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Usage Of Elohim


mwc
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In a few discussions I've been in lately it has come up that there might be another way to spell "elohim" that affects its translation and usage but they hadn't checked into it themselves. Unfortunately, I don't recall who made those remarks so I can't just PM them this info.

 

Anyhow, I came across the following info at the Jewish Encyclopedia and thought I'd share it (hopefully the right person will find this thread):

 

Divine Names in Print.

 

Awe at the sacredness of the names of God and eagerness to manifest respect and reverence for them made the scribes pause before copying them. The text of the Scriptures was of course left unchanged; but in the Targumim the name Yhwh was replaced by two "yods" with a "waw" over them, thus: , which letters are equal in value to Yhwh (=26). In their commentaries the authors substituted Elohim by Eloḳim () and Yhwh by Ydwd (). For other changes see list below. In Ḳimḥi's commentary on the Prophets (ed. Soncino, 1485) the printer apologizes for changing the "he" of Yhwh to a "dalet" and the "he" of Elohim to a "ḳof," "in honor and reverence for His Name, for sometimes copies may be lost and become liable to misuse." In Hebrew literature generally and in Hebrew letter-writing the name of God is represented by the letter "he" or "dalet" with an accent over it, thus: or . Authors of Hebrew theological works begin their introductions generally with four words whose initial letters form the name Yhwh (e.g., ).

 

mwc

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A helpful site for such problems:

 

http://bible.cc/genesis/1-1.htm

 

It has the same verses from other bibles, lexicon, concordance and more on every verse of the bible.

 

I always use biblegateway.com, but this site you point out seems much more helpful.

 

Thanks for passing it on.

 

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I learned of the plurality of the name elohim, and once when debating a person, I recall being told that the term is singular and plural, but that in genesis, it was the singular version used. I went to wikipedia and found that to be confirmed, except for the part in genesis. It appears as though they grant some credence to the idea of the royal plural, but since that would be the only time it was used in the bible to my knowledge, that's unlikely. That was a trend anyway, that I doubt was popular around that time.

 

I also knew about the altering of the name of god in writing, to show reverence. I was told also that the name yhwh is not pronounced these days by Jews because of that, and because the actual pronunciation (which Yahweh is apparently closest to) is not known.

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