Yahweh Elohim. Discover This Inseparable Relationship
Yahweh Elohim is the Old Testament name attributed to the New Testament Word, who is Jesus Christ. Learn why these names are eternal, not testament specific.
YAHWEH Elohim. These are Biblical Hebrew words we hear all the time. Starting in Genesis 2, Yahweh Elohim are joined together because this inseparable term is part of the foundation for the rest of the Bible story. Understanding this opens or closes the door to real comprehension.
In the last post, we saw that the first part of Yahweh Elohim, YAHVEH refers to the eternity of God. He is the I AM, which, from our point of view in time, corresponds to He was; He is, He will be. This Eternal I AM is called the Word in John 1 and is identified as Jesus Christ.
If you’re reading or hearing this for the first time, I understand that you could be shocked. Be thinking Sam’s lost it, or worse yet, is blaspheming. I hope that’s not the case. I forewarned you that to make progress; you’ll need a clear and open mind. Coupled with a careful study of the Bible supplemented by a powerful additional aid, being able to get a glimpse of what the Biblical Hebrew — not English or whatever your native language is — really says.
For the entirety of Genesis chapter 2, and in particular, for Yahweh Elohim allow me to insist on your openness of mind. I’ll say this upfront. Without openness of mind today you’re out of here. I want you to stay with me, give it a chance to seep in. Allow it to filter through your mind. Last week you got a new piece of the puzzle. This week you’ll get another piece about Yahweh Elohim, and over the next few weeks, you’re going to get even more new pieces. Pieces of which even Bible readers and students are simply unaware. It’s normal that if I threw a few pieces of a car at your feet, you’d wonder, what’s g. If I begin to explain how they fit together, it’ll start to make sense. That’s the kind of outlook I request. Please.
A wee bit of grammar. The first point to note. Elohim is a plural noun. In Genesis, 2:4 and throughout this chapter, as well as Gen.1 and the rest of the Bible. Don’t take my word for it. Check it out. Here’s Strong’s.
אֱלֹהִים ʼĕlôhîym el-o-heem’; plural of H433 (אֱלוֹהַּ); gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative:
KJV — angels, ⨯ exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), ⨯ (very) great, judges, ⨯ mighty.
אֱלוֹהַּ ʼĕlôwahh el-o’-ah; rarely (shortened) אֱלֹהַּ; probably prolonged (emphatic) from H410 (אֵל); a deity or the Deity:
KJV — God, god. See H430 (אֱלֹהִים).
אֵל ʼêl ale; shortened from H352 (אַיִל); strength; as adjective, mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity):
KJV — God (god), ⨯ goodly, ⨯ great, idol, might(-y one), power, strong. Compare names in ‘-el.’
Elohim is plural in Hebrew, as we can see from H430. It means God, THE God, and gods.
The second grammatical point is the plural Elohim has a singular, El, as we see from H433 and especially H410 with which we are much more familiar. El is an integral part of many words, GaEL, IsraEL, BethEL. These are personal, national, and city names all regarding God.
The third grammatical point to consider is the plural ELOHIM takes a SINGULAR verb. In English, that would be the equivalent of they does their homework. To my knowledge, we don’t have a word with these characteristics in English. We have a word like the animal moose. It is both singular and plural and can take a singular or a plural verb. But it doesn’t have separate singular and plural nouns.
But, the real question is this. How can ONE God be plural? The concept of only ONE God is the basis of monotheism; this can be a rather controversial issue because of the ambiguity of Elohim (plural) using a singular verb. What does the Bible say about this plurality?
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness … male and female created He them.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
As I’ve indicated, Genesis 1 and John 1 are what we’d call Old and New Testament renditions of the same basic tenets concerning the fundamentals about God. We clearly see the plurality of God. Gen. 1:26 includes us, our, our, all plural. John 1:1 clearly states the Word (who became Jesus) was God and was WITH God. At a minimum, there are two members in God.
