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Saturday, November 22, 2014


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NEXT: One Deity In Multiplicity



The Subject Itself


PAGES 47-53

But at this stage of our inquiry it behoves us to pause and to look into the signification of certain words brought before us in these and other passages of the sacred writings. This is the more necessary, because the names of God which occur in the Bible are not arbitrary sounds; and one of the chief imperfections of the English authorised translation, or rather version, is the slovenly manner in which all the names by which God has been


pleased to make Himself known to His people, have been rendered, after the fashion of the Septuagint, by the two words, "Lord" and "God."

These words do not convey the ideas of the Spirit in its use of terms. Lord is of Saxon origin, and signifies monarch, ruler, governor, something supreme or distinguished. The word to which it answers in the Septuagint and New Testament is kyrios. Under this word Parkhurst says: "Plutarch informs us, that the name of Cyrus, who in Isaiah 44:28; 45:1, is called koresh, did in Persic signify the Sun." "This name," then continues Parkhurst, "seems an evident corruption of the Hebrew, the sun; and as the sun is manifestly the great ruler in material nature, and the idolators of several nations accordingly worshipped Him under the title of meleck, the King, and Baal, the Ruler, Lord; so from the same word, keres, may, I think, be deduced the Greek kuro, authority, and kurios, lord; and even the word kuro, to exist; for it was a heathen tenet, that the sun was self-existent. Thus, for instance, the Orphic hymn, Eis Helion, 1.3, calls him Autophues, self-born."

But, if this be the radical idea of kyrios it fails to represent the meaning of Ail (Dr. Thomas invariably transliterates "El" as "Ail," thus spelling the word as it is pronounced. - Publishers.).

Eloahh, Elohim, Shaddai, Yahweh, for all of which it is often, or rather, most frequently, and almost generally used. The word Adon is properly enough rendered by Lord, in the singular; but not the other words, for which it should never be used. Elohim, Shaddai and Adonai, are plural names of Deity, and require terms of the same number to express them. (See additional Note in Appendix)

The common use of God in the English language, is as little justifiable as that of the word Lord. "God" in Saxon, signifies good: a meaning which cannot possibly be extracted from any of the names recited above. God is indeed good, exclusively so, as we are taught by Jesus himself while in the mortal state. In this sense, he refused to appropriate the word good, saying to one who styled himself so, "Why callest thou me good? No one is good except one, that is God" (Matt. 19:17). Jesus was free from personal transgression, and therefore in character good; as he did not refer to character, he could only have had reference to nature, or to God as substance. He is good in the sense of being deathless or incorruptibility itself; which, when Jesus refused the term, did not define the nature the Spirit was tabernacling in, and was encumbered with. "In me, that is, in my flesh," says Paul, "dwells no good thing." God, then, whether in the sense of moral, or of material goodness, while it is a term expressive of


the truth, is not a translation of any of the words before us; and where used in their stead, leaves the mind in the dark concerning the things they were intended to convey.

To Melchizedec and Abram the alone "Good One" was known as Ail Elyon, "Most High Ail," which teaches by implication that there were Ailim of inferior rank, station and power. Melchizedec, King of Jerusalem, was the priest of the Highest Ail, whom he understood and proclaimed to be konai, "Possessor of the Heavens and Earth." In Gen. 14:22, Abram is made, by transcribers, to call the "Most High Ail" by the name Yahweh; though we are expressly told in Exodus 6:3, that Abraham did not know Him by that name. He knew Ail, and he knew Shad-dai; but with any superior or divine being of the name "Yahweh," he had no acquaintance (See additional Note in Appendix.). The name has no doubt been substituted for Adon, Lord or Ruler, which the Most High is by virtue of His being the owner or sole proprietor of the heavens and the earth. The use of the word Yahweh is evidence that Genesis was compiled at least 430 years after the events of Chapter 15.

Abram, the Hebrew, spoke the language of Moses. This is evident from the narrative, and the name applied to altars and to God by his immediate family. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, all called upon the Possessor of the Heavens and Earth, by the word Ail-Shaddai, which in Gen. 17:1, He bestowed upon Himself, saying ani-ail-Shaddai- "walk before Me, and be thou perfect"; and in verse 3 it says, "and Elohim talked with him": and Ail told him through Elohim that He would be to him lai-lohim, "for Elohim and to his seed after him" (verse 8).

As often as this word ail passed before his mind, the idea of POWER, might, strength, would stand out in bold relief. "It always," says Gesenius, "presented to the Hebrews the idea of strength and power." Nebuchadnezzar is styled in Ezek. 31:11, Ail Goyim, the Mighty One of Nations; and in Isaiah 9:5, Messiah is termed Ail Givbor, the Mighty Warrior.

