I would like to have an explanation of Psalm 82. According to an absurd interpretation, G.d and Elyon are different individuals. In the Psalm it would be written that "G.d resides in the assembly of El". Here, now I come to the question. In Hebrew the words are baʿădat-ʾēl.

I know it must be translated as "divine-assembly". But an author instead explains disputing this translation:

«The phrase" assembly of 'Ȇl "(' ăḏaṯ - 'ȇl) is formed from the singular feminine (' ăḏaṯ -) + the singular masculine noun ('ȇl). The noun (' ăḏaṯ -) is in a constructive state with the noun ('ȇl), the latter in an absolute state. For those who do not remember it, the construct state of Hebrew grammar is the complement of specification rendered with "of". The first noun is said in construct state or regent name, the second noun is said to be in an absolute state or right name. The right name ('ȇl) is here a proper name, and like all proper names they do not take the article because they are self-determined: the Semitic writer is referring to the supreme power of Ugarit and not to any power. The determination of the right name ('ȇl) also determines the ruling name (' ăḏaṯ -), as the Hebrew grammar dictates, so the translation is "the assembly of 'Ȇl" and not, " divine assembly ".»

This is incorrect.If what this author says about the construct is true, then why, for example, in Genesis 31,13; 46: 3 the Torah says האל (hāʾēl) that is preceded by the article?

Basically, how do you think of that author's explanation of the construct state above?

  • Who is this author that you're referring to?
    – Harel13
    Apr 3, 2021 at 19:44
  • An anonymous Italian author scholar of the torah named Maghen David facebook.com/groups/132195778056866/permalink/323577838918658. What do you think of what he wrote about it? In my opinion it is spurious.
    – Ootsutsuki
    Apr 3, 2021 at 22:07
  • I didn't really understand what your question is...are you requesting evidence that his interpretation is incorrect?
    – Harel13
    Apr 3, 2021 at 22:12
  • Exactly friend, I ask for evidence or elements that what he says is wrong, because I think he is falsifying the text of the bible with pagan elements. I would like the opinion of expert scholars of Hebrew and Judaism.
    – Ootsutsuki
    Apr 3, 2021 at 22:20
  • 1
    @ootsutsuki I agree with you, it is a translation with evident pagan infiltrations. I am also surprised that Hebrew translations often render "adat el" with "divine assembly"; even Sefaria continues the translation with "among the divine beings He pronounces judgment". "Divine beings"? The Elohim mentioned in the text are the judges, as attested by Mishnah and Gemara. But then what does "divine beings" mean? "Angels"? It is a Christian translation for me.
    – Amos74
    Apr 4, 2021 at 12:11

2 Answers 2


The grammatical point is incorrect. The construct mustn't always be translated as indicating possession. We commonly have, for instance, הַר קָדְשׁוֹ his holy mountain (Psalms 99:9), not mountain belonging to his holiness. But with respect to the word אֵל specifically, there is even more ambiguity, since God's name is habitually used in construct state to mean something other than a personal name. הַרְרֵי אֵל the mighty mountains (Psalms 36:7), אַרְזֵי אֵל the mighty cedars (Psalms 80:11), חֶרְדַּת אֱלֹהִים an awful terror (1 Samuel 14:15). See Radak to Psalms 36:7 for more examples not in construct state. So grammatical constraints alone have no bearing on whether to translate "divine assembly" or "assembly of El." Both interpretations are grammatical.

And again, El is the name of the Canaanite deity, but also the name of the God of Israel, אֵל אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל (Genesis 33:20), among the other meanings of the word. It's an interesting question whether the Israelites considered their El to be identical with the Canaanite El, but it's irrelevant to interpretation here. If they were considered to be two separate deities, a psalm by an Israelite author referring to "El" obviously means El of the Israelites, just as a psalm by a Canaanite author would obviously refer to El of the Canaanites. But an ambiguous name is not a grammatical problem that can be solved by grammatical means. We can still ask who the words אֱ‍לֹהִים and אֵל are referring to throughout this psalm, but Hebrew grammar has little to contribute to this question.


I am an Italian Noahide; I am not an expert in Hebrew and I do not know this presumed compatriot of mine named Maghen David, but I point out that the translation he proposed is radically contrary to the millennial exegesis of the masters of Israel.

I would also like to add that even the translation of 'adat el with "divine assembly" seems to me somewhat questionable, precisely on the basis of the Midrashic tradition. I am of the opinion that the correct translation is "assembly of mighty men", reading "el" as a group singular or collective noun for "elim", a phenomenon that an Israeli friend of mine told me is quite common in Hebrew.

In support of the aforementioned hermeneutics we can recall the Midrash.

In Pirke Avot 3.6 it is written:

Rabbi Halafta of Kefar Hanania said: when ten sit together and occupy themselves with Torah, the Shechinah abides among them, as it is said: "the Almighty stands in the 'adat el"

The 'adat el is therefore the assembly composed of those who dedicate themselves to the study of the Torah, and this hermeneutic is confirmed by the Aramaic Targum of the Psalms, which in fact translates 'adal el as "assembly of the pious scholars who are powerful in their Torah scholarship ”, as confirmed to me by Rav Reuven Lauffer in a private correspondence.

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