"The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to those, You want to know my name? It is cognate to the word 'l-h-m which is found in Ugaritic, where it is used as the pantheon for Canaanite gods, the children of El, and conventionally vocalized as "Elohim".  Form criticism postulates the differences of names may be the result of geographical origins; the P and E sources coming from the North and J from the South. as originally only a numerical plural) is at least highly improbable, and, moreover, would not explain the analogous plurals (see below). But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. In other cases, Elohim acts as an ordinary plural of the word Eloah, and refers to the polytheistic notion of multiple gods (for example, Exodus 20:3, "You shall have no other gods before me"). , The KJV translates elohim as "judges" in Exodus 21:6; Exodus 22:8; and twice in Exodus Exodus 22:9. To the same class (and probably formed on the analogy of אֱלֹהִים) belong the plurals קְדשִׁים (kadoshim), meaning the Most Holy (only of Yahweh, Hosea 12:1, Proverbs 9:10, 30:3 – cf. Likewise, the Elohist describes Jacob wrestling with an angel. , The word el (singular) is a standard term for "god" in Aramaic, paleo-Hebrew, and other related Semitic languages including Ugaritic. The Samaritan Torah has edited out some of these exceptions..  Whereas the Greek Septuagint (LXX) has a singular verb form (ἐξήγαγε(ν), aorist II), most English versions usually translate this as "God caused" (which does not distinguish between a singular and plural verb). For each name in the list below, I provide the following information: Hebrew for ChristiansCopyright © John J. ParsonsAll rights reserved.  Karel van der Toorn states that gods can be referred to collectively as bene elim, bene elyon, or bene elohim. For example, Baalim, Adonim, Behemoth. The major examples are: Water (מים - mayim), Sky/Heavens (שמים - shamayim), Face (פנים - panim), Life (חיים - chayyim). An exact cognate outside of Hebrew is found in Ugaritic ʾlhm, the family of El, the creator god and chief deity of the Canaanite pantheon, in Biblical Aramaic ʼĔlāhā and later Syriac Alaha ("God"), and in Arabic ʾilāh ("god, deity") (or Allah as "The [single] God"). , The UFO religion Raelian movement claims that the plural form of Elohim suggests that the meaning of the word is aliens. But in verse 6 of the Psalm, God says to the other members of the council, 'You [plural] are elohim.' §132h), e.g. There are a number of notable exceptions to the rule that Elohim is treated as singular when referring to the God of Israel, including Genesis 20:13, Genesis 35:7, 2 Samuel 7:23 and Psalms 58:11, and notably the epithet of the "Living God" (Deuteronomy 5:26 etc. Wilhelm Gesenius and other Hebrew grammarians traditionally described this as the pluralis excellentiae (plural of excellence), which is similar to the pluralis majestatis (plural of majesty, or "Royal we").. God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. The classical documentary hypothesis, first developed in the late 19th century among biblical scholars and textual critics, holds that the Jahwist portions of the Torah were composed in the 9th century BCE and the Elohist portions in the 8th century BCE, i.e. Though El is used more than 200 times in the Hebrew Bible, Elohim … However, when referring to the Jewish God, Elohim is usually understood to be grammatically singular (i.e.  These passages then entered first the Latin Vulgate, then the English King James Version (KJV) as "angels" and "judges", respectively. In the Septuagint and New Testament translations, Elohim has the singular ὁ θεός even in these cases, and modern translations follow suit in giving "God" in the singular. When I judge the creatures I am Elohim, and when I have mercy with My world, I am named YHVH" (Ex R. 3:6). , The word elohim or 'elohiym (ʼĕlôhîym) is a grammatically plural noun for "gods" or "deities" or various other words in Biblical Hebrew. , Alternatively, there are several other frequently used words in the Hebrew language that contain a masculine plural ending but also maintain this form in singular concept. Elohim is the father of Jesus in both the physical and the spiritual realms, whose name before birth is said to be Jehovah. Marti Steussy, in Chalice Introduction to the Old Testament, discusses: "The first verse of Psalm 82: 'Elohim has taken his place in the divine council.' Second, Elohim is a common noun, used to refer to deity. A NET Bible note claims that the KJV wrongly translates: "God appeared unto him".  Hengstenberg stated that the Hebrew Bible text never uses elohim to refer to "angels", but that the Septuagint translators refused the references to "gods" in the verses they amended to "angels". Here elohim has to mean gods. The masculine plural ending does not mean "gods" when referring to the true God of Israel, since the name is mainly used with singular verb forms and with adjectives and pronouns in the singular (e.g., see Gen. 1:26). In the midst of the Elohim He is judging.   There may be a theological point, that God did not reveal his name, Yahweh, before the time of Moses, though Hans Heinrich Schmid showed that the Jahwist was aware of the prophetic books from the 7th and 8th centuries BCE.. Ask a Scholar: What Does YHWH Elohim Mean? Elohim and Elohei Constructs given in Tanakh. The Various Uses of the Plural-form", Henotheism § Canaanite religion and early Judaism, The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha, Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, "Elohim as angels in the KJV only in Psalm 8:5 (8:6 in LXX)". The Hebrew term benei elohim ("sons of God" or "sons of the gods") in Genesis 6:2 compares to the use of "sons of gods" (Ugaritic: b'n il) sons of El in Ugaritic mythology. Each "son of god" was held to be the originating deity for a particular people. The Hebrews borrowed the term El from the Canaanites. , The Hebrew Bible uses various names for the God of Israel. Certainly in 1 Samuel 19:13, 19:16 only one image is intended; in most other places a single image may be intended; in Zechariah 10:2 alone is it most naturally taken as a numerical plural. Discussions of the etymology of elohim essentially concern this expansion. The name commonly used for God in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word Elohim.It is also found in the singular form El and Elah.Whenever we find the English word "God" used in the Old Testament, it is a translation of this Hebrew word Elohim or one of its forms.. In the traditional Jewish view, Elohim is the Name of God as the Creator and Judge of the universe (Gen 1:1-2:4a). In the Jahwist tale, Yahweh is simply stationed in the sky, above the clouds without the ladder or angels.
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