Elohim – God, Judge, Creator (Genesis 1: 1)

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Elohim – God, Judge, Creator (Genesis 1: 1). “Elohim: appears in Scripture more than 2000 times, and it is the name used of God right from the beginning of Genesis: chapter 1, verse 1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.”[6]

There is some uncertainty about the word’s derivation. According to BlueLetterBible.org, “Some believe it derived from ‘el, which, in turn, originates from the root word ‘wl, (which means ‘strong’). Others think that Elohim is derived from another two roots: ‘Ih (which meand ‘god’) in conjunction with ‘eloah (which means ‘fear’). And still others presume that both ‘el and Elohim come from ‘eloah.”

In Scripture, while the word is sometimes used to mean “god” in the “ordinary” sense, it is most often used to refer to the One true God.

Notably, Elohim is a plural noun. Yet, it is also the word translated “God” in the Shema: “Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One” (from Deuteronomy 6: 4).

Why would a God who is “One” refer to himself more than 2000 times in a plural sense?

Genesis 1: 1-3 provides the answer by giving us the first revelation of the Trinity: One God in three parts. In verse 1, we see God the Creator, God the all-powerful One, God the Father. In verse 2, we read, “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters”. Here we see the third person of the Trinity : the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 14 that God the Father would send us a counselor, comforter, and advocate who will teach us all things namely, the Holy Spirit.

Finally in Genesis 1: 3 and throughout the rest of this chapter detailing creation, we read “And God said…” Fast forward to John 1, verses 1-4 and verse 14, and we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men…. And the word became flesh and dwelt among us….”

The “Word” in Genesis chapter 1- the “And God said”- is the third person of the Trinity: Jesus Christ.

There is great comfort in understanding God as Elohim-“God, Judge, Creator”. Not only is He the source of life, both broadly and our individual lives, but He is also the One Who will ultimately judge injustice, not by our modern, culturally “approved of” standards of right and wrong but by His eternal unchanging standards.

And He is the same God Who is our refuge and our rock.

Psalm 62: 1-2 “Truly my soul waits upon God [Elohim] : from him comes my salvation he is my defense. I shall not be greatly moved”.

Psalm 46: 1-2a “God [ELohim] is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear…”

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