Truth, Understanding, Insight

Names Divinely Appointed

12th June 2004, hej,seh,mgh


9) Good God !?

The Anglo-Saxon labels we use for the Diety have conceptions embedded. And they are not the labels He has chosen!

Father: meaning giver of life. Has the idea we are the sons of God. Jesus teaches us to pray “our Father”. Not a name, it is a relationship.

Creator: Based on the account in Genesis.

Lord: Master or overseer –there are many Lords!

God: It means 'good' from Old English and older Norse 'godt'.

But what does ‘good’ mean? For example, is rain good or bad? And are we by using 'God' and not a direct translation of the Hebrew, building our own picture of Deity and ignoring what is written in His word? So is goodness ever associated with Deity? Yes. Yashua claims His Father is good.

“Why call thou me good? None is good but one, God”. (Mark 10:18)

Deity is said to be good only 3 times and associated the characteristic only 14 times. This must be balanced with the fact that 12 times Deity is Jealous ('anq quanna' a term peculiar to Deity). Goodness is only one characteristic amongst many, and another is evil. Many times Deity brings evil on his people (Neh.13:18, Jer.25:29,13:16), so much so that Amos says

Shall there be evil in a city, and Yahweh has not done it? (Amos 3:6 )

Evil is in Deity's power. And Diety is on occasion an adversary. The power of Job's adversary is not their own. It is Deity who afflicts and heals Job (Job 42:10-11). Deity is occasionally an adversary or in Hebrew 'satan'. The Hebrew word 'satan' occurs only 19 times. Often it is untranslated. This label is used of Deity twice which is a staggering 10%: Once at the numbering by David (I Chron. 21:1 cp.2 Sam 24:1) and also Numbers 22:22.

Is 'God' good? ‘God’ is a really convenient 'label'– it's different enough from ‘good’ to be a 'label'. It has brand recognition that crosses cultures and shifts meaning. Our society recognises ‘labels’. Deity, however, has the right to decide His Name. He only has one Name, and that Name is not a ‘label’, it is instead a statement of intent. The list below shows its importance to Deity.

El (or Ail) Occurs 247 times. 212 translated 'God', 15x god, 3x power, 4x goodly, 4x mighty, idol, might, mighty one, strong, great. It means ‘mighty one’ or ‘strength’. If the term ‘mighty’ is substituted where the word 'El' occurs it will make much more sense. 'Good' is a poor translation and obscures the meaning.

Eloah From El, translated ‘God’ 55 times, 5x ‘god’. It is singular in number and of masculine gender and means Powerful or Mighty One.

Elah Chaldee, from Heb. Eloah Occurs Ezra 4:24, 6:18, 7:12-26. Also Eloheen the plural in Jeremiah 10:11. Daniel 2:11 to 6:26 both singular and plural. The Chaldeans knew the Jews worshipped the ‘Mighty One’ (This may be the origin of Allah?)

Elohim: Plural for Eloah 2,470 occurrences. Mostly translated ‘God’, but also ‘angels’, ‘judges’, of Moses (Exodus 7:1), ‘gods’, ‘idols’ (as Heathen think they have power). Where text reads ‘God’, if it is not El, Eloah, or Elah, it is Elohim, which is the vast majority of occurrences. We could read for 'God' mostly as in the Hebrew, as 'mighty ones'.

El Elyon occurs 11 times. Literally “Highest Mighty One”

Adon(singl.) Adonai (Plural)Used over 200 times but mostly it is used in respect of mortal men. ‘Adon’ is ‘ruler’ ‘monarch’ or ‘governor’ or ‘owner’ It is only used 38 times of Deity.

Yahweh,The Name. It occurs an astounding 6,823 times. Yahweh is an assemblage of ordinary Hebrew words. Moses is told the name is “I will be who I will be: tell Israel I will be has sent me, the mighty ones of your fathers….that is my Name for an age and this my memorial for a generation” (Exodus 3:14,15). Moses is told when shown the glory of Yahweh, “I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of He will be before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy” (Exodus 33:18-19). The Name of Deity is “He will be Mighty Ones”. What is the purpose of Deity? Surely it is the Name!

Yahweh Tz’vaoth He who will be Armies. Occurs 235 times, translated ‘Lord of hosts’. Also Yahweh Elohim Tz’voath, Occurs 28 times: He who will be mighty ones of armies

Shaddai ‘Almighty’ Plural. Heb. nourish or destroyer Usually El Shaddai, best translated as “the strength of destroyers (or nourishers)”.

Tzur Rock'. Metaphor for the immovable power of Deity (Isa 44:8, Habbukuk 1:12 and Exodus 23:22 is translated “adversary”).