One in Messiah Congregation


The "plurality "of God is Jewish


Below are just a few scriptures to explain the "plurality "of God


It is generally agreed that Elohim is a plural noun having the masculine plural ending "im." The very word Elohim used of the true God in Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," is also used in Exodus 20:3, "You shall have no other gods (Elohim) before Me," and in Deuteronomy 13:2, "Let us go after other gods (Elohim)... ." While the use of the plural Elohim does not prove a plurality, it certainly opens the door to a doctrine of plurality in the Godhead since it is the word that is used for the one true God as well as for the many false gods.

It is perhaps best to begin with the very source of Jewish theology and the only means of testing it: the Hebrew Scriptures.

Since so much relies on Hebrew Scripture usage, then to the Hebrew we should turn.

The mystery of three

Pss.50 A psalm of Asaf

[1] The mighty God, even the LORD , hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.
The word mighty above in Hebrew is El - אֵל

מִזְמוֹר, לְאָסָף

אֵל, אֱלֹהִים יְהוָה־־ דִּבֶּר וַיִּקְרָא־אָרֶץ
מִמִּזְרַח־שֶׁמֶשׁ, עַד־מְבֹאוֹ


Deut6:4 - 3 are 1 Deut.6 [4] Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

שְׁמַע, יִשְׂרָאֵל: יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי נוּ, יְהוָה אֶחָד

Please note that the very words "our God" are in the plural in the Hebrew text and literally mean "our Gods."



Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Raya Mehemna, Page 43b


This Supernal Grace is the Unifier. For this reason the section of the Shema is joined to that of And it shall be; for the act which makes each day a unity and likewise forms the whole sum of separate days into the perfect whole, is the fact of following the Divine Will in knowledge and action; and through this act alone (of concentration on the union during prayer and the recitation of the Shema) can that union of which we have frequently spoken be attained: that is, the union of each day, the union which is expressed in the sentence: Hear, O Israel, TETRAGRAMMATON Elohenu TETRAGRAMMATON is one. These three are one. How can the three Names be one? Only through the perception of Faith: in the vision of the Holy Spirit, in the beholding of the hidden eyes alone. The mystery of the audible voice is similar to this, for though it is one yet it consists of three elements-fire, air, and water, which have, however, become one in the mystery of the voice. Even so it is with the mystery of the threefold Divine manifestations designated by TETRAGRAMMATON Elohenu TETRAGRAMMATON - three modes which yet form one unity .


Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page I37b


The heavens receive it from the source of life; and they then impart light and completeness to the supernal Glory from the mystery of the supernal Numberer (Sopher), the Father of all; then from the mystery of the Numbered (Sippur)-the Supernal Mother; finally from the mystery of the Number (sepher).[Tr. note: v. Sefer Yezirah.] Therefore it says: The heavens declare (mesaprim), namely, as we have pointed out, in the mystery of these three Names which, on the Sabbath, reign supreme more than on other days. Therefore David uttered this Psalm of praise, through the Holy Spirit, in regard to the light and the effulgence of the Sabbath and its pre-eminence over the other days of the week because of the mystery of the Supernal Name which in it lightens up and radiates and sparkles in the spheres of holiness, and is completed above and below.



singular word for God

Gen.31[ 13] I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.אָנֹכִי הָאֵל ( God in the singular אֵל )

plural construct word for God

Exod.3[ 6] Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. אָנֹכִי אֱלֹהֵי אָבִיךָ, אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם אֱלֹהֵי יִצְחָק, וֵ אלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב

אֱלֹהֵי noun common masculine plural construct 502 times


אֱלֹהִים noun common masculine plural absolute 680 times


Plural Verbs Used With Elohim

Virtually all Hebrew scholars do recognize that the word Elohim, as it stands by itself, is a plural noun. Nevertheless, they wish to deny that it allows for any plurality in the Godhead whatsoever. Their line of reasoning usually goes like this: When "Elohim" is used of the true God, it is followed by a singular verb; when it is used of false gods, it is followed by the plural verb. Rabbi Greenberg states it as follows:

"But, in fact, the verb used in the opening verse of Genesis is "bara," which means "he created" - singular. One need not be too profound a student of Hebrew to understand that the opening verse of Genesis clearly speaks of a singular God."

The point made, of course, is generally true because the Bible does teach that God is only one God and, therefore, the general pattern is to have the plural noun followed by the singular verb when it speaks of the one true God. However, there are places where the word is used of the true God and yet it is followed by a plural verb:

Genesis 20:13: And it came to pass, when God (Elohim) caused me to wander הִתְעוּ verb hiphil perfect 3rd person common plural (Literally: THEY caused me to wander) from my father's house ...

