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My own translation of verses.

  1. Devarim (Deut.) 4:39 - "You should now, today, and return it to your heart that the Lord is G-d in the heavens and the earth below. There is no other"

  2. Devarim (Deut.) 10:17 - "For the Lord, your G-d. He is the G-d of gods and the lord of lords...

If verse 1 stated that there is no other god besides Him, than what does verse 2 mean by stating that he is the G-d of gods. Does that imply that there are others?

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    Where's your translation of 10:17 from? How do you know אלהים means "gods" and not "powers" or "judges"? – Double AA May 1 '17 at 14:43
  • Chabad Tanach has "For the Lord, your God, is God of gods and the Lord of the lords, the great mighty and awesome God, Who will show no favor, nor will He take a bribe." – Avrohom Yitzchok May 1 '17 at 15:30
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I agree with DoubleAA, the traditional translation of your second verse is powers or judges.

You can find a similar example in Bereishis 14:20 and 14:22, where Hashem is referred to as אל עליון, literally the highest of the gods, but it is also a mistranslation, a much cleaner rendering would be the source of all forces which again removes the ambiguity you are trying to point out...

  • In defence of the OP, please note that Chabad Tanach has "For the Lord, your God, is God of gods and the Lord of the lords, the great mighty and awesome God, Who will show no favor, nor will He take a bribe." But I agree your answer! – Avrohom Yitzchok May 1 '17 at 15:31
  • Thanks. I had forgotten that "Elohim" can mean "judges". – DanF May 1 '17 at 16:17
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    "the traditional translation of your second verse is powers or judges." Could you cite one of the commentators, like Targum, to demonstrate this? – mevaqesh May 1 '17 at 19:21
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Elohim has multiple translations [angels, judges, etc], yet the main consideration is one: all power, life, etc comes from the one God in whom there is no division and whom no person can aptly describe in truth [we do describe G-d's actions, as revealed to us, however]. Considering that all nations, except [technically] Israel have a Sar ["angel"] over them, and considering that G-d has appointed various mediums to conduct his will in this world...it is correct to say both "God of gods" and "there is none else". THE source of all power "koach hakochot". Rambam covers this issue in Yesodei Hatorah of his Mishneh Torah.

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The first citation:

וְיָדַעְתָּ֣ הַיּ֗וֹם וַהֲשֵׁבֹתָ֮ אֶל־לְבָבֶךָ֒ כִּ֤י יְהוָה֙ ה֣וּא הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים בַּשָּׁמַ֣יִם מִמַּ֔עַל וְעַל־הָאָ֖רֶץ מִתָּ֑חַת אֵ֖ין עֽוֹד׃

You will know today and will cause it to rest in a fixed fashion upon both your Yetzer HaTov and your Yetzer HaRah (that like in the Shema, לבבך refers to the two natures in every person) that G-d (the Holy One, blessed be He, who transcends all things) is the G-d of nature (that אלהים shares the same gematria as הטבע, nature like is found in Be'er HaGolah of the Maharal, HaBe'er HaShevi'i, beginning with the words: וכן גילה לנו רבינו הקדוש הגאון האלקי מוהר"ר דוב בער) in the Heavens above and on the earth below; there is no other.

is addressing the concept of G-d's unity. This is part of our belief according to the Torah.

The second citation:

כִּ֚י יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֔ם ה֚וּא אֱלֹהֵ֣י הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים וַאֲדֹנֵ֖י הָאֲדֹנִ֑ים הָאֵ֨ל הַגָּדֹ֤ל הַגִּבֹּר֙ וְהַנּוֹרָ֔א אֲשֶׁר֙ לֹא־יִשָּׂ֣א פָנִ֔ים וְלֹ֥א יִקַּ֖ח שֹֽׁחַד׃

Because HaShem (the Holy One, blessed be He, who transcends everything), your G-d, is G-d of the judges (in this case האלהים is referring to the judges like in the Targum Onkelos) and L-rd of the Kings (again, like the Targum), the G-d of kindness, severity and justice, who does not distort judgement through favoritism, nor through taking bribes.

is explaining how we are to try to emulate G-d when we serve Him. Like is prefaced in Devarim 10:12, this is explaining how we are to walk in His ways.

The two citations are not dealing with the same type of subject.

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    "You will know today and will cause it to rest in a fixed fashion upon both your Yetzer HaTov and your Yetzer HaRah" That is a horrible translation of the verse. It is at most your own derash. As always, claims should be backed up with sources. – mevaqesh May 1 '17 at 19:18
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    This answer would be greatly improved if you simply cut out everything but the Targum that fully answers the question. – mevaqesh May 1 '17 at 19:20
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    "The two citations are not dealing with the same type of subject". I was aware of that when choosing these two verses. That fact shouldn't affect the essence of my question, though. I am viewing things in terms of the translation of the phrasing, not what mitzvoth are conveyed in these two verses. If, however, there are different ranslations of the concept of "Elohim" that are being conveyed, that would address my question, that's might make for a better answer. Otherwise, I agree that the Targum translation seems sufficient to address the point. – DanF May 1 '17 at 21:19
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    Note הטבע means "the Teva'" not "Teva'" and that Teva doesn't mean nature in classical Hebrew, but something like sunken/stamped/coined so it isn't of any more use in understanding a choice of divine name than the Gematria of אידיאולוגיה. – Double AA May 1 '17 at 23:57
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    @YaacovDeane There is no need to use anything but the Targum in this answer. "Explaining what the meaning of that name is in contrast to the Shem HaMeforash used in the same posuk" is not part of the answer at all, but is just extra stuff you are adding which doesn't answer the question, which was about the "of gods" part. Moreover, your distinction between "drush" and "peirush HaMilot" is a false dichotomy since someone can use drush to explain a meaning of a word, as you are doing here. אלהים literally means 'powers', and in context often 'judges' or the proper noun 'God'. – Double AA May 1 '17 at 23:58

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