The original Hebrew text of the Old Testament (Torah) doesn’t offer the term ‘God’ as we know it. Instead, God has many beautiful names, like Elohim, Yehovah, Eheyeh, El, Adonai, and Shaddai, to name the most important ones.
Translators replaced these inspiring names with a solitary word: Theos, Deus, and God. What a loss!
This opened the Bible’s gate to populism. Why? Because the term “God” is a wildcard. Anyone can fill the void, like sketching a sweet-tempered old man with a long white beard who, if vexed too much, turns into a jealous, revengeful genocidal maniac. A celestial Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide so to say. 😉
Prophets agree, God is ineffable and all descriptions and naming were, are, and will be futile. But the ancient Hebrew God-names can give us a hunch of the ineffable. They help our mystic sense to sniff at God’s aura. Psychologically speaking, the images and feelings those God-names induce, raise our mind’s vibrations so they can attune to higher and divine states of mind. Let’s follow spiritual whispers in the ancient air then, shall we?
Elohim is the first God-name in the Old Testament. Elohim created the world (multiverse) in seven cosmic days. Elohim means ‘Powers’ or ‘Creative Powers’ as Paul Foster Case proposed. Its root is El (Power).
A few mystics claim that Elohim is a feminine word with a masculine plural. It stands to reason that this was not an error, but a grammatical hint at God’s androgynous nature.
Together with Yehovah (He-Exists), Elohim built the Garden of Eden and populated it with living souls and mankind’s grand soul.
Yehovah is the most prominent God-name in the Old Testament. It is also known as the Tetragrammaton, a formula for the unchanging Reality, ‘that which was, is, and will be’.
Eheyeh is the name with which God revealed Himself to Moses. Jewish mystics believe it to be the name of the Most High. The Most High is the origin of all existence, which has no attributions yet. All the Most High can say about Itself is ‘I-Have-Been-Being’.
Adonai means ‘ruler’ or ‘lord’, but let’s use a modern term: manager. Adonai manages the multiverse Elohim created.
And then there is Shaddai El Chai, which means ‘Almighty-Life-Power’ – awesome God-name, isn’t it?
Let’s put it together:
He exists – I Have Been Being – Power(s) – the Ruler – the Almighty Life-power.
This paints a hazy image of God on our religious canvas. God is the unchanging Reality who creates a multiverse of ever-changing manifestations. He-she is the source of all powers and forces and vitalizes the multiverse with His-her Life-power (Sacred Spirit) to bring forth living beings. And He-she manages (guides) those life forms.
I work on my big picture of ‘God’ every day. It may never get clear enough, but I don’t think it will ever get boring. What portrait would you sketch?
Picture attribution: copyright/ kalomirael / 123RF Stock Photo