ELOHIM | Forum

Valerie Hutchison
Valerie Hutchison May 19 '13

God in Genesis 1:1 is from the Hebrew word ELOHIM. Many have incorrectly interpreted this Hebrew word to mean "more than one God." The word ELOHIM refers to the "plurality of attributes of God," not a "plurality of gods" or a "plurality of persons."

ELOHIM can be accurately translated two ways: the singular "God" (or "god") or the plural "gods." If it is translated "gods," and in this case the plural form of the word must not be taken to indicate a plurality of gods, but a plurality of the majestic attributes of the one true God and that He is the supremely powerful one. The plural ending either makes a word plural, meaning more than one, or it makes a singular referent more intense. The latter is the case where Elohim refers to the one true God. Grammatically, then, ELOHIM does not suggest that Israel's God is plural or more than one. If the reason for the plural ending is to indicate more than one, the word must be translated "gods." This is not acceptable to the monotheism of the Old Testament - Deuteronomy 6:4 (KJV) Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.


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Bro Steve Winter DD
Bro Steve Winter DD May 19 '13

Here is another study on Elohim to thwart the polytheists.

Area General Bible, PRIME Network Msg#826, Jan-19-92 07:02:00

From: Don Peters  To: All     Subject: Elohim - Singular or Plural?

Some people think that the Hebrew word "Elohim" indirectly proves

a Trinity of three persons (but somehow not three gods) simply

because it is the plural form of the singular Eloah, which has as

its root word El, which means "strength", "power", or "might".

Can we disprove that Elohim has any Trinitarian suggestions?

   1.  Many Hebrew words are plural in construction but singular

       in usage, such as "face", "life", "water" and "heaven".

       Even so, the meaning of these words and the verbs that are

       used with them are singular.

   2.  Elohim (when applied to God) is always used with a

       singular verb: words such as "is" and "created" (Gen 1:1)

       are used with it only in singular constructions. But

       Elohim, when applied to pagan deities, is always used with

       a plural verb.

   3.  In these cases, individual gods are called Elohim:

            Jdg 8:33       Baalberith

            Jdg 11:24      Chemosh

            Jdg 16:23      Dagon

            1Ki 11:5       Ashtoreth

            2Ki 1:2-3      Baalzebub

            2Ki 19:37      Nisroch

            Ex 32:1-31     The (single) golden calf

       Although it is possible for Elohim to apply to multiple "gods":

            1Sa 28:13      spirit beings

            Ps 82:1-6      human rulers or judges

   4.  We must especially note Ashtoreth, with its -eth ending,

       which signifies a FEMALE SINGULAR identity. And yet

       Ashtoreth is called Elohim, which is a MALE PLURAL noun.

       How can this be, if Elohim necessitates three persons?

       Clearly it does not.

   5.  Elohim wrestled with Jacob, yet there was only one being

       wrestling with him (Gen 32:24-28).

   6.  The Bible applies "Elohim" to Moses (Ex 7:1), but no one

       suggests that there were three persons in Moses.

   7.  The Bible applies "Elohim" to Jesus Christ (Ps 45:6, Zech

       12:8-10; 14:5), but no one suggests there are three

       persons in Christ.

   8.  Elohim is called our "father" in Mal 2:10: "Have we not

       all one father? hath not one God created us? ..."

   9.  Eloah (the singular for Elohim) is also used for God in

       verses such as Neh 9:17. El is also used for God in places

       such as Gen 14:18. If Elohim means three persons, then El

       means one person.

  10.  The largest Hebrew-English lexicon ever produced says that

       Elohim is an example of a "plural intensive" (Brown,

       Driver, Briggs; Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament.)

  11.  Jewish scholars argue that "Elohim is a plural form which

       is often used in Hebrew to denote plentitude of might"

       (Hertz, The Pentateuch and Haftorahs). Others say, "The

       form of the word, Elohim, is plural. The Hebrews

       pluralized nouns to express greatness or majesty"

       (Flanders, Cresson; Introduction to the Bible). And again,

       "The idea that Elohim referred to a plurality of persons

       in the Godhead when referring to the living God hardly

       finds now a supporter among scholars" (Smith's Bible Dictionary).

  12.  John Calvin, who was the chief prosecutor of Michael

       Servetus, had Servetus put to death on the basis that he

       denied three persons in the Godhead. Yet Calvin, who knew

       Hebrew, ridiculed any attempt to find a Trinity using

       anything from the Old Testament (Robert Brent Graves, The

       God of Two Testaments.)

  13.  If "Elohim" is a plural word referring to three persons,

       then "El" must refer to only one of those three persons.

       This would mean a Trinitarian would have a massive job

       explaining which instances of "El" in the scriptures

       referred to which Triune Person in Elohim.

In summary, any use of the word Elohim must be kept totally in a singular

context. In many ways, the Bible shows that the word "Elohim" in entirely

singular in concept, despite its grammatical plurality. There was only one

golden calf called Elohim, only one being called Elohim wrestled with Jacob,

and only one being, Jesus Christ, called Elohim.

Written by Don Peters (a Christian) in 1992

For further study here is a link http://www.israelofgod.org/elohim1.htm

Bro Steve Winter 

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Valerie Hutchison
Valerie Hutchison May 20 '13
Excellent Bible study Bro. I especially liked point number 6 :). 

I would like to also add some scripture given to us at church ( Christian Revival Center) in Bible Study showing the God in the Old Testament is in fact Jesus in the New Testament - 

Ephesians 4:5 KJV  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,


Genesis 17:1Revelations 15:3


Isaiah 43:11Luke 2:11


Isaiah 44:24Colossians 1:16


I Chronicles 29:12Matthew 28:18


Exodus 3:14John 18:6


Isaiah 44:6Revelations 1:17

The Forum post is edited by Valerie Hutchison May 20 '13
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Bro Steve Winter DD
Bro Steve Winter DD May 20 '13
Those are excellent points but I would encourage you to post the actual KJV scripture as most people will read but won't take the time to look up verses (or will plan to but never get around to it).


Bro. Winter

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Valerie Hutchison
Valerie Hutchison May 21 '13

Updated Detailed List


The God in the Old Testament is in fact Jesus in the New Testament - 

Ephesians 4:5 KJV  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,



Genesis 17:1

1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lordappeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

Revelations 15:3

3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.


Isaiah 43:11

11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.

Luke 2:11

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.


Isaiah 44:24

24 Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

Colossians 1:16

16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:


I Chronicles 29:12

12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.

Matthew 28:18

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.


Exodus 3:14

14 And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.

John 18:6

6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.


Isaiah 44:6

6 Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

Revelations 1:17

17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:


The Forum post is edited by Valerie Hutchison May 21 '13
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Pam Horne
Pam Horne Oct 29 '13
Thank you! I've been looking for more information about the use of "Elohim, " and this is exactly what I needed.
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