NAMES OF GOD IN THE BIBLE by A.C. Grylls 1894
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THE Appendix to the Revised Version of the Old Testament contains a long list of passages and “classes of passages" as to the rendering of which into modern intelligible English the American Company of Revisers felt bound to differ very materially from their brethren who sat at the Jerusalem Chamber, Westminster. The first suggestion, and the most significant of all, is the following, which we will quote word for word:
"Substitute the divine name 'Jehovah' wherever it occurs in the Hebrew text for ‘the Lord’ and ‘God’, and omit the margin to 'the Lord' at Genesis ii, 4, and ‘Hebrew Jehovah’ from the margin at Exodus iii, 15; also substitute Jehovah for ‘the Lord’ or 'Jah' wherever the latter occur in the Hebrew text, and retain or insert ‘Hebrew Jah’ in the margin. Where 'Jehovah' immediately follows, viz., in Isaiah xii, 2, xxvi, 4, read ‘Jehovah, even Jehovah,’ and omit ‘Jehovah’ from the margin."
The above note sounds somewhat complicated at first, but even a slight study of the texts quoted, with a comparison of the “Authorised" Version and the Revised Version, and a reference (if possible) to the corresponding Hebrew, will be found most instructive; will open up fields of new thought; and throw a flood of light on the question whether Judaism was Polytheistic before Monotheistic, or vice versa. We do not pretend to enter into this subject here; we wil merely examine a few out of the many Old Testament texts that might be cited, put them into the “Hebraic" form in which they should really be translated (if revisers were bold enough), and leave the reader to draw his own conclusions or to decide for himself between contending commentators on the passages. Even if the Americans’ first suggestion, that of translating the Hebrew letters YHVH consistently by “Jehovah", were adopted, it would make the Bible read like quite a different book; but why did they not go even further and suggest that each name of the “divinity" (or divinities) should be as exact a reproduction as possible of the Hebrew? In this way we should read: "In the beginning [the] Elohim created the heavens and the earth". What a “revelation" such a text would be to lethargic Christians who complacently sit through the First Lesson and never question at the end of it whether the “God" they have heard about has been presented to them under the garb of YHVH (the pronunciation of which scholars still quarrel over) or of Elohim, El, or El Shaddai. We may as well sum up the various names of God at the outset, and later on examine them one by one. They are: Adon, Elohim, YHVH (pronounced Yahveh?), Yahveh Elohim, Adonai El, Yahveh, El, Yah, El Shaddai, Eloah; and allusion will be made to “the Fear" (Gen. xxxi, 53), the “Name" (Lev. xxiv, 2, Revised Version), and Tsébaoth (Sabaoth). In nine cases out of ten the “hearer of the Word" is unable to tell which name out of a dozen is being palmed off on him as the eponym of the "only true God" under a weak or timid translation.
Occasionally we are treated to the right word, as: "Praise him in his name Yah," etc. But how startling the effect is! We have heard of an old lady at Westminster Abbey dropping her prayer book when the organist brought the thirty-two feet pedal into use; in the same way we can remember, at the time that we used to writhe under the chanting or reading of the generally inane Prayer Book translation of the various Psalmists, that this name used to stand out very boldly from the rest of the page, and suggest instant reference to the Hebrew original.
But to return to the few passages cited by the American Company. The first is Genesis ii, 4, and a most important one, as it marks the commencement of the second account of the Creation which the compiler of the book evidently found when he had drawn up the first, and thought best to insert in immediate sequence. "These are the generations . . . . in the day that Yahveh Elohim made earth and heaven." This compound name of God remains in use until the end of chap. iii, though it is remarkable that the "serpent" makes use of another name in his portion of the dialogue: “Yea, hath Elohim said?"
Elohim is the name of God (or Gods) employed from Genesis i, 1, to ii, 3, and the transition from this "Elohistic" section to another long and independent account, in which the name "Lord God" appears almost throughout, must strike even the most casual reader. At Genesis iv, we are introduced to Yahveh alone: "I have gotten a man with the help of Yahveh".