Shaddai is plural, and comes from the root shadad, to be strong or powerful. Shaddai signifies mighty or powerful ones. Several appeared to Abraham, and three of them at one time condescended to partake of his hospitality. Their power is tremendous when they choose to exert it upon the wicked, as in the instance of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, cities of the Plain; but towards "the Heirs of Salvation" they are ministering spirits, beneficient and good (Heb. 1:14; 13:1).

But, by what were these Shaddai so powerful that they could


stand by cities and send them into the abyss profound? Was it by their own power, or by the power of another? By the power of another certainly; even by His power who is higher than they; and who, being Possessor of the Earth hath alone the right to lay its cities in heaps, and sweep it with terror and distress. And because this is the fact, therefore, the Possessor of the Heavens and the Earth announced himself to Abram, Isaac and Jacob, as Ail-Shaddai, or THE STRENGTH of the POWERFUL ONES, whose might he had witnessed in the destruction of the Plain.

In this sense, that namely of POWER INCREATE, being the strength of creatures formed by it, we find Ail associated with other words than shaddai. In Gen. 33:20, it is testified, that Jacob erected an altar, and called it Ail Elohai Yisraail, rendered in the margin of the English Bible, God, God of Israel. An altar, mizbaiach, is a thing to sacrifice or present offerings upon, from zavach, to kill, etc. It was regarded as "most holy," so that whatever touched the altar was sanctified or made holy (Exodus 29:37). The blind fools, as Jesus styled the Rabbis of his day, had reversed this, and by making the altar of no account (Matt. 23:18), destroyed its typical and sanctifying character. In the days of the patriarchs and prophets, the typical altar was temporarily sanctified, but in the days of the apostles, and consequently now also, Jesus is the sanctifier, as Paul teaches in Heb. 2:11, saying that "Both he that sanctifieth, and they being sanctified, are all out of one (Father) ex henos: and in Chapter 13:10-13, he plainly identifies Jesus as the sanctifying altar of which none have any right to eat who hold on to the types rejecting the things they shadow forth.

Now Jesus was one and the Father was another. "I can of mine own self," said he, "do nothing.": "My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me": and it is written in the Law of Moses that the testimony of two men is credible. "I am one that bear witness of myself; and the Father who sent me, (the other witness) He beareth witness of me" (John 5:30; 7:16; 8:17,18). Here, then, are two personages. The Father by Himself, being Ail, or POWER, but when associated with the Son of Man, who, when so associated, was powerful "anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power" -- He was Ail Eloahh, the Power mediately manifested; the power being one, and the medium of manifestation another Eloahh. "It is in the ail yahdi, power of my hand," said Laban to Jacob, "to harm you; but the Elohim of your Father forbade it."

Now the altar erected by Jacob was typical of those referred to in the title he bestowed upon it. When the Spirit descended upon the Apostles, and shone through them, holding forth the word of life confirmed by power, there were many other Elohim


in Israel. They were full of power, and therefore full of Ail, as Jesus promised they should be, saying, "Ye shall receive power of the Holy Spirit coming upon you" (Acts 1:8); and when Jacob poured oil upon the pillar-stone of Baithail, he represented this anointing of the Elohim of Israel with Ail. The marginal reading of the title of Jacob's Altar expresses nothing of this. "God, God of Israel" is an unmeaning phrase: rendered after the Saxon version of "God," it is "Good, Good of Israel"! But with the promises before us, we interpret the Altar as typical of the Power of the Powerful Ones of Israel in sacrificial manifestation.

Another word applied to "Power Increate," and improperly rendered God, ( In other Editions of Phanerosis a misprint here occurs. Dr. Thomas is represented as writing that 'Eloahh is rendered Lord.' The Word is rendered "God" in the A.V. We include this footnote to explain the divergence in the text of the various editions of the book. -Publishers) is Eloahh. It occurs fifty-six times in the Old Testament, of which forty-one occur in the Book of Job. It is used four times in the Psalms; only twice by Moses; once by Isaiah and Solomon; three times in Daniel, and twice in Habakkuk. It is not in all these places applied to the Most High. In Daniel it is applied to that power in the Little Horn's estate or dominion which enforces the adoration of "Guardian Saints"; and in Hab. 1:11, zu koho lailoho -- it informs us that the Chaldean shall offend in taking his power for his EIoahh. And Job, in speaking of him that provokes Ail, says in Chapt. 12:6, "Who carries Eloahh in his hand"; that is, he calls the sword in the hand of the violent, his eloahh, in the sense of its being his power.

