes his poetic narrative with a proclamation and exhortation.

The psalmist’s proclamation of praise is: This is the day which the LORD has made (v 24a).

The psalmist’s exhortation to praise is: Let us rejoice and be glad in it (v 24b).

His proclamation says: This is the day which the LORD has made. By day, the psalmist is not necessarily referring to some specific 24 hour period. The Hebrew word used by the psalmist is יוֹם (H3117—pronounced: “yome”). This word can be used for any extended “period of time.” It can be used for a 24 hour day, or it can be used to designate an era or age. For example, we could say that this is the day (age) of the automobile.

The day the psalmist seems to be referring to here is the period of time, age, or era of salvation which the LORD has made. It is similar to “the day of salvation” described in the third Servant Song of Isaiah:

“Thus says the LORD,
‘In a favorable time I have answered You,
And in a day of salvation I have helped You;
And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people,
To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages.’”
(Isaiah 49:8)

This day is similar to, if not synonymous with, the kingdom which the Messiah will usher in upon His appearance. In addition to alluding to this era of salvation, the psalmist could also be referring to the inauguration day of that kingdom.

The LORD has made this day. That is, the LORD will bring this day about. All we have to do, is rejoice and be glad in it. This day will be one of great celebration and gladness for the LORD’s people.

In one important sense the day of salvation which the LORD has made is already here. It began when Jesus the Messiah began proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 4:17).

The apostle Paul was applying this sense of the day when He wrote to the believers in Corinth:

“For He says,
‘At the acceptable time I listened to you,
And on the day of salvation I helped you.’
Behold, now is ‘the acceptable time,’ behold, now is ‘the day of salvation.’”
(2 Corinthians 6:2)

In this sense the day (of salvation) has already begun two thousand years ago (and continues to the present time). Believers in Jesus should rejoice and be glad in it. We rejoice in the fact that the day of salvation has come. An application of this sense is for any person who believes on Jesus for the first time. For that person, the day of salvation is that day for them.

The second sense of this day which the LORD has made could refer to the return of Jesus the Messiah. When Jesus came the first time, He defeated sin and death, but He was rejected by His people (Psalm 118:22a, John 1:11), so He did not inaugurate His kingdom on earth at that time (Acts 3:19-21).

The next day He comes, He will establish His kingdom. And we will rejoice and be glad in it.

So, too, on that specific day, when Christ returns there will be much rejoicing. Psalm 118:24 captures this excitement with the exclamation: This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. But until that day comes there will be much sorrow still to come.

There was a special fulfillment of this prophecy when Jesus the Messiah triumphantly entered Jerusalem. (Matthew 21:6-11) The crowds of Jews entering the city for the Passover were proclaiming Jesus to be the Messiah in language from the Messianic refrains of Psalm 118. The people were celebrating Jesus as he entered the gates of Jerusalem, believing and/or hoping He was the Messiah.

The crowds gave joyful shouts of “Hosanna.” They celebrated Jesus. Their sang portions of Psalm 118 as Jesus entered the city, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD” (Psalm 118:26, Matthew 21:9, Luke 19:38). They were proclaiming “We are saved!” They were proclaiming that this was the daythe day which the LORD has madethe day of salvation and deliverance from Roman oppression—the day the Messianic kingdom would be established on the earth.

The psalmist’s exhortation: Let us rejoice and be glad in it is a proper response to the marvelous opportunity of salvation which the LORD has given to us through His Messiah. We should rejoice and be glad in it because:

  • Our sins are forgiven.
  • We are reunited with God by being born spiritually into His family.
  • We have been given the gift of eternal life in Him, as a member of His eternal family.
  • We have an opportunity to partner with the Messiah in building His kingdom.

Next, the psalmist leads the singers and/or listeners of this psalm to pray to the LORD to send the Messiah to them,

O LORD, do save, we beseech You;
O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity! (v 25)
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD (v 26a).

If Psalm 118 is the “Hosanna Hallel,” Psalm 118:25-26 are the Hosanna verses, “Hosanna” means “save us now” and it means “salvation has come!” Both senses of Hosanna are in psalmist’s words.

Psalm 118:25 is the cry: “Hosanna/save us!”

The psalmist is directing his petition and praise to the LORD. He is calling upon the LORD. Recall how calling upon the LORD is what the psalmist had done during previous times of trouble:

“From my distress I called upon the LORD.”
(Psalm 118:5a)

Now the psalmist beseeches the LORD again, but instead of the psalmist calling out to the LORD alone, (“I called upon the LORD”—Psalm 118:3), the psalmist calls out to the LORD with others: O LORD, do save, we beseech You. The—we—who are beseeching are the LORD’s people. To beseech means to urgently implore or ask with fervor.

Within the psalmist’s cry, “Hosanna/save us!” are two petitions: salvation and prosperity.

The LORD’s people are beseeching the LORD to save them and to send prosperity.

Salvation means to be delivered from something bad or harmful. It could refer to being saved from physical sickness, political oppression, sin, and/or death.

Prosperity means to receive good things such as health, liberty, a strong family, thriving industry, an abundance of resources, and an overall good and satisfying life.

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD (v 26a).

Psalm 118:26 is the praise: “Hosanna/we are saved!”

