By Tyson Thorne

September 20, 2018

NoG Elohim Large

When we started this series on the names of God, I started with our previous three-day series, expanding on those paragraphs and turning them into full page studies. We're close to finishing the previous list, and as I've been researching I've found that my organization has something to be desired. For instance, I've learned that there are three primary names of God, 43 compound names using YHWH and 24 others based on El/Elohim. It's too late to correct the site, but we will do a better job when we publish the names in a PDF book we'll make available to our dedicated readers.

Of the three primary names of God, we've already covered YHWH a few weeks ago. The other two are Elohim and Adonai. Since last weeks blog focused on the generic term for God in most Near Eastern ancient cultures, El, today we'll focus on the name that is the plural form of El, Elohim, and is a construction unique to the Jewish language. (In this way one may consider this entry as an extension of last weeks study.) This form can mean "gods" and used in such a way throughout the Old Testament. When used as a name for the God, however, all other verb forms surrounding the word are singular, indicating the Elohim should be read as a proper name rather than as the plural form.

Elohim is the first name of God used in the Scriptures (Genesis 1.1) and is usually used to emphasize God's strength (as in justice and authority) or creative power in relationship to humanity. This is the Creator God who mingles with humanity. According to Nathan Stone, author and former professor at Moody Bible Institute, in his book Names of God, has this to say:

There is blessing and comfort in this great name of God signifying supreme power, sovereignty, and glory on the one hand... and on the other hand signifying a covenant relationship which he is ever faithful to keep. Thus he says to us, "I will be to you Elohim," that we may say, "My Elohim; in him will I trust" (Psalm 91.2).
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