The next text quoted (Ex. iii, 15) is a _locus classicus_ with regard to divine names, and might read thus: "Yahveh, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, etc., . . . . hath sent me . . . . this is my name for ever". The "name" refers to the preceding verse where God has just announced himself to Moses under a new name: "I am who am" (Hebrew, Ehyeh asher ehyah). The revisers see fit to add a note on Exodus iii, 15, stating that Yehovah is from the same root as ehyeh; but this point is by no means agreed upon by Hebraists, and the question of the derivation of the tetragrammaton, YHVH, as well as of its pronunciation, is still sub judice. In fact, as was pointed out at the time of publication, the Old Testament Revisers have quite overburdened the margin with renderings which they ought to have thrown fearlessly into the text. This is due to the great outcry raised on the earlier appearance of the New Testament Revision, where people found their favorite quotations drastically dealt with, and trimmed in accordance with the latest exactitudes of Greek scholarship. The Americans wisely suggest under the 6th clause that all marginal renderings from the Septuagint, Vulgate, and other versions should be omitted. There is not room for a "Speaker’s Commentary" at the side of each column; and the omission of the "ancient authorities" would force our scholars to give one fixed translation for each divine name in the text itself.
We pass on to consider the next two passages. Isaiah, xii, 12, should read: "Behold, El is my salvation . . . . for Yah Yahveh is my strength and my song"; and xxvi, 4, thus: “Trust ye in Yahveh for ever; for in Yah Yahveh is a rock of ages." What do we find fault with in these two texts? Firstly, that the translators have transferred their rendering of "the Lord" from Yahveh to Yah; and secondly that the Americans by their suggestion to translate “Jehovah, even Jehovah" would make the two words identical in origin and meaning—another point which has yet to be settled. Indeed, some scholars maintain that the words Yah and Yahu are far other than Yahveh, and that they do not belong to the same sphere of “revelation", if even to revelation at all. It is surely begging the question to call the words synonymous; and we are surprised that they do not urge the placing of Yah consistently in the text, after the manner in which they propose to deal with the word Shéol. We now proceed to a short examination of each of the names mentioned above, following in some degree their order, rather than their frequency of occurrence in the Bible. Genesis i, 1, has been quoted: “In the beginning created [the] Elohim the heaven and the earth; and the spirit of Elohim was brooding upon the face of the waters". The word Elohim is plural as everybody knows (comp. Cherubim), and this fact has been pressed into service by Trinitarians to prove their theory of an eternal trinity, making use also of the text: Let us make man in our image. If it thus expresses two or more persons, it is no mean argument in favor of the theory that the belief prevailing at the time at which this section was written may have been Polytheistic. The verb, however, happens to be in the singular; but this may arise from the fact that the various persons referred to group themselves into the idea of one Godhead. Many instances are found of a plural verb or adjective agreeing, and thus a remarkable turn is given in an accurate translation. Abraham says to Abimelech: "When the Elohim caused me to wander from my father’s house" (Gen. xx, 13). In this instance the plural would seem to be wilfully glossed over by translators, but it is answered that A. is suiting his language to the heathen Abimelech. In Genesis iii, 5, the old version is preferable to the new; but what a forcible translation would be: "Ye shall be as the Elohim, knowing good and evil".
Read in this light, Genesis xxxv, 7, is a remarkable text: "He called the place El-beth-el; for there the Elohim were revealed to him!" This must be compared with xxviii, 12, 1 3: “The messengers of Elohim ascending and descending on it. And behold, Yahveh stood above it, and said, I am Yahveh, the Elohim of Abraham, thy father," etc. In Genesis xxxv, 2, Jacob is at great pains to make his people "put away the Elohim of the stranger that are among them", because in verse 1 Elohim had commissioned him to build an altar to the El, who had appeared to him.
