I. ELOHIM occurs 2,700 times. Its first
occurrence connects it with creation, and gives it its essential meaning as the
Creator. It indicates His relation to mankind as His creatures (see
note on 2Chronicles 18:31, where it stands
in contrast with Jehovah as indicating covenant relationship). Elohim
is God the Son, the living "Word" with creature form to
create (John 1:1. Colossians 1:15-17.
Revelation 3:14); and later, with human form to
redeem (John 1:14). "Begotten of His Father before all
worlds; born of His mother, in the world." In this creature form He appeared
to the Patriarchs, a form not temporally assumed. Elohim in indicated
(as in the Authorized Version) by ordinary small type, "God". See
II. JEHOVAH. While Elohim is God as the Creator
of all things, Jehovah is the same God in covenant relation to those whom He
has created (compare 2Chronicles 18:31).
Jehovah means the Eternal, the Immutable One, He Who WAS, and IS, and IS TO
COME. The Divine definition is given in Genesis 21:33. He is
especially, therefore, the God of Israel; and the God of those who are redeemed, and are
thus now "in Christ". We can say "My God,"
but not "My Jehovah", for Jehovah is "My God."
Jehovah is indicated (as in Authorized Version) by small
capital letters, "LORD";
and by "GOD" When it
occurs in combination with Adonai, in which case LORD GOD = Adonai Jehovah.
The name Jehovah is combined with ten other words, which form what are
known as "the Jehovah Titles."
They are as follows in the order in which they occur in the Hebrew Canon. All are noted in the margin, in all their
- JEHOVAH-JIREH = Jehovah will see, or provide. Genesis 22:14.
- JEHOVAH-ROPHEKS = Jehovah that healeth thee. Exodus 15:26.
- JEHOVAH-NISSI = Jehovah my banner. Exodus 17:15.
- JEHOVAH-MeKADDISHKEM = Jehovah that doth sanctify you. Exodus 31:13.
Leviticus 20:8, 21:8, 22:32. Ezekiel 20:12.
- JEHOVAH-SHALOM = Jehovah [send] peace. Judges 6:24.
- JEHOVAH-ZeBAOTH = Jehovah of hosts. 1Samuel 1:3,
- JEHOVAH-ZIDKENU = Jehovah our righteousness. Jeremiah 23:6, 33:16.
- JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH = Jehovah is there. Ezekiel 48:35.
- JEHOVAH-ELYON = Jehovah most high. Psalms 7:17, 47:2, 97:9.
- JEHOVAH-ROI = Jehovah my Shepherd. Psalms 23:1.
We have seven of these, experimentally referred to, in
Psalms 23, inasmuch as Jehovah, as the "Good," "Great,"
and "Chief Shepherd," is engaged, in all the perfection of His
attributes, on behalf of His sheep:
In verse 1, we have number 1 above.
In verse 2, we have number 5.
In verse 3, we have numbers 2 and 7.
In verse 4, we have number 8.
In verse 5, we have numbers 3 and 4.
III. JAH is Jehovah in a special sense and relation. Jehovah
as having BECOME our Salvation (first occurrence Exodus 15:2), He
Who IS, and WAS, and IS TO COME. It occurs 49 times (7x7. Jah is indicat6ed by type thus: Lord.
IV. EL is essentially the Almighty, though the
word is never so rendered (see below, "Shaddai"). EL is Elohim in
all His strength and power. It is rendered "God" as Elohim is, but
El is God the Omnipotent. Elohim is God the Creator
putting His omnipotence into operation. Eloah (see below) is God Who wills and orders all,
and Who is to be the one object of the worship of His people. El is the God
Who knows all (first occurrence Genesis 14:18-22) and
sees all (Genesis 16:13) and that performeth all
things for His people (Psalms 57:2); and in Whom all the Divine
attributes are concentrated.
El is indicated in this edition by type in large capital
letters, thus: "GOD." It is sometimes transliterated in proper
names Immanu-el, Beth-el, etc., where it is
translated, as explained in the margin.
