Elohim is the Hebrews plural (Elohim', אלֵהִים), of which the sing. form, אלֵוֹהִּ, Elo'dh, is also employed to designate in general any deity, but likewise the true God. The word is derived, according to Gesenius (Thes. Hebrews page 94), from an obsolete root, אָלָה, alah', to revere; but is better referred by First (Hebrews Handw. page 90) to the kindred אֵל [see EL-], the name of God as mighty (from the extensive root אָלָה or אוּל, to be firm); and has its equivalent in the Arabic Allah, i.e., God. The plur. Elohim is sometimes used in its ordinary sense of gods, whether true or false (e.g. of the Egyptians, Ex 12:12; Ex 35:2,4; De 20:18; De 32:17; including Jehovah, Ps 86:8; Ex 18:11; Ex 22:19; or distinctively of actual deity, Isa 44:6; Isa 45:5,14,21; Isa 46:9; 1Ch 13:9); once of kings (Ps 82:1,6); but Gesenius thinks not of angels (Ps 8:6; Ps 91:7; Ps 138:1), nor judges (Ex 21:6; Ex 22:7-8). But it is especially spoken of one true God, i.e., Jehovah, and in this sense it is always construed as a sing., especially when it has the article prefixed (הָאלֵהִים). SEE SACK, Commentatt. theol. hist. (Bonn, 1821), 1; Reinhard, De notione Dei, etc. (Vitemb. 1792); Edzard, Utrum "Elohim" a Canaanaeis orig. ducet (ib. 1696); Michaelis, Num Deus dicatur אלֵהִים inito faedere (ib. 1723); Sennert, Exercitt. philol. (ib. 1678). SEE GOD.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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