The people in Exodus xxxii, 1, demand of Aaron: "Make us Elohim, which shall go before us;" and when the work of making one molten calf is accomplished, the significant (ironical?) remark of the people is: "These be thy Elohim, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." Aaron then proceeds to build an altar, and to proclaim a feast on the morrow to Yahveh! Yahveh tells Moses to get him down from the Mount, with the tables of stone, which we are told are graven by Elohim!
We cannot dwell much longer on this particular word, and will merely quote a few important texts which may advantageously be referred to. Laban says (Gen. xxxi, 53): "The Elohim of Abraham and the Elohim of Nahor, may they judge between us". The Philistines, in 1 Samuel iv, 8, ask: “Who can deliver us from the hand of these mighty Elohim". Jezebel and Benhadad, as heathens, use the frequent oath: "May the Elohim do so unto me and more also," etc. Jeroboam, on making two calves, found the people quite prepared for his address: "These be thy Elohim, O Israel". The witch at Endor, after working herself up into a state of frenzy, assures Saul: "I see Elohim arising (plural participle) from the earth," by which she evidently imagined herself to be viewing the spirits of the mighty dead. The serpent promises Adam and Eve that they shall be as the Elohim, knowing good and evil. This is in Genesis iii, where observe carefully the names in verses 1 and 2. In verse 1 is Yahveh Elohim, but the serpent employs Elohim alone: "Yea, hath Elohim said". This looks very much as if Yahveh had been interpolated in verse 1 by a later scribe. Note also the difference between Authorised Version and Revised Version in verse 5.
It is only fair to the revisers to observe that they spell the word "Lord" with capitals where it represents Yahveh. In Joshua xxiv, 19, we find the expression "a holy Elohim (is) he", where both noun and adjective are in the plural, against a singular pronoun, the auxiliary being omitted, according to Hebrew usage. The word for "he" is Hu, which we shall speak of later on.
We now pass on to the name Yahveh, but en route we may as well dispose of the compound Yahveh-Elohim, translated Lord God, and briefly alluded to above.
It is characteristic of the passage, Genesis ii, 4-iii, which seems to form a second account of the “Creation"; and it has been supposed, not without reason, that these words did not stand together in any original text, but that Elohim had been used alone, and that a later compiler of the book added Yahveh throughout in order to combat any supposed Polytheistic ideas. Other scholars opine that the account of the Creation has been written by two authors belonging to two distinct schools, and they name one the Elohist and the other the Jehovist. Genesis iii, 8, reads: "And they heard the sound of Yahveh Elohim walking in the garden".
In Genesis iv a return is made to the name of Yahveh. Sheth is born, and this name given to him, “for Elohim hath appointed (Heb. Shath) me another seed". In the next verse we are told that "then men began to call themselves by the name Yahveh". In the Noachian myth (chaps. vi.vii) the two names Yahveh and Elohim are used in indiscriminate confusion, and we are told (vi, 2) that the sons of the Elohim saw the daughters of men that they were fair. The word Elohim is very suggestive here, especially when read in the light of verse 4, where the revisers give us the word "Nephilim" instead of "giants". What is the connexion between bené-ha-Elohim and Nephilim? While studying the early chapters of Genesis the presence of the word "El" should be remarked in such names as Mehuja-el, Methusha-el.
Yahveh (called in the Bible Jehovah) is, of course, the divine name par excellence among Hebrews since the time of the leader passing under the name of Moses, to whom also it was supposed to have been “revealed". The very existence of this personage has been called in question by Bishop Colenso and other accurate thinkers; and the Rev. Sir Geo. W. Cox, in his epitome of Colenso’s life, says that “Moses is a personage as shadowy, perhaps, and unhistorical as Aeneas in the history of Rome or our own King Arthur". Further on the same eminent scholar and historian says: "The name Jehovah could not have been made known for the first time to Moses and also have been well kndwn to Adam and Eve and their progeny".
