EPHPHATHA (ĕf'a-tha, Gr. Ephphatha from Aram. ’etpătah, passive imperative of the verb petah, be opened). A word occuring only in Mark.7.34. It was uttered by Jesus as he was healing a deaf man.
EPHPHATHA ĕf’ ə thə
, be opened
; Aram. passive imperative, ethpaal stem of פתח
, to open
, transliterated into Gr.). The word was spoken by Jesus to a deaf man and he was made to hear (Mark 7:34
). This is one of the rare occasions that a Biblical author saw fit to quote from the Aram. the exact words which Jesus used, and the word is immediately tr. (διανοίχθητι
). This may imply a connection with the words of Isaiah, “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped” (Isa 35:5
). The word “unstopped” trs. a form of the root פתח
, which is the Heb. equivalent to the root of the Aram. word that Jesus used. A repetition of Christ’s actions, the Ephpheta ceremony, is included in the ritual of baptism of infants by the Roman Catholic Church (NCE, p. 462).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
ef’-a-tha, ef-a’-tha (Ephphatha):
Aramaic word used by Christ (Mr 7:34), the ’ethpa`al imperative of Aramaic pethach (Hebrew pathach), translated, "Be (thou) opened"; compare Isa 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.