By Roland Smyth
This word can drive you crazy if you get really involved in figuring out its etymological background. Simply speaking though, in ancient Hebrew it always meant "gods," and only "gods." But sometime around the fifth century BC it began to take on a double meaning, even to Jews. From that point on it was sometimes treated as a singular noun as well as a plural noun.
No doubt the final compilers and editors had something to do with all that, for they had been heavily influenced by Zorastrianism, a Persian religion which, though we don't hear too much about it these days, was basically monotheistic in its outlook.
In any case, when used in reference to the "God" of Israel, ELOHIM continued, in many cases, to be accompanied by plural pronouns, verbs and adjectives... in the Hebrew texts, that is. English translators have converted most of those pluralities, although they did miss a few, such as in Genesis 1:26, 3:22, 11:7, and Isaiah 41:21-26.
Additional information on the ELOHIM (should you want it) can be located as close as your standard home encyclopedia. Biblical encyclopedias, however, usually go into more detailed analyses, as do Biblical dictionaries. If you can't find ELOHIM under its own heading, try the heading, "God, names of," the LORD of Hosts (armies), and so on. One noun that summarizes all of the above is, or course, extraterrestrial.
But what kind of extraterrestrial? Ah, there lies the rub, for by his words and actions he is seen to be a most unsavory sort of character. To quote the Bible itself, he was a murderer and liar from the start. Even a cursory examination of the Old Testament will prove those indictments to be true.
It is, therefore, not good enough to simply accept Jehovah as an extraterrestrial and be satisfied with that appraisal, though accurate it surely is. There is more to contemplate, much more. For regardless of the fact that he has made no public appearances in Israel for thousands of years, his memory and his aggressiveness still linger on in the minds of those of all faiths who persist in acknowledging him as the Supreme Creator. In other words, he still has Power, and plenty of it, even in his absence. I, for one, would not like to see the aggressive side of that Power grow by more than it already has in recent times, and the only way to prevent such a development from occurring, I believe, is to gently lay bare the truth of the Commander's criminal past. Otherwise, he... or someone pretending to be him... might just zoom in from Planet X and seduce us into accepting him as the one and only "God" all over again.
Nuts to that!
To find all the places where ELOHIM appears in the Old Testament, you'll need a volume of "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible," a standard reference work which features both a Hebrew-English and Greek-English lexicon at the back. The concordance pinpoints the exact locations of any word in the Bible, matches it to the Hebrew or Greek original, and is therefore a very useful tool in researching whatever facet of Biblical study that happens to strike your fancy.
Incidentally, the contact between Judaism and Zorastrianism occurred at the end of the Babylonian captivity. It was the Persians who ended that captivity, actually, and the Jews were extremely grateful for their efforts in that regard. Indeed, they became great friends with the Persians, and that explains how Judaism was heavily influenced by Zorastrianism.
THE IMPORTANCE OF RETAINING THE COMMANDER'S REAL NAME
Here are but a few of the many references on this subject:
1. "He (Jehovah's Messiah) will stand and shepherd his flock.. in the majesty of the name of Jehovah his God." (Micah 5:4)
2. " '.....if you do not et your heart to honor my name,' says Almighty Jehovah, 'I will send a curse among you, and I will curse your blessings.' " (Malachi 2:1)
3. "And everyone who calls upon the name of Jehovah will be saved." (Joel 2:32)
4. "If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law which are written in this book and do not revere this glorious and awesome name--Jehovah your God--Jehovah will send fearful plaques on you and your descendants." (Deuteronomy 28:58)
5. "O Jehovah, our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us, but your name alone do we honor." (Isaiah 26:13)
6. "Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds--his name is Jehovah." (Psalm 68:4)
7. "Jehovah will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Jehovah, and his name the only name." (Zechariah 14:9)
8. "I (Jehovah's Messiah) will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you." (Psalm 22:22)
9. "In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever!" (Psalm 43:8)
10. "If anyone does not listen to my (Jehovah's) words that the prophets speak in my name, I myself will call him to account. A prophet who speaks in the name of other gods must be put to death." (Deuteronomy 18:19-20)
11. "Fear Jehovah your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name." (Deuteronomy 6:13)
12. "May his name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun." (Psalm 72:17)
13. "Exalt the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel." (Isaiah 24:15)
14. "I am Jehovah! That is my name!" (Isaiah 42;8)
This is a touchy subject to enter into. I know, but nevertheless a certain amount of Scriptural evidence does exist which more than hints of human sacrifice during the very early days of Jehovah's rule. We are all familiar, of course, with Abraham's solemn preparations to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to Jehovah, and how the final act was called off at the last minute because it was supposedly only a crucial test of Abraham's faith. With that "test" in mind the following references, perhaps, should come as no great shock. They indicate that for others the test was a crucial one indeed, in which no last-minute cancellation was forthcoming. Bear in mind what Jehovah said in Ezekiel 20:25-16..."I let them become defiled through their gifts--the sacrifice of every firstborn--that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am Jehovah!!"
