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ELOHIM: Old Testament Names of God

Peace & Blessings Beloved,

TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.


Today we are going to take a deep dive into our second Old Testament name of God, ELOHIM, as found in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible.




אֱלֹהִי

(el-o-heem') God, Judge, Creator


Use in the Bible: : In the Old Testament Elohim occurs over 2000 times. Elohim is first used in Genesis 1:1.


The KJV translates Strong's H430 in the following manner: God (2,346x), god (244x), judge (5x), GOD (1x), goddess (2x), great (2x), mighty (2x), angels (1x), exceeding (1x), God-ward (with H4136) (1x), godly (1x).

Variant spellings: None

TWOT Reference: 93c


Transliteration 'ĕlōhîm

Part of Speech masculine noun

Root Word (Etymology) Plural of אֱלוֹהַּ (H433)

Strong's Reference: H430


Strong's Number H430 matches the Hebrew אֱלֹהִים ('ĕlōhîm), which occurs 2,600 times in 2,246 verses in the WLC Hebrew. Page 1 / 45 (Gen 1:1–Gen 4:25)


Definition: אֱלֹהִיםʼĕlôhîym, el-o-heem'; plural of H433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative:—angels, × exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), × (very) great, judges, × mighty.

Elohim in the Septuagint: theos - the standard Greek word for god, a transcendent being who exercises extraordinary control in human affairs or is responsible for bestowal of unusual benefits (BDAG). It specifically refers to the monotheistic God of Israel.

Meaning and Derivation: Elohim is translated as God. It is one of the most common names for God in the Old Testament. The derivation of the name Elohim is debatable to most scholars. Some believe it derived from 'êl which, in turn, originates from the root word, 'wl (which means strong). Others think that Elohim is derived from another two roots: 'lh (which means god) in conjunction with 'elôah (which means fear). And still others presume that both 'êl and Elohim come from 'eloah.

More simply put, the basic meaning behind the name Elohim is one of strength or power of effect. Elohim is the infinite, all-powerful God who shows by His works that He is the creator, sustainer, and supreme judge of the world. “Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure—you, the righteous [Elohim] who probes minds and hearts” (Psalm 7:9). Sometimes the word Elohim is shortened to El and used as part of a longer name. El Shaddai, for example, means “God Almighty” (Genesis 49:24); El Elyon means “God Most High” (Deuteronomy 26:19); and El Roi means “God Who Sees” (Genesis 16:13). Personal names of people can include the name of God: Daniel (“El Is My Judge”), Nathanael (“Gift of El”), Samuel (“Heard by El”), Elijah (“El Is Yahweh”), and Ariel (“Lioness of El”) are examples. Place names, too, can contain the shortened form of Elohim: Bethel (“House of El”), Jezreel (“El Will Sow”), and, of course, Israel (“Prince of El”) are examples. When Jesus cried out from the cross, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (Mark 15:34), He addressed the Father with a form of Elohim, Eloi. Mark translates Jesus’ statement for us: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Making Bible translation more complex is the fact that Elohim has other usages in the Old Testament besides referring to the One True God. In some contexts, elohim refers to human rulers or judges (see Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34)—the idea is that such people are to act as God’s representatives on earth, exercising authority wisely and ensuring justice. The warning of Psalm 82 is that the human elohim must answer to the Supreme Elohim some day. Elsewhere, elohim is used to refer to false gods (e.g., Deuteronomy 4:28). “They have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the [elohe] of the Sidonians, Chemosh the [elohe] of the Moabites, and Molek the [elohe] of the Ammonites” (1 Kings 11:33). Note that elohe is a form of elohim used with qualifying words or phrases and translated god of. Some may wonder what, if anything does this have to say about Trinitarianism? Does the fact that Elohim is plural suggest the triune nature of God? It is best to understand the word construction as a plural of majesty; that is, writing Elohim is a stylistic way of emphasizing greatness, power, and prestige. With that said, and in light of the overall teaching of the Bible, the plural form of Elohim certainly allows for the further revelation of God’s triune nature; the Old Testament hints at the Trinity in order to prepare people for the Messiah who would be much more than a human prophet. When Jesus appeared, He more fully revealed mysteries hinted at in the Old Testament. At Jesus’ baptism we have all three Persons of Elohim present: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16–17).


May we establish, nurture, and grow a sincere love for the word of God, and study it lovingly & faithfully.

I pray you receive this with the love intended, and apply it to wisdom.


Love you much.


Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!


-Humble Servant


P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation.

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