God the Father – Elohim (Part Two)

Last Thursday, we began a discussion on why, if “Elohim” is a real god, our Heavenly Father and the only God “with whom we have to do,” are there no verses about him in the Old Testament. Today, let’s look at a few Hebrew words, and their KJV-English equivalents:

אֵל – el. Occuring 245 times in the Old Testament, this word is most often translated “God” (the capital-G designates the “one true God” of Israel) in our King James Version bibles. However, it is also translated “god” (the lowercase-g is used for any “god” other than Israel’s God), “power,” “mighty,” “goodly,” “great,” “idols,” “Immanuel,” “might” and “strong.” A couple of example verses for “el” are:
Genesis 14:22, “And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God(el), the possessor of heaven and earth” and
Jonah 4:2 “And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD… for I knew that thou art a gracious God(el), and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.”

אֱלוֹהַּ – eloah. With the root “el,” this Hebrew word is also translated “God” and “god” in the KJV. A couple of example verses for “eloah” are:
Psalms 18:31, “For who is God (eloah) save the LORD?” and
Proverbs 30:5, “Every word of God (eloah) is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.”

אֱלֹהִים – elohim. This word occurs 2606 times in the Old Testament, and is the word most often used for the God of Israel. It is also translated “god(s),” “judge,” “goddess,” “great,” “mighty,” “angels,” “exceeding,” “God-ward,” and “godly.” In a moment, I will give several example verses for “elohim.”

יהוה – Jehovah. In our King James Bibles, we are usually reading this word when we read the all-caps word “LORD.” יהוה means “the existing One.” Unlike “el,” “eloah,” and “elohim,” the word LORD and/or the name “Jehovah” is never used for any god other than Israel’s God. Unlike “el,” “eloah,” and “elohim,” יהוה is never used for idols or false gods. Unlike “el,” “eloah,” and “elohim,” Jehovah is a proper name, a specific designation. (Note: Transliterated, the word is “YHWH” and it is currently thought that the pronunciation for this word is actually “Yahweh” rather than “Jehovah.”)

As promised, the following are a few of the many example verses for elohim (and also Jehovah). Please carefully consider what you read.

Exodus 6:2 “And God (elohim) spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD (Jehovah)” (also see here #)

Exodus 20:1-3 “And God (elohim) spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD (Jehovah) thy God (elohim), which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods (elohim) before me.” (#)

Deut 4:35 “Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD (Jehovah), he is God (elohim); there is none else beside him.” (#)

Deut 10:17 “For the LORD (Jehovah) your God (elohim); is God(elohim); of gods (elohim); , and Lord of lords, a great God (el); , a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward”

Joshua 24:15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD (Jehovah), choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods (elohim) which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods (elohim) of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD (Jehovah).” (#)

1 Kings 8:54-60 “And… when Solomon had made an end of praying … he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying… the LORD (Jehovah) our God (elohim) be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us…That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD (Jehovah) is God (elohim), and that there is none else.” (#)

1 Kings 18:24-39 “…call ye on the name of your gods (elohim), and I will call on the name of the LORD (Jehovah): and the God (elohim) that answereth by fire, let him be God (elohim). And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken… And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, the LORD (Jehovah), he is the God (elohim); the LORD (Jehovah), he is the God (elohim).” (#)

Isaiah 44:6 “Thus saith the LORD (Jehovah) the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD (Jehovah) of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God (elohim).” (#)

Also see Exodus 18:11 (#), Deut 4:39 (#), Deut 5:6-7 (#,#), 2 Kings 19:19 (#), Isaiah 45:5-6 (#,#), and many others.

Let’s summarize:

  1. There are no verses about a Heavenly Father named “Elohim” in the Old Testament, but instead, the verses that are supposed to be about him, according to the LDS leadership, are really about “Jehovah.”
  2. Jehovah is a proper name, while elohim, like el and eloah, are labels used to describe something powerful.
  3. Though the Bible acknowledges that many things are worshipped as though they were God, it also says Jehovah is the only true God.

Mormon: Given the information we have covered in these last two posts, can you defend the idea of a god named Elohim? Do you still want to? Do we need another post about where and when Joseph Smith came up with the name? 😉

יהוה bless this conversation and its participants and readers, in the name of Ἰησοῦς
(Jesus/”Jehovah is salvation”), amen.

