rosewalk at concentric.net
Tue Jan 29 09:05:52 EST 2002
Where is it plural in the Shma?
Elohainu = OUR G-d
I know this question must have been asked in the past,
but I'm curious to know your thoughts.
In the 'Shema' Deut 6:4 the bible reads 'the LORD your
God is one'.
Someone has asked already about what exactly one
means, but this sentence has a curiosity.
If the LORD is one God why is the noun 'God' plural?
This 'plural of majesty' explanation doesn't seem to
cut much ice I'm afraid.
I've no problem whatsoever with 'echad' meaning just
the numeral one, but surely, as has been pointed out,
one can be the sum of many parts.
My point is that God is refered to in the plural
Elohim, but is 'one'. God created man in his image,
male and female he created them. Nobody needs to be
told that man and woman are very different creatures
indeed, but the fact that they are both created in
God's image suggests that both carry some different
aspects of God's character and that when, they become
one, they become a composite of mankind as God
intended.. in his image.
Perhaps the plural of Elohim suggests that although he
is one being, he has many roles, equal but different.
He is after all too much for us to comprehend fully
and unlike us in very many ways.
I'm a father, a son, a worker, a teacher (of sorts)
and one day hopefully a grandfather. To everyone I
know I will be one of these roles, but to none will I
be all. In a sense then even one man can be plural in
his nature and yet still be one man in the most basic
description. Perhaps the LORD therefore is able to be
many persons, but still remain only one God. His 'God'
aspect is all sufficient, there is no need for more
Just a thought, what do you think?
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