The Meaning of “Elohim” – The Plural God

The first appearance of this word is in Genesis 1 which makes it important to us. It refers to “gods” plural, El meaning god, and the Hebrew plural is “im.” The Jews identify these gods as a combination of their One God and angels.

Christians believe Elohim refers to the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit, the three faces we know as an all-powerful consuming deity.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

The Elohim cannot include angels because (1) angels have no power of creativity. Their job is simply to obey (good angels) or bad (demons etc.). Angels are called “ministering spirits” and ministering is a matter of obeying God.

Hebrews 1:14
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Angels do not need to be saved in the human sense.

(2) We are made in the image of God but not in the image of angels. Angels have no physical body. They do have a spiritual body. Men are made “lower than the angels” which refers to our human body on earth. Angels have abilities as spiritual beings we do not have here. We will have greater mobility in heaven of course, where the human body is not a limitation.

(3) God “breathed” into man and made him a living soul. This does not happen to angels. That breathing-in process is what carries the image of God. Angels do not have that image.

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Animals have souls, that is they have will, intellect and emotion, but not a spirit from God. Angels also appear to have souls since they can appear to man, and speak and have specific duties. Michael, for example is involved in war and Gabriel is a message bearer, but again, like animals, no breath of God. Man alone has his own spirit, that repository where the Holy Spirit can come in a create a born-again being, our important goal in this life.

To sum up, angels do not have the all-essential attribute of God, a God-infused spirit, and man is not made in angels’ images either.

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