The Name Eloheim

ELI  Strong’s # 2241 [Greek] An Aramaic term for God, [Corresponding to Strong’s Hebrew # 410 with Pronoun suffix] “My God” 

ELOI  Strong’s # 1682  [Greek—same as “ELI” # 2241] An Aramaic term for God, [Corresponding to Strong’s Hebrew # 426 with pronoun suffix ] “My God”

EL  Strong’s  # 410 [Hebrew] Mighty, The Almighty, Deity, God.

ELAHH    Strong’s # 426 [Hebrew], Corresponding to God, God.

ELOAHH     Strong’s # 433 [Hebrew, from # 410], Deity, God.

ELOHIYM  (or “Eloheim”) Strong’s # 430 [Hebrew], Plural of # 433, Gods,or the Supreme God.

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, 1990 Edition)

NOTE:  Please see general comments on the Restoration doctrines of Deity at the end of the section on “Jehovah.”

Following are examples from early Mormon literature of the use of the Name “Eloheim” to mean either “Gods” in the plural, or else the “Supreme God:”

Joseph Smith’s Discourse on the Plurality of Gods, 16 June 1844:

I will preach on the plurality of Gods. I have selected this text for that express purpose. I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preach[ed] on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the Elders for fifteen years. * * * I say there are Gods many and Lords many, but to us only one, and we are to be in subjection to that one, and no man can limit the bounds or the eternal existence of eternal time. Hath he beheld the eternal world, and is he authorized to say that there is only one God? He makes himself a fool if he thinks or says so, and there is and end of his career or progress in knowledge. He cannot obtain all knowledge, for he has sealed up the gate to it.

Some say I do not interpret the Scripture the same as they do. They say it means the heathen’s gods. Paul says there are Gods many and Lords many; and that makes a plurality of Gods, in spite of the whims of all men. Without a revelation, I am not going to give them the knowledge of the God of heaven. You know and I testify that Paul had no allusion to the heathen gods. I have it from God, and get over it if you can. I have a witness of the Holy Ghost, and a testimony that Paul had no allusion to the heathen gods in the text. I will show from the Hebrew Bible that I am correct, and the first word shows a plurality of Gods; and I want the apostates and learned men to come here and prove to the contrary, if they can. An unlearned boy must give you a little Hebrew. Berosheit baurau Eloheim ait aushamayeen vehau auraits, rendered by King James’ translators, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” I want to analyze the word Berosheit. Rosh, the head; Sheit, a grammatical termination; the Baith was not originally put there when the inspired man wrote it, but it has been since added by an old Jew. Baurau signifies to bring forth; Eloheim is from the word Eloi, God, in the singular number; and by adding the word “heim,” [Hebrew suffix“  ] it renders it Gods. It read first, “In the beginning the head of the Gods brought forth the Gods,” or, as other have translated it, “The head of the Gods called the Gods together.” I want to show a little learning as well as other fools.

The head God organized the heavens and the earth. I defy all the world to refute me. In the beginning the heads of the Gods organized the heavens and the earth. Now the learned priests and the people rage, and the heathen imagine a vain thing. If we pursue the Hebrew text further, it reads, “The head one of the Gods said, Let us make a man in our own image,” I once asked a learned Jew, “If the Hebrew language compels us to render all words ending in heim in the plural, why not render the first Eloheim plural?” He replied, “That is the rule with few exceptions; but in this case it would ruin the Bible.” He acknowledged I was right. I came here to investigate these things precisely as I believe them. Hear and judge for yourselves; and if you go away satisfied, well and good.

In the very beginning the Bible shows there is a plurality of Gods beyond the power of refutation. It is a great subject I am dwelling on. The word Eloheim ought to be in the plural all the way through—Gods. The heads of the Gods appointed one God for us; and when you take [that] view of the subject, its sets one free to see all the beauty, holiness and perfection of the Gods. All I want is to get the simple, naked truth, and the whole truth.  (Prophet Joseph Smith Discourse on the Plurality of Gods, June 16, 1844,TPJS, pp. 370-372)

In the first place, I wish to go back to the beginning — to the morn of creation.  There is the starting point for us to look to, in order to understand and be fully acquainted with the mind, purposes and decrees of the Great Elohim, who sits in yonder heavens as he did at the creation of this world.  It is necessary for us to have an understanding of God himself in the beginning.  * * * I shall comment on the very first Hebrew word in the Bible; I will make a comment on the very first sentence of the history of the creation in the Bible—Berosheit.  I want to analyze the word.  Baith—in, by through, and everything else.  Rosh—the head.  Sheit—grammatical termination.  When the inspired man wrote it, he did not put the baith there.  An old Jew without any authority added the word; he thought it too bad to begin to talk about the head!  It read first, “The head one of the Gods brought forth the Gods.”  That is the true meaning of the words.  Baurau signifies to bring forth.  If you do not believe it, you do not believe the learned man of God.  Learned men can teach you no more than what I have told you.  Thus the head God brought forth the Gods in the grand council.

I will transpose and simplify it in the English language.  Oh, ye lawyers, ye doctors, and ye priests, who have persecuted me, I want to let you know that the Holy Ghost knows something as well as you do.  The head God called together the Gods and sat in grand council to bring forth the world.  The grand councilors sat at the head in yonder heavens and contemplated the creation of the worlds which were created at the time. * * * Come here, ye learned men, and read, if you can.  I should not have introduced this testimony, were it not to back up the word rosh — the head, the Father of the Gods.  I should not have brought it up, only to show that I am right.  In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it(Joseph Smith, “King Follett Discourse, April 7, 1844, TPJS, p. 343-350)

I spent the day in the upper part of the store, that is in my private office in council with [several individuals named], instructing them in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchizedek Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of Days, and all those plans and principles by which any one is enabled to secure the fullness of those blessing which have been prepared for the Church of the Firstborn, and come up and abide in the presence of the Eloheim in the eternal worlds. (Joseph Smith, May 4, 1842, DHC 5:1-2, TPJS p. 237)

It is true that the earth was organized by three distinct characters, namely, Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michael, these three forming a quorum, as in all heavenly bodies, and in organizing element, perfectly represented in the Deity, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  (Brigham Young, 9 April 1852, JD 1:50)

NOTE:  In the above statement, Brigham Young was not saying that Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michael were respectively the “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,” or the Temporal Godhead for this world, as Michael certainly isn’t the Holy Ghost, as Brigham Young also made clear.  He stated that these three “formed a quorum” that may be likened unto the Temporal Godhead for this earth, or the “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”  Understanding the roles played by Eloheim, Jehovah, and Michael in the creation (as taught in the endowment,) we may consider the “quorum” of these three individuals to be the “Creation Godhead,” as opposed to the “Temporal Godhead” or godhead for this earth.

Why is it that people cannot contradict it?  Because it is the eternal truth of heaven, and emanated from the great Eloheim, and is one of those eternal principles of truth which God has communicated to the human family; and truth, like God, is unchangeable, and cannot be controverted.  Darkness flees before it, and error hides its head wherever it appears.  (John Taylor, 23 August 1857, JD 5:145)

Please see general comments on the Restoration doctrines of Deity at the end of the section on “Jehovah.”