(“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”). According to Mark 15.34 and Matthew 27.46, this phrase, a citation of the Hebrew or Aramaic text of Psalm 22.1, was uttered by Jesus from the cross after a three‐hour period of darkness. The Aramaic form of the saying is more sound textually, but the Hebrew form of the address (“Eli, Eli”) better explains the subsequent confusion with Elijah. The tradition may have circulated in both a Hebrew and an Aramaic form, resulting in a corruption of the manuscripts.

This citation interprets the darkness either as a sign of God's absence from Jesus or, perhaps more likely, as a sign of God's curse upon Jesus. It is one of several allusions to Psalm 22 in the narratives of the death of Jesus (e.g., Mark 15.24 par. = Ps. 22.18; Mark 15.29 par. = Ps. 22.7).

Patrick A. Tiller