Bible Q&A > Elohim God
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I’ve learned that God is described as "Elohim," a plural noun, in the original text of the Hebrew Bible. Does it mean that God is not one?
Just as you said, God is described as Elohim () in many places in the Hebrew Bible. It is common knowledge that God is one, but the term "Elohim" completely defies this common sense, because Elohim has a plural meaning. Some people insist that the word "Elohim" is used in the Bible to express the fullness of God''s divinity and power or to depict the Triune God, but it is a mere guess that comes from a misunderstanding of the Bible. Now, let''s find out what the exact meaning of the word "Elohim" is and why the Bible describes God as "Elohim."


"Elohim," the mystery of the Bible

The term "Elohim" has caused a lot of controversy among the Biblicists and linguists.

Christians believe that there is only one God, but the Hebrew Bible refers to God as "Elohim," using the plural pronouns "We," "Us," and "Our." So even the scholars, who have studied the Bible for a long time, do not understand the meaning of the word clearly, and they just consider it a mystery.

Mysteries of the Bible by Reader''s Digest, p.21
The enigmatic "we" of Genesis

CLIMAX of Genesis 1 and the heart of its mystery comes in the description of the creation of adam, the Hebrew term meaning "human being" or "humanity." God had said, "Let there be light." But now, God does not say, "Let there be man." Instead he says, "Let us make man (adam) in our image, after our likeness" (Genesis 1:26). Every other act of creation had been a singular act—a word spoken and carried out. Now it would appear that God is surrounded by others like himself.

This passage has long been a puzzle for interpreters of the Bible. The ancient Jewish philosopher Philo admitted that only God knows the reason for it, but argued that it reflected the mixed character of humanity, combining both good and evil. Early Christian interpreters thought of it as a reference to the presence of Christ at creation.


The meaning of Elohim

The Hebrew word "Elohim" () is a combination of the singular noun "Eloah" (), to which the plural ending "im" has been added. "Elohim" literally means "Gods," which is the most common name for God used in the Hebrew Old Testament.



The Bible always used the word "Elohim (Gods)" in reference to the God who created all things, the God who brought the Israelites out of Egypt and declared the Ten Commandments, and the God whom those in the new covenant will all know, from the least of them to the greatest (Ge 1:1-31; Ex 20:1; Jer 31:33).







Let "us" make man in "our" image

Ge 1:1 『In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth.』

Ge 1:3 『And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.』

Thus, the word "Elohim" appears from the first chapter of Genesis. The God who created the heavens and the earth is Elohim—Gods, and the God who made man is also Elohim, as it is written:

Ge 1:26 『Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness . . ."』

As we can see in the verse mentioned above, God created man, saying, "Let us make . . ." instead of saying, "I will make . . ." Why does the Bible describe God as "us"? We can know the reason when we see what man, created in God''s image, looks like.

Ge 1:27 『So God [Elohim] created man in his own image, in the image of God [Elohim] he created him; male and female he created them.』

Man was made in the image of God, and male and female were created. This is proof that there are two Gods—the male image of God and the female image of God.


Elohim have come as the Spirit and the Bride

The people, who misunderstand that common sense is true, think of God only as Father, because it has always been a common belief among the public. So, they have unconditionally rejected any logic against theirs. However, the Bible clearly testifies that there exists the female image of God as well as the male image of God. The mystery of Elohim described in Genesis 1 is clearly revealed in Revelation, the last book of the Bible.

Rev 22:17 『The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.』

The Spirit and the Bride, who are carrying out the work of salvation by giving mankind the free gift of the water of life, are the male image of God and the female image of God, who created the heavens and the earth in Genesis 1. From a triune point of view, the Spirit is God the Father. Then, who is the Bride who gives us the water of life together with the Spirit, God the Father? Let''s make a more careful study of the existence of the Bride.

Rev 21:9-10 『. . . "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.』

The bride, the wife of the Lamb, whom the Apostle John saw in vision, is the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven. Jerusalem is a symbolic expression, and its reality is revealed in the testimony of the Apostle Paul.

Gal 4:26 『But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.』

The Jerusalem that is above [in heaven] is our Mother. This means that the Spirit and the Bride are our Heavenly Father and Mother who save our souls.

God the Father and God the Mother have come as the Saviors in this age according to the prophecies of the Bible. They have made known to us Their providence of creation and salvation, and have also commanded us to deliver Their invitation of salvation to all human beings. Being worthy of Elohim''s children who have received the valuable mission, let us spread the good news of salvation to all people, so that the glory of Elohim will be revealed to the whole world.

2011.06.29
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