These points we shall not attempt to follow up now, nor need we pause long on the word Yahveh; as it is so consistently (and irritatingly) translated “ the Lord " that the ordinary reader has only to look out hundreds of texts for himself and mentally supply the Hebrew word. It is represented in Hebrew by the letters YHVH, but scholars are at variance as to which are the proper vowels to be supplied in order to make the word pronounceable. The Jews have always shrunk from pronouncing it, when reading the Bible, (substituting the word Adonai=my Lord, instead) so that the tradition thereof has not come down to us. Is it to be pronounced Yahveh, or Yehovah?
Now observe again carefully the verses, Exodus iii, 14., 15, together with the margin of the Revised Version. If Jehovah is from the same root as Ehyeh, why not translate it the self-existent one, or “the self-consistent" with Havernick, Kohler, and Delitzsch? What has "Lord" to do in the matter?
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In connexion with the word Yahveh, we are bound to notice the name Yah, because it has been maintained by many scholars that Yah is a shortened form of Yahveh; whereas later writers uphold the view that Yah, Yo, Yeho, as found in the names Uriyah (the Hittite), Yochebed, Yehoshaphat, are all traceable to a primary Yahu. Yahu is manifestly far older than the time of Moses, and if it = Yahveh, then Sir George Cox’s second dictum (quoted above) regarding the self-contradiction of the Biblical narrative is manifest. Of the preMosaic use of the name Yahu, or Yeho, we have evidence in the name of the lawgiver’s mother Yochebed; also (1 Chron. vii, 8) in the names Abi-yah and El-yoeni, two grandsons of Benjamin. Texts from Chronicles must not, however, be pressed too far, on account of the very late date of the book. Turning once more to Exodus iii, 15, we see that Moses announces "Yahveh" as the "God (elohim) of your fathers"; but it is extremely unlikely that to a nation of slaves then worshipping false Gods he would have announced an entirely new name, and one so difficult of comprehension. They had evidently heard of Yahu as the God of their fathers, and were in a measure prepared for the new name Yahveh; which has accordingly, by later scribes, been interpolated where Elohim once stood or placed side by side with it; as we see in the second account of the Creation beginning at Genesis ii, 4.
With regard to the derivation of Yahu, Professor Delitzsch says it is from the root i-, which has given rise to the Babylonish names for God, il, ilu. The Accadian name was an, and all these words signify high. Therefore we must turn to Babylonia, if we wish to arrive at the true origin of some of the Hebrew names for God.
The mention of the root “il " brings us to the word El (compare Beth-el House of God), which is the oldest of the Semitic names for God. Gesenius derives it from a root meaning strong, but it is not too great a stretch of imagination, perhaps, to make it synonymous with the Accadian “an" high, by the interchange of “n" and “l".
The antiquity of this word (El or Bel among the Phcenicians) is shown in the names Mehuja.el, Methusha-el (Gen. iv, 18), Ishma-el (Gen. xxv, 13), and Magdi-el, an Edomite (Gen. xxxvi, 4.3). It is an interesting word to study, as it is rarely, like Elohim, used absolukty to denote “ God ", but generally has an accompanying adjective or noun, as in El Elion, El Shaddai (both to be dealt with presently), a jealous El, the living El, El of Eternity (Gen. xxi, 33). In 1 Sam. ii, 3, Yahveh is an El of Knowledge. It is frequently joined to other divine names, as "El the Elohim of Israel". Genesis xlvi, 3, reads: I am the El, the Elohim of thy fatherwhere the English Version, by translating both Hebrew words God, is distinctly misleading. Two remarkable texts are Joshua xxii, 22, Psalms 1, i, which read, "El Elohim Yahveh (repeated), he knoweth," and "El Elohim Yahveh hath spoken". We leave readers to consult commentaries as to the best translation in these passages, only pointing out how much force is lost by not leaving the works in their original tongue. The El of Jacob is common, and we find "the El of Bethel". In Psalms xxii, xxx, we have, "As for the El, his way is perfect," where in the English Version no notice is taken of the article.