The one who comes in the name of the LORD is the Messiah. The Messiah is the LORD’s anointed and blessed by the LORD.

Salvation comes only through the LORD. And salvation is properly tied to the one who comes in the name of the LORD. In other words, salvation and prosperity will come when the Messiah—the one who comes in the name of the LORD—appears.

Therefore, in one sense the psalmist and the people are anticipating the day the LORD has made when He will send them the Blessed one who comes in the name of the LORD. But in another sense, they are a beseeching the LORD to send them the Messiah.

There is a clear Messianic fulfillment of Psalm 118:24-26 in the life of Jesus.

At the time of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the Jewish nation as a whole was under the oppressive regime of the Roman empire. Many Jews longed for the foretold Messiah to set them free—to save them! The words of Psalm 118 gave voice to the desire of their heart for salvation. They were likely asking to be saved from the Romans. However, Jesus saved them from a much greater danger; He saved them from sin and death.

The following is what the Gospel writers Matthew and Luke recorded the crowds to have shouted as Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on the colt of a donkey on the day we know as “Palm Sunday” (Matthew 21:6-11):

“Hosanna to the Son of David;
Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the LORD;
Hosanna in the highest!”
(Matthew 21:9)

“Blessed is the King who comes in the Name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
(Luke 19:38)

As was previously said: The crowd’s proclamation: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 21:9) is a direct citation of the Messianic hope of Psalm 118:26. More importantly, it was a recognition that Jesus was God’s blessed and anointed. The people hoped and/or believed Jesus to be the Messiah who was coming in the name of the Lord.

The term “Son of David” was a well-known Messianic term among the Jews because the Messiah was prophesied to be a descendant of King David (2 Samuel 7:12-13). Matthew’s recording of “Hosanna to the Son of David” is a way of saying: “Hosanna the Messiah has come” and “Save us Messiah!”

Luke, whose intended audience were Gentiles (who would have been unfamiliar with the expression “Son of David”) translated the crowds’ shouting: “Blessed is the King who comes in the Name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:38). The crowd’s shouts as recorded by Luke were reminiscent of the heavenly host’s song of praise when they announced Jesus’s birth to the shepherds of Bethlehem (Luke 2:14).

The expression: “Hosanna in the highest!” captures the psalmist’s petitions of Psalm 118:25 and his jubilation of 118:26a.

All of these expressions:

  • “Hosanna to the Son of David”
  • “Blessed is the King”
  • “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD”
  • “Hosanna in the highest!”

are the crowds’ ecstatic recognition that Jesus was the ultimate salvation that generations of their people had been longing for. At long last, their Messiah had come! “Hosanna/Save us Messiah!” and “Hosanna/We are saved by the Messiah!”

When Jesus later lamented over Jerusalem, He used Psalm 118:26—Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD to explicitly identify Himself as the Messiah in His last public remarks:

“For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until You say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
(Matthew 23:39

Even though the people said this of Jesus at His triumphal entry, their leaders turned them from Him, and led them to reject Him as their Messiah. But there will come a day when Israel’s leaders will welcome Him again, this time as their true Messiah.

The Psalmist then gives a reason why the LORD should send the Savior—the One who comes in the name of the LORD.

His reason is:

We have blessed you from the house of the LORD (v 26b).

The people are claiming that the LORD should save and send prosperity in the person of the Messiah because we have blessed you from the house of the LORD. In other words, they beseech the LORD to be faithful to His promises because they are claiming that they have been faithful to theirs.

The Mosaic covenant stated:

“And you shall again obey the LORD, and observe all His commandments which I command you today. Then the LORD your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the Lord will again rejoice over you for good.”
(Deuteronomy 30:8)

Israel was not faithful to keep their covenant with the LORD. But His lovingkindness (“hesed”–“faithfulness”) is everlasting (Psalm 118:1-4, 29). And God sent them the Messiah anyway.

When Jesus the Messiah, came, He came to offer the kingdom (Matthew 4:17). And it appears He would have established the promised kingdom then and there—if the people would receive Him as their king (Matthew 10:7, 23). But they did not (John 1:11).

Even after Jesus ascended into heaven, Peter exhorted that generation of Jews to “repent and return” for the forgiveness of sins and “that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you” (Acts 3:19-20).

But the people of Jesus’s generation did not accept Him as the Messiah (Psalm 118:22a, John 1:11), therefore His kingdom was not established at that time.

While the children in the temple (i.e. the house of the LORD) fulfilled the prophecy— we have blessed you from the house of the LORD—when they sang in the temple (Matthew 21:15-16), the religious leaders did not bless the LORD or the Messiah from the house of the LORD. They rejected and killed the Messiah (Matthew 27:22) and turned the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem into a robbers’ den (Matthew 21:13). It was because they rejected the LORD and had not blessed the LORD that the fullness of salvation and prosperity of His kingdom was not realized.

But if each of us individually believe Jesus is God and trust Him to be our Messiah, He promises us eternal, abundant life, which is the answer to both of the Psalmist’s petitions of Psalm 118:26: eternal salvation and eternal prosperity (in His kingdom),

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
(John 3:16)

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
(John 10:10)

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
(John 17:3)

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.”
(2 Corinthians 8:9)

Biblical Text

24 This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 O LORD, do save, we beseech You;
O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity!
26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD;
We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.

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