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).” (#)
- 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.”
- Jehovah is a proper name, while elohim, like el and eloah, are labels used to describe something powerful.
- 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.