According to Wikipedia, the spelling for El*him is aleph-lamed-he-yud-mem

But in a book I found the following spelling:

(This is from the first line at p.171 at https://archive.org/details/AManualOfCatholicTheology/page/n231)

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I have two questions :

1) What is the third character in the spelling for El*him above ? Is it a a zayin or a vav ? 2) Is the above spelling a typo ?

  • Welcome to MiYodeya and thanks for this first question. Can I recommend you take the tour to get a sense of how the site works? Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Sep 20, 2019 at 9:11
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    The book you are linking to is the Manual of Catholic Theology. Unfortunately, your question is considered off topic for this site. Perhaps you should consult with your local Catholic Priest to see what their understanding of their teaching is. Sep 20, 2019 at 13:56

2 Answers 2


This isn’t a typo. Vav is sometimes used as a mater lectionis to indicate the vowels /o/ or /u/ (typically represented by cholam and shuruk respectively); roughly speaking, a word written using vav as such and with yod to indicate /i/ is one that is written with plene spelling (ktiv male) as opposed to defective spelling (ktiv haser). This is just another occurrence of one of that usage. As far as I can tell, this spelling does not actually occur in Tanakh, outside of versions published with ktiv male, but it does sometimes occur elsewhere.


The name E-lohim (some include the hyphen to prevent desecrating G-d’s name) is first encountered in the first verse of Bereshit (Genesis). There, and I believe in most places, it is spelled א-ל-ה-י-ם (without a Waw - a.k.a. Vav - following the Lamed). In colloquial Hebrew, it is usually spelled with the Waw (i.e. א-ל-ו-ה-י-ם). The name is never spelled with a Zayin.

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    The vav is inserted into the word as early as סדר רב עמרם גאון (הרפנס) סדר ראש השנה . Here and in other works, writers sometimes insert the vav into direct quotes from the chumash ("ונאמר וישמע אלוהים את נאקתם ויזכור אלוהים את בריתו")
    – rosends
    Sep 20, 2019 at 10:29
  • @rosends ok but, to be clear. Not in the tanach anywhere
    – barlop
    Dec 30, 2020 at 2:42

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