Genesis 35:7: ... because there God (Elohim) appeared to him ... נִגְלוּ verb niphal perfect 3rd person common plural (Literally: THEY appeared to him.)

2 Samuel 7:23: ... God (Elohim) went ... הָלְכוּ verb qal perfect 3rd person common plural (Literally: THEY went.)

Psalm 58:11 he is a God that judgeth in the earth ... אֱלֹהִים, שֹׁפְטִים masculine plural (Literally: Gods judge.)


The Name Eloah אֱלוֹהַּ 49 times - noun common masculine singular absolute

אֱלֹהֵי noun common masculine plural construct 502 times

אֱלֹהִים noun common masculine plural absolute 680 times

If the plural form Elohim was the only form available for a reference to God, then conceivably the argument might be made that the writers of the Hebrew Scriptures had no other alternative but to use the word Elohim for both the one true God and the many false gods. However, the singular form for Elohim (Eloah) exists and is used in such passages as Deuteronomy 32:15-17 אֱלוֹהַּ - אֱלֹהַּ־־ אֱלֹהִים

and Habakkuk 3:3. אֱלוֹהַּ

This singular form could easily have been used consistently. Yet it is only used 49 times, while the plural form is used 680 times. The far greater use of the plural form again turns the argument in favor of plurality in the Godhead rather than against it.

Plural Pronouns

Another case in point regarding Hebrew grammar is that often when God speaks of himself, he clearly uses the plural pronoun:

Genesis 1:26: Then God (Elohim) said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness ..." בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ

He could hardly have made reference to angels since man was created in the image of God and not of angels. The Midrash Rabbah on Genesis recognizes the strength of this passage and comments as follows:

Rabbi Samuel Bar Hanman in the name of Rabbi Jonathan said, that at the time when Moses wrote the Torah, writing a portion of it daily, when he came to the verse which says, "And Elohim said, let us make man in our image after our likeness," Moses said, "Master of the universe, why do you give here with an excuse to the sectarians (who believe in the Tri-unity of God)" God answered Moses, "You write and whoever wants to err, let him err." (Midrash Rabbah on Genesis 1:26 [New York NOP Press, N.D.])

It is obvious that the Midrash Rabbah is simply trying to get around the problem and fails to answer adequately why God refers to himself in the plural.

The use of the plural pronoun can also be seen In the following:

Genesis 3:22: Then the LORD God (YHVH Elohim) said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us''

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים, הֵן הָאָדָם הָיָה כְּאַחַד מִמֶּנּוּ

Genesis 1:26: Then God (Elohim) said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness ..."

וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵ נוּ


Plural Descriptions of God

Another point that also comes out of Hebrew is the fact that often nouns and adjectives used in speaking of God are plural. Some examples are as follows:

Ecclesiastes 12:1: Remember now thy Creator ... (Literally: CREATORS.) בּוֹרְאֶיךָ masculine plural construct, your or thy - 2nd person masculine singular

Psalm 149:2: Let Israel rejoice in their Maker. (Literally: MAKERS.) בְּעֹשָׂיו verb qal participle mascline plural construct

Joshua 24:19: ... holy God ... (Literally: HOLY GODS.) אֱלֹהִים קְדֹשִׁים noun common masculine plural absolute אֱלֹהִים

adjective masculine plural absolute קְדֹשִׁים

Isaiah 54:5: For your Maker is your husband. (Literally: MAKERS, HUSBANDS.) כִּי בֹעֲלַיִךְ עֹשַׂיִךְ verb qal participle masculine plural construct suffix 2nd person feminine singular

Everything we have said so far rests firmly on the Hebrew language of the Scriptures. If we are to base our theology on the Scriptures alone, we have to say that on the one hand they affirm God's unity, while at the same time they tend towards the concept of a compound unity allowing for a plurality in the Godhead.


The Shema

Deuteronomy 6:4: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!

שְׁמַע, יִשְׂרָאֵל: יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי נוּ, יְהוָה אֶחָד

Deuteronomy 6:4, known as the SHEMA, has always been Israel's great confession. It is this verse more than any other that is used to affirm the fact that God is one and is often used to contradict the concept of plurality in the Godhead. But is it a valid use of this verse?

Again please notice that the very words "our God" are in the plural in the Hebrew text and literally mean "our Gods."

However, the main argument lies in the word "one," which is the Hebrew word, ECHAD. A glance through the Hebrew text where the word is used elsewhere can quickly show that the word echad does not mean an absolute "one" but a compound "one."

