|Faith Strengthened||Chapter 9||Part 1|
Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning Elohim [God] created the heaven and the earth." Elohim, ending in a plural form as though it meant Gods, has been interpreted by Christians as an evidence of the plurality in the Deity, consisting of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, who are denominated Trinity. Our view of the term Elohim is as follows: ó
Those who are conversant with the Hebrew language are aware that Elohim relates not merely to the Supreme Being, but also to angels and human authorities. Manoah, the father of Samson (mentioned in Judges 13:22), after he found that he had perceived "an angel of the Lord," said, "We shall surely die, for we have seen Elohim." In reference to human authorities, we read in Exodus 22:9, "Before the Elohim [judges] the cause of the two men shall be brought, and he, whom the Elohim [judges] shall declare guilty, shall pay twofold unto his neighbour." Having thus shown that the word Elohim bears various interpretations, it is perfectly out of question to refer it in the first verse of Genesis, to a plurality of persons in the Deity, of which assumption no corroboration whatever is given in our Revelation.
We should like to understand how the name of Elohim, given by God to Moses, Exodus 7:1, in the words, "Behold I have made thee an Elohim to Pharaoh," can be allowed by Christian expounders to allude to a plurality of persons, and represent in a mortal creature a visible Trinity?
Suppose, for argumentís sake, Elohim does allude to a plurality of persons, how could the occurrence of Eloha (the singular form of Elohim) be justified? Thus we find in Deuteronomy 32:15, "And he forsook the Eloha [God] who made him," and Psalm 50:22, "Ye who forget Eloha [God]." Again, how can the advocates of the existence of a Trinity account for the alternate employment of Elohim and Eloha? See Isaiah 44:6, "And besides me there is no Elohim;" and, in verse 8, we read, "Is there an Eloha besides me?" If the truth of the doctrine of the Trinity depend on the term "Elohim," the word "Eloha" most decidedly disproves it, since it renders the allusion to a plurality perfectly unnecessary.
The real object in the plural form in Elohim is to represent authority and power. The genius of the Hebrew language admits this particularity not merely in Elohim, but in words of profane signification. Thus is used Adonim (lords) instead of Adon (lord). For instance, Isaiah 19:4, "In the hand of a hard Adonim [lord, literally lords], Genesis 39:20, "And the Adonai [lords instead of Adon, Lord] took him, viz., Joseph," etc.; Exodus 21:4, "If בְּעָלָיו [Baiolov, his master] is with him," etc.
The plural form is used instead of the singular in many modern languages (for instance you instead of thou).