In this Names of God Study, we are exploring the different names of God and what each one reveals about who He is and how He relates to us. Like the different cuts of a diamond, as we examine how each name reflects a different aspect of God’s character, I pray that we will draw closer to Him.
The First Name of God in the Bible
Elohim is the first name of God to appear in the Bible. It is used in the very first verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1
“In the beginning, Elohim (God, Strong’s Reference H430) created the heavens and the earth.”
What Does Elohim Mean?
The name Elohim conveys that He is the all-powerful (omnipotent) Creator. It carries the idea of His absolute sovereignty. He is the absolute highest and best. He is the Creator and Ruler of the universe.
He is the One who spoke the universe into existence with His incredible creativity and power.
“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” Hebrews 11:3
Elohim is used to show God declares and keeps covenants. Since there is no on greater than Him, when God makes a covenant with Abraham, he swears by Himself:
“By myself, I have sworn…” Genesis 22:16
When Joseph is about to die, he talks to his forgiven brothers and compassionately reminds them that Elohim will keep His covenant with them and fulfill His promise to take them out of Egypt and back to the land promised to them.
“I am about to die, but Elohim will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Genesis 50:24
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares Yahweh: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their Elohim, and they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:33
Elohim is A Plurality in Unity
One interesting aspect of the name Elohim is that it is plural. Yet, it does so in a way that shows unity. In this unique grammatical approach is reflects the reality that the one God exists in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In short, the Trinity can be found in this name.
In reference to pagan gods, when elohim is used, since it is plural, it is used with plural adjectives and pronouns (See 1 Samuel 4:8). But in reference to God, plural Elohim is accompanied by singular verbs and adverbs. For example, in Genesis 1:1, “create” is singular in the Hebrew, even though Elohim is plural. It would sound something like “They creates.” The unique grammar reflects God’s nature as one God existing in three persons.
Where Else Is Elohim in the Bible?
A great way to enrich your time with Elohim is to study His word by looking carefully at what key words mean in the original language. For example, you can look up the name Elohim by it’s Strong’s Reference H430.
For a complete list of places you can find Elohim in the Bible, click here.
Reflect on Elohim
As you spend time with God this week, consider the reality that He is:
- The Creator
- King of Kings and Lord of Lords
- The Highest, outranking all in power and glory
- Ever faithful to keep His covenant relationship with us
Search through the places in the Bible where this name is found, and consider the depth of this name in the context of the verses.
Pray to and Praise Elohim
I praise You that You have all power in Your hands. You have power over everything that concerns me, everything that concerns this world, everything that has happened throughout all history and everything that is to come.
Thank You Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for working in unity to create this incredible universe down to each startling detail. I praise You! All power, all honor, and all glory belong to You. You are the Highest- the King of all Kings and the Lord of all Lords.
No one can outrank You or overpower You. What You say is. Thank You for making and keeping covenants in relationship to me so that I can know You and love you with my life. Help me to do just that.
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