'ELOHIM' (or 'Elohay') is the first name for God found in the Bible, and it's used throughout the Old Testament over 2,300 times. 'Elohim' comes from the Hebrew root meaning "strength" or "power", and has the very significant characteristic of being plural in form.
In Genesis 1:1, we read, "In the beginning 'Elohim' created the heaven and the earth."
Right from the start, this plural form for the name of God is used to describe the One God, a mystery that is uncovered throughout the rest of the Bible. Throughout scripture, 'Elohim' is combined with other words to describe certain characteristics of God. Some examples are:
'EL' is another name used for God in the Bible, showing up about 200 times in the Old Testament. 'El' is the simple form arising from 'Elohim', and is often combined with other words for descriptive emphasis. Some examples are:
'YHVH' is the Hebrew word that translates as 'LORD'. Found more often in the Old Testament than any other name for God (approximately 7,000 times), the title is also referred to as the "Tetragrammaton," meaning the "The Four Letters". 'YHVH' comes from the Hebrew verb "to be" and is the special name that God revealed to Moses at the burning bush. "And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM; and He said, thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you... this is My eternal name, and this is how I am to be recalled for all generations'" (Exodus 3:14-15). Therefore, 'YHVH' declares God's absolute being - the source of everything, without beginning and without end. Although some pronounce 'YHVH' as "Jehovah" or "Yaweh," scholars really don't know the proper pronunciation. The Jews stopped pronouncing this name by about 200 A.D., out of fear of breaking the commandment "You shall not take the name of 'YHVH' your God in vain" (Exodus 20:7). (Today's rabbis typically use "Adonai" in place of 'YHVH'.) Here are some examples of 'YHVH' used in scripture:
|Old Testament||New Testament|
|1Ch||1st Chronicles||1Th||1st Thessalonians|
|2Ch||2nd Chronicles||2Th||2nd Thessalonians|
|Ss||Song of Songs (Solomon)||2Pe||2nd Peter|