The usage of the word by itself is mostly, though not exclusively, confined to poetry; and some ardent scholars pretend to look on it as the property of heathenism, and in no sense belonging to the true God. Job, a non.Israelite, certainly uses it a great deal, and Ezekiel six times only, but never of the "true" God. Its appearance, however, in the supposed Messianic prophecies is surprising, e.g., in the names Immanu-el, El Gibbor "the mighty God" (Is. ix, 6).
Before leaving the word "El", we may mention that passages occur in which later scribes, finding El in an earlier MS., have deliberately substituted Yahveh. What can be more senseless than the following (Gen. xvi, 11): “She called his name Ishma-el because Yahveh had heard"? The original text must have read: "Because El had heard" (“Shama," meaning to hear). The same dishonesty causes us endless difficulty over the derivation of Samuel’s name in 1 Samuel i, 20, on which see the commentaries.
The name El Elyon need not detain us long; its meaning "El most high" and its usage by Melchizedek are well known; see also Psalm lxxviii, 35 (R.V.). It is compounded with Yahveh (Ps. vii, 18) and with Elohim (Ps. lvii, 2), and frequently occurs alone, as in Numbers xxiv, 16, and in the Psalms.
The name El Shaddai demands more attention because it is connected with a distinct "revelation", as is shown in the important text Exodus vi, 2: "And Elohim spake to Moses and said: I am Yahveh. I appeared unto Abraham in El Shaddai; but as to my name Yahveh I was not made known to them." God Almighty is hardly the best translation, for, as is pointed out by the Rev. E. G. King, D.D., in six passages where it occurs in Genesis (xvii, 1; xxviii, 3; xxxv, 11 ; xliii, 14.; xlviii, 3; xlix, 25), all of which are worth studying (and where El Shaddai should, of course, be read into the text), each has a promise of blessing accompanying the name: "Shaddai, may he bless thee," "I am El Shaddai, be thou fruitful," etc. The original meaning was, perhaps, bountiful, and Shaddai may be connected with "Shad", meaning "a breast". Later on it seems to have lost this signification, and to have been associated with the idea of "fear". Joel i, 15, has "a destruction from Shaddai"; compare Ruth i, 20, 21, "Shaddai hath dealt very bitterly with me". ln Job it occurs thirty times, from which the writer quoted above infers that Job wished to give a patriarchal coloring to his narrative!
The next “divine name" to be examined is the word “Eloah", which looks at first sight, and is taken by Gesenius, to be the singular of Elohim; but its exclusive usage in late books and late Psalms would seem to militate against this idea, and to show that Elohim is far older. It is derived either from a root meaning "to fear" or "to be powerful" (Furst), but appears to have come into the Hebrew from a foreign source. The writer of Daniel uses it in chap. xi, vv. 37, 38, 39, speaking of "the Eloah of fortresses", and "a strange Eloah". In verse 36, however, the "God of Gods" is called El Elim, while the "Gods" of his fathers represents the word Elohim! The post-exilic Psalm, cxiv, reads in i, 7: "Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of Adon, at the presence of Eloah of Jacob." In Habakkuk i, 12, we find: "He whose strength is his God" (Eloah); while in the next verse: “Art not thou from everlasting, Yahveh, my Elohim?" Job uses the word forty times of the "true" God, as in the well known and difficult text, xix, 26, "from my flesh I shall see Eloah". Psalm l, 22: “Ye that forget Eloah." Nehemiah is another late writer who employs the word, in chap. ix, 17.
The chief of the "names" now remaining to be considered is Adonai, my lord, which is a pluralis excellentiae, meaning really "my lords", and is both found alone and also compounded with Yahveh and Elohim (rarely with the latter). Used alone, it frequently occurs in the Pentateuch, notably in the expression “Oh Lord" (Ex. iv, 10, etc.; compare Neh. i, 11). A remarkable text is Daniel ix, 19, where the word occurs three times: "Adonai, hear; Adonai, forgive; Adonai, hearken and do." In 2 Kings vii, 6, we learn that Adonai caused the host of the Syrians to hear a noise.
