ELOHIM AND OTHER-BIBLE GODS
The Bible is a misleading authority in regards to the ancient Hebrew gods or elohim. They are mentioned therein around 2,000 times, but nearly all translators and biblical commentators—for nearly 2,000 years—have mistakenly, or intentionally, chosen, in almost every instance, to convert them into a singular “God” or combination of so-called “divine names” that implies that one Hebrew god rules the universe.
You can verify the plurality of the Hebrew god by checking any Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, or The Criticism and the Verdict of the Monuments where Oxford professor of Assyriology A. H. Sayce also verified their plurality. In his learned and courageous declaration, he openly maintained:
"Elohim is a plural noun, and its employment in the Old Testament as a singular has given rise to a large amount of learned discussion, and, it must also be added, of a learned want of common sense. Grammarians have been in the habit of evading the difficulty by describing it as a “pluralis majestatis,” “a plural of majesty,” or something similar, as if a term in common use which was grammatically a plural could ever have come to be treated as a singular, unless this singular had once been a plural. We can construe the word “means” with a singular verb, but nevertheless there was once a time when “means” was a plural noun.
"We may take it for granted, therefore, that if the Hebrew word Elohim had not once signified the plural “gods,” it would never have been given a plural form, and the best proof of this is the fact that in several passages of the Old Testament the word is still used in a plural sense. Indeed there are one or two passages, as for example Gen. i. 26, where the word, although referring to the God of Israel, is yet employed with a plural verb, much to the bewilderment of the Jewish rabbis and the Christian commentators who followed them. It is strange how preconceived theories will cause the best scholars to close their eyes to obvious facts.
"The Israelites were a Semitic people, and their history down to the age of the Exile is the history of a perpetual tendency toward polytheism. Priest and prophet might exhort and denounce, and kings might attempt to reform, but the mass of the people remained wedded to a belief in many gods. Even the most devoted adherents of the supreme God of Israel sometimes admitted that he was but supreme among other gods, and David himself, the friend of seers and prophets, complains that he had been driven out of “the inheritance of Yahveh” and told to go and 'serve other gods' (1 Sam. xxvi. 19). What can be plainer than the existence of a persistent polytheism among the bulk of the people, and the inevitable traces of polytheism that were left upon the language and possibly the thoughts of the enlightened few?"
Yahveh, or Yahweh, was one of only several Hebrew gods—as Sayce has just pointed out—that the ancient Jews (one tribe of the Hebrews) worshiped. The Hebrew god El (the singular form of elohim) is another. The horns on this god, and others, denote power, and a representation of him is carved into a stone monument from Ras Shamra and illustrated below. Exodus 34:14 even specifically names one of the Hebrew gods, “whose name is Jealous,” and says he “is a jealous God.” Of what he is jealous, we do not know. Baal, another Semitic god from Ras Shamra, is also cut into non-flammable stone, as a durable witness for posterity, and reproduced below.
The human-like Hebrew god El, the chief of the Elohim (gods), is one of the most important gods mentioned by name in the beginning books of the Bible. He also takes on a significant role in the archaeological records uncovered in the high priests’ libraries at ancient Ras Shamra. In Genesis, he is described as “the most high God” and in Exodus as “God Almighty.” Likewise, in the Ras Shamra texts, El, whose human-like body is portrayed below, is addressed as the god “Almighty.”
The reason for such a title is displayed in the scene on the left hand Ras Shamra stele below. In describing it in Claude F. A. Schaeffer’s Cuneiform Texts of Ras Shamra-Ugarit, The Schweich Lectures of the British Academy 1936, Schaeffer says: “El is seen as a god seated on a throne; he is of mature age, and in aspect both majestic and paternal. He accepts offerings from the King of Ugarit, who stands before him.” Perhaps the king is also bringing him good news since he seems to be clapping his hands. “El rejoiced each time he heard the good news,” added Schaeffer, “and his joy was boisterous, as we learn from another passage [from the Ras Shamra texts] which says: ‘El stamps his feet on his stool. El laughs with his whole heart and snaps his fingers.’ Then the god cried out: ‘Good news, O my son, whom I have created. The skies shall rain down fat, and the valleys shall become meadows.’”