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offices indicated by the various import of the names, undeniably proves that the inspired writers carefully preserved a distinction or plurality of persons in the GODHEAD. There are two other names used, but they occur so very seldom, that they cannot require to be enlarged upon,-SHADDI, englished Almighty in the Old Testament, and JAH, which is always used in its original pronunciation.
I shall not even attempt a minute grammatical disquisition on the names, because, to Hebrew scholars, I might appear presumptuous, and to a reader who knows not the language, I should probably perplex rather than define ; but I will venture to give the explanations which I deduced from Jones, &c., and which appeared to me satisfactory, while I was engaged in translating the original for my own private edification, and from which those opinions were formed which induce me to publish the following pages.
AL.—This word means strength, power, protection, father, preserver.
All these attributes belong to God, and there
fore I translate that term God. It will be found that, in all passages where this name is used, that his omnipresence and perpetual closeness to the individual is notified. Thus we often read that Al is the God of Abraham, Isaac, &c.; in other words, the father and protector of Abraham, &c.; but we never
find it said that JEHOVAH is the JEHOVAH of any particular person. Does not this peculiarity prove that there is a striking distinction of office or person in the GODHEAD ?
JEHOVAH. This word is derived from the verb to be,
and means SELF-EXISTENT, ETERNAL.
As we are accustomed to the term JEHOVAH, I
will retain that name untranslated, and merely notice that Lord is its usual interpretation in our received version.
ADONI.—This word is derived from the verb to judge,
and therefore implies LORDSHIP, AUTHORITY, and JUDGE.
I unhesitatingly adopt that derivation, because
our translation has frequently so englished it; and also we very often read that Adoni is the Judge of the whole world; and when the following extracts have been attentively read, it will, I hope, clearly appear that ADONI is frequently identified with JEHOVAH, and Christ the MESSIAH, who is also unanimously acknowledged by all Christians as the Judge of the quick and the dead.
Ruach.—This means Spirit.
the original term were retained, it would offend the ear, and not contribute to clear away any difficulty.
Elohim.—It is very difficult to find words to explain
the full import of this word. It does not mean Gods, although it is a plural word, for that in strictness would be thought to countenance the notion of tritheism or plurality of Gods, which is abhorrent from the express doctrine of Scripture, and against which ELOHIM is purposely guarded, by its being connected so very often with verbs and pronouns in the singular.
I imagine the words GODHEAD, TRINITY, and LORD God Almighty to be the synonymes of Elohim., Perhaps the four first sentences in the Litany may help us to comprehend this important point.
In the first sentence we pray to God the Father-Al.
In the second to
God the Son-JEHOVAH, ADONI, MESSIAH.
In the third to
God the HOLY GHOST-RUACH.
Having prayed to each Person separately, we finally implore the help of The Holy, BLESSED, and GLORIOUS TRINITY, three Persons and one God. I presume that, if the fourth sentence were written in Hebrew, Elohim is the Divine Being who would be addressed.
Again,-In the Blessing pronounced by the Clergy after the sermon, if the Hebrew names were preserved, I think it would be thus,
The Blessing of Elohim, viz., of the AL, JEHOVAH, and Rusch, be with you.
That is—The Blessing of the HOLY TRINITY, viz., of the FATHER, Son, and Holy Ghost, be with
Thus the Old Testament speaks of the different Persons of the GODHEAD asAL, JEHOVAH, ADONI, and RuACH, and occasionally
comprises them all in the significant word Elo
The New Testament speaks of God—the Son Jesus CHRIST-and the HOLY GHOST;
and when it designs to convey the most exalted idea of the Divinity, it uses the compound word LORDGOD-ALMIGHTY.
To assist the reader, I will concisely repeat that, according to my view :
The term Elohim is affixed to each of these names occasionally, as if it were intended to prove that they each concentrate in this Divine essence, but not so frequently as to prevent the agency of each Person being kept quite distinct. If the reader will bear this always in mind in perusing the following pages, it will help to remove many apparent difficulties.
The few times that the word Lord is used in the following extracts, it is in acquiescence to our received translation ; but, in fact, the term is merely explanatory, and is not in the original.
Perhaps it may be necessary to notice that authors differ in the pronunciation of the words ELOHIM, AL, and ADONI; but that is a matter of perfect indifference, because they all refer to the same Hebrew words, whether they say Elohim or ALEHIM-ADONI or ADONAI-AL or El.