The name Elohim is unique to Hebraic thinking: it occurs only in Hebrew and in no other ancient Semitic language. The masculine plural ending does not mean “gods” when referring to the true God of Israel, since the name is mainly used with singular verb forms and with adjectives and pronouns in the singular (e.g., see Gen. 1:26). However, considering the Hashalush HaKadosh (Trinity), the form indeed allows for the plurality within the Godhead.
In the traditional Jewish view, Elohim is the Name of God as the Creator and Judge of the universe (Gen 1:1-2:4a).
“The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to those, You want to know my name? I am called according to my actions. When I judge the creatures I am Elohim, and when I have mercy with My world, I am named YHVH” (Ex R. 3:6).
In the second creation story (Genesis 2:4b-ff) the Name of God is revealed as the Sacred Name YHVH (from the semitic root that means “to be”) and expresses the idea of God’s closeness to humans. YHVH “breathed into his (Adam’s) nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7).
Elohim and Elohei Constructs
Elohim is combined with other words to provide additional description about God. These other names or titles for God are sometimes called “construct forms,” indicating that they are “constructed” from the base name (e.g., Elohei) with other designators.
For each name in the list below, I provide the following information:
- The Hebrew text for the name
- The most common English transliteration (in italics)
- A definition for the name, references to the Tanakh, and frequency information
- Additional comments, if applicable.
Elohim. [The basic form]
God; gods. The plural form of El, meaning “Strong One.” The Name Elohim occurs 2,570 times in the Tanakh. See Isa. 54:5; Jer. 32:27; Gen. 1:1; Isa. 45:18; Deut. 5:23; etc.
God of -
God of -; a “construct form” that never appears without a qualifying descriptor.
The Son of God
The Son of God (Matt. 16:16; 26:63; Jn. 6:69).
Elohim with personal pronoun suffix indicating 1st person singular.
The God of Abraham
The God of Abraham (Ex. 3:15).
The God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob
Elohei Avraham elohei Yitschak velohei Ya’akov.
The God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob (Ex. 3:15).
The God of my kindness
God of my Kindness (Ps. 59:17).
From chesed, the covenantal faithfulness (of God). See also Psalm 89:29; 144:2.
The God of gods
The God of gods (Deut. 10:17; Josh. 22:22; Ps. 136:2).
The God of my strength
God of my Strength (2 Sam. 22:33; Ps. 31:5; 43:2).
The God who is near
God who is near (Jer. 23:23).
This Title for God acknowledges His immanence within all.
The God who is far
God who is far (Jer. 23:23).
This Title for God acknowledges His transcendence above all.
The God of heights
God of Heights (Micah 6:6).
The God of Justice
God of Justice (Isa. 30:18).
The God of Hosts
God of hosts or God of armies (2 Sam. 5:10).
The God of Rock
God of Rock (2 Sam. 22:47).
Rock is poetically used to indicate the strength of God as the ground of all being in the universe.
The Eternal God
God of the beginning; Eternal God (Deut. 33:27).
The God of my praise
God of my Praise (Ps. 109:1).
From Tehillah, praise, hymn, or psalm. Tehillim is the book of Psalms in Hebrew.
Our God (Ex. 3:18).
Pronominal form that is common in many Hebrew blessings and prayers.
The God of our fathers
The God of our fathers (Deut 26:7; 1 Chron. 12:17).
God our father
God our Father.
God in heaven
God in heaven (2 Chron 20:6).
The God of truth
The God of truth (Jer. 10:10).
The God of Nahor
The God of Nahor (Abraham’s brother) (Gen. 31:53).
God the father
God the Father (Jn. 6:27; 1 Co. 8:6; Gal. 1:1, 3; Eph. 6:23; Phil. 2:11; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Tim. 1:2; Tit. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:2; 2 Pet. 1:17; 2 Jn. 1:3; Jude 1:1).
The Living God
The Living God (Deut. 5:26; Jos. 3:10; 1 Sam. 17:26, 36; 2 Ki. 19:4, 16; Ps. 42:2; 84:2; Isa. 37:4, 17; Jer. 10:10; 23:36; Dan. 6:20, 26; Hos. 1:10; Matt. 16:16; 26:63; Jn. 6:69; Acts 14:15; Rom. 9:26; 2 Co. 3:3; 6:16; 1 Tim. 3:15; 4:10; 6:17; Heb. 3:12; 9:14; 10:31; 12:22; Rev. 7:2).
The God of the living
The God of the Living (Mk. 12:27).
The God of the spirits of all flesh
Elohei haruchot l’chol-basar.
God of the spirits of all flesh (Num. 16:22; 27:16).