Daily Bible Nugget #563, Genesis 1:1

The Nugget:

Gen 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (KJV)

Gen 1:1 In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth. (RNKJV, Restored Names King James Version)

My Comment:

The Bible is understandable to all. Yet, we can learn more about even very familiar verses that we thought we knew. Sometimes, with further study, there are questions we may not have the answers to. That is why using Bible study tools and commentaries can be helpful.

I saw where someone asked a question about the Hebrew word Elohim, which is a plural word in Hebrew often translated God, as in Genesis 1:1. Sometimes Elohim is used for other than the true God. It usually is used with a singular verb when the reference is to the one true God. The question asked was “is the word ever used in the plural of a singular subject other than our one true God.” I am not familiar with how Hebrew grammar works, so I cannot give a direct answer to the question.

I have a printed resource that comes close to providing an answer to the question. The resource is a Bible in the King James Version which might well be called the Newberry Study Bible. That is not its actual name, though Thomas Newberry is the scholar who devised its system of symbols or markings which do convey information about the underlying Hebrew or Greek grammar. In its introduction on page 22 in a section about the divine titles is a paragraph about Elohim. It is not possible to reproduce the content of that paragraph for the special symbols used are not on my keyboard! Not long ago I discovered that the Newberry Bible is now quite scarce and available copies are very expensive. My copy was published by Kregel in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1973, originally published in 1890 and 1893 in England by Hodder and Stoughton.

I have been interested in the names of God used in the Bible for many years. Some writers and scholars speak of the titles of God. I learned, during my extensive and lengthy discussions with Jehovah Witnesses, that they believe God has only one name, Jehovah, and that the rest of the terms are titles, not names. But I have heard my pastor friend and former student, Pastor Emory Moss, speak of the Jehovah Witnesses as a “name cult” in this regard.

Another resource I recommend to study about the name or title Elohim is my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, and my expansion of it, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury. Here is just a sample of what is to be found in these resources:

While my resource, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, will not directly answer your question about the Hebrew word Elohim, there are several notes and sets of cross-references that will come close to answering it.

Just now, I checked, starting at Genesis 1:1,

God. Heb. Elohim. H430. Gen 2:2; +Gen 19:29; +Exo 2:24; +Ps 45:6; Ps 89:11; Ps 89:12; Eph 3:9; *Col 1:16; Col 1:17; Col 1:18; Heb 1:2.

The “H430” links to the Strong’s Concordance entry for Elohim.

Checking the Subject Index under Elohim I find the following entries:

Elohim. Deuteronomy 5:9 note.

Elohim, used of angels. Psalm 8:5 note.

Elohim, used of God the Son (Messiah). Psalm 45:6, 7.

Elohim, used of God in his covenant relationships. Genesis 19:29. Exodus 2:24. Psalm 45:6.

Elohim, used of false gods, idols, or heathen deities. 2 Chronicles 35:22 note.

Elohim, used of divinely appointed judges, magistrates. Psalm 82:6 note.

 

The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge is a resource available in Logos Bible software.

My updated and expanded edition of The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, which is titled The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury, contains the following note at Genesis 1:1 which was not in the New Treasury:

God. Heb. Elohim. A plural noun, the singular form of which is Eloah, meaning “The Worshipful One;” it seems to point out a superabundance of qualities in the Divine Being rather than a plurality of persons, as it is applied alike to Jehovah and to the false gods of the nations. It is found almost invariably accompanied by a verb in the singular number (Robert Young, Concise Critical Comments, p. 1).

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1 Response to Daily Bible Nugget #563, Genesis 1:1

  1. ken sagely says:

    hello jerry your comments are encouraging as a God who can meet every need

    we have in difficult times!! i have been blessed by reading one of my favorite

    bible promises 1 peter 5.7 Casting all your cares on Him for he CARES for
    you. i looked up the encouraging cross references in ntsk i will share a few
    psm 34.4 I sought the Lord and he heard me and delivered me from all my fears
    psm 55.22 Cast thy burden upon thee Lord, and he shall sustain thee he shall never
    suffer the righteous to be moved. psm 42.5 Why art thou cast down, o my soul?
    and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for i shall yet praise him
    for the help of his countenance. 2 tim 1. 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of
    fear,but of power, and love, and of sound mind!!

    Every need we have the Lord has a promise for us in his word

    !!!

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