The Divine Names And Titles
I. ELOHIM occurs 2,700 times. Its first occurrence connects it with creation, and gives it its essential meaning as the Creator. It indicates His relation to mankind as His creatures (see note on 2Chronicles 18:31, where it stands in contrast with Jehovah as indicating covenant relationship). ‘Elohim is God the Son, the living "Word" with creature form to create (John 1:1. Colossians 1:15-17. Revelation 3:14); and later, with human form to redeem (John 1:14). "Begotten of His Father before all worlds; born of His mother, in the world." In this creature form He appeared to the Patriarchs, a form not temporally assumed. ‘Elohim in indicated (as in the Authorized Version) by ordinary small type, "God". See table below.
II. JEHOVAH. While Elohim is God as the Creator of all things, Jehovah is the same God in covenant relation to those whom He has created (compare 2Chronicles 18:31). Jehovah means the Eternal, the Immutable One, He Who WAS, and IS, and IS TO COME. The Divine definition is given in Genesis 21:33. He is especially, therefore, the God of Israel; and the God of those who are redeemed, and are thus now "in Christ". We can say "My God," but not "My Jehovah", for Jehovah is "My God."
Jehovah is indicated (as in Authorized Version) by small capital letters, "LORD"; and by "GOD" When it occurs in combination with Adonai, in which case LORD GOD = Adonai Jehovah.
The name Jehovah is combined with ten other words, which form what are known as "the Jehovah Titles."
They are as follows in the order in which they occur in the Hebrew Canon (Appendix 1). All are noted in the margin, in all their occurrences:-
1. JEHOVAH-JIREH = Jehovah will see, or provide. Genesis 22:14.
2. JEHOVAH-ROPHEKS = Jehovah that healeth thee. Exodus 15:26.
3. JEHOVAH-NISSI = Jehovah my banner. Exodus 17:15.
4. JEHOVAH-MeKADDISHKEM = Jehovah that doth sanctify you. Exodus 31:13. Leviticus 20:8, 21:8, 22:32. Ezekiel 20:12.
5. JEHOVAH-SHALOM = Jehovah [send] peace. Judges 6:24.
6. JEHOVAH-ZeBA’OTH = Jehovah of hosts. 1Samuel 1:3, and frequently.
7. JEHOVAH-ZIDKENU = Jehovah our righteousness. Jeremiah 23:6, 33:16.
8. JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH = Jehovah is there. Ezekiel 48:35.
9. JEHOVAH-‘ELYON = Jehovah most high. Psalms 7:17, 47:2, 97:9.
10. JEHOVAH-RO‘I = Jehovah my Shepherd. Psalms 23:1.
We have seven of these, experimentally referred to, in Psalms 23, inasmuch as Jehovah, as the "Good," "Great," and "Chief Shepherd," is engaged, in all the perfection of His attributes, on behalf of His sheep:
In verse 1, we have number 1 above.
In verse 2, we have number 5.
In verse 3, we have numbers 2 and 7.
In verse 4, we have number 8.
In verse 5, we have numbers 3 and 4.
III. JAH is Jehovah in a special sense and relation. Jehovah as having BECOME our Salvation (first occurrence Exodus 15:2), He Who IS, and WAS, and IS TO COME. It occurs 49 times (7x7. See Appendix 10). Jah is indicated by type thus: Lord.
IV. EL is essentially the Almighty, though the word is never so rendered (see below, "Shaddai"). EL is Elohim in all His strength and power. It is rendered "God" as Elohim is, but El is God the Omnipotent. Elohim is God the Creator putting His omnipotence into operation. Eloah (see below) is God Who wills and orders all, and Who is to be the one object of the worship of His people. El is the God Who knows all (first occurrence Genesis 14:18-22) and sees all (Genesis 16:13) and that performeth all things for His people (Psalms 57:2); and in Whom all the Divine attributes are concentrated.
