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Elahi (אֱלָהִי‎) is an Aramaic word meaning "My God".[1] Elah means "god",[2] with the suffix -i meaning "my." Being Aramaic and not Hebrew (there is no singular possessive for "god" in Biblical Hebrew), in the Old Testament, Elahi is found only in the books of Ezra and Daniel.[2] It is best known for its transliteration in Mark 15:34, "ἐλωΐ ἐλωΐ" eloi eloi.

Christian use[edit]

Some scholars believe Elahi may be the name of God that Jesus vocalized in his last words on the cross. Science historian Livio Catullo Stecchini and Jan Sammer write, "The limits of Mark‘s knowledge of Hebrew are revealed by the sentence Elo[h]i Elo[h]i Lama Sabachthani which he puts into the mouth of Jesus. It is a confused rendering into Greek lettering of the text of Psalm 22:2, which reads in Hebrew eli eli lama azabtani and in Aramaic elahi elahi lema sebaqtani."[3]

Arabic parallel[edit]

In the Arabic language, Ilahi (Arabic: إلٰهي ʾīlāhī) is used to invoke Allah as "My God".

With the arrival of Islam in the subcontinent, the name migrated into South Asia adding to the etymological progression of the word. The Arabic language provided the linguistic and cultural conduit for the transfer of the name. The Muslims of medieval South Asia adopted the name in small numbers. For example, the former deputy prime minister of Pakistan was Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. The name is also found in neighboring Afghanistan or Iran.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Discovering the Language of Jesus by Douglas Hamp, Calvary Chapel Publishing (August 12, 2005), p. 50
  2. ^ a b "The Aramaic Name for God - Elah". Hebrew4christians.com. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  3. ^ The Gospel According to Seneca, by Livio C. Stecchini & Jan Sammer, 1996

External links[edit]