In the earlier books of the Bible this word is used as a vocative case, and on the occasion of direct prayer to the deity; but in the time of the Kings it has evidently lost this signification and has come to signify "the Lord". As a compound in proper names we find Adoni-yah, Adoni-bezek, Adoni-zedek, the two latter being Canaanite kings. Genesis xviii, 3, and xix, 18, are two texts worthy of study in this connexion. Abraham and Lot, in addressing the angels, say "My Lord" (Adonai); and anyone looking at these passages in a Hebrew Bible will find a masoretic note appended, saying that this word represents the holy name; but as it is addressed to three people, it would be better either to translate it "my lords" or else to presume some textual error which has yet to be explained. It will be noted that the subsequent conversation is carried on as if one person alone were being addressed.
Let us now pass on to the compound “Adonai Yahveh " translated Lord God, so that herein there is no distinction from Yahveh Elohim, the divine name of Genesis ii, 4.-iii. We maintain that some distinction ought to be made. While the English reader, unacquainted with Hebrew, cheerfully imagines that the phrase "Lord God" always answers to the same words in the original, a Jew of the olden time (supposing the text not to have been corrupted) must surely have formed a different conception of the deity if he heard at one time Yahveh Elohim and at another Adonai Yahveh. Some passages containing this name are, Deuteronomy ix, 26, Joshua vii, 7, Ezekiah ii, 4.; iii, 11; v, 7; vi, 3, etc. It generally occurs with the phrase, "Thus saith the Lord God" of the prophets; and frequently in the expression: "Ah Lord God!" See Jeremiah i, 6; xiv, 13; Ezekiah iv, 14; and the only four instances in which the name occurs in the Pentateuch are in verses containing supplication, viz: Genesis xv, 2, 8; Deuteronomy iii, 24; ix, 26; cf. Judges xvi, 28. Adonai being compounded with Yahveh, it is not surprising to find it coupled with Elohim in the name Adonai Elohim; and this fact gives rise to the important question whether Elohim has not been wilfully substituted by a later scribe for an original Yahveh, in order to give vent to the views of his particular "school of the prophets". This can be almost conclusively proved by a comparison of 2 Samuel vii, with 1 Chronicles xvii, where the same Psalm or Prayer of David is recorded in the two books. It is worth while copying out the Hebrew of both passages, from 2 Samuel vii, 18, and 1 Chronicles xvii, 16 onwards, and placing the verses side by side; and the most ordinary reader will find an alteration in the name of God in every case but two. It is seen that as a rule "Yahveh" of Samuel passes into "Elohim" in Chronicles, while Adonai is suppressed altogether. In verse 24 of the Chronicles we have a conglomeration of names: "Yahveh Sabaoth [is the] Elohim of Israel, an Elohim to Israel". Of Sabaoth we shall speak next. In verse 28 of the Samuel passage we find the following: “Adonai Yahveh thou art Hu, the Elohim". The word "Hu" is generally translated "He" and is a demonstrative pronoun of the third person, answering to Latin is, ea, id. Its constant recurrence in the phrase “I am he", and the manner in which the Septuagint translate it, viz., by Kyrios (the Greek word for Lord), leave little doubt that this word was also a synonym for Yahveh or some other name. Certainly the accompanying word “I" (in Hebrew ani) was thus regarded by Rabbis. M. Renan upholds more or less the same view, and many striking passages will be found in Gesenius. The connexion of “hu" with the Accadian Hua, and with the Arabian Houa (one of the seven mysterious names of God) is very interesting, but space forbids our entering into the subject now. We pass on to consider the last important name or rather qualifying epithet to Yahveh—Sabaoth. The derivation of this word, spelt more correctly Tsebaoth, is interesting, and throws some light on its leading idea, which is that of a military force issuing forth. The root means to burst forth, and is seen in the word for a wild roe, tsebi, which also means splendor (Jer. iii, 19)—that is, the bursting forth of light. Then it comes to be used of an army which goes out to service, and