This quotation sets the mood for what is to come.
1. "You must give me (Jehovah) the firstborn of your sons. do the same with your cattle and sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day." (Exodus 22:29-30)
2. Jehovah said to Moses, "Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal." (Exodus 13:1-2)
3. As it is also written in the Law, "We will bring the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, or our herds and our flocks to the house (Temple, with sacrificial altar)... to the house of our God, to the priests ministering there." (Nehemiah 10:36)
4. In Judges 11:29-40 (which is too lengthy to reproduce here), a man promises to sacrifice as a burnt offering to Jehovah the first person to come out of his house after he returns from a victorious battle. Perhaps he had so many servants he naturally expected one of them to be the first to greet him but alas, it was his daughter who first appeared from within the house. The poor girl, as the father had promised in his vow to Jehovah, was sacrificed as a burnt offering.
5. By comparing Joshua 6:26 with 1 Kings 16:34 you will find another example of human sacrifice, this time of the firstborn son and the youngest.
6. In Micah 6:7 a man wonders if it's really necessary to "offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul"
7. 1 Kings 13:2 "By the word of Jehovah a man of God came from Judah to Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering. He cried out against the altar by the word of Jehovah: "O altar, altar! This is what Jehovah says: A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who now make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.'" (1 Kings 13:1-2)
8. 2 Kings 23:20, "Josiah slaughtered all the priests of those high places on the altars and burned human bones on them."
EARLY OPPOSITION TO JEHOVAH
The suspicion that Jehovah was not who he said he was actually goes back all the way to the very beginnings of Christianity. The Christian Gnostics, for instance, believed that "the world is ruled by evil archons, among them the deity of the Old Testament, who held captive the spirit of man." (Illustrated Columbia Encyclopedia) And according to Reader's Digest's "Great People of the Bible and How they Lived," the Gnostics held that "The God who sent Jesus was not the God of the Old Testament, who created the evil material world, but the true God, the lord of spirit."
Another early Christian sect which embraced identical attitudes as the Gnostics were the Manichaeans. They too rejected Jehovah as the real God, and like the Gnostics regarded the Old Testament as nothing more than an elaborate hoax.
Unfortunately, these and other early Christian sects were no match for the powerful Church of Rome, which of course was backed by the Roman armies, and the rest you can figure out for yourself.
Anyway, should you want to find out more about the early rejections of Jehovah, you would do well to conduct some research into the above mentioned sects. In particular information on the Christian Gnostics is readily available in fairly large quantities as many of their written records have recently come to light.
Also, if you browse through the Old Testament itself--or better yet, read all of it--you'll discover that Jehovah was an extremely unpopular deity even amongst the ancient Israelites. Over and over again they tried to extricate themselves from his evil influence, which is why they became known as a "Stiff-necked" people. Truth is, they weren't stiff-necked at all, they just knew a tyrant when they saw one! But there was always a hard core element of priests around who wre blinded by the Commander's power, and in the end, after many struggles, they ultimately gained the upper hand and firmly entrenched Jehovah-worship as the national religion of Israel. Whether by design or by accident, the church of Rome played a huge role in continuing the tradition (in part, at least) by fusing Judaism and Christianity together.
ADDITIONAL FACE TO FACE ENCOUNTERS WITH JEHOVAH
Jehovah was seen by more people, more often, than is commonly appreciated. Some of the more outstanding references in this regard are Exodus 24:9-11, Exodus 33:7-11, Numbers 12:1-8, Numbers 14:24, and Deuteronomy 34:1-12. The New Testament, on the other hand, consistently states that no mortal had ever seen God. See John 1:18, John 5:37, John 6:46, Matthew 11:27, 1 Timothy 6:15-16, 1 John 4:12.
JEHOVAH A MURDER AND A LIAR
Only a partial list is possible here: Genesis 19:24, Exodus 4:24, Exodus 12:29-30, Exodus 32:27-28, Leviticus 26:14-39, Leviticus 10:1-2, Numbers 11:1-3, Numbers 11:33-34, Numbers 14:26-35, Numbers 16:28-50, Numbers 32:10-13, Deuteronomy 9:1-3, Deuteronomy 31:3, 1 Kings 22:19-23, 2 Kings 19:35, Psalm 44, Psalm 48, Psalm 78, Psalm 86, Psalm 105, Isaiah 44:6-8, Isaiah 44:24, Isaiah 45:5, Isaiah 49:22-23, Jeremiah 9:24, Lamentations 3:43-45, Hosea 13:16, Amos 9:1-6, Nahum 1:2-6.
And if that doesn't convince you folks, go to the little book I told you about in the beginning, "The Gospel of Judas" and you will see what Jesus said about the god that the Jews worshipped.