John 1.18, in the same chapter and context, reveals what the Word being WITH God means. No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him. The Son is in the BOSOM of the Father. See Further Study below to deepen the comprehension that bosom refers to an inseparable close relationship between these two God Beings.
I need to address another vital point here. And I’m not exaggerating by saying it’s critical. When John, the author of the fourth Gospel, uses the terms, Son and Father, what does this mean? To explain. You and I know what a father and son are because we all have a father. When John uses this term Father (and Son), is he using the idea of a HUMAN father to represent the DIVINE Father? Or is God really a divine FATHER? In other terms, is John using father to help us, humans, better understand the concept of God? Or, is God a FATHER in the fullest sense of the relational term?
On your answer, hangs a basic concept of God; this is vital to your future understanding of God’s Word.
Here’s the answer: Let US make MAN in OUR IMAGE.
That means that if a human can become a father it is because God IS A FATHER. John is referring to the original, divine FATHER. All human fathers are made in the IMAGE of our Godly Father.
The result of this is that all human sons (and daughters) are made in the IMAGE of the Son of God, who is Jesus Christ. Why can we include daughters? Because male and FEMALE created He them. Daughters and all women are daughters, are in the IMAGE of the Word, Jesus Christ. Sons and daughters are ALL equal before God.
I need you to understand a point, please; this is not Sam Kneller interpreting anything here. God’s Word clearly states God is plural and humans; males and females are created in His image after His likeness. This creation includes the relationship the Divine Father has with the Divine Son as the model for the human father-son/daughter relationship. This is The Explanation WITH Sam Kneller. This is the Bible Explanation. All I’m doing is pointing you in the right direction.
I must add another point here; this is true theology. We are looking at it from God’s viewpoint. Surmising that John is using the terms Father and Son to refer to God so we can better understand God because we live a father-son relationship in real life is putting the cart before the horse. This latter point of view is humanistic theology, which is equivalent to interpreting the Bible. Humans, including their relationships, are made in the IMAGE of God.
In Genesis 2–3, Yahweh Elohim has a very personal relationship with Adam and Eve. He is the Word who became Jesus Christ the Son. He is one of the members of the Godhead, the other being the Father. I want to remain concentrated on this relationship, but this means that the Son is the Executor. ALL things were made by Him (John 1:3). The Father loves the Son, and has given ALL things into his hand (John 3:35). It is the Son who states and implements, “Let us make man in our image.” He is acting in and on behalf of the unified twosome Godhead; this is the intimate relationship between the Father and the Son.
We are far from finished with John 1. John has revealed the divine bond of Father-Son. The terms father and son (in John 1:18) are found in a particular context: family.
The plural term Elohim represents the Father and Son in a family relationship. Yahweh Elohim is the Eternal Son with His Father in this plural God relationship. The divine family is a tightly knit unit that acts as One Family, hence the singular verb.
John 1 reveals the bond we humans can have with God. It, too, is a family relationship.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Sons of God, born — by the will of God, begotten — referring to Yahweh Elohim, these are all family terms. Are there any other such expressions to corroborate this? Let’s take a look at some fundamental descriptions of God and His environment that will help us better define what and who this plural God who has a singular verb is. And how we humans relate to Yahweh Elohim and Elohim.
- God is called our Father (Mat. 6:8–9).
- Jesus, who is also God, is presently the only spirit composed Son (Mat. 11:27).
- His Church is described as our Mother (Gal. 4:26).
- We are called His children (Rom. 8:16).
- In other words, His sons and daughters (2 Cor. 6:18).
- We are to be brothers of Christ, who is the Firstborn (Rom. 8:29).
- He called those who do the will of God, brothers, sisters, and mothers (Mark 3:35).
- The Apostle Paul refers to Jesus Christ and the Church as husband and wife (Eph. 5:22–23), who will be married at the Messiah’s return (Rev. 19:7).