El is indicated in this edition by type in large capital letters, thus: "GOD." It is sometimes transliterated in proper names Immanu-’el, Beth-’el, etc., where it is translated, as explained in the margin.
V. ELOAH is Elohim, Who is to be worshipped. Eloah is God in connection with His Will rather than His power. The first occurrence associates this name with worship (Deuteronomy 32:15,17). Hence it is the title used whenever the contrast (latent or expressed) is with false gods or idols. Eloah is essentially "the living God" in contrast to inanimate idols.
Eloah is rendered "God", but we have indicated it by type thus GOD.
VI. ELYON first occurs in Genesis 14:18 with El, and is rendered "the most high (God)". It is El and Elohim, not as the powerful Creator, but as "the possessor of heaven and earth." Hence the name is associated with Christ as the Son of "the Highest" (Luke 1:35).
It is Elyon, as possessor of the earth, Who divides the nations "their inheritance". In Psalms 83:18, He is "over all the earth". The title occurs 36 times (6x6, or 62. See appendix 10).
Elyon is the Dispenser of God’s blessings in the earth; the blessings proceeding from a Priest Who is a King upon His throne (compare Genesis 14:18-22 with Zechariah 6:13, 14:9).
VII. SHADDAI is in every instance translated "Almighty", and is indicated by small capital letters ("ALMIGHTY"). It is God (El), not as the source of strength, but of grace; not as Creator, but as the Giver. Shaddai is the All-bountiful. This title does not refer to His creative power, but to His power to supply all the needs of His people. Its first occurrence is in Genesis 17:1, and is used to show Abraham that He Who called him out to walk alone before Him could supply all his need. Even so it is the title used in 2Corinthians 6:18, where we are called to "come out" in separation from the world. It is always used in connection with El (see above).
VIII. ADON is one of three titles (ADON, ADONAI, and ADONIM), all generally rendered "Lord"; but each has its own peculiar usage and association. They all denote headship in various aspects. They have to do with God as "over-lord."
(1) ADON is the Lord as Ruler in the earth. We have indicated this in type by printing the preceding article or pronouns in small capitals, not because either are to be emphasised, but to distinguish the word "Lord" from Adonai, which is always so printed in the Authorized Version.
(2) ADONAI is Lord in His relation to the earth; and as carrying out His purposes of blessing in the earth. With this limitation it is almost equivalent to Jehovah. Indeed, it was from an early date so used, by associating the vowel points of the word Jehovah with Adon, thus converting Adon into Adonai. A list of 134 passages where this was deliberately done is preserved and given in the Massorah (§§ 107-115). (See Appendix 32) We have indicated these by printing the word like Jehovah, putting an asterisk, thus: LORD*.
(3) ADONIM is the plural of Adon, never used of man. Adonim carries with it all that Adon does, but in a greater and higher degree; and more especially as owner and proprietor. An Adon may rule others who do not belong to him. Hence (without the article) it is often used of men. But Adonim is the Lord Who rules His own. We have indicated it by type, thus: LORD.
The three may be thus briefly distinguished:-
Adon is the Lord as overlord or ruler.
Adonim is Lord as owner.
Adonai is the Lord as blesser.
IX. The TYPES used to indicate the above titles, in the text, are as follows:
God = Elohim.
GOD = Jehovah (in combination with Adonai, "Lord").
GOD* = Jehovah in the Primitive Texts, altered by Sopherim to Elohim as in the Printed Text. (See Appendix 32.)
GOD = El.
GOD = Eloah.
LORD = Jehovah.
THE LORD = Jah.
LORD* = Jehovah in the Primitive Text, altered by the Sopherim to Adonai as in the Printed Text. (See Appendix 32.)
Lord = Adonai.
LORD = Adonim.
ALMIGHTY = Shaddai.
MOST HIGH = Elyon.
X. THE COMBINATIONS are indicated as follows:
Adonai Jehovah = Lord GOD.
Jehovah Elohim = LORD God.
Elyon El = MOST HIGH GOD.
El Shaddai = GOD ALMIGHTY.