Mighty One of Israel
by Scott Leys
am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of
the house of bondage." Exodus
20:2 (World English Bible)
The Hebrew language is a language short on vocabulary. Often times a
single Hebrew word can have many nuances of meaning depending on suffixes,
prefixes, and context. One word may serve to convey many different ideas
or word pictures, making for a very poetic, but not a very concise language.
There is one glaring exception to this rule though.
Have you ever stopped to consider what our Heavenly Father means when
He identifies Himself as our God? In the passage above, the Hebrew word
translated as God is Elohim. To the Hebrews it carried the connotation
of Yahweh as the creator of all things. Interestingly there are several
other Hebrew words that have been translated as God in our English versions
of the Bible. So while the Hebrew language as a rule is word poor, the
writers of the Hebrew Scriptures under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
were very specific in assigning attributes to the Almighty.
Other Hebrew words translated as God include: El(identifying Yahweh
in all His power and magnificence); Eloah(identifying Him as the mighty
one to be worshiped, contrasted with false gods); Elyon(usually translated
Most High God - identifying Him as the possessor of heaven and earth);
and El Shaddai(usually translated as God Almighty - identifying Him
as our nourisher and all bountiful giver).
What significance does this have for us? Our Father intended for us
to know Him in a very personal and intimate way. He shows Himself to
us by letting us in on these different personality traits. He wants
us to understand every aspect of who He is and what He does for us.
Many of us have a personal relationship with our Savior Yeshua, but
we sometimes fail to realize Yahweh revealed Himself to His creation
from the very beginning in this same personal way.
The next time you come across God in the Old Testament, pull out a concordance
and look up the Hebrew word. You might be surprised at the treasure