About setfree

God trusting, Bible believing, Jesus lover.

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27 Responses to God the Father – Elohim (Part Two)

  1. Lisa Contreras says:

    Thank you so much for your post! You explained it so well and gave many great examples. Now, If I could only be brave enough to send this to my LDS family! Because of the hurt and anger it has caused my family in the past to even talk about the differences between Mormons and Christians (I left the church about 2 years ago), I really don't ever bring things up anymore. But this article should really make someone stop and think- you can't argue with facts… well, ok, I take that back, they can and they do!

  2. f_melo says:

    Setfree, i´m "hearing" that awkward silence when someone has such a good argument that nobody can respond to.

    Some of the comments from last post were trying to convince us that the Hebrews had a polytheistic religion, but that they only worshiped one God among many. That being the case, taking into consideration the scriptures Setfree cited, when Jehovah says He is the only one, isn´t he showing Himself to be a greedy God, wanting all the power, worship and glory for Himself? What about the other gods, wouldn´t they have been angry at Jehovah for demeaning them? Shouldn´t we then have a scenario more similar to Greek mythology, where the gods are fighting among each other for power and glory?

    And as someone else asked before, if the pagan gods were real gods, is their worship wrong? So, should we recognize Baal and others as real gods, but only worship Jehovah?

    The Mormon attempt to justify their doctrine of eternal progression is nothing more than rebellion against God, with an intention similar to that of Lucifer, to exalt themselves, not above, but on the same level as the throne of God.

  3. clyde says:

    It's a three day weekend and people are probably on a weekend trip so don't expect responses until later. Set free did a good job.
    On some of the passages cited one should remember that the hebrews were surrounded by polytheistic tribes.

  4. At my church we have a monthly service for Messianic Jews that is lead by a Jewish Pastor. They are one of my favorite services to attend. I love worshiping in Hebrew. After one of the services a few months ago, I was speaking to a few of the people there about this very idea, that Yahweh and Elohim are used in conjunction with each other in so many places and cannot be separated in that context. They looked at me like I was telling them something so very basic to their theology and did not quite understand why I thought that was such a huge deal until I took a few minutes to explain how the LDS church has made them into two different gods. That got their attention and they were very quick to explain that that is just not possible.
    Nice post Setfree!

  5. wyomingwilly says:

    Lisa, welcome. I will be praying for your family.

    ww

  6. liv4jc says:

    Setfree, as you have clearly demonstrated this issue is one in which the LDS church should just confess that Joseph Smith and the rest of the “prophets” are completely wrong. In less than two minutes any curious investigator can prove to themselves that the church is wrong on this issue. The word elohim is been given the number 0430 by Strong’s concordance. According to the NET online concordance it is used 2249 times. As you stated in your article it is used of the “true God” numerous times, even exclusively, as in Genesis chapter 1. In Genesis 2:4 we begin to see elohim used in conjunction with YHWH (LORD), in the form of “the LORD God.” This combination is used many times throughout the OT. I want to draw attention to Leviticus 19:4 from the NET study bible online, which says, “Do not turn to idols, and you must not make for yourselves gods of cast metal. I am the LORD your God.” In this verse the fact that elohim is not a proper name for God the Father is easily proved. Type in net.bible.org/study.php in your browsers command line, choose Leviticus from the dropdown menu on the right, choose chapter 19, and find verse 4. As you can see (above as well), there are two instances of the word God in the verse. The first instance is referring to false gods made of cast metal that are not the LORD, and the second is referring to the true God, YHWH. Hold you cursor over each instance of the word god and below each will appear the Strong’s number 0430, which is the Strong’s number for “elohim”. If you choose the Grk/Hebrew tab in the right hand panel and then double click on the un-capitalized god it will bring up the Strong’s definition for elohim 0430. I suggest that any LDS reader use this tool to investigate other uses of the word elohim, especially Psalm 82:6 which the LDS church claims Jesus referred to in John 10:34 to prove that we are all gods in embryo. Given that logic, we are all Elohim, or God the Father.

  7. Joseph Smith said:

    . . Paul says there are Gods many and Lords many; and that makes a plurality of Gods, in spite of the whims of all men. Without a revelation, I am not going to give them the knowledge of the God of heaven. You know and I testify that Paul had no allusion to the heathen gods. I have it from God, and get over it if you can. I have a witness of the Holy Ghost, and a testimony that Paul had no allusion to the heathen gods in the text. I will show from the Hebrew Bible that I am correct, and the first word shows a plurality of Gods; and I want the apostates and learned men to come here and prove to the contrary, if they can. An unlearned boy must give you a little Hebrew. Berosheit baurau Eloheim ait aushamayeen vehau auraits, rendered by King James' translators, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." I want to analyze the word Berosheit. Rosh, the head; Sheit, a grammatical termination. The Baith was not originally put there when the inspired man wrote it, but it has been since added by an old Jew. Baurau signifies to bring forth; Eloheim is from the word Eloi, God, in the singular number; and by adding the word heim, it renders it Gods. It read first, "In the beginning the head of the Gods brought forth the Gods," or, as others have translated it, "The head of the Gods called the Gods together." . . . The head God organized the heaven and the earth. I defy all the world to refute me. In the beginning the heads of the Gods organized the heavens and the earth. Now the learned priests and the people rage, and the heathen imagine a vain thing. If we pursue the Hebrew text further, it reads, "Berosheit baurau Eloheim ait aashamayeen vehau auraits"-"The head one of the Gods said. Let us make a man in our own image." I once asked a learned Jew, "If the Hebrew language compels us to render all word sending in heim in the plural, why not render the first Eloheim plural?" He replied, "That is the rule with few exceptions; but in this case it would ruin the Bible." He acknowledged I was right. . . -Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed., B.H. Roberts, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, vol. 6, 1976
    p. 475.

    If Elohim is translated gods, plural, in every instance as Smith suggests, how do those passages that Setfree quotes make sense? Here is one example:

    “And GODS (elohim) spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD (Jehovah) thy GODS (elohim), which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods (elohim) before me.”

    How much sense does that make? Smith did not understand Hebrew. In Genesis 1:1 the verb bara, "he created," in the singular, preceding 'Elohim, contradicts positing a plurality of gods. That the singular form 'Eloha and the plural form 'Elohim are identical, when referring to the God of Israel , can be seen from their interchangeable use in Isaiah. In Isaiah 44:6 we read: "Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the Lord of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last, and besides Me there is no God ['Elohim]." This is followed in verse 8 by: "Is there a God ['Eloha] beside Me?" If the truth of the doctrine of a plurality of gods depends in any measure on the plurality in form of the noun 'Elohim, the use of 'Eloha, the singular of the noun, within the same context, most decidedly disproves it. The underlying reason for the grammatically plural form 'Elohim is to indicate the all-inclusiveness of God's authority as possessing every conceivable attribute of power. (grindael)

  8. The use of the plural for such a purpose is not limited merely to 'Elohim, but also applies to other words of profound significance. For instance, Isaiah 19:4 uses 'adonim ("lords") instead of 'adon ("lord"): "Into the hand of a cruel lord" (literally "lords," even though referring to one person), and Exodus 21:29: "Its owner [literally, be'alav, "its owners"] also shall be put to death." 'Elohim means "gods" only when the Scriptures apply this plural word to the pagan deities. The pagan Philistines applied the title 'elohim to their god Dagon (Judges 16:23-24, 1 Samuel 5:7). The Moabites, likewise, used the word 'elohim to describe their god Chemosh (Judges 11:24). That the plural form of 'Elohim does not at all imply a plurality of gods is a fact attested to by the ancient Greek version of the Scriptures, the Septuagint, which renders 'Elohim with the singular title ho Theos ("the God").

    The Book of Mormon gives evidence that Joseph Smith apparently learned about the functioning of the masculine plural ending -im, which he renders as -heim, some time after his alleged translation of that book. Hebrew masculine plurals generally end in -im. To add an -s to such words when introducing them into English is incorrect. For example, the Hebrew noun keruvim may be written in English as cherubim or even cherubs, but never cherubims. The noun cherubim is already in the plural form (cherub in the singular). To add an -s to it would be similar to the adding of an -s to the word children. The noun cherubim appears three times in modem editions of the Book of Mormon (Alma 12:21, 42:2-3), and is used correctly. However, in the first edition of the Book of Mormon the word appeared in all three places as cherubims, with the -s improperly added.5 Two of the changes were made prior to the 1888 edition, however, Alma 12:21 of the 1888 edition still retained the word cherubims and was apparently changed at some later date. Similarly, the plural of seraph is seraphim. Seraphim appears twice in the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi 16:2, 6). While it is used correctly in modern editions, in the first edition it appears improperly as seraphims.6 The 1877 edition of the Book of Mormon reads, at 2 Nephi 16:2, 6, the same as the 1830 edition, therefore, the changes must have been made at a later date. The appearance of these two erroneous plural forms in the first edition of the Book of Mormon should come as no great surprise.

    Smith, as we have seen above, had little, if any, knowledge of Hebrew language and grammar. In writing the Book of Mormon, assuming he is the author, Smith relied heavily on the King James Version of the Bible, where these two nouns are erroneously rendered as cherubims (for example, Genesis 3:24) and seraphims (for example, Isaiah 6:2). All said, Smith shows himself to have been a fraud who misled his followers with fanciful renderings of Scripture.

  9. setfreebyjc says:

    i detect a little sarcasm ;-}

  10. clyde says:

    I posted a comment about my source for the JEP hypothesis. Did I violate policy?
    What confuses me now is the use of jehovah and then elohim after the conjunction and. Is that an oddity of the hebrew language when refering to a person or subject? It sounds like two different persons are being address.
    I am puzzled!!

  11. f_melo says:

    I don´t know what you meant by violating policy… i didn´t see your comments removed…

    Why are you puzzled? I´m puzzled on how after this detailed exposition of the scriptures you still find a way to try to make something out of this other than what is plainly seen. Also, read Doug Pennington´s comment again, he´ll clear that right up for you.

  12. f_melo says:

    "you can't argue with facts… well, ok, I take that back, they can and they do!

    I´m in a similar situation myself… it was extremely frustrated when i told them the truth about the Church and all they did was to find excuses to justify the unjustifiable. They wouldn´t hold other churches to the same standards they hold themselves, if any of the "enemy" churches would do 1/100th of what Mormon Church does in terms of lying for the lord, they would be all over it voicing how those churches of the devil lie to destroy people and keep them from the "truth"… it´s really sad.

    I´ll join Wyomingwilly in praying for your family.

  13. f_melo says:

    By his own understanding of it, Joseph would have had to come to the conclusion that Jehovah wasn´t referring to a single being then… Also Jehovah should be elohim in mormon theology, and elohim shouldn´t even be considered a proper name!

    How about that, Joseph Smith as your hebrew instructor. I didn´t think he needed to study hebrew, i thought he received direct revelation from the source itself, and by those standards the books of Abraham and Moses should have replaced the creation account in Genesis. Hmm, but they contradict each other, don´t they… i feel like Clyde now, puzzled. Also why did he need an instructor for that, didn´t he have the Urim and Thummin? Didn´t those seer stones teach him "Reformed Egyptian"? Why couldn´t they teach him hebrew as well?

    "I defy all the world to refute me."

    Man, this guy liked a lot of attention. Also how prideful and what a big inflated ego he had. Well, Setfree just refuted him.

  14. f_melo says:

    Liv4jc, when you corner mormons like that you force them to resort to their view that the Bible has been corrupted beyond any reliability… or they can just tell you that living prophets take precedence over dead ones(meaning that they can just contradict and discard everything said before them as they wish), it doesn´t matter if the dead ones laid a fraudulent foundation. And they do all of that while praising themselves for being "seekers of truth"(code words for Joseph Smith worshiping).

  15. setfreebyjc says:

    clyde, what verse(s) are you referring to?
    No, you didn't violate policy, if you're asking whether or not leaving the source or using the source is somehow wrong. I hope, however, that you took time to go to one of the links I provided, or read some of the commentary given on the last post. that ought to help a little…

  16. setfreebyjc says:

    Terrific material Johnny!

  17. setfreebyJC says:

    Lisa, I appreciate you commenting out here. It really encourages those of us who hang around Mormon Coffee to find out that someone is benefitting from our efforts.
    About your family: take heart! Many of those of us whom God has pulled from Mormonism and to the Christ of the Bible have already seen more members of our family also get saved – And if not biological, He gives us a new family in Christ. He is truly a good God.
    Thanks and Welcome!

  18. wyomingwilly says:

    Elohim/Jehovah/ . Who is this God ? who is this God , our God, the God/ creator of the spirits of all
    flesh [ Num.27:16 ] ?

    Well, Mormons make the claim that they have a prophet, God's messenger, this man is the one who can
    reveal the mind and will of God to all LDS. Examples I read in Mormon publications, and sermons:
    The prophet is the source we can turn to for " pure unpolluted guidance." For acurrate scriptural
    interpretation, the prophet is who we can have " complete confidence in…" Furthermore, this prophet
    can be trusted because he merely " relays the Lord's words for the people on earth today." So this is
    God's truth then, not the prophet's. Let's see what some of these words were, let's take a look at a small
    sample of spiritual guidance from Mormon leaders concerning the God of the spirits of man. [cont.]

  19. wyomingwilly says:

    [cont] part 2
    What God [Elohim] are Mormon prophets talking about in verses like Num. 27:16 ?
    1. An unmarried Elohim called elsewhere, "our God", the "only God" for us, I AM , Jehovah.
    2. An arch-angel, called "our God" [ by the Mormon prophet B.Y.], Michael, part of a three god team
    of creator gods for this earth. ( this Elohim was also call the Father of of our spirits, and adam ]
    3. Another separate Elohim, this one called, the Holy Ghost, although a member of the heavenly First
    Presidency he is still waiting for a physical body to come to an earth, get married, prove worthy, and
    eventually become a Elohim with enough fullness to one day become a Father of spirits himself.
    4. Finally, for sometime now, we hear the Mormon prophet call another separate God as Elohim, this
    one is married and come to find out He sexually produced the other separate Elohims mentioned here.
    He is called heavenly Father, and he is the God , supposedly the God of the spirits of all flesh.

  20. wyomingwilly says:

    cont. part 3

    This is a small sample of spiritual guidance by Mormon prophets. False prophets provide the people
    with guidance that starts within their own minds, their own reasoning, not from God [ Jer.23:21 ]
    To follow , to submit to the authority of such prophets, such leaders has consequences — Matt. 15:14.
    There is a reliable true guide– Jn.16:13 , who always points to the only prophet worth following today,
    Heb.1:1-2; 7:25

  21. setfreebyJC says:

    you have to wish the LDS were required to learn their true church history, instead of being kept sheltered from it as much as is possible

  22. wyomingwilly says:

    setfreebyJC, I think you're right about most Mormons not knowing about many things their leaders
    have said and done. I think you stated one time that if LDS would only open their Bibles and read
    what God says about Himself, they would then see the truth. The blindness of these sincere people
    in how much they trust their prophet is heart breaking to observe. Consider the following:

    " Let me give you a crucial key to help you avoid being deceived. It is this—learn to keep your
    eye on the prophet." [ Gordon B. Hinckley ]

    Jesus said to BEWARE —-Matt 7:15

  23. clyde says:

    Are you catholic or orthodox? I am asking because those were the only churches until the reformation. When you look at history you should look at your own. You should remember that when confronted with the truth a person may consider to ignore it.

  24. f_melo says:

    And that has anything to do with what?

  25. setfreebyJC says:

    Clyde, are you ignoring the truth?

  26. wyomingwilly says:

    clyde, I am neither Catholic nor Orthodox. Can I be up front with you ? You seem to ignore the
    main point of what this thread is about.You seem to always go into something that might be
    related to this thread, but you're not addressing the point SetfreebyJC ' has made here. If you
    are a Mormon then you need to examine whether or not you have the true gospel. It's my opinion
    that you follow a well meaning but false, prophet . Jesus said to beware of false prophets. The
    consequence for submitting to someone who claims to be the mouthpiece of God on earth and
    who wrongly divides the Word [ 2Ti. 2:15] and introduces a god that is not the Supreme Jehovah-
    Elohim of the Bible, is going to be in dire straights eternally speaking. Because of this we have
    a passion to reason with you . May you come to find that glorious truth that JESUS is enough ! Heb7:25

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