Our God is Elohim
John D. Telgren

You will not find the word "God" anywhere in the original texts of the Bible. "God" is a translation of the words El, Eloah, or Elohim in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, "God is a translation of Theos in the New Testament. These words are a generic word to refer to a divine being, a god, or God.

Elohim is translated, "gods" of Egypt, in Exodus 12:12, because unlike El, Elohim is a plural word. It is the first word for our God in the Bible. "In the beginning, God (Elohim) created the Heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1)." The reason the translators did not render it "gods" in Genesis 1:1 is that the verb "created" is singular, indicating that the subject of the verb, "God" is singular.

Since Elohim is "one" God, why is the word recorded as a plural Elohim rather than the singular El or Eloah? It was not uncommon in the Ancient Near East for a person to refer to his God or his king in the plural in order to exalt him. It is not a plural of person, but a plural of intensification. In other words, a person referring to his God or his ruler in the plural is not stating that his ruler is a series of rulers, but that his ruler has much honor and glory. For instance, in Genesis 42:30, Joseph's brothers refer to him in the plural. "The man, the lord of the land" The word "lord" is plural, and like Elohim in Genesis 1:1 is rendered in English as a singular. Joseph's brothers did not mean that Joseph was more than one person, but that he was a mighty ruler in the land

So Elohim emphasizes God's power, honor and majesty. It is significant that the Genesis 1 creation account refers to him as Elohim, rather than Yahweh, which is the name he reveals later in initiating a relationship with his people. Elohim created the universe with a single command, and it happened instantaneously. In his infinite wisdom, God fashioned the world with all of its intricate parts working together. Without a single word of scripture, humans can deduce at least this much about God from his creation. Indeed, the creation does declare the glory of God (Psalm 19)!

Elohim is the second most used word in the Old Testament to refer to God. He is the creator God clothed with power and majesty. Let all the earth praise him (Psalm 148)!