For instance, in Genesis 1:5 the combination of evening and morning comprise one (echad) day. In Genesis 2:24 a man and a woman come together in marriage and the two "shall become one (echad) flesh." In Ezra 2:64 we are told that the whole assembly was as one (echad), though, of course, it was composed of numerous people. Ezekiel 37:17 provides a rather striking example where two sticks are combined to become one (echad). Thus, use of the word echad in Scripture shows it to be a compound and not an absolute unity.

There is a Hebrew word that does mean an absolute unity and that is YACHID, which is found in many Scripture passages, (Genesis 22:2,12; Judges 11:34; Psalm 22:21: 25:16; Proverbs 4:3; Jeremiah 6:26; Amos 8:10; Zechariah 12:10) the emphasis being on the meaning of "only." If Moses intended to teach God's absolute oneness as over against a compound unity, this would have been a far more appropriate word. In fact, Maimonides noted the strength of "yachid' and chose to use that word in his "Thirteen Articles of Faith'' in place of echad. However, Deuteronomy 6:4 (the Shema) does not use "yachid" in reference to God.

First, there are the numerous times when there is a reference to the Lord YHVH.

A second personality is referred to as the Angel of YHVH. This individual is always considered distinct from all other angels and is unique. In almost every passage where he is found he is referred to as both the Angel of YHVH and YHVH himself. For instance in Genesis 16:7 he is referred to as the Angel of YHVH, but then in 16:13 as YHVH himself. In Genesis 22:11 he is the Angel of YHVH, but God himself in 22:12. Other examples could be given.

A very interesting passage is Exodus 23:20-23 where this angel has the power to pardon sin because God's own name YHVH is in him, and, therefore, he is to be obeyed without question. This can hardly be said of any ordinary angel. But the very fact that God's own name is in this angel shows his divine status.

A third major personality that comes through is the Spirit of God, often referred to simply as the Ruach Ha-kodesh. There are a good number of references to the Spirit of God among which are Genesis 1:2; 6:3; Job 33:4; Psalm 51:11; 139:7; Isaiah 11:2; 63:10,14. The Holy Spirit cannot be a mere emanation because he has all the characteristics of personality (intellect, emotion and will) and is considered divine.

If the concept of the plurality of God is not Jewish according to modern rabbis, then neither are the Hebrew Scriptures.

Jewish believers cannot be accused of having slipped into paganism when they hold to the fact that Yeshua / Jesus is the divine Son of God. He is the same one of whom Moses wrote when the Lord said:

Exod.23[ 20] Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.[ 21] Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions : for my name is in him.[22 ] But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.[ 23] For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.
Angels can not forgive sin..........

In Genesis 31 he is the Angel of God in verse 11, but then he is the God of Bethel in verse 13.

In Exodus 3 he is the Angel of YHVH in verse two and he is both YHVH and God in verse four.

In Judges 6 he is the Angel of YHVH in verses 11,12, 20 and 21, but is YHVH himself in verses 14, 16, 22 and 23.

Iin Judges 13:3 and 21 he is the Angel of YHVH but is referred to as God himself in verse 22.


a few more scriptures:

Pss.45[ 6] Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.[ 7] Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

It should be noted that the first Elohim is being addressed and the second Elohim is the God of the first Elohim. And so God's God has anointed him with the oil of gladness.

In Hosea 1:7 we read......

Hos.1[ 7] But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah , and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.

The speaker is Elohim who says he will have mercy on the house of Judah and will save them by the instrumentality of YHVH, their Elohim. So Elohim number one will save Israel by means of Elohim number two.

Not only is Elohim applied to two personalities in the same verse, but so is the very name of God. One example is Genesis 19:24:

Gen.19[ 24] Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;

Clearly we have YHVH number one raining fire and brimstone from a second YHVH who is in heaven, the first one being on earth.

In Zechariah 2:8-9 we read.......

Zech.2[ 8] For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. [9 ] For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me .

Again, we have one YHVH sending another YHVH to perform a specific task.


The author of the Zohar sensed plurality in the Tetragrammaton (1) and wrote:

"Come and see the mystery of the word YHVH: there are three steps, each existing by itself: nevertheless they are One, and so united that one cannot be separated from the other. The Ancient Holy One is revealed with three heads, which are united into one, and that head is three exalted. The Ancient One is described as being three: because the other lights emanating from him are included in the three. But how can three names be one? Are they really one because we call them one? How three can be one can only be known through the revelation of the Holy Spirit ." (Zohar, Vol III, 288; Vol II, 43, Hebrew editions. (See also Sonclno Press edition, Vol III, 134.)



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