1.) ELOHIM occurs 2,700 times. Its first occurrence connects it with creation, and gives it its essential meaning as the Creator. It indicates His relation to mankind as His creatures. 'Elohim is God the Son, the living "Word" with creature form to create (John 1:1 Col. 1:15-17 Rev. 3:14); and later, with human form to redeem (John 1:14). "Begotten of His Father before all worlds; born of His mother, in the world." In this creature form He appeared to the Patriarchs, a form not temporarily assumed.
2.) JEHOVAH. While Elohim is God as the Creator
of all things, Jehovah is the same God in covenant relation to those
whom He has created (Cp. 2 Chron. 18:31). Jehovah means the Eternal,
the Immutable One, He Who WAS, and IS, and IS TO COME. The Divine
definition is given in Gen. 21:33 He is especially, therefore, the
God of Israel; and the God of those who are redeemed, and are thus now
"in Christ". We can say "My God," but not "My Jehovah", for Jehovah
is "My God."
The name Jehovah is combined with ten other words, which form what are known as "the Jehovah Titles." They are as follows in the order in which they occur in the Hebrew Canon.
1) JEHOVAH-JIREH = Jehovah will see, or provide. Gen. 22:14
2) JEHOVAH-ROPHEKA = Jehovah that healeth thee. Ex. 15:26
3) JEHOVAH-NISSI = Jehovah my banner. Ex. 17:15
4) JEHOVAH-MEKADDISHKEM = Jehovah that doth sanctify you. Ex.31:13-Lev.20:8; 21:8; 22:32
5) JEHOVAH-SHALOM = Jehovah [send] peace. Judg. 6:24
6) JEHOVAH-ZeBA'OTH = Jehovah of hosts. 1 Sam. 1:3
7) JEHOVAH-ZIDKENU = Jehovah our righteousness. Jer. 23:6; 33:16
8) JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH = Jehovah is there. Ezek. 48:35
9) JEHOVAH-'ELYON = Jehovah most high. Ps.7:17; 47:2; 97:9
10) JEHOVAH-RO'I = Jehovah my Shepherd. Ps. 23:1
We have seven of these, experimentally referred to, in Ps. 23, in asmuch as Jehovah, as the "Good," "Great," and "Chief Shepherd," is engaged, in all the perfection of His attributes, on behalf of His sheep;-
In verse 1, we have No. 1 above.
" 2, we have No. 5.
" 3, we have Nos. 2 and 7.
" 4, we have No. 8
" 5, we have Nos. 3 and 4.
3). JAH is Jehovah in a special sense and relation. Jehovah as having BECOME our Salvation (first occ. Ex. 15:2), He Who IS, and WAS, and IS TO COME. It occurs 49 times (7x7. see Spiritual Sig. of Numbers).
4). EL is essentially the Almighty, though
the word is never so rendered. EL is Elohim in all His strength and
power. It is rendered "God" as Elohim is, but EL is God the
Omnipotent. Elohim is
God the Creator putting His omnipotence into operation. Eloah (see below) is God Who wills and orders all, and Who is to be the one object of the worship of His people. El is the God Who knows
all (first occ. Gen. 14:18-22) and sees all (Gen. 16:13) and that performeth all things for His people (Ps. 57:2); and in Whom all the Divine attributes are concentrated. (note: it is some times transliterated in proper names Immanu-'el, Beth-'el, &c.)
5). ELOAH is Elohim, Who is to be worshipped. Eloah is God in connection with His Will rather than His power. The first occurrence associates this name with worship (Deut. 32:15,17). Hence it is the title used whenever the contrast (latent or expressed) is with false gods or idols. Eloah is essentially "the loving God" in contrast to inanimate idols.
6). ELYON first occurs in Gen. 14:18 with
EL, and is rendered "the most high (God)". It is El and Elohim,
not as the powerful Creator, but as "the possessor of heaven and earth."
Hence the name is associated with Christ as the Son of "the Highest" (Luke
It is Elyon, as possessor of the earth, Who divides the nations "their inheritance". In Ps. 83:18, He is "over all the earth". The title occurs 36 times (6x6, or 6 squared, see spiritual sig. of numbers).
Elyon is the Dispenser of God's blessings in the earth; the blessings proceeding from a Priest Who is a King upon His throne (cp. Gen. 14:18-22 with Zech. 6:13; 14:9).
7). SHADDAI is in every instance translated "Almighty". It is God (EL), not as the source of strength, but of grace; not as Creator, but as the Giver. Shaddai is the All-bountiful. This title does sot refer to His creative power, but to His power to supply all the needs of His people. Its first occurrence is in Gen. 17:1, and is used to show Abraham that He Who called him out to walk alone before Him could supply all his need. Even so it is the title used in 2Cor. 6:18 where we are called to "come out" in separation from the world. It is always used in connection with El (see above).
8). ADON is one of three titles (ADON, ADONI, and
ADONIM), all generally rendered "Lord"; but each has its own peculiar usage
and association. They all denote headship in various aspects.
They have to do with God as "over-Lord."
(1) ADON is the Lord as Ruler in the earth.
(2) ADONAI is the Lord in His relation to the earth, and as carrying out His purposes of blessing in the earth. With this limitation it is almost equivalent to Jehovah. Indeed, it was from an early date so used, by association the vowel points of the word Jehovah with Adon, thus converting Adon into Adoni. A list of 134 passages where this was deliberately done is preserved and given in the Massorah.
(3) ADONIM is plural of Adon, never used of man. Adonim carries with it all that Adon does, but in a greater and higher degree; and more especially as owner and proprietor. An Adon may rule others who do not belong to him. Hence (without the article) it is often used of men. But Adonim is the Lord Who rules His own.
The three may be thus briefly distinguished:
Adon is the Lord as overlord or ruler.
Adonim is the Lord as owner.
Adonai is the Lord as blesser.