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God is one, but He has many names. Elohim in the Bible appears an incredible 2,750 times! This name for our Lord and Savior first appeared in Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning [Elohim] created the heavens and earth.” Each of His reverential monikers carries a unique aspect of His character – so with each utterance, we gain a greater understanding of who God truly is.
Scholars disagree on the meaning of Jehovah Elohim.
Elohim is believed to be the plural name of El, referring to the one true Creator God, Divine, Deity.
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Some scholars believe that Elohim is translated as “God.” The derivation of the name Elohim is debatable to most scholars. Some believe it derived from ‘êl, which, in turn, originates from the root word, ‘wl (which means “strong”).
Others think that Jehovah Elohim is derived from another two roots: ‘lh (which means “god”) in conjunction with ‘elôah (which means “fear”). And still, others presume that both ‘êl and Elohim come from ‘eloah
While scholars disagree on the meaning of Elohim. Most references that I have found interpret Elohim as strong or mighty.
Elohim is first used in Gen 1:1.
The eternal creator, strong, judge (El is used for God 238 times in the Bible, Elohim is used 2600 times), including these verses in the original text.
Elohim means ‘supreme one’ or a powerful ruler, and people use it to talk about God’s great might. We also apply this word even when discussing human rulers, judges, or angels that show extreme power – but Elohim always reminds us of the extraordinary strength of Yahweh.
It’s fascinating to think that the Lord is embedded in so many names throughout Scripture. When shortened to ‘El’ and put together with another word, Elohim can become titles for some of our most beloved Old Testament figures like Elijah or Samuel – which mean “Yahweh” or “Heard by God.”, respectively.
When we recall the story of Elijah and Samuel, it becomes clear that a name had much importance in ancient times. No wonder names were powerful declarations of faith for those close to Yahweh. With this notion even seen in Israel itself being derived from ‘Prince Of El’, its depth can be felt when reflecting on Elijah, who held strong despite any opposition as he proclaimed there was only one true god: Yahweh.
The term Is also used in reference to angels.
We can only speculate, but the name Elohim has an interesting layer to it – being a plural word. Does this indicate that something may be behind its interpretation of the Trinity? We don’t know for sure either way and are left with intriguing questions.
Jesus had an intriguing take on how scripture can be viewed as referring to entities beyond God. In John 10:34, He made the point that if it’s accepted that Scripture speaks of others besides divinity itself, then why should His declaration of being the Son of God lodge a charge of blasphemy? Quite thought-provoking, right?
The eternal creator, strong judge (El is used for God 238 times in the Bible, Elohim is used 2600 times), including these verses in the original text.
The Hebrew translation of the Bible is full of references to Elohim, what we often refer to as ‘God.’ Here are some English versions from Scripture that use this special name.
Elohim in Nature
Paul understood the amazing might of God and was in awe of His power. It’s no wonder he dedicated Romans 1:20 to praising Him!
If that scripture had been written in Hebrew, we’re sure the word for ‘God’ would have likely been Elohim – a name used when God interacted with nations outside of His covenant to Israel.
Encountering God can be profoundly impactful and often leaves us wanting to understand Him more deeply. You may start off on your spiritual journey by accepting the Elohim concept, but as you go deeper in faith, you’ll see that there is so much more to discover! Accepting only an elementary knowledge of a higher power will not fill one’s soul – instead, it takes fully trusting in Yahweh as Father for this relationship to come alive. In doing so, we truly experience what devoted faith looks like.
A Personal Relationship with Elohim
Despite being aware of a higher power, many succumb to temptation and choose lesser gods as their source of worship. We suppress the truth that is present in all our hearts by placing ourselves above it, deciding what’s right or wrong according to our own ethical code instead of relying on Elohim. But remember – He created us for a reason! And with His help, we can recognize Him once more as the mightiest Elohim there ever was.
When it comes to matters of faith, simply being aware that God exists isn’t enough. Only when we make a genuine connection with Him – by learning and understanding Elohim on a personal level – can we experience true saving grace according to the Bible!
God has had a relationship with humanity since the dawn of time! Through generations and centuries, we have seen God revealing himself to us in greater ways. His ultimate display happened when he sent Jesus Christ – his Supreme Revelation, who changed our knowledge from Elohim into something more covenantal and relational. It’s truly amazing how close we can be to God through this special bond.
When we pray to Elohim, the Hebrew word for God that appears in Genesis 1:1, we remember His incredible power and sovereignty. He created all things–separating light from darkness, water from dry land, and establishing night from the day all those years ago when he spoke the world into existence. A reminder that He is always in control no matter what life throws at us!
Jesus used a form of the name in his agonized prayer from the cross. About the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
To know Elohim is to understand the power of faith truly. Do you spend time with your God on a deeper level, recognizing him as both Almighty and personal? Can you call out to Him by name, proclaiming “my Lord and my God” in prayer?
As women, we have to do it all. (of course, “doing it all” varies from woman to woman and her life circumstances, but for many of us, it includes shopping, cooking, keeping the house clean, raising the kids, and working. Add to that the struggles and problems that arise in daily life. It can be overwhelming.
There have been many times in my journey as a single mother when the weight was too much to bear. I felt as if I just couldn’t do it anymore or that if one more thing happened, I was sure to crack.
I can admit that my reaction to life in times of major stress was not always God-pleasing. I would yell at the kids, complain, cry, and ask God, “why?”.
During one of those particularly bad times, I came across a verse that was a life-changer for me:
“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Do you see? I didn’t need to do it alone! I had our Heavenly Father to see me through! HE would take on the weight of my burdens if only I would ask him to!
No, the daily stresses didn’t go away, but my REACTION to them drastically changed, and in God’s perfect plan, everything ended up working out anyway.
All I had to do was to remember that God longs for us to turn to Him!
He doesn’t want us to go it alone, Jehovah Elohim – God is strong. God is mighty. He is the great creator. How comforting!
If only we lift our burdens to Him and rest in Him! When we realize that He wants to help carry our loads and, when we acknowledge that these are mere earthly troubles that are nothing when we think of the eternal joy that we will have in heaven, then it sure is easier to bear the stress of everyday life.
Questions about Jehovah Elohim to Ponder and Discuss
What is your reaction to difficult times and stress?
Is your reaction pleasing to God?
If not, what can you do differently in the future?
Journal about a time that was tough for you and how you handled it.
Write a prayer to the King of Kings, asking him to carry the weight of
What other verses about God’s strength come to mind?
Or, to really dig deeper into the meaning of God’s name Jehovah Elohim, here is a highly recommended resource:
God, Jehovah-Elohim: There is no other! by John L Langston
Because of Him,