V. ELOAH is Elohim, Who is to be worshipped. Eloah is God in
connection with His Will rather than His power. The first occurrence
associates this name with worship (Deuteronomy 32:15,17). Hence it
is the title used whenever the contrast (latent or expressed) is with false gods or idols.
Eloah is essentially "the living God" in contrast to inanimate
Eloah is rendered "God", but we have indicated
it by type thus GOD.
VI. ELYON first occurs in Genesis 14:18
with El, and is rendered "the most high (God)". It
is El and Elohim, not as the powerful Creator, but as "the possessor of heaven
and earth." Hence the name is associated with Christ as the Son of "the
Highest" (Luke 1:35).
It is Elyon, as possessor of the earth, Who divides the
nations "their inheritance". In Psalms 83:18,
He is "over all the earth". The title occurs 36 times (6x6, or 62.
Elyon is the Dispenser of Gods blessings in the
earth; the blessings proceeding from a Priest Who is a King upon His throne (compare
Genesis 14:18-22 with Zechariah 6:13, 14:9).
VII. SHADDAI is in every instance translated "Almighty",
and is indicated by small capital letters ("ALMIGHTY"). It is God (El), not as the source of strength, but
of grace; not as Creator, but as the Giver. Shaddai is the
All-bountiful. This title does not refer to His creative power, but to His
power to supply all the needs of His people. Its first occurrence is in
Genesis 17:1, and is used to show Abraham that He Who called him
out to walk alone before Him could supply all his need. Even so it is the title used in 2Corinthians 6:18, where we are called to "come
out" in separation from the world. It is always used in connection with El
VIII. ADON is one of three titles (ADON, ADONAI, and ADONIM),
all generally rendered "Lord"; but each has its own peculiar usage
and association. They all denote headship in various aspects. They have to
do with God as "over-lord."
(1) ADON is the Lord as Ruler in the earth. We have
indicated this in type by printing the preceding article or pronouns in small capitals,
not because either are to be emphasised, but to distinguish the word "Lord"
from Adonai, which is always so printed in the Authorized Version.
(2) ADONAI is Lord in His relation to the earth; and as
carrying out His purposes of blessing in the earth. With this limitation it is almost
equivalent to Jehovah. Indeed, it was from an early date so used, by associating the vowel
points of the word Jehovah with Adon, thus converting Adon
into Adonai. A list of 134 passages where this was deliberately done is
preserved and given in the Massorah (§§ 107-115).
We have indicated these by printing the word like Jehovah, putting an asterisk, thus: LORD*.
(3) ADONIM is the plural of Adon, never used of man. Adonim
carries with it all that Adon does, but in a greater and higher degree; and
more especially as owner and proprietor. An Adon
may rule others who do not belong to him. Hence (without the article) it is often used of
men. But Adonim is the Lord Who rules His own. We have
indicated it by type, thus: LORD.
- The three may be thus briefly distinguished:-
- Adon is the Lord as overlord or ruler.
- Adonim is Lord as owner.
- Adonai is the Lord as blesser.
- IX. The TYPES
used to indicate the above titles, in the text, are as follows:
- God = Elohim.
- GOD = Jehovah (in
combination with Adonai, "Lord").
- GOD* = Jehovah in the Primitive Texts,
altered by Sopherim to Elohim as in the Printed Text.
- GOD = El.
- GOD = Eloah.
- LORD = Jehovah.
- THE LORD = Jah.
- LORD* = Jehovah in the Primitive Text,
altered by the Sopherim to Adonai as in the Printed Text.
- Lord = Adonai.
- LORD = Adonim.
- ALMIGHTY = Shaddai.
- MOST HIGH = Elyon.
- X. THE COMBINATIONS are indicated as follows:
- Adonai Jehovah = Lord GOD.
- Jehovah Elohim = LORD God.
- Elyon El = MOST HIGH GOD.
- El Shaddai = GOD ALMIGHTY.