Power, then, is the radical idea of Eloahh as well as of Ail. It is of the singular number and masculine gender. In Isaiah 44:8, the Spirit of Eloahh in the prophet enquires: "Exists there an Eloahh without me? Yea, there is no rock (tzur, metaphor for power), I know not any." And in Psalm 18:31 "Who is an Eloahh without -- mivbaladai Jehovah? And who is a rock (or strong) except our Elohim"? "The Mighty One (hah-Ail), girdeth me with strength: and hath made my way secure." Is not Eloahh the Majesty of the Heavens"? (Job 22:12). "In my flesh shall I see Eloahh" (19:26). And "At the presence of Adon, the Lord, be pained, O earth; at the presence of the Eloahh of Jacob" (Psalm 114:7).

The plural of this word is elohim, and occurs in the Old Testament about 2,470 times. In the first and second chapters of Genesis, it is rendered in the English version by the word "God": but in chapter 3:5, it is translated gods. (The Revised Version renders Gen. 3:5 -- "Ye shall be as God knowing good and evil." In 23:6, it is


rendered mighty, but very incorrectly. Let the reader turn to this passage, and read it in the English; and then, if he can, look into the original. The children of Heth did not say to Abraham, "thou art a mighty prince among us"; but they said: "Hear us, Adoni, or my lord, a prince of Elohim art thou among us." In Chapt. 30:8, it is rendered great. In 31:30,32; 35:2,4; and many other places idols are termed elohim, not because they were really anything of power, but were so esteemed by the idolator who styled them so. In Exodus 21:6; 22:8, 9, it is rendered judges. In 1 Sam. 2:25, it is judge.(The Revised Version translates "Elohim" as "God" in these three places quoted by Dr. Thomas and rendered "judges" in the Authorised Version. (Publishers). In 1 Kings 11:5, it is translated goddess." In Jonah 3:3, it is rendered exceeding; and in Mal. 2:15, it is rendered godly.

It is certainly somewhat remarkable, that Eloahh, the singular noun, should be so seldom, and the same word in the plural, so often, used concerning God, in a book revealing Him to the student of the word. Grammarians tell us that there is nothing in it: that it is only a poetical fancy, or a peculiarity of style, that caused the singular to be used at all; and that the plural is used as more becoming, being expressive of the majesty or excellency of God. Referring to this Gesenius says "In unison with Aramaean usage the form of the singular is employed only in the poetic style and the later Hebrew; while the pluralis majestaticus vel excellentioe is the common and very frequent form.

"Greatness," he remarks, in his grammar, "especially in a metaphorical sense, as associated with power and sovereignty, is plurally expressed. Hence, there are several nouns which are used in the plural as well as the singular, to denote Lord or God (Pluralis majestaticus vel excellentioe) e.g. Eloahh. God is scarcely found in the singular, except in poetry; in prose; commonly elohim; adon, lord, old form of the plural adonai, the Lord, kat exochen (God), shaddai, the Almighty. Often the idea of greatness is no longer associated with the form, the mind having accustomed itself to contemplate the powerful in general as a plural. Another example of the plural majestatis is the use of we by Deity in speaking of Himself (Gen. 1:26; 11:7; Isa. 6:8) and by kings. The German language has it not only in this latter case, but in addressing a second person by Ihr and Sie. This plural is also found in modern Arabic and Persian."

"In regard to number, the constructio ad sensum is frequent. The pluralis majestatis is construed with a singular adjective or verb. Conversely, the adjective takes the plural form when it is used with reference to God (pro notione majestatis) as eloah ossai,


God created me, (Job 35:9).

We quote these learned observations, that the unlearned reader may see how grammarians get round, but do not explain the anomaly. The rules are that an adjective agrees with its substantive or noun in gender, number, and case; and that a verb agrees with its nominative in number and person. But in the case of Elohim, Adonai, Shaddai, Eloahh, etc., when applied in connection with Ail or POWER INCREATE, commonly styled God, we find the rules of grammar disregarded. Gesenius tells us that it is a royal peculiarity of speech; granted: but what in relation to divine power is the ground of that peculiarity? This he does not, and cannot explain, because he does not know, "God and Jesus Anointed whom he has sent." The peculiarity is, to coin a word, phanerosial and doctrinal. The peculiarity has diffused itself into other languages, and generated "a plural of majesty or excellence"; but is not originally a plural of that kind. As to Eloahh being poetical, and Elohim, its plural, prosaic, the contrary would appear the more correct opinion, seeing that the poetical Eloahh is only used four times in the Psalms; while in these songs of Zion the prosaic Elohim occurs three hundred and forty times at least!