also of the service itself, both military and religious. The general translation is Lord of hosts, but "armies" is a better word than hosts, as Gesenius translates, Jova-agminum. In 1 Kings xxii, 19, Micaiah says, "I saw . . . . all the host of heaven"; and a similar phrase occurs in 2 Chronicles xviii, 18. It is important to observe that when used in this way of stars or angels, the singular Saba is employed as a rule, Sabaoth being the plural. Some scholars have connected the word Saba with the Sabaeans or worshippers of light, a cult which early sprang up in Chaldaea; and from the many references to it in the later books it is not at all unreasonable to suppose that the Jews in their turn became impregnated with this religion, as with so many others. Manasseh worshipped "all the host of heaven". Zephaniah says, "I will cut off them that worship the host of heaven upon the house-tops". Compare also 2 Kings xxiii, 4, 5, 11, 12. Jeremiah mentions the practice as having been very prevalent at Jerusalem (viii, 2). Amos also makes continual reference to starworship (v, 8, 26, etc.), and in v, 14, speaks of the name Yahveh God of Sabaoth as if he had only just heard of it. The use of the definite article would also point to this fact: “The God of the Sabaoth be with you, as you say ". So then this name was evidently introduced late among the Jews, and never occurs in the Pentateuch or in Ezekiel, which is a strange fact, because in both these books the idea of hosts and armies is so often present. In the militant period of the Exodus the word would surely have been used had it been known. It occurs in 1 Samuel, 2, and some Psalms; but no inference as to date can be drawn from this, as the Psalms in which it occurs, nos. 46, 48, 59, etc., are all post-Davidic, with the exception, perhaps, of Ps. 24.
The notion of "fear" as being contained in the root of some of the divine names has been mentioned, and Gesenius gives numen tremendum as the equivalent for Eloah; which idea would seem to be borne out by the curious passage, Genesis xxxi, 42, where Jacob says to Laban: "Except the Elohim of my father, the Elohim of Isaac and the Fear of Jacob had been with me, etc." Here we must notice the capital "F" of the Revised Version, which is a great improvement. Further down, v, 53, is another important text, where we read: Jacob sware by the Fear of his father Isaac; and that immediately after Laban had said that the Elohim of Abraham and Nahor should judge between them.
In concluding this rapid and imperfect review of the divine names, it will not be unfitting to pause at the Hebrew word for “name" itself, i.e., Shém, and to cite a few passages which show that this word was used as a synonym for Yahveh, where a feeling of reverence sometimes forbad direct allusion. Leviticus xxiv, 11, tells us that the Israelitish woman blasphemed the Name (compare both versions); see also verse 16. Deuteronomy xxviii, 58: “To fear this glorious and dreadful name, which is Yahveh thy God (Elohim)". A curious text is 1 Chronicles xiii, 6, where David goes up to "bring back the ark of the Elohim, Yahveh sitting between the Cherubim, where the Name is called upon". The word is repeated in 2 Samuel vi, 2: "The name, the name of Yahveh".
It is hoped that the above remarks may serve in some way to enlighten the minds of those who are totally unacquainted with Hebrew or with the devious paths of Biblical criticism; and it is with a view to such that we have striven to make our language as simple as possible, and also to content ourselves with merely touching the fastigia rerum, the chief heads of each point involved, leaving the reader to pursue the study further for himself. We have also been reluctant to overburden the article with Bible references, though many more texts might be cited in each instance. If any reader shall be moved to make further enquiries into these names for himself; to get even a small acquaintance with the original Hebrew; to read his knowledge into a text like Psalms l, 1, "El, Elohim, Yahveh hath spoken"; and to see what a feeble effort the English version makes to represent these different conceptions of the deity, we shall feel that we have not written in vain.
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