This man calleth for Elias. St. Jerome thinks these might be some of the Roman soldiers, who understood not Syriac, but who had heard of the prophet Elias. (Witham)
But if we understand it of the Jews, who could not possibly be ignorant of this word, we must suppose it was merely a stratagem of theirs, who wishing still to show the weakness of our Redeemer, said that he called Elias to his aid. (St. Jerome)
The soldiers thinking that he called for Elias, wished to hinder any one from offering vinegar, lest it should hasten his death, and prevent Elias from coming to assist him; which, from the darkness and other signs, they might think probable. (St. Augustine)
Wine and vinegar, on account of their penetrating quality, were thought to hasten death. We read in Plutarch, that wine was given to Mark Anthony, when he had stabbed himself, that he might die the sooner. (Jansenius) ...