My Lord, my God, My Jehovah Elohim
Master creator of all the world agleam
Sun, moon, and stars in the sky abiding
Land and sea and all the creatures residing
You created our ancestors, Adam and Eve.
You created all beings, including me. (excerpt from my poem)
The first name of God we will look at is Jehovah Elohim. This name means God. Mighty One is another interpretation for Elohim. I picked this name to study first because we find it in Genesis 1:1, the first verse of the first book of the Bible. The name appears over 2000 time throughout scriptures. The Blue Letter Bible website define Elohim this way:
“Meaning and Derivation: Elohim is translated as “God.” The derivation of the name Elohim is debatable to most scholars. Some believe it derived from ‘êl which, in turn, originates from the root word, ‘wl (which means “strong”). Others think that Elohim is derived from another two roots: ‘lh (which means “god”) in conjunction with ‘elôah (which means “fear”). And still others presume that both ‘êl and Elohim come from ‘eloah.”https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/misc/name_god.cfm
Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth.”
The name Elohim is our first glimpse of God in the Bible. As is true of a first glimpse, we do not fully understand the true nature of God. His might and power are demonstrated in Genesis as God creates everything upon the earth and even the universe itself. The power of God is on full display in those early chapters of Genesis. With just a word, God creates the heavens. In what seems like minutes, we see all the beauty of nature created. He is the Almighty and all Powerful God.
Genesis 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God (Elohim) made the earth and the heavens,
This moment of power show us the point in the story where many people get lost in religion. People can acknowledge the existence of a creator. Other faiths even recognize a God of creation. These people see God as a far off being that formed the world and then abandoned us to our ways. Holding this type of view of God keeps Him at a distance. In turn, such individuals would say they believed in God, but they have no personal relationship with Him.
Psalm 30:12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, (Elohim) I will give thanks unto thee for ever.
Throughout the Bible, we meet people who have a head knowledge of God without a heart knowledge of Him. As the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, they believed in a powerful, almighty God. But, when circumstances got complicated, they turned to idols to seek help. They knew God could strike them dead if they did something wrong, but they did not believe He could help them in times of trouble. Their beliefs became connected to a God who was only Elohim.
Psalm 37:31 The law of his God (Elohim) is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
The Pharisees believed in the laws of God. They thought observance of the regulations kept them safe from the wrath of God. They believed in the Jehovah Elohim. But, they could not see beyond the rules and controls of their faith. Their faith became bound up in the edicts and not in the God behind them. They only understood God as Elohim.
Jeremiah 16:20 Shall a man make gods (Elohim) unto himself, and they are no gods (Elohim)?
For many, it took the appearance of Jesus Christ in the New Testament to shatter their notions of God as a distance, uncaring being. Jesus opened the way to move God from our heads to our hearts for those who only believed in a Jehovah Elohim. Christ helped us to grasp the importance of understanding the full nature of God. He modeled God for us, as seen in John 14:8-11:
The names of God help us move God from our head to our heart. Click To Tweet
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+14%3A8-11&version=NIV
Jehovah Elohim demonstrates to us the awesome power of God. But, without looking at and studying the other names of God, we might also get stuck with an incomplete picture. God is the Almighty God, but He is so much more. The other names will help us move a distant God from the heavens to one who lives within us and cares for us. Next week, we will look at Jehovah El Roi, the God who sees us.
Yvonne – #blogger, #speaker, and #author
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
100% of the proceeds from sales of my book, Turning Mountains Into Molehills, go to help the orphans at Orphan Relief Effort, Inc
23 thoughts on “Jehovah Elohim”
It’s impossible for our finite minds to grasp an infinite God. The Holy Spirit helps us by brining enlightenment. What you share about the names of God definitely helps us to see that God is so much more, so much greater, so much closer, so much deeper, so much more powerful than man can imagine. When my attention is distracted by the news and things of this world, it’s easy to lose this insight into God. That’s why I have to keep returning to the Word of God over and over again. I’m so thankful for His Holy Spirit that keeps teaching me and drawing me.
Great insight, we must keep returning to the word of God so we can stay connected and fully understand God. Thanks
I find peace in saying the name of God aloud. 🙂
That is a wonderful idea Melissa. I will try it too. Thanks
I loved reading this! It is so helpful to learn about the meaning of the words we can so easily glance over as we read Scripture. I’m excited to continue reading this series!
Thanks Emily. It is so comforting to know all the names and the character of God.
Yvonne, thanks for your research and wisdom on Jehovah Elohim. I was unaware of the meaning behind it. Love how you bring out the Israelites turning to idols when things got tough…perhaps other gods that seemed near, and the Pharisees who thought regulations saved them from God’s wrath. I’m thankful not only for head knowledge of my God but also for heart knowledge. And how Jesus brought God near.
Thanks Karen. I am learning so much from researching the names. God is truly amazing for providing us with ways to learn more about Him.
Yvonne, when we study the names of God we discover treasures untold! Thank you for digging deeply into the name Jehovah Elohim. It is true, we cannot capture all of God in one word, but as we add up His names up one by one, we slowly see a picture revealed that is beyond our imagining. What a great and mighty God He is! And yet, as you say, through Jesus, He is also a mighty God who draws near! For me, taking in all of these elements actually shines the spotlight on how radiant each aspect is. The whole makes each part more beautiful.
So true Melissa, the whole does make each part more beautiful. I like that line. Thanks
There’s so much to Jehovah Elohim that numerous names are needed, each revealing more of his attributes. What a wonderful project you’re undertaking to show us more about our God! As you shared that passage about God creating the world and then Jesus telling his disciples that if they had seen him that they had seen the Father, I was reminded of these verses in New Testament that shed light on Jehovah Elohim as Creator.
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:1-3a NIV). The same is said of Jesus in Colossians 1:15-16a, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.”
Knowing this about the God of creation, God the Son acting on behalf of the Father, shows us how slowly God had to reveal himself from those first statements in Genesis in order for us to even begin to comprehend him and his Trinitarian nature. He is a God infinitely above us, and yet he stooped to become one of us and to lay down his life for us. Each name you will share with us is going to show us so much more about him! This is a subject that will bless us all!
I love how those verses in Hebrews tie in so well. We are truly blessed to be part of the generations that has Jesus to speak to us. What a difference because we can talk directly with Jesus. But yet so many know so little about Him. I pray many hear about Him through our words. Thanks
I love what someone said about about the Holy Spirit helping us know/grasp what we cannot possibly on our own. Thank you for this!
It is so true. Thanks
My beloved and I are doing a study on the names of God. Sometimes the English language is so limiting… I like what you said about moving Him from our head to our heart.
Thanks Candice. I hope you find some nuggets of gold in your study. God bless
I enjoy learning about God’s names and his character through those names! Great post
Thanks Julie. God bless
I love this post, Yvonne! You do such a great job outlining the meaning behind “Jehovah Elohim.”
You quote John 14:8-11. What struck me when reading this passage in your post is that Philip struggled to understand that to know Jesus was to know the Father. Jesus even chides, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?”
How true this is for many today who have walked with Jesus for years and still don’t believe Him or His promises. They struggle to surrender their life fully to His control, because doubt plagues them. Even when, time and again, God has shown them His power.
Saturating ourselves in the meaning behind Jehovah Elohim, His might and power, verses the doubts that rear their ugly head, can infuse us with fresh faith. Thank you for infusing my faith today with your post! 🙂
Thanks Marcie. That is why I wanted to do this name study so I could strengthen my own faith too. It amazes me how God reveals so much of Himself to us through His word. God bless.
Amen! So true!
Thanks for this teaching. I am looking forward to reading your other posts studying the names of God. We can learn so much about His character from studying His names.
Thanks S.A. I appreciate you commenting. God bless