The Eternal Creator is beyond our ability to comprehend Him. He is infinite and we are so finite and yet we do our best to describe Him using human terminology; He is the source of all that is created and is above and beyond His Creation. All we have at our disposal is the creation itself in helping us describe Him and His attributes.
Religious minds for millennia have tried to understand and describe the Creator. They have used the ideas of their culture in this quest. For thousands of years most of humanity had a polytheistic view of the Creator. Many seen Him as plural or even a some sort of god head but not one single Creator.
When the new religion Christianity came on the scene, one of its moves was to Christianize many pagan holidays and ideas so that the people of those beliefs would take hold of the new religion. The plurality of the Creator was one of those ideas that seeped into many of the teachings and even doctrines of the religion.
Because the Christian scriptures were sewed onto a bad copy of the Hebrew Scriptures by the Roman Catholic church, with many of the translators who did not have proper knowledge of the Hebrew found in the Hebrew Scriptures and mixed with polytheistic ideas, this became a disaster. So many in this religion because of wrong understandings have miss understood the Hebrew and it has carried over to this very day.
It seems that the Jewish people, especially the ones where Hebrew is their first language, are the very last ones contacted when trying to understand what the Hebrew Scriptures are really saying.
I like many was raised in Christianity, I sat in my seat drinking in what was preached at me never ever thinking that I needed to check out what the preacher was telling me. I just excepted that he was far more spiritual and spiritual educated than I was, so it had to be the truth but in reality most of it was nothing but passed down lies that no one checked out for themselves.
What follows is only one way to help us understand the Creator as explained to me by a Jewish friend. It is not the answer but only one of many Jewish understandings of a particular Hebrew word and Name of the Creator.
The word I want to look at is one of the Names of the Creator found in the first verse of Genesis.
Most of the English translates this word as ‘God’. It has several meanings, it depends on how it is used. It has a meaning of, ‘Judge’ and it could refer to the Creator, humans and angels.
Because of the lack of understanding Hebrew in the Christian religion, many make false assumptions of this word. Because of polytheistic approach to the Creator many see that because the word “Elohim” ends with an ‘im’ that it has to be a pluralistic word, thus the real translation in their mind is ‘Gods’.
Thanks to my Jewish friends who not only speak but also know Hebrew linguistics, they have helped me see the singular one God of Israel.
As explained to me there is another Hebrew word that ends in an ‘im’ that is singular and with its understanding it help me comprehend the vastness of our Creator.
The word is, “mayim’, the word for water.
Here is the thing, whether it is a single drop of rain, a lake in Kansas, a river in China or the Atlantic ocean, it is all ‘mayim’, water.
What we learn from this example is that it is not a pluralistic word but it can be an example in understanding the word ‘Elohim’ as one of the Names of the Creator.
The ‘im’ at the end does not point to pluralism but to vastness – The Creator is Elohim to one person as well as Elohim over all His Creation that goes beyond the earth in which we live on. Just like a single drop of water is mayim so is also the ocean is full of mayim.
Know that the Eternal is God;
(Eis Ratzon Tehillim, Feldheim)
I hope this very limited example helps you have a new and better understanding of this one Hebrew word. Through it may we truly grasp a tiny bit at the vastness of our Creator. When we ponder how much water is on the earth, our Creator is far more vast than it is.
Terry W. Hayes
Photo Credit: Photo by Paul Wellner Bou on Unsplash