the Greek form of a Syro-Chaldaic or Aramaic word, meaning "Be opened," uttered by Christ when healing the man who was deaf and dumb ( Mark 7:34 ). It is one of the characteristics of Mark that he uses the very Aramaic words which fell from our Lord's lips. (See 3:17 ; 5:41 ; 7:11 ; 14:36 ; 15:34 .)
ef'-a-tha, ef-a'-tha (Ephphatha):
Aramaic word used by Christ (Mark 7:34), the 'ethpa`al imperative of Aramaic pethach (Hebrew pathach), translated, "Be (thou) opened"; compare Isaiah 35:5. The Aramaic was the sole popular language of Palestine (Shurer, History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, IIg, 9) and its use shows that we have here the graphic report of an eyewitness, upon whom the dialectic form employed made a deep impression. This and the corresponding act of the touch with the moistened finger is the foundation of a corresponding ceremony in the Roman Catholic formula for baptism.
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