Appendix G: Jehovah is Elohim
In the Old Testament, the word Jehovah signifies the covenantal name of God to the nation of Israel. There are many different covenental names ascribed to Jehovah troughout the Old Testament: Jehovah-Nissi, Jehovah-Jireh, Jehovah-Tsidkenu, Jehovah-Shalom, Jehovah-Shammah, Jehovah-Raffa, etc. These names all described different qualities that the God of the nation of Israel had in regard to His covenant with the nation. He was to them God their healer, savior, peace, victory, provider, and rightouesness among other things. The Jewish people did not even want to utter His covenental name, and so the word "Yahweh" was rarely spoken and when written was shortened to a 4-letter word known as the tetragrammation: YHWH. The important thing to note, however is that starting with the King James translation and moving to our more modern tranlsations (NIV, RSV, NASB,etc), the word for Jehovah in the Old Testament can always be recognized because it is rendered "LORD" in the English translation.
The word Elohim, as mentioned before, appears many many times in the Old Testament. It is most often translated as "God" in the OT but is also translated as "gods" many times as well too. Thats right. Elohim is the plural form of the word god. It is also important to note that in Hebrew, there were 3 cases: singular, dual, and plural. Singular = 1/ Dual = 2/ Plural = More than 2. The word elohim is thus "plural" denoting more than 2 gods. So why is "elohim" translated "God" in some places and "gods" in other places? It all has to do with the context of the passage AND the number of the VERB. If a singular VERB was used in the text, then the word was translated as "God" and normally capitalized because the implicit reference was to the "ONE" God of Israel: Elohim. When the VERB was plural in the text, the word was translated as "gods" and had an implicit reference to the heathen gods or to people acting as though they were some kind of god.
There are some theologies that would try to establish that Jehovah and Elohim are 2 separate and distinct gods. In other words, Jehovah could possibly be referred to as Elohim in the sense that Jehovah is a god, but in no way is it said or established that Jehovah IS Elohim or that Jehovah could said to have been Elohim. A theology that would try to identify Jesus Christ as Jehovah and the Father as Elohim has some very serious problems. If we find in scripture that Jehovah is said to be Elohim, OR if Jesus ever refers to the Father as Jehovah, then this theology of 2 separate and distinct gods would prove to be flawed.
Is 43:10 "before me there was no God [El= Elohim] formed, neither shall there be after me." Jehovah is speaking here....
Is 45:5 "I am the LORD, [Jehovah], and there is none else, there is no God [Elohim] beside me."
Yes. There is no Elohim beside Jehovah. That is exactly what the Bible says. How could it be that Jehovah can say that there is no Elohim beside Him?
Deut 4:35,39"Unto thee it was shown, that thou mightest know that the LORD [Jehovah] is God [Elohim]; there is none else beside him [not them] ... Know therefore and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD [Jehovah] he is God [Elohim] in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else"
Psalms 100:3 "Know ye that the LORD [Jehovah] he is God [Elohim]: it is he [not they] that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture."
1 Kings 18:39 "And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD [Jehovah], he is the God [Elohim]:; the LORD, [Jehovah] he is the God."
The only possible solution is that indeed, Jehovah IS Elohim. Both names refer to the ONE God of the Bible, not to two different gods. The compound name "Jehovah Elohim" occurs over 500 times in the Old Testament, each time referring to the ONE God of Israel, Jehovah. It IS Jehovah who has eternally existed as God and who created all things.
From the passage in Deut 4, notice that the term Elohim has the DEFINITE ARTICLE before it- this is from the original Hebrew. This is THE Elohim about which we are speaking, and not a title attributed to Jehovah as "A" elohim. If Jehovah and Elohim were two separate and distinct Gods, then the passage SHOULD SAY, "there is none else beside THEM". But, that is not what it says: the term is distinctively singular in the Hebrew. What are we too conclude??
It is utterly impossible, on the basis of the Bible, to distinguish between Jehovah and Elohim.
There is only one God, Jehovah Elohim... If you now combine this with Exodus 34:14...
Ex 34:14 "For thou shalt worship no other god; for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God."
This leads us perfectly into the explanation of the Trinity because the Bible has left us with no choice. We are to worship only the LORD and him alone. We are not to worship and server ANY OTHER GOD but HIM ALONE. Any theology that believes there are 3 separate Gods taught in the Bible is in error because the God of the Bible clearly says that he is the ONLY God AND he is the ONLY God that we are to worship. If the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are separate gods, then which one would we worship?? We are commanded to worship Jehovah ALONE in Ex 34:14. If Jehovah and Elohim are not 1 in the same God, or Elohim is ABOVE Jehovah, then we have violated Ex 34:14 and Matt 4:10 (Jesus told Satan to worship the Lord your God, and serve him only). The Bible leaves us no choice: there is only 1 God that we are to worship and serve. If we worship and serve ANY OTHER GOD, even if the other god has the same purpose as our God, we have committed idolatry. We have left the one true God of the Bible.