At the time of our Savior’s crucifixion, as we reckon time, the earth had become dark from around noon until 3 p.m. Then, things happened that are very spiritually significant and wonderful. To comprehend this, we need to study one of the most misunderstood passages in the Bible.
Matt 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
These two verses would cause one to think a cry of defeat was shouted, and has misled good meaning people since that time.
Consider what Jesus had gone through: about 40 hours of questioning, beatings, mockings, and so much suffering, without saying a single word in way of complaint. Yet now, they say (meaning those preaching at pulpits), that He, after all this, was accusing YHWH of leaving Him. How could this be when the Word of God says He is always with Jesus?
People use the reasons that Yeshua (Jesus) became sin and God would not tolerate, let alone accept those who have sinned. So they say He left Jesus to die alone. Yet this type of thinking totally contradicts every other relevant scripture in the Bible!
These scriptures should have attracted our attention from the foundation of Christianity. Our question should be, why did the translators leave these foreign words in the verse? This departure from “accepted translation procedure” should have stopped us right there in our tracts of study, to question.
Let’s do this now.
Look at the Gospel of John where Yeshua was talking to those He chose:
John 16:32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
Here, Yeshua was referring to his crucifixion and death. About that time of suffering, He said, “The Father IS WITH ME. yet the KJV of Matthew 27:46 says, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
John 10:30 witnesses that Yeshua said “I and my Father are one.” 2 Corinthians 5:19 says, “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself…” In reality, YHWH and Jesus were totally united.
John 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
Would such a loving father forsake the child that is obedient and respectful, in their most trying hour of need? I say emphatically, “NO!” Would you? I don’t think so. YHWH was surely with Yeshua while He was up there on that cross, dying for our sins!
We read Matthew 26:53 when Jesus said at his capture: Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
Someone has to be really close to YHWH to get THAT kind of support. Jesus’ Father would have given Him OVER 72,000 angels! He could have walked right out of that problem if He had so desired. Why? Simply because “I AND my Father are one”, “The Fathers is with me”, “I do always the things that please Him”.
If Yeshua always did His Father’s will, He must have been doing it when He was dying on that cross. Yet the KJV and many other Bible readings of Matt 27:46 says “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” This verse clearly contradicts the rest of what the Bible says.
So, how can we clearly understand the truth of all this? In the first place, the words in Matt 27:46 are not Greek words but Estrangelo Aramaic words ~ a very ancient Hebrew language. Yeshua spoke Aramaic. Aramaic is called Hebrew in the KJV because it’s what the Hebrews spoke. Aramaic and Hebrew are closely related Semitic languages. These Aramaic words show up in this passage only because the translators were not absolutely certain of their meaning. When these words were finally translated into Greek, they let the Aramaic remain and then added what they thought, the Greek translation might be. Later the KJ translators translated the Greek, while leaving the Aramaic words in the text. (There are other examples in the NT where the translators kept the Aramaic words in as well: Matt 5:22; Mark 5:41, 1 Corinthians 16:22.)
Let’s examine Matthew 27:46 to see exactly what it does say. The word Lama, in Aramaic is actually Lmna. Lmna is used as a declaration of “for this reason” or “for this purpose”. The root word of sabachthani (“shbqthni”) is “shbq”. “Shbq” is translated “to spare, to leave, to reserve, to keep”. The word “reserved” we see in Romans 11:4 is, in Aramaic, taken from the root word “shbq”. As this is a quote from 1 Kings 19:18, the word “shaar” in the OT is the Hebrew replication of the Aramaic “shbq” we see here.
Romans 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved (shbq) to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
1 Kings 19:18 Yet I have left (Hebrew “shaar”) me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
We can see that Roman 11:4 is almost a direct quote from 1 Kings 19:18. The word “left” in 1 Kings 19:18 is, in Romans 11:4, the translated word “reserved” where it is taken from the Aramaic word shbq. This is translated “remaining” in the following passages:
Deuteronomy 3:3 So the LORD our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining (shbq).
Joshua 10:33 Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining (shbq).
2 Kings 10:11 So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests, until he left him none remaining (shbq).
Along with many other passages, this reveals that YHWH DID ABSOLUTELY remain with Jesus, and shows that “shbq” does not mean “forsake”.
Going back to Matthew 27, the time was nearing the 9th hour which is our 3:00 p.m (E.S.T.)., when Jesus spoke. He shouted out with all force, and said, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is to say, “My God, My God, for this purpose was I spared” or “My God, My God, this is why I was reserved”.
Not long after this, Jesus was heard uttering the words, “It is finished.” What was finished? Only the work which YHWH had given Him to do: to seek and to save the lost. Who are the lost? Everyone who has/will ever live. Yeshua had given His own life, and paid the high cost. He who had known no sin, had become sin so that you and I could become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).
His sacrifice, as the Passover lamb, was finished. The accusers and soldiers did not kill Him. The nails driven into his wrists and feet did not killed Him. Jesus had the power and the choice to come down from that cross at any time, for He had over 12 legions of angels to command! Do you know why He stayed there, hanging on the cross? Why He allowed His body to physically die? Because He loves us so much that He willingly gave His own life, so that mankind could be redeemed.
Now let me ask you: Do you truly believe, that under these circumstances, that YHWH would really desert His ONLY Begotten Son? Would you?
For example: Say you have only one child; a son who was in the hospital dying. Would you be here reading this teaching? or would you be at the hospital with your son? I would suppose that you would want to be with your son. I know I would!!! But he had disobeyed you and done things against your will during his life, yet you still want to be with him. Do you believe that YHWH is less caring for His only begotten Son, who ALWAYS did His Father’s will, would abandon Him? I don’t think so.
I hope this teaching was as much blessing to you as it was to me as I studied and wrote it, and as we study YHWH’s Word together.