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Ancient Hebrew Word Meanings God ~ el/elo'ah By Jeff A.

There are two Hebrew words commonly translated as God, el and elo'ah. When readi
ng the Bible it is better to have an Ancient Hebrew perception of God rather tha
n our modern western view. The word el was originally written with two pictograp
hic letters, one being an ox head and the other a shepherd staff. The ox represe
nted strength and the staff of the shepherd represented authority. First, the An
cient Hebrews saw God as the strong one of authority. The shepherd staff was als
o understood as a staff on the shoulders, a yoke. Secondly, the Ancient Hebrews
saw God as the ox in the yoke. When plowing a field two oxen were placed in a yo
ke, one was the older and more experienced and the other the younger and less ex
perienced and the younger would learn from the older. The Hebrews saw God as the
older experienced ox and they as the younger who learns from him. The plural fo
rm of elo'ah is elohiym and is often translated as God. While English plurals on
ly identify quantity, as in more than one, the Hebrew plural can identify quanti
ty as well as quality. Something that is of great size or stature can be written
in the plural form and in this case, God, as the great strength and authority i
s frequently written in the plural form elohiym. The two letters in these Hebrew
words are the ox head representing strength and the shepherd staff representing
authority. Combined they mean "the strong authority" as well as "the ox with a
staff" (a yoke is understood as a staff on the shoulders).
AHLB# 1012-A (N) and 1012-H (c)
Ancient Hebrew Word Meanings Holy ~ qadosh By Jeff A. Benner
When we use the word holy, as in a holy person, we usually associate this with a
righteous or pious person. If we use this concept when interpreting the word ho
ly in the Hebrew Bible then we are misreading the text as this is not the meanin
g of the Hebrew word qadosh. Qadosh literally means "to be set apart for a speci
al purpose". A related word, qedesh, is one who is also set apart for a special
purpose but not in the same way we think of "holy" but is a male prostitute (Deu
t 23:17). Israel was qadosh because they were separated from the other nations a
s servants of God. The furnishings in the tabernacle were qadosh as they were no
t to be used for anything except for the work in the tabernacle. While we may no
t think of ourselves as "holy" we are in fact set apart from the world to be God
's servants and representatives.