Jews believe that God, while having many names, is actually one.

So the idea is that El Elyon, Elohim, El Shadai, YHWH, Adonai, El, are just names mostly referring to the same being.

Is there any verses in the Torah that makes it clear, that all those are just names of the same God, instead of names of different gods?

Shema comes close to this, but one could argue that the Shema speaks of a new god. Then there are things like YHWH telling Moshe that he used to be known by a different name and now want to be known as YHWH.

These verses are intriguing but leave me with questions. I'm looking for a verse (or several verses) that gives a really strong proof.

  • Jim Thio, but Shema uses Elo/him (in a possesive form) to describe the oneness of Y/H/V/H! – YDK May 30 '12 at 14:35
  • Jim, consider my comment on HodofHod's answer below. – Seth J May 31 '12 at 1:52

I don't think it's a problem. Not to be presumptuous, but I too am one and yet I have many names. My mother called me Myron, my Gramma called me Myronu, my best friend called me Myr, my sergeant called me Private, my clients call me Mr. "Green", friends call me Meir or Pal, my nephew calls me Uncle Meir, strangers call my Buddy, and my boss calls me "Hey, you".

|improve this answer|||||
  • You raise an interesting point, but you haven't really covered the "I'm looking for a verse (or several verses) that gives a really strong proof" part of the question. – MTL Jun 29 '16 at 19:54
  • Who calls you Rick? – user6591 Jun 30 '16 at 0:28
  • Alas, no one calls me Rick. It's a nom de net. I was surprised to see it show up after I posted my comment, so I edited the comment to make the last name match, but I couldn't change my first name, because I wouldn't know what my gramma or best friend would have called me.. – Rick Green Jun 30 '16 at 22:20

You mentioned this verse in passing, but as far as I can tell, it provides complete and convincing proof that G-d is known by multiple names.

Exodus 6:2-3, from Mechon Mamre:

וַיְדַבֵּר אֱלֹהִים, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה; וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו, אֲנִי יְהוָה.

וָאֵרָא, אֶל-אַבְרָהָם אֶל-יִצְחָק וְאֶל-יַעֲקֹב--בְּאֵל שַׁדָּי; וּשְׁמִי יְהוָה, לֹא נוֹדַעְתִּי לָהֶם

Translation from Chabad.org:

2. God (Elo-him) spoke to Moses, and He said to him, "I am the Lord (YHVH)
3. and I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob with [the name] Almighty God (E-l Sha-dai), but [with] My name YHWH, I did not become known to them."

This is a verse that effectively synonymizes three names: Elo-him, YHVH, and (E-l) Sha-dai.

|improve this answer|||||
  • Yes, if this doesn't do it for you, what more do you want? – Charles Koppelman May 30 '12 at 15:10
  • Okay cool. That sort that out. Thanks. It's just 3 out of many names but it's a start. – user4951 May 30 '12 at 15:20
  • 1
    @JimThio, Actually it covers all the ones you mentioned, since "adonai" is not technically a name of God, and neither is "El Elyon" ("elyon" is just an adjective that modifies "El"). – jake May 30 '12 at 15:25
  • Oh ya, the Lord means "El". Almighty God is El Shaddai right? And then YHWH is what again? My hebrew is close to 0 here. So that handles 3. A good start. Adonai means political lord. Here God doesn't say that he's the one and only almighty super God. He only says that he's the same god that Abraham used to worship though. – user4951 May 30 '12 at 15:28
  • 5
    @Charleskoppelman Devarim 4:39 - "Know this day, and set it unto your heart, that YKVK - He is the G-d - in the heavens above and on the earth below; there is no other." – Seth J May 31 '12 at 1:49

The Ten Commandments 1 and 2 are saying there is only one. Also once one says the Torah is from Hashem then and it says Hashem Echad (Shema) then anytime Hashem is written it has to be one. A contradiction can't be made when it is written by God.

|improve this answer|||||
  • But the question is not from the perspective of a believer. – Hod - Monica's Army May 30 '12 at 15:19
  • 2
    Those commandments do not claim that there is only one God. It just says "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me", which one could argue actually implies that there are more than one. – jake May 30 '12 at 15:22
  • 3
    +1 anyway because it's a good point and because I always give +1 to all answers unless it really messes up. – user4951 May 30 '12 at 15:25
  • 1
    @sam, I agree with you; I'm playing devil's advocate here. The prohibition of idols and molten images is "לֹא-תַעֲשֶׂה לְךָ פֶסֶל, וְכָל-תְּמוּנָה". But before that already it says "לֹא-יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים, עַל-פָּנָי", which one could say means not to prohibit other (nonexistent) gods like the subsequent statement, but rather that of all the legitimate gods (Shaddai, El, etc.), I (YHWH) shall come first in the hierarchy; none should come "before me". – jake May 30 '12 at 15:56
  • 1
    That would be another interpretation. Not only that there is no other God, but it's okay to worship other gods as long as YHWH is "first". – user4951 May 31 '12 at 17:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .