EL - ELAH - ELOHIM - ELOAH
Table of Contents
EL - ELAH - ELOHIM - ELOAH
The Mighty God - The Object of Worship - Creator God
One of the oldest and most widely distributed general terms for Deity known to the human race is El according to Young’s Analytical Concordance. El and Elah designate God as the Mighty One; the Object of worship, with its derivations Elohim (the ending im is uniformly the Hebrew plural) and Eloah (the poetic form) found in Job more often than in any other book of the Bible. Like Theos in the Greek, Deus in the Latin, and God in the English, it is a generic term including every member of the class deity. The word Elohim is the fourth word in the Bible as though it were God’s signature. God’s name is thus used to indicate that He is the Author of the Bible although it is understood that He used human instrumentality.
The name El is used in combination with other names such as El Elyon, El Shaddai and El Olam. By far the most frequent form used by the Old Testament writers is the plural Elohim, but they used it regularly with singular verbs and adjectives to denote a singular idea. The name expresses majesty and authority, and it only came to be used as a proper name for Israel’s God. Elohim is Creator-God. He is the Source and Fountain of all life and being. The word elohim is translated gods in a number of places in the English Bible and refers to the gods of pagan peoples; it is also translated idols (Exodus 34:17), men (Psalm 82:6; John 10:34, 35), angels (Psalm 8:5; 97:7), gods- men (Genesis 3:5), and judges (Exodus 22:8). When the name is used in the plural meaning Israel’s God, it may indicate fulness and manifoldness of the Divine nature, or even an early intimation of the Trinity. Although the singular verb is used with reference to Elohim there is no hint in the plural noun of more than one God.
The first use of Elohim is found in Genesis 1:1 which reads “In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heaven and the earth,...” and that name is used exclusively from Genesis 1:1 through Genesis 2:3. It occurs over 2,550 times in the entire Old Testament which is second only to the covenant name of Jehovah. In the above verse the word Elohim is plural; however, the verb ‘created” (barah) is singular. This is a strange grammatical irregularity inasmuch as Hebrew grammar requires that a plural subject must always have a plural verb. Elohim is used repeatedly in that passage (thirty-five times); in fact, this passage contains what Pink calls the Ten Commands of Creation with the statement, “And God said,” spoken ten times (1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26, 28, 30). On the first occasion of God’s speaking, He simply said, “Light be, light was.” Such power must have been almighty. The word Elohim repudiates atheism for it claims and demands the existence of God. It separates God from a material creation thus refuting materialism. Furthermore, it abolishes pantheism for it necessitates a personal God.
As the Creator-God Elohim manifests Himself as powerful and mighty enough to speak the universe into existence including the sun, moon, stars, planets and space. It was He Who ordered time, space and material. As if the creation was not enough to show His power and majesty, He also controls the universe and proves him power by sending the flood of waters to destroy His human creation - except the saving of Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives. Even before the flood God shows Himself eminent in his creation by conversing with Adam and Eve after they had sinned in the Garden of Eden and also with Cain after he had slain his brother Abel. God shows His concern for His creation by conversing with it. Furthermore, Jehovah Elohim is the covenant-making God. His first covenant was with man after the Fall in Eden. Jehovah Elohim promised to put enmity between Adam’s seed and the seed of the serpent (Genesis 3:14). The seed of the serpent would bruise the heal of the woman’s seed, but the seed of woman would bruise the head of the serpent. Speaking to the serpent (Genesis 3:14-15) Jehovah Elohim said, “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed, he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heal.” Then to Eve Jehovah Elohim said (Genesis 3:16), “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” To Adam Jehovah Elohim said (Genesis 3:17 - 19), “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
Likewise to Noah (Genesis 6:18) Jehovah Elohim made a covenant. Jehovah Elohim remembered Abram (Genesis 19:29). He made covenants with Isaac (Genesis 26:24), Jacob (Genesis 28:13, 14), and Rachel (Genesis 30:22); God remembered all of these.