[b-hebrew] God vs angels in Ps 8:5

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Fri Mar 25 12:56:38 EST 2005

On 25/03/2005 17:38, kgraham0938 at comcast.net wrote:

>Well I was thinking more on the lines like.  If elohim is translated as God, it would come out like. " You (God) have made him lower than God."  That does not make much sense to me.
>So I was saying that maybe the mem there is saying that God has made man lower 'than' something else called Elohim.   Since XSR has an imperfect 2nd person prefix, I see that as the subject.  You[God] have made man lower than some other being called Elohim.
Well, the one addressed is not just any old Elohim, but YHWH himself. In 
the psalmist's time there were certainly many entities in the class of 
Elohim: certainly pagan gods, whether or not they were considered to 
have any spiritual reality or just to be blocks of wood as in Isaiah's 
satire; and then there are a number of Hebrew Bible passages which refer 
to plural Elohim, or sons of Elohim. See for example Psalm 82:1. Whether 
these are exactly the same as "angels" is debatable - although the LXX 
rendering was commonly AGGELOS.

So I would take the meaning to be that YHWH made man a little lower, not 
than himself, but than any being in the category Elohim. So NIV's and 
TNIV's "heavenly beings" is a good rendering here, in my opinion.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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