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The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary

Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani

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The reader will not wish to pass over this well known cry of Jesus on the cross; but will be gratified with the continued attention of it. Those words of Christ are full of important signification; and every pious reader of his Bible ought to have a proper conception of their meaning. They are partly in the Hebrew, and partly in the Syriac tongue, and which, perhaps occasioned the perverse misconstruction in some, who supposed the Lord called Elias, when Jesus said Eli. The prophet had said, "That the Lord should roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth should shake." (Joel 3:16) And hence we find that prophecy fulfilled. The loud voice of Jesus was not like one whose strength was gone, but rather uttered in proof of what Jesus had said: "No man taketh my life from me, but I lay it down of myself, I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." (John 10:18) The words themselves seem to be a quotation from Psalms 22:1, thereby intimating, that the prophet in that Psalm spake wholly of Christ. This was highly important for the church to know. And the meaning yet more important. The Holy Ghost hath caused his servants the Evangelists, to give the church the interpretation: Eli, Eli, lama, are Hebrew; Sabacthani, or Sabadetani, is Syriac. Astonishing words for the only beloved of the Father to utter! Jesus had uttered no cry of pain in the great tortures of his body; neither do we hear the meek Lamb of God complain of the insults of the rabble, in the unequalled repreaches cast upon him. These, and every other sorrow, seem to have been swallowed up and forgotten in the flood of divine wrath, which now opened like cataracts from heaven in the Father's desertion. Who shall say what this was? Who is competent to describe the horrors of it, when it induced such a cry in the soul agonies of Jesus? Well may every child of God pause over the renewed reading of it, and in the contemplation, consider the love and tenderness of Jesus to his people, who thus endured the being forsaken of his Father for a season, that they might not be forsaken for ever. (Hebrews 5:7-9)

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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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