It's in the Talmud, many pizmonin and prayers like Avinu Malkenu, and lehavdil, Hashem is called "father" in the new testament very often. But I can't recall Hashem being called father in the Tanach. Anybody has some knowledge on this and why is it so?

In Sotah: "ואין שואל על מי לנו להשען, על אבינו שבשמים" In Taanith: "אבינו מלכנו, אין לנו מלך אלא אתה"

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    Just because the NT refers to G-d as a father doesn't disqualify the idea as a non-Jewish belief. :)
    – ezra
    Aug 28, 2017 at 1:56

2 Answers 2


Deuteronomy (32:6):

הֲ־לַיְקֹוָק֙ תִּגְמְלוּ־זֹ֔את עַ֥ם נָבָ֖ל וְלֹ֣א חָכָ֑ם הֲלוֹא־הוּא֙ אָבִ֣יךָ קָּנֶ֔ךָ ה֥וּא עָֽשְׂךָ֖ וַֽיְכֹנְנֶֽךָ

To God do you pay this back, a base nation that is not wise; for he is your father, your creator, he made you and supports you.

Isaiah (63:16):

כִּֽי־אַתָּ֣ה אָבִ֔ינוּ כִּ֤י אַבְרָהָם֙ לֹ֣א יְדָעָ֔נוּ וְיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֹ֣א יַכִּירָ֑נוּ אַתָּ֤ה יְקֹוָק֙ אָבִ֔ינוּ גֹּאֲלֵ֥נוּ מֵֽעוֹלָ֖ם שְׁמֶֽךָ

For You are our father, for Abraham did not know us, and Israel would not recognise us, You God are our father, Your name has always been our salvation.

Isaiah (64:7):

וְעַתָּ֥ה יְקֹוָ֖ק אָבִ֣ינוּ אָ֑תָּה אֲנַ֤חְנוּ הַחֹ֙מֶר֙ וְאַתָּ֣ה יֹצְרֵ֔נוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂ֥ה יָדְךָ֖ כֻּלָּֽנוּ

And know God you are you are our father, we are the clay and you are our potter, and we are all your handiwork.

Jeremiah (31:8):

כִּֽי־הָיִי֤תִי לְיִשְׂרָאֵל֙ לְאָ֔ב וְאֶפְרַ֖יִם בְּכֹ֥רִי הֽוּא

For I have been a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

Blessed are you God Master of Israel, our eternal father.

I Chronicles (29:10)

בָּר֨וּךְ אַתָּ֤ה יְקֹוָק֙ אֱלֹהֵי֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל אָבִ֔ינוּ מֵעוֹלָ֖ם וְעַד־עוֹלָֽם

Blessed are you God Master of Israel, our father for ever and ever.

Although most commentators (e.g. Radak) follow the cantillations in interpreting "our father" as modifying "Israel", the Rokeah suggests in his commentary to the Siddur (p. 195) that "our father" refers to God.

אבינו אינו מדבר על ישראל סבא אלא שהוא אב לישראל, בנים אתם לה' אלקיכם...אבינו מוסב על אלקי אבינו,

Our father does not refer to Israel the Elder, but rather that He is the father of Israel; you are children to God your master..."Our father" refers to "God of Israel".

Also see Malachi (1:6):

בֵּ֛ן יְכַבֵּ֥ד אָ֖ב וְעֶ֣בֶד אֲדֹנָ֑יו וְאִם־אָ֣ב אָ֣נִי אַיֵּ֣ה כְבוֹדִ֡י וְאִם־אֲדוֹנִ֣ים אָנִי֩ אַיֵּ֨ה מוֹרָאִ֜י אָמַ֣ר׀ יְקֹוָ֣ק צְבָא֗וֹת

The son honours the father, and the slave his master. If I am a father, where is my honour, and if I am a master, where is my awe, says God of hosts.

Numerous other verses compare God to a father, or Israel to His children, but do not say that he is a father. E.g. Deuteronomy (1:31, 8:5, 14:1), Isaiah (1:2,4) Jeremiah (3