Sunday, November 06, 2011

Names of God - "Elohim"

I am thinking of meditating for a while on the "Names of God" and re-living some research I have done in the past. I will make these posts concise devotionals and spend more time as the Holy Spirit wants me to live on the strength of His mighty name.

Today's concentration will be on the hebrew word "Elohim" - The Biblical writers used the singular verb 'Elohim' to express the equivalent in English  to say "Almighty God" and does not refer to anything specific. It is rather  difficult in any language to express the infinite God in anything else and contain Him in a name.  The jewish rabbis of the old very well knew this and thought it even unworthy to spell it out completely while writing it. The idea expressed is of the plural magnitude of the one who saved the children of Israel from bondage.

The wikipedia entry on Elohim has an interesting passage which may be enlightening to some but I suspect it encompasses this idea of trinity very much early in the life of the patriarchs. I paste here for your reference:

Jacob's ladder "gods were revealed" (plural) In the following verses Elohim was translated as God singular in the King James Version even though it was accompanied by plural verbs and other plural grammatical terms. Gen 35:7 and there he built an altar and called the place El-bethel, because there God had revealed (plural verb) himself to him when he fled from his brother (Genesis 35:7, ESV) Here the Hebrew verb "revealed" is plural, hence: "the-gods were revealed". The Authorized Version wrongly translates: "God appeared unto him".[21] This is one of several instances where the Bible uses plural verbs with the name elohim.[22][23] [edit]The Divine Council of Elohim 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.’ Here elohim has a singular verb and clearly refers to God. But in verse 6 of the Psalm, God says to the other members of the council, ‘You [plural] are elohim.’ Here elohim has to mean gods.” [24] Mark Smith referring to this same Psalm states in “God in Translation:…” “This psalm presents a scene of the gods meeting together in divine council…Elohim stands in the council of El. Among the elohim he pronounces judgment:…” [25] H. M. Stephenson in “Hulsean Lectures for…” (p14) discusses Jesus’ argument concerning this Psalm (82) in John 10:34-36 “And then, in answer to the charge of blasphemy, he (Jesus) replies ‘Is it not written in your Torah (viz in the Asaph Psalm xxxii) ‘I said Ye are gods? If he called them gods unto the word of God came, the Scripture cannot be broken.’ Now what is the force of this quotation ‘I said ye are gods.’ It is from the Asaph Psalm which begins ‘Elohim hath taken His place in the mighty assembly. In the midst of the Elohim He is judging.’” [26] That righteous humans ascend to become part of a council of holy gods/elohim composed of one-time mortals is a tenet also discussed in depth by Wade Cox[27][28] Michael S. Heiser[29][30] and Martha Helene Jones.[31] As such this use of elohim is recognized as distinctly different from YHVH/YHWH who, being infinite[32] has no image.[33] and who becomes the spirit of all the living.[34]
“Know therefore that Yahweh thy Elohim, he is Elohim, the faithful Elohim, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations,” Deut. 7:9
For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.
Psalm 97:7 Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.

God is all powerful and He should be our first, the source and the beginning for everything.

Blessings & Shalom,

Sam Kurien

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