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Elohim is not Always Plural

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Trinitarian christians claim that God is plurarl because of Elohim . However adding the -im suffix in hebrew does not alywas show plurality but denotes abstract nouns or work as intesifiers . If we were to change the -im suffix to -oth, than Behemoth is given the plural ending but is still one creature. Examples of this can be seen in genesis 21:2

Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.

The word zequnim is used for old age, but though it appears in its plural form it is actually singular. In addition to this, we find in 1Sa 17:33, the word used for youths(ne’urim) is being used for the singular meaning:

1Sa 17:33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth[literally “youths”].

Finally an example of where Elohim is used in the singular can be seen in Exodus 7:1 :

Exo 7:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god(ELOHIM) to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

Here the word elohim used for Moses is singular, and not plural. How can we account for this? One must realize that the plurality of the word is often used as a matter of respect or greatness. We even find in todays languages, like French, that for respect the word ‘Vous’ is used to signify ‘you’ instead of ‘tu’, even though ‘Vous’ is literally used for a plural form, when addressing a huge group and ‘tu’ is used to address a singular person.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Waghlis says:

    וַתַּהַרוַתֵּלֶדשָׂרָהלְאַבְרָהָםבֵּןלִזְקֻנָיולַמּוֹעֵדאֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּראֹתוֹאֱלֹהִים
    (Gn 21, 2)

    Here, we have lzqniw (liz-qu-nāw)
    zqn -> zqn-im (plural)

    For those who don’t know Hebrew or the Semitic construction : the plural /m/ was omitted as the word was affixed to the possessive pronoun -w “his”.

    לזקניו -> l-zqn-i-w -> to/in old age-s (of) his

    By the way, the passive participle (اسم المفعول) zequn is used only in the plural as a noun.
    Etymologically, its verb is related to the Arabic ذقن dhiqn “chin”; literally in Hebrew to have the chin hanging down (may as well indicate the fact of having a bearded chin). Giving therefore the meaning of becoming old and decrepit.

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    • JZK,

      I like how in Semitic languages, you can take a word and then compare it with the meaning of its trilateral root and find its connection. It adds another dimension and understanding of the word. As opposed to just saying it means ‘Old Age’.

      Jzk again, for sharing.

      Like

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