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Elohim – The First Name of God

Elohim is a combination of two words – El, which means “high up,” and “im” which is a plural. For example, “dag” is Hebrew for fish, and “dagim” means fishes. Christians recognize this as a reference to the Trinity, or Jesus, Holy Spirit and Creator God. But in fact we must recognize the creator God as a multifaceted intelligence.

The first reference to elohim is:

Genesis 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

Genesis is Hebrew for “Book of Beginnings.”

For our minds it is hard to conceptualize a God so huge that he is completely outside of a multi-billion-light-year-mile-space-time universe. But that is where the Eternal God is and what He began so long ago.

The Bible says that all men know this God in their “hearts.” It comes with being human. But it is hard to imagine a God like this, so Jesus said,

John 14:9 CEV Jesus replied: Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don’t you know who I am? If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you ask me to show you the Father?

It is many thousands of years from Moses writing down the creation story to Jesus and now to our day, but it is a continuous revelation of truth, precept upon precept, line upon line. We study the life of Jesus simply because studying God the Creator is so very hard.

Etymology of God’s Name

In China the name for creator God is “ShangDi.” I asked little children when I was there, what is God’s name? And that is what they told me without hesitation. So you see, atheism is not born into anyone.

The term is two words, Shang means “high above.” Shanghai is a city “above the waters.” “Di” for leader or ruler. Isn’t it interesting that in the three most popular languages on earth, Spanish, English and Chinese, the name of God includes the sound “di” – dios, (Spanish) dieu (French), divinity (English).

We have no record of the language they spoke before the tower of Babel when God came down and scrambled the languages, but we can guess that the word “DI” was there for the Most High God. I was once told the Hindus have 30 million gods so I do not include them in onomastics.

And that is the first thing God wants us to know – that He organized, created and revealed the universe to us and will continue to do so until the end of time when He wraps up history and goes on to a whole new program.

Cosmology and a creator God

So when we see the word Elohim we are to remember that the universe did not originate from sea water or tiny amoebae but because someone wanted a place to share with His People, plain and simple.

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