Where does the word Eloheim come from?
Where does the word "Eloheim" come from?
There seem to be two basic questions here:
In the original Hebrew manuscripts; The writer uses the word Elohim. From my research, it appears that 'Eloheim' does not exist in either Hebrew or English vocabulary.
Of course, no vowels were written in the "original Hebrew" manuscripts, so technically no distinction could be made between these two forms. On the other hand, in the Masoretic text (to which vowel marks were added in the Middle Ages and on which all modern translations are essentially based) I can confirm that there is no word that eloheim be transliterated would . In fact, the only word with the consonants אלהים appears every time the OP states: אֱלֹהִים ( ʾElohîm ).
While the transliteration schemes differ, neither the Wikipedia article on Romanization nor the SBL guidelines suggest that Chireq-yodegg can be transliterated (rather: iy or î ). As noted in a commentary, at the time Joseph Smith wrote this, English spelling was not standardized, let alone transliteration from Hebrew. This is illustrated in this collection of Smith's writings where Genesis 1: 1 is given:
בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם הָאָֽרֶץ
Profession baurau Eloheim ait aushamayeen vehau auraits (Smith)
Bereʾshit baraʾ ohelohim ʾet hashshamayim weʾet haʾarets (simplified modern transliteration)
There are numerous letters to choose from that don't make sense to me (mostly vowels), but he obviously worked to different standards.
OP further asks:
Why should the Father be called the multitude of gods?
This is an angry question that quite a few books have been written about. The basic answer is that this is just a quirk of how the Hebrew language works. Some supporting points:
This word is ambiguous. Other words translated as singular include חִטִּים ( Chittim , "Wheat"), מַ֫יִם ( Mayim , "Water"), שָׁמַ֫יִם ( Shamayim , "Heaven") and תַּנִּינִים ( Tannins , "Dragon"). As a respected Hebrew grammar puts it (p. 468):
In the broadest sense, [the plural] denotes things that have a genuine unity, but also express plurality in some way. Thus, in a composite object, one can consider the component elements, in an extended object the various parts, in a particularly perfect being the multiplicity or intensity of being, or even in something abstract the multiplicity of manifestations. In Hebrew, for example, one can distinguish the plural forms of composition, extension, excellence or majesty, intensity and abstraction.
The authors close ʾElohîm as "plural of excellence or majesty". See also the older, but still valuable, discussion by Gesenius on the subject.
Although in the plural form, will ʾElohîm when it clearly relates to the God of Israel, used consistently with singular verbs. Pronouns ending on ʾElohîm show are also consistently singular. 1 This is a strong foundation to translate as a singular in English.
The OP quotes an LDS source who suggests that the term be "gods". This is based on the false premise that "the Hebrew language forces us to use the plural form of all words that end in heim".
On the other hand, Trinitarians are occasionally heard to make claims about the plurality of deities based on the morphology of this word. From a linguistic and textual point of view, I am not aware of any basis for this, and the phenomenon is adequately explained as above.
1 There are rare exceptions, one of which is quoted in the question: Gen 1:26.This text deserves special attention;See the Hermeneutics.SE questions and answers.For the more general topic, see Why is Elohim in Genesis 1: 1 translated as God rather than gods?covering much of the same floor as this one.
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