By Tyson Thorne

November 29, 2018

NoG ElChay Large

A single truth can have multiple applications. For example, when attempting to compute the area of a circle we use a limited value for pi (3.16...). While pi has only been a recognized value for the last 250 years, it appears the ancient Egyptians knew of it and used its value to help build the Great Pyramid at Giza whose vertical height has the same relationship to the perimeter of its base as a circle has to its circumference. The same is true of Biblical truths, and the one I'm thinking about directly applies to today's name of God study.

"Do you know El Chay?" one friend asked the other.

"Isn't he that cartel guy, the drug kingpin from Mexico?"

"That's El Chapo. To quote the weeping prophet, El Chay is "our God, the living God, the LORD of Heaven's Armies" (Jeremiah 23.36b).

El Chay is a Hebrew name of God that means "the living God." When the name first came into use it was a strong differentiator between YHWH who forbade his followers to make graven images and the "gods" of the surrounding nations who were solely represented by graven images. Idol worship was the norm in the ancient world, as was worship of many gods. Israel stood alone in its monotheism and belief in a God that could not be seen. This held true throughout Israel's history. Just before the nations first deportation by the Babylonians, the prophet Jeremiah reminded his fellow citizens, "ll these idolaters will prove to be stupid and ignorant. Every goldsmith will be disgraced by the idol he made. For the image he forges is merely a sham.

There is no breath in any of those idols." Idols are not living things, unlike El Chay — the living God.

Jesus used the truth behind this name of God in an entirely different way. The Sadducees, in one of their many attempts to stump Jesus, present him with a question. Jesus answers their question expertly, then adds this:

"Now as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living. You are badly mistaken!” (Mark 12.26-27)

Jesus used the truth about God being El Chay to prove life after death and the resurrection!

A single truth can have multiple applications.

Learn Biblical Hebrew Online


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