Mark 15:35

Some of those standing around heard this, and said, “Listen! He is calling for Elijah!”

bystanders always get it wrong
they are in the wrong place
to give an eye-witness account
always caught in their own meme
they cannot hear what is said
and so make up whole cloth

not only a wrong place
the timing is all off
Elijah has already come
and gone headless away
any transfiguring has passed
now dark valleys are walked alone

but thanks for playing
watching death gets boring
breaths dwindle down
to a precious few
and then fall away drifting
Elijah was an interesting card to play

“Look!” is an attention-getter. In context it could be, “Hey!” In response to a cry, there is nothing keeping it from being, “Listen!”

At question is who is speaking at this point. Is the Cyrene still present after carrying the crossbeam? We have soldiers distracted by dividing Jesus’ garments. There are chief priests present who have a vested interest in this particular execution. At least two others are being crucified at the same time. Everyday traffic is also passing by and being warned by a never-ending tableau of crucified bodies how not to end up here: stay in line. At some distance there are fellow-travelers.

We have heard mockery by the soldiers in their divvying up of a few scraps of clothes, the little a life is worth.

That mockery is more easily identified by the inside jokes of the chief priests and the mocking tone of the passersby.

I tend to follow Mann652 in returning to the soldiers for their part in the spoken mockery by continuing the misunderstanding of what Jesus has actually said about Temple walls or a cry to G*D.

Whether therefore Eli was misunderstood as an invocation to Hēlios, the sun god, or as Ēlias, whether by Jew or Gentile, it appears to this writer that we can best understand this episode by treating bystanders as the attendant soldiers.

The arguments for who is speaking are technical and difficult. The easiest narrative reading in Mark (as opposed to other gospel reports) is to connect this verse with the next and have the same person both call out and initiate the coming action.

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