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Hebrew name for Elijah? Elias?

PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:09 pm
by Amys
Shalom. It is my understanding that the Hebrew form of Elijah is Eliyahu. As for the New Testament name "Elias," I have no clue... Can you help?

Re: Hebrew name for Elijah? Elias?

PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:15 pm
by admin
Amys wrote:Shalom. It is my understanding that the Hebrew form of Elijah is Eliyahu. As for the New Testament name "Elias," I have no clue... Can you help?


Shalom Amy,

Both Eliyah (אֵלִיָּה) and Eliyahu (אֵלִיָּהוּ) are Hebrew (from eli = "my God" [is] Yah/Yahu, both short for "YHVH"). Apparently the longer form is pre-exilic, whereas the shorter is post-exilic (referring to the Babylonian exile, of course). The same thing is found in prefixes, too. The prefix YV- (Yo-) or YHV (Ye'ho-) are common, e.g., Yochanon [יוֹחָנָן] = Yo (short for YHVH) "is gracious," and Yehoshua [יְהוֹשֻׁעַ] = Yeho (short for YHVH) "is salvation," etc. The word "Elias" comes from the Greek (᾽Ηλίας), which usually put 'h' at the beginning of words and therefore substituted an "s" (-ς) to transliterate Eliyah (we see the same sort of thing when the Greeks transliterated "Yeshua" into Iesous, i.e., Jesus).

By the way, these are called "theophoric" (God-bearing) names by linguists...

I hope that helps. Shalom