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"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one LORD" (Deut. 6: 4).
Why is Elohim, the plural form, employed?
pp. 152 - 156
The Hebrew word ed means `witness' and is the word used in Isa. 43: 10 where the
Lord says of Israel `Ye are My witnesses'. Israel have for centuries seen themselves as
witnesses to the fact that there is ONE God, and this is demonstrated by a curious feature
of calligraphy. If we open any Hebrew Bible at Deut. 6: 4 we shall observe that two
Hebrew letters are larger than the rest, and so stand out on the page. These two letters are
E and D. The sentence which is thus marked, reads in the A.V.:
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD."
The order of the Hebrew words is a trifle different, reading literally:
"Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God, Jehovah one."
The word translated `hear' is shamE, the word translated `one' is acheD, and it is
these two final letters E and D which spell out the word `witness' which shows how
keenly the Hebrew people felt concerning the nature and substance of their peculiar
testimony. This witness finds a justification in the words of Isaiah which read:
"Ye are My witnesses, saith the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen: that ye
may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me there was no God
formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside Me there is
no Saviour" (Isa. 43: 10, 11).
"Ye are even My witnesses. Is there a God beside Me? yea, there is no God; I know
not any" (Isa. 44: 8).
These words are pregnant with meaning, and their consequences are far reaching. We
shall have to weigh them in the balances of the Sanctuary, and pray that we may make no
false step and draw no false conclusion. Before we are in the position to do this, we must
make some attempt to define our terms.
It is affirmed by some students of the Scriptures that Christ is `the Word of Jehovah'.
This does not go far enough. We believe that the Scripture teaches that Christ is Jehovah.
It is affirmed by many, that Christ was begotten of the Father before time began. The
passage from Isaiah just cited makes Jehovah declare `Before Me there was no God
formed'. A number of believers accept the translation of John 1: 1 as being `The Word
as A God'. We hope to show that this is an impossible translation, but at the moment we
place the words `The Word was A God' over against "Before Me there was no God
formed, neither shall there be after Me" and leave the comparison to do its own work.
Peter declares that there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we
must be saved. The title `Saviour' belongs pre-eminently to the Lord Jesus Christ--yet if