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God: Is Elohim a Plural Word?

His actions are unpredictable. I surmise that he wounded himself in the act of creation.

He seems to have both good and bad days. He has astonishing limitations. Whenever he has a sense that he might have been diminished by creating the world and humankind, a kind of fury possesses him.

What Is Elohim? Biblical Meaning of God's Name

He began as primordial Man. He then became Elohim. Without that contraction, he and the cosmos would remain one. He becomes more human as he drives to keep the world and humanity separate from himself. Far from a peaceable cherub, in scripture, God lashes out.

According to Bloom, however, we are not simply left with a ragamuffin God. Perhaps unexpectedly, Bloom sees the possibility of reconciliation with Yahweh, and that this possibility may in fact be modeled in Jesus of Nazareth. Having a particular affinity for the Jesus portrayed in the Gospel of Mark, Bloom compares this literary messiah with the Yahweh of the J Writer:.

I myself, speaking now only as a literary critic, am not persuaded that the Jesus of Matthew or Luke is truly the Son of God.

Yet, again only as a critic, I would grant Mark his curious literary power … that indeed suggests a Son of Yahweh is alive in his pages. As Son of Man and Final Adam — Michael-Yahweh in the flesh, archetypal human splintered from the Elohim — Jesus stands as the type and shadow of the human condition as such and its potential redemption. This may be the spirit in which Baruch Spinoza wrote that one must learn to love God without expecting love from God in return.

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Chesterton :. It is thus not enough to reach the evental identity of God and man in the abyss of Godhead; from this zero point, one has to return to Christ, i. If this is the God with whom one is called to cut a covenant, one may be tempted to balk or even recoil, retreating behind the final defense that this is not a God one could love — perhaps only fear. Yet love is not affection for a wholly-perfect other, but the embrace of the other in their imperfection. Why could this not apply to God?

Thus, rather than sneer or hide, one might consider another response. Reading Exodus —11 , and the arguments between Moses and Yahweh leading up to this passage, Bloom meditates upon the moment when Moses introduces the elders of Israel to their God atop Mount Sinai:.

What is the meaning of the word Elohim? |

Seventy-four holy men of Israel sit upon Sinai. They enjoy a picnic as guests of Yahweh. They stare at him while he stares back. For once only, in all of the Hebrew Bible, he is silent. Does he eat?

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They certainly do, but what is their food? The sublime subsides in mutual silence. For Bloom, gnosticism is any spiritual tradition which seeks to revive from time immemorial an original fullness Greek, pleroma from which all things and beings derive in splinters and fragments.

Yet gnosis is not knowledge in an informational sense — a birthdate, social security number, address — but an intimate one: the way in which one knows and loves their family; or knows their own authentic self, beneath all the accretion and debris, and loves that self. To develop gnosis is to overcome all alienation, to reunite with the fullness or totality from which one — everyone and everything — initially separated. A certain Jewish story illustrates this fullness: in the beginning, God planted a seed in the cosmos, which grew into a great tree from which all things — even souls — blossomed.

This was the Tree of Life — what else would deserve such a name? But there came a day when that tree began to shed its leaves — the Fall. Separated from their branches, the leaves and blossoms threatened to dry, crumble, and disappear. Therefore, God set out to reverse this disintegration, to renew the Tree of Life Schwartz , — In the same vein, temple rites may function as symbolic means by which one may draw their attention back to that ever-present wholeness: rituals in remembrance of the dead who never formally joined the Mormon community in life; narratives in which one becomes Adam and Eve, broken off of God and Eden, finding their way back; communal prayers requiring the presence of love and absence of resentment; ritual embraces with the Lord; sealing ceremonies — spouses, siblings, parents and children, ancestors and descendants, ad infinitum.

One need not be overly metaphysical in order to appreciate this progression from alienation to wholeness — resurrection. People play out cultures they did not create and speak languages they did not invent, wear clothes which they acquired from others and eat food for which they traded with someone or something else.

What Does "Elohim" Mean?

We can then surmise that he placed his masculine attributes within the man and his feminine attributes within the woman and when a man and woman come together and become one See Genesis , they together become the image of Elohim. Another reference to the masculine and feminine nature of God can be found in the following passages. The word tseva'ot is the plural of the word tsava Strong's , a feminine noun meaning "force. In Hebrew grammar two nouns put together always form a construct , usually identified in the English language with the word "of," and to my knowledge, nowhere else in the Bible are two nouns not translated in the construct state.

Notice that the two phrases Yahweh Tseva'ot and Yahweh Elohim are synonyms, one using a feminine plural word meaning "forces," the other a masculine plural word meaning "powers. Also note that Yahweh is not the tseva'ot but a part of it, Yahweh is a part of the "forces," hence the usual translation of "LORD of hosts. The idea of a single male deity is unique to our modern era.

In all the ancient cultures, the Elohim was a male and female. In Egypt it was Osiris masculine and Isis feminine. In Canaan it was El and Elat also known as Asherah.

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To the Greeks it was Zeus and Hera. To the Romans it was Jupiter and Juno. To the Germans it was Odin and Frigg. I am not making the claim that the Elohim of the bible are a god and goddess, just that the attributes of Elohim are both masculine and feminine. When I speak of the positive and negative nature of Elohim , I am not speaking about a "moral" positive and negative, but the "forces" of positive and negative, much like the two poles of a magnet or the forces of the protons positive and electrons negative of an atom.

This concept of "balance" is virtually unknown in our western philosophy, but is a very important one in the ancient philosophy of the Israelites and other ancient peoples. From this ancient perspective, "balance" is " order " and anything out of balance is chaos. In the following two verses we can see this balance of positive and negative within the actions of Elohim. In the first verse we see Elohim creating positive the world, but in the second verse we see him destroying negative it. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

The way of thinking of the most influential priestly class is well described in the latest books of the Old Testament, such as the Chronicles V cent. We could say that Elohim used in Genesis is a kind of abbreviation of the oldest name.

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God was only JWHW. Let us make man in our image, after our likeness […] v. If Elohim is an abbreviation of the oldest name — i.

ELOHIM and the DIVINE COUNCIL: A Brief Introduction (The Unseen Realm)

God the Lord of hosts — then the plural is perfectly legitimate. So God or gods created man?