“Blessed Be the Name of the Most High God”

Brant Gardner

This event must be a summary description for effect rather than a literal description of the events. It is doubtful that the entire multitude would have passed by the Messiah, felt the wounds, then waited politely for all others, and only then decided to proclaim him as the Messiah and fall to the ground to worship. This passage is here to show the intent of the event rather than the specifics of the event. All of the people did worship the Messiah. All had witnessed that this was the dying and resurrected God who had been prophesied. All did proclaim blessed the name of the Most High God. It was simply most probable that this happened all along during the process, and did not wait for the single event as Nephi describes it. Nevertheless, the intent of Nephi’s passage is accurate. He intends to show that all worshipped. He is accurate in the worshipping, but he has altered the time sequencing to emphasize the true message.

Translation: Hosanna is Hebrew meaning “save we pray.” (Smith’s Bible Dictionary. Spire Book, New Jersey, 1970). Joseph Smith would have known of this term from his basic cultural knowledge. It is certain that the people shouted something worshipful, but it is not certain that it would have been in Hebrew. The presence of the word here should be seen as part of the translation process, not as evidence of an underlying Hebrew language on the plates.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon