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are even put into heathen mouths'.' The covenantname Jehovah is withdrawn, as if a reluctance had gradually arisen to name the living God, or perhaps a vague dread of dishonouring His awful majesty 2. But a providential purpose may be discerned in what might at first sight seem to be a retrogression. The revival of these primitive titles 'Elohim and 'El Elyon has a theological significance in so far as they bear witness to a redemptive purpose of God extending beyond the pale of His covenant with Israel. the third book of the psalter, for example, the use of the word 'Elohim was perhaps designed by the compiler to counteract the exclusive temper, which was Israel's peculiar danger in the age subsequent to the return from Babylon. A good instance of the same point is furnished by the book of Ecclesiastes. Here 'Elohim is the solitary title of deity employed; and the divine nature is described in such general terms as might awaken a response in the heathen conscience. While 'Elohim testifies to the providential regard of the God of Israel for the Gentile world, the names 'Creator' and Judge' would suggest a character and function. already ascribed to deity by the higher spirits of heathendom. The name 'Elohim, corresponding to the Greek title To Oetov, would constitute one of those links between the religion of Israel and the higher thought of the Hellenic world on which the future. spread of Christianity so largely depended. Indeed, in the system of Philo the later Jewish mode of conceiving the deity easily coalesces with the transcendental tendencies of Platonism.

The name 'El Shaddai, God Almighty,' is represented by the priestly document in the Pentateuch as characteristic of the first stage in redemptive history 3.

1 See Neh. ix. 32 foll.; Ezra i. 2; 2 Chron. xxxvi. 23 (Schultz, vol. ii.

p. Ì14).

2 To blaspheme the Name was to blaspheme God as He had revealed Himself through Moses to His people. See Lev. xxiv. II, 16.

3 Gen. xvii. 1, xxviii. 3, xxxv. II; Exod. vi. 3. The name Shaddai is also characteristic of the book of Job. See Driver on Joel, p. 81.

It denotes a divine power to control or overrule nature in the interests of a providential purpose. It is 'El Shaddai who makes childless Abraham the father of many nations, and supports him in his loneliness among the heathen. The expression obviously marks an advance beyond the notion that the deity is merely strong or powerful (El), for it suggested the higher moral attributes of God to which His omnipotence is subject. 'El Shaddai was a name that prepared the way for the notion of grace. 'Grace,' observes Delitzsch, 'always raises itself on the foundation of the natural after it has destroyed it; thus the body of Abraham must become as good as dead before he could become the father of the son of promise1.' It is an instructive circumstance that in the hymn of the blessed Virgin the thought contained in 'El Shaddai recurs. He that is mighty (o duvarós) hath done to me great things, and holy is his name 2. Finally, while the title lifts the conception of God high above old polytheistic associations, it also confirms the tradition that the foundations of the true religion had already been securely laid in the pre-Mosaic period. 'El Shaddai had manifested Himself in the separation of Abraham from the falsities of encompassing idolatry, in the guidance and protection vouchsafed to him during a long and chequered career, in the gift of a son when the patriarch was far advanced in years, in the gracious promises made to him and to his seed. And all these blessings were tokens not only of God's favour, but also of His all-sufficing power.

There is another title of God which we are justified in considering at this point, inasmuch as it represents the subjective aspect of the truth implied in 'El Shaddai, I mean the name 'Adonai, 'My lord.' This name appears to express the temper of trustful dependence; the consciousness of being linked to God by a tie which constitutes a continual claim on the

1 Old Test. History of Redemption, § 16. Cp. Rom. iv. 19; Heb. xi. 12. 2 St. Luke i. 49.


divine bounty and protection. The term 'Lord' (Adon) is specially used in connexion with two kinds of relationship: that of wife to husband, and that of servant to master1 It is not uncommon in prophecy 2. There are some indications that in the preprophetic period the term Baal, Master,' Owner,' or 'Lord,' was occasionally used in the same connexion, but it was naturally repudiated when the worship of Jehovah under this title had become merged in the local cults of the Canaanitish Baalim3. The name 'Adonai implies that man's relationship to God is one of loving trust rather than of fear. In it, says a recent writer, 'was couched a strong ethical motive, which becomes influential in Christian ethics, being accentuated especially in the Pauline theology; ... the Old Testament saint delighted to call God by the name that helped him to realize that he was both the subject and the property of his Lord 4.'


We now pass to the most important and distinctive designation of God in the Old Testament. name Jehovah (Jahveh) may be considered in itself and in its relation to the names of deity already discussed. The title connotes primarily that which differentiates the nature of God from the changeableness and dependence of created being. Jehovah is absolutely self-subsistent and independent. With Him is the fountain of life; He has life in Himself. Further, the name points to the future. Jehovah is one whose intercourse with the human race is continuous, living, and progressive. He is a personal being who in free self-determination can manifest Himself to man according as His purpose may require, whether in a moral law, or in deeds of power, or in acts of forgiveness and beneficence. Thus,


1 Cp. Jukes, The Names of God, pp. 114 foll.

Isa. vi. 1, xxi. 16, xxix. 13. 1 Isa. x. 16, 33, &c. Cp. Schultz, ii. 129.

3 Cp. Hos. ii. 8, 13; and see Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites, p. 95; and Robertson, Early Religion of Israel, pp. 171-173.

4 W. S. Bruce, Ethics of the O. T. p. 44.

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when contrasted with 'Elohim, the title signifies a being who continuously unveils Himself in history, as opposed to a supra-mundane power once for all manifested in nature; on the other hand, the title supplements the thought of omnipotent power ('El Shaddai) by that of covenantal love. The notion of grace from the first qualifies the attributes of a merely national deity. The appellations which the heathen gave to their deities, Baal, Milcom, and the like, point to little more than a relationship of abject dependence. The title Jehovah, on the contrary, implies that God's dealings with His people are not those of mere arbitrary sovereignty, but those of covenantal love1.

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And at this point let us observe the special significance of the fact that it is in connexion with this name that anthropomorphic expressions are most frequently employed. The personality of God is emphasized by phrases borrowed from the common actions and bodily motions of men. We hear of the mouth' of Jehovah speaking, the hand' of Jehovah being outstretched, the 'voice' of Jehovah shaking the wilderness, the 'eyes' of Jehovah running to and fro through the whole earth. 'The Old Testament writers,' says Schultz, 'speak like materialists, simply because they have not yet clearly apprehended the distinction between spirit and matter 2.' What they are concerned to maintain is something more important for religion. than any philosophical or speculative conception of Godhead, namely, the truth that the Creator is a living person who thinks, purposes, wills, and chooses. They

1 Kittel, Hist. of the Hebrews, vol. i. p. 246. Renan, Histoire du peuple d'Israël, bk. i, ch. 3, remarks that 'religious abjection was repulsive' to the primitive Semites and this fine feeling afterwards brought its reward.' 2 O. T. Theol. ii. 107.

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9 Riehm, ATI. Theologie, p. 61: Dass nun Jahve Personenname des Gottes Israels ist und die Vorstellung Gottes als eines freien, selbstbewussten und sich selbst bestimmenden Ichs mit ihm sich verknüpft, dafür ist ein augenfälliges Zeugniss, dass mit diesem Gottesnamen in der Regel die Anthropomorphismen und Anthropopathismen.

verbunden sind, während sich Elohim in solcher Verbindung selten findet.' Origen defends the anthropopathic language of Scripture against Celsus as illustrating the divine condescension. See c. Cels. iv. 71: 'As

interpret deity by the highest category within their reach, and though their phraseology is sometimes incongruous, it is perfectly consistent with their purely religious aim and interest. It is, moreover, significant that precisely in those later passages of the Old Testament which insist most impressively upon the divine transcendence and freedom from the limitations of creaturely existence, we find the most unrestricted use of anthropomorphic language. In no other way could the fundamental postulate of Hebrew religion, the personality of God, be clearly enforced; while from the Christian standpoint the habitual employment of such phraseology may be regarded as an element in the educational process by which humanity was being prepared for the advent of the Word made flesh.

The name Jehovah, then, embraces all that God has made known of Himself in His successive dealings with His chosen people; the content of it, so to speak, is unfolded by the advancing experience of the faithful. Thus it happens that the compilers of the records of revelation occasionally seem to make a point of identifying Jehovah with other manifestations of the divine Being. In the phrase Jehovah Elohim, which is characteristic of a small section of the Pentateuch1, and is frequently employed by Ezekiel, Jehovah is identified with the Creator of the universe; in the expression Jehovah God most high 2, Jehovah is acknowledged to be supreme in majesty and in His claim to Israel's homage and adoration. To Hagar,

we ourselves when talking with very young children do not aim at exerting our own power of eloquence, but, adapting ourselves to the weakness of our charge, both say and do those things which may appear to us useful for the correction and improvement of the children as children; so the Word of God appears to have dealt with the history, making the capacity of the hearers, and the benefit which they were to receive, the standard of the appropriateness of its announcements [respecting God].' In de Orat. xxiii. he says that the passages which ascribe corporeal acts or conditions to deity μεταληπτέον πρεπόντως ταῖς μεγάλαις καὶ πνευματικαῖς ἐννοίαις περὶ θεοῦ. Cp. Novatian, de Trin. vi-ix. i Gen. ii. and iii.; Exod. ix. 30. 2 Gen. xiv. 22.

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