El Shaddai

Ben and Jo Crick ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Tue Dec 24 16:19:10 EST 2002

On Mon 23 Dec 2002 (15:23:03), watts-westmaas at zonnet.nl wrote:
> [snippage]        In view of all
> this how on earth do we arrive at Shaddai to mean Almighty in the context
> of GOD Almighty.  Could it not possibly be that God revealed Himself to
> Abraham in the context of his wilderness wanderings as 'GOD of the
> Wilderness'?

 Dear Chris from Holland,

 The Septuagint Greek translation of circa 298 BC rendered 'eL-$aDDaY
 as PANTOKRATWR, "all-powerful", hence Almighty or God Almighty; e.g. in
 Job 5:17 LXX, etc. Compare QEOS hO PANTOKRATWR in Revelation 4:8, etc.

 The rabbinical explanation is that $ stands for 'a:$eR, and the phrase is
 expanded as 'eL 'a:$eR DaY, the God Who is Sufficient. This is borne out by
 the context of Genesis 17. God intervenes and says "I am El Shaddai, the
 God who is Sufficient" (verse 1). He has ample power to effect his promise
 concerning a son for Sarah. Ishmael is not the promised Seed. In Numbers 24:4
 and 16 we find $aDDaY YHWH.

 Some suggest it is from root $DY, to pour out: so God is a Storm-god.

 Others suggest derivation from $DD to destroy: so God is a God of Destruction.

 Albright and others say it is derived from Syrian $DW, a mountain: so God
 is a Mountain God. Not sitting on a mountain, even on Sinai; but a God of
 vast, craggy, rock-like character. Compare "God is my Rock", where either
 SeL:`iY or CuWRiY is used (e.e Psalm 18:3, 47).

 Revd Ben Crick BA CF, and Mrs Joanna (Goodwin) Crick
 <ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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