Hebrew Vocabulary: Additional Information


hebrew-elohimאֶלוֹהִים (also אֱלֹהִ֑ים) – God, gods, judges, angels; however in some passages where the meaning is not clear they differ depending on the particular English Bible you are using. For example, in Exodus 31:6, the KJV uses “the judges”, where RSV uses “God”; similarly in Exo 22:28 where RSV has “God”, the KJV translates Elohim as “the gods” or “judges” in the margin)

first_creation_imageElohim is formally a plural noun, but is thought to describe a plural of majesty and not intended as a true plural. When Elohim is the subject of a singular it is translated as God. When it is the subject of a plural verb it is translated ‘gods’ (Exodus 20:3).


Yahweh or Adonai

יְהוָה – The tetragrammaton (from Greek Τετραγράμματον, meaning “(consisting) of four letters”, and probably pronounced Yahweh) is commonly transliterated into Latin letters as YHWH. It is one of the names of the God of the Israelites used in the Hebrew Bible. The name may be derived from a verb that means “to be“, “to exist“, “to cause to become“, or “to come to pass”. According to Jewish tradition this is the ineffable, unpronounced name of God. The tetragrammaton is often translated to LORD (all caps) in Christian oriented Bibles and Yahweh in more traditional ones.