One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

Having a right understanding

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 29:29
“The secret things belong unto YHWH our Elohim; but the things that are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this torah.”

This study has the potential to upset a lot of people. However, the reality is this, the Creator has never revealed to mankind to call Him by the names or titles of “God” or “Lord”; both are manmade labels. Thus, if you, the reader, has no desire to step closer to our Creator by only calling Him by names and titles which He has revealed, then most likely, you should stop reading this study. However, if you have a deep desire to live a life wholly pleasing to Him, then by all means, keep reading.

Man simply cannot know anything about Elohim outside of what has been revealed to him. However, what Elohim has revealed to man about Himself is substantial. The problem arises when man alters that which has been revealed, thinking he knows better or he alters it for convenience sake. Regardless of the reasons for altering the revelation, it places false ideas in the mind of man and thus leads one into idolatry. Note: in part, idolatry is saying or thinking something is true about the Creator (when it is not true) and then acting upon that belief as if it is true.

What is discussed in this study will be difficult for some to accept. Thus, it will be difficult for some to change their thinking and their actions. However, if a person truly desires to have a right and correct understanding of what Elohim has revealed about Himself, then it is altogether necessary.

The first and foremost aspect one needs to grasp ahold of is the term אלהים (elohim). This is a Hebrew word, with Hebrew concepts behind and in it. It is not an easy word to understand, but it is possible to grasp it, if one is willing to set aside his western thinking and upbringing.

First, the word אלהים (elohim) is masculine plural in form. This is most often translated as “God” or “god” or “gods” in Scripture, but certainly not the only way it is translated. “God” is capitalized [1] in typical English translations when referring to the Creator and when referring to a false “god” the lower case is used. The English word “god” is masculine singular. Right here is the beginning of problems in understanding who the Creator has revealed Himself to be.

While the masculine plural form is the most common form, the masculine singular אל (el) and the feminine [2] singular אלוה (eloah) are also found in the Hebrew text of Scripture referring to the Creator. However, in the English translations only the term “God” (the masculine singular) is used to translate these various Hebrew words. Thus, one begins to get a false idea about what has been revealed to mankind about Elohim. It is my studied opinion that many false doctrines have arisen because of this one translation anomaly. One simply cannot begin to grasp the truth of who אלהים (Elohim), the masculine plural, is using and thinking in the term of “God,” the masculine singular.

Concerning the gender, please carefully consider the following passage.

B’reshit (Genesis) 1:27
And Elohim created man in his own image, in the image of Elohim He created him; male and female He created them.

Please note that mankind was created in the image of אלהים (Elohim), which allowed for mankind to be created with two genders, male and female. Please note that both the male and the female are in the image of אלהים (Elohim). Thus, this too shows that אלהים (Elohim) is much more complex than many theologians have been willing to admit. However, it is time to allow אלהים (Elohim) to tell us about Himself.

This term, אלהים (Elohim), is referred to as a singular plural, like herd or dozen is a singular plural in the English language. This is not an incorrect thought or idea, but that idea is completely lost with the word “god” as it is not, nor can be a singular plural, since the proper plural of god is gods. And sometimes, the word אלהים (Elohim) is actually translated as “gods” as in the following passage.

B’reshit (Genesis) 31:30
“And now, though you would seek to leave, because you longingly ache for your father’s house, yet why have you stolen my gods?”

The English word “gods” from the above passage is the Hebrew word אלהים (elohim). The Hebrew word אלהים (Elohim) is the exact same word whether used to point the reader to the Creator or to a false “god.” In English translations, the only distinction between the Creator and a false “god” is whether the word “god” has a capital letter “G” or a lower case “g.” However, in the Hebrew text it is simply the context which tells the reader which is being referred to.

Thus, the question arises, why does אלהים (Elohim) use the masculine plural, the masculine singular אל (El) and the feminine singular אלוה (Eloah) to refer to Himself? First, when we say “Himself” we are using this in the generic sense, not in the masculine sense. The reason אלהים (Elohim) uses this term to refer to Himself has to do with manifestations. This will be a new idea for some. However, it is not a difficult concept and one which is necessary to understand in order to begin to grasp the concept of אלהים (Elohim).

Ivrim (Hebrews) 1:1
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, Elohim spoke to our fathers by the prophets,

אלהים (Elohim) has manifested Himself in many ways. Each time one finds a different name or a different form in which He reveals Himself to man, each one is a different manifestation of the same אלהים (Elohim). For example, the burning bush is a different manifestation than the pillar of cloud, which is a different manifestation than Elyon or El Shaddai. While אלהים (Elohim) manifests Himself in many and various forms, it is still אלהים (Elohim), and He is one (echad). None of this can be fully grasped with the term “God.” Some of these names by which אלהים (Elohim) has revealed himself to man are masculine names and some of these names are feminine in form.

The truth is that אלהים (Elohim) is both masculine and feminine, yet it is neither. The Essence of the Being which is the Creator is above being gender specific. However, in order to reveal Himself to man, He chooses a specific gender to reveal himself in for each specific manifestation. Otherwise, it would be difficult for man to grasp such a Being and even more specifically, it would be difficult for man to relate to such an Essence.

The highest manifestation of אלהים (Elohim) seems to be YHWH our Elohim. One of the mistakes that is often made in understanding אלהים (Elohim) is equating YHWH with אלהים (Elohim). YHWH is simply one of many manifestations. It is this manifestation, YHWH, which is the most important. This is because Mashiach is patterned after this manifestation. One of the names given to Mashiach before His incarnation is YHWH Tzava’ot. This is a fairly common manifestation in the Tanak.

Sh’muel Aleph (1st Samuel) 1:3
And this man went up out of his city from year to year to worship and to sacrifice unto YHWH Tzava’ot in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, priests unto YHWH, were there.

The above passage is one of the earliest passages which reveal YHWH Tzava’ot. It would be our understanding that the Hebrew word in these instances, instead of being translated into English, should be transliterated as part of this manifestation’s name. Please notice the next passage.

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 44:6
Thus says YHWH, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, YHWH Tzava’ot; “I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no Elohim.”

This is the manifestation of YHWH and the manifestation of YHWH Tzava’ot speaking as one because they are one (echad). But notice it is being revealed the identity of the Redeemer, namely, YHWH Tzava’ot. When He takes on human flesh, He also takes on the name of Yeshua. But make no mistake about it, Yeshua is YHWH Tzava’ot in the flesh, another manifestation of Elohim. For more information about this particular manifestation, please see this study: Manifestation of Mashiach.

In conclusion, when it comes to understanding אלהים (Elohim) one must understand that He has chosen to reveal Himself in many ways. Those various manifestations are not limited to gender boundaries. Thus, the word “God” is insufficient to describe or understand the Creator. With all that being said, the most important manifestation of Elohim to man is Mashiach.

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah

[1] There are no capital or lowercase characters in Hebrew.

[2] There is controversy on the gender of this word. Some authorities say it is masculine singular absolute, some say feminine singular. To be true to Hebrew endings, to this writer and student, it seems the gender is feminine. Thus, throughout this study we will treat it as such.