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This question already has an answer here:

The bible states the meaning of Jesus' words on the cross. Why then did some people take it as calling for Elijah?

marked as duplicate by DJClayworth, fredsbend, bruised reed, curiousdannii, Flimzy Dec 13 '14 at 4:24

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  • I think there is significance in Jesus' crying "My God, my God" and not "My Father, my Father." Since while he was on the cross Jesus quoted from Psalm 22, you could say he cried "My God" simply because the word "God" was the word David used in the psalm. I suggest, however, it also could have been because God was the God of Jesus' HUMANITY, not his DEITY. "I and my Father are one," Jesus said. We go too far by saying the Father abandoned Jesus on the cross as he bore our sins, but the preternatural & symbolic darkness and earthquake at Calvary bore witness to the awfulness of sin to our God. – rhetorician Dec 13 '14 at 5:56
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Jesus exact words were "Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani." (Matt 27:46)

Eli-jah (literally YHWH - jah is God (El) of mine (i)) would be shortened as "Eli". Since they are the same word, in the bustle of a crowd, it is not at all unlikely that this "prophet" would be thought to be calling Elijah.

Remember, just because the words were in Psalm 22, doesn't mean the mean the people would have been assuming Jesus' first thought would be to quote a Scripture.

Pronounced "A-Lee" it sounds like a short name for "A-Lai-yah"

  • There are some text variants here, but the ESV/NA28 are as I quote here - Matthew using eli but Mark with the added omega (and shortened eta-->epsilon) eloi. The latter I understand to be the Aramaic from the Hebrew eli ("my God"). The way that's written in Greek ελωι, there's no way I see to elide the omega (omegas don't like that!). Can you cite a source for your last paragraph giving that pronunciation? – Susan Dec 12 '14 at 19:40
  • Thank you. Could I also suggest that you just eliminate Mark from this answer and stick to Matthew? As was the focus of that question I linked, there is difficulty establishing "Jesus exact words" here since modern critical texts have them different between Mark and Matthew, and getting from the Markan version to Eliyahu is harder. And now I promise to leave you alone! – Susan Dec 12 '14 at 20:42
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    You're making my answer better, and I'm learning. Please dont leave me alone! – Affable Geek Dec 12 '14 at 21:26

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