Project Genesis

How is He one?

I have a question regarding the “One True God” that we see in many scriptures of the Bible, especially that of Isaiah. Even with all these scriptures we also have many scriptures that state that there are more than one.

Thank you for your question. You are quite right, given the translation you are using. There does seem to be a contradiction. Is God the only god or are there other lesser gods?

The answer is that the Hebrew word “Elohim” does not mean deity or god. In different contexts, it means “power”. And there are numerous powers and forces in the world. Among the different contexts, the word “Elohim” can mean God, or angel, or judge or power. When we claim that the God of Abraham is the God of all “gods”, we mean that he is the Power that controls all other forces. When we say He is the only power, we mean that He is the only force that has independent will to control all forces.

Allow me to cite a paragraph from the book “Living Inspired” by Rabbi Akiva Tatz (published by Targum Press):

” ‘Other gods’ are not imaginary at all; they are the genuine and Divinely created transmitters of [God’s] energy to the world….What is false about them is the mistake of considering them to have independent power, of being free to accept bribes, of being sources in their own right. There is a hand which gives: idolatry focuses on the hand only
and ignores the One behind the hand..” (p.75)

I hope that answers your question.

Raffy Davidovich

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