- The terms begotten (1 Peter 1:3) and born (John 1:13–14) are employed, referring to Christians.
Now, a very fundamental but important question: What do the above terms describe and have in common? The astounding answer is a family. God is a Family. His environment is composed of all the elements found in a family. The Word of God corroborates this.
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
Biblewide corroborative texts attest to Yahweh Elohim being the Son, Who, along with the Father, are God’s spiritual family, representing the basis for the model of earthly families.
Rom. 8:29 announces, For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Yahweh Elohim is the FIRSTborn (by His resurrection) of many brothers and sisters to come; this is for the future, but what it says is we will be a group of brothers and sisters. Such a grouping is a family.
In Audit of the Universe, I devoted a chapter to How Humans Socialize. The basis of human society is a married procreating couple with children forming a family. The entire world population is nothing but extended families; this was amongst God’s first instructions as we saw in Genesis 1:28. He blessed them and told the male and female to be fruitful and multiply. Create a family. Let us make man in our image… is also to do with Godly institutions, the basis of which is the family. God is a Family, and that’s why He instituted this on the human level.
Genesis chapter 1 gives The Explanation of the origin of the family. As different as humankind is worldwide, one of the fundamental common denominators is, we’re all grouped in families, the foundational institution, the cornerstone of a healthy society. From the beginnings of history, down through the ages, everything is related to the family. Nobody can explain these strong unbreakable binding forces of motherly love, fatherly protection, a child’s attachment to its parents, family ties. It’s easy to say, “These emotions are in the neurons, neurotransmitters, or the hormones.” That’s only the physical representation and expression of the binding sentiments and feelings.
The initial Bible verses explain, in just a few words, the essentials of real practical family life. It is not mythology, folklore, and legend, it is knowledge and wisdom written and preserved for enlightenment as to what constitutes humankind, man, woman, child, husband, wife, baby, families, communities, nations.
Here we have the origin of the family institution; this is the explanation of one of the critical pieces of the puzzle turned over and put in its rightful position. And you know what, in some ways, you’re not surprised. Humankind knows very well that the family is the base of society. We’ve been lead away (and I’ll show you why) from this simple truth. The Bible is filled with references to the family and its functioning. No other book contains more pertinent information about this basic building block of society. We shall have a lot more to say about families as we progress.
Yahweh Elohim encompasses the Eternal One within the plural God, the Son, and the Father as a Family. Genesis 2 starts by focusing on Yahweh, the One who not only created Adam and Eve but has a very close interpersonal relationship with them. This personal relationship is the key to real peace and prosperity.
This article is an excerpt from chapter 2.7 of the book Origin of the Humankind
Here Yahweh Elohim refers to Christ who carries BOTH identities, Elohim and Yahveh, and it’s clear He’s the Creator:
Isaiah 45:18 For thus says the LORD (H3068 Yahveh) that created the heavens; God (H430 Elohim) himself that formed the earth and made it; he has established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; (H3068 Yahveh) and there is none else.
Check the meaning of bosom. Go to UnlockBibleMeaning.com find John 1:18, click on G2859. Read the definition. Especially click on Greek Concordance for G2859 and read the six verses that use this same Greek word. Especially Acts 27:39 about the enclosed creek; this is referring to a very close, intimate relationship.
κόλπος kolpos kol’-pos; Apparently a primary word; the bosom; by analogy a bay: — bosom creek.
Verify all the verses in the bullet point list above using those family terms and begin to relate this information to God and see how humans, and yourself, fit in or assemble into this family picture of which Yahweh Elohim is the Firstborn, and we can be His brethren.
PS. I have not forgotten the Holy Spirit. We shall discover some fascinating points and assemble more pieces of our puzzle in just a few more verses in Genesis 2.
You can read all of the book Origin of Humankind online. Sam blogs weekly at TheExplanation.com The Explanation masters Biblical Hebrew to help you unlock more in-depth Bible meaning. Free tools to read and study the Bible online.