| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 40 - Page 233 of 254 Index | Zoom | |
we are to take the words of Isaiah as true, Jehovah has already declared that beside
Himself `there is no Saviour' (Isa. 43: 11; 45: 21). These Scriptural statements
demand our careful attention. Before we can proceed therefore in the investigation of
this most wonderful theme, we propose to seek an answer to the following questions:
The teaching of the Bible is entirely in favour of the UNITY of God. God is One, all
other gods are false. This being so, there must have been an imperative necessity
for the employment of the plural ELOHIM in Gen. 1: 1. Humanly speaking it
would appear to have been an error of the first magnitude for Moses, in his
endeavour to teach a people just out of idolatrous Egypt that there is but ONE God,
to use the plural form in the very opening sentence of revealed truth. Yet this is
what he was constrained to do.
Upon examination, we shall discover that many of the proof-texts for the doctrine of
Divine Unity, do not teach that GOD is one, but that JEHOVAH is one. It will
therefore be incumbent upon us to discover the meaning and the relationship of this
title to the doctrine of the one God.
Arising out of this investigation will be the fact that the Jehovah of the O.T. is found to
be the "Lord" of the N.T. and we are left in no doubt as to the fact that "The one
Lord" of the N.T. is the Saviour, the Son of God Himself, "The Man Christ Jesus".
Again and again we read that God is incomparable. That no likeness of Him is possible
or permitted. Yet the same Bible declares that man was made in the image and
after the likeness of Elohim, that Moses beheld the `similitude' of the Lord, and
that Christ is `the Image of the invisible God'.
In spite of the declaration that God is invisible, that `no man hath seen nor can see'
Him, that `no man hath seen God at any time' the same Scriptures record that the
elders of Israel "saw the God of Israel . . . . . they saw God" (Exod. 24: 10, 11).
As these matters are investigated, other items of extreme interest will come to light,
but it would only be an encumbrance to attempt to make a list of them here. The first
item that demands attention therefore, is the reason for the employment of the plural form
Elohim for `God', and to this we must address ourselves. There is no possible doubt
that Elohim is a plural noun, the A.V. so translates it in Gen. 3: 5 `gods' and in over
200 other places. When we remember the idolatry which had surrounded Israel during
their sojourn in Egypt, the law against all other `gods' given at Sinai, and the extreme
need to safeguard this basic doctrine, it is evident that some most imperative necessity
compelled Moses to employ such a term, especially when a singular form Eloah was in
use, and employed very freely in the book of Job. The translation `gods' meets us not
only in Gen. 3: but in Gen. 31: 30, 32; 35: 2, 4, and in over fifty other places in
the Pentateuch. Side by side with the strange use of the title Elohim however, is another
feature which materially altered the proposition, for the plural noun which ordinarily
employs a plural verb, is here found associated with the verb in the singular.
Rules of grammar arise out of the nature of things. Because mankind is made up of
male and female, we must have the pronouns `he' and `she'. Because we sometimes
speak of man in the singular and sometimes in the plural, we have the singular `he' and
the plural `they'. It is also natural that the verb should be construed with the noun, and
change when the singular changes to the plural. So we say, in English "God SEES" but
"Gods SEE". This is all so natural and straightforward that the above comments may