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is compounded ; and it is, therefore, necessary,
! before proceeding farther, that the meaning of that word should be known.
That 5 [El), in the abstract, means strength, power, and, in the concrete sense, Powerful, is certain. Accordingly, wherever the word occurs as an abstract, our own Translators have, generally, rendered it by Strength, Might, or Power; and had they retained this leading sense, wherever they found this word in any of its forms, they would have given much energy to their version, in many places where it is exceedingly tame. In one place (Neh. v. 5.), the translators of the Septuagint version have rendered the word by δύναμις. Our translators have very properly followed them in that passage, employing the term power; but wherever the word occurs as an attributive noun--" The Powerful one," or
“ “ The Strong one,” they have for 5 [El] given “ God” in their version; disregarding too the emphatic 17 (He), when it occurs as a prefix, except in a few places where they exhibit, “ the God.” It is true that for 5 [El] the Seventy have often exhibited ó beds [the Theos), substituting one of the Greek names of the Creator for this Hebrew name, in place of a translation; but frequently they have well rendered the word by ισχυρός, as in 2 Sam. xxii. 32, where our translators have used the word “God,” to the evident injury of
is designated in the Scriptures o
the sense. The next verse commences with the same word, with the emphatic M[He] prefixed, which the Seventy, as in various other places, have rendered ó lo xupòs, “ the Powerful one." In both of these verses our Translators have weakened the sense by giving " God” as the translation of SN [E]). The passage ought to have been presented thus : "For who is POWERFUL , “but JEHOVAH[or the ETERNAL]? yea, who “ is a rock, but our ALL-POWERFUL ONE [13976x]? “This POWERFUL ONE [587), my strength, [and]
might; even he maketh my way perfect.” In some passages, too, the sense is rendered
obscure by exhibiting the word “ God," as a translation for -as in Isaiah, xliii. 12, which our translators have given thus : "therefore ye are my wit
nesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.” The clause should be rendered, "therefore ye are my “witnesses, saith JEHOVAH, that I am the POWER“ FULONE.” The Israelites had experienced his power, in their deliverance from Egypt, when he gave Ethiopia and Seba for them, as stated in the 3rd verse of the chapter. Before him there was no bę, nor shall there be after him. (v. 10).
It is plain, from what has been stated, that the authors of the Septuagint, though they have frequently for 5 [El]exhibited 6 Oeds, anderstood the word to mean strength or power ; and also that our own Translators were not ignorant of its radical sense, though they chose to render it
“God” when used as a name.
Where it occurs with the pronominal '[Yod] affixed to it, they have rendered it “ My God,” as in Psal. xxii, 1. 6, 58, “ My God, My God.” Of this passage, however, Aquila has given a correct rendering, 'Ισχυρός μου, Ισχυρός μου, « My strong one, My , ',
, strong one.” We have, therefore, abundant authority for the radical sense of b (El). Indeed the meaning that has been assigned to this root, is that which attaches to it throughout the Scriptures.
Some Lexicographers maintain, that bubre [Elohim) is the plural of 172 x [Eloah], and make the latter a compound of 5 [El], and the pronoun 897, which is sometimes used substantively for a Person; expressing by their junction, The mighty He. Nor can it be questioned that the Creator is designated 897 7x “ Thou He,” in Ps. cii. 27. (C. V. “ Thou art the same): and 817 might be so rendered in Deut. xxxii. 39. “I am The He," and in other places :—but it suits not well our English idiom.
Another way of composing the word is by employing 5x [El] and the substantive verb ,707 [Havah),—importing by their union, “ The Pow
] erful Being.”
Rabbi Nachman makes it a compound of 5x and 07, “ Their God;" or rather, according to the root, “ Their strength,” or “ Their Strong
one:"-others make it a compound of 5x and ox, “ The tremendous great one;"—and some have proposed 5x and Oy“ The God of the waters.”
The learned Jew Abarbanel makes Dhx [Elohim] or 9728 [Elohi] a compound of 5x [El] and two letters (viz. the 17 and ) taken from the name 073,7 [Jehovah]. He compounds 176X [Eloah] in the same way, borrowing in from the sacred name. He considers both words as nouns singular.
Against this etymon it has been objected, that
GoD and ,יהוה and אל comprehends אלהים if * אלהים and יהוהאלהים JEHovAH, such phrases as *
1.7", the former of which frequently occurs, “ are mere tautologies.” The objector (Geddes) would not have hazarded this assertion, had he actually translated these words. Is there any tautology in the expression (which will be shown hereafter to be a true version) “ THE ETERNAL OMNIPOTENT ?" The idolatrous nations called the image which they worshipped, their mighty one—their Elohim ; but they no more conceived the image to be eternal than the Roman Catholics do theirs. Had they called the idol eternal, the worms, which, by their ravages, obliged them, from time to time, to renew it, would have given them the lie.—But a more powerful objection may be urged against this composition of the word :—The name JEHOVAH is never applied to
any but the Creator of Heaven and Earth ;' but the term Elohim is not only applied to the Creator, but to false gods, to inanimate objects, and to men: as “ Baal-zebub, nopy bx, god of Ekron,” 2 Kings i. 2. “Entreat the Lord that there be no more MIGHTY (Heb. Elohim) thunderings,” Exod. ix. 28 : “ With GREAT (Heb. Elohim) wrestlings," Gen. xxx. 8: “ It was A VERY GREAT (Heb.Elohim) trembling," 1 Sam. 14.15: “Nineveh was AN EXCEEDING GREAT city” (Heb. a city GREAT TO ELOHIM) Jon. iii. 3. In these, and other passages similarly rendered, our Translators have shown, very plainly, what they conceived to be the radical sense of the word Elohim, though they have in so many places rendered it“ God." That letters should have been
'It ought not to be concealed that some have maintained the contrary. Kimchi on 1 Sam. xxvi. 12. “ sleep from Jeho“ vah was fallen upon them," asserts that the thing which the Scripture wishes to magnify it joins to the name (meaning Jehovah) of God: that is, he would, as Buxtorf proposes, for “ Sopor Domini" translate "sopor gravissimus." For Arbores Domini (trees of Jehovah) Buxtorf also proposes “ arbores maximæ" or excelcissime. But Kimchi's idea cannot be admitted. It is easy to see its source. Observing that the word Elohim was not applied exclusively to the Creator, and not viewing it in its proper light, as a mere attributive noun, but as a proper name, on Psal. Ixv. 9. he says
“ the word Elohim is a surname for any thing great or admirable:”-and hence, probably, his hasty inference that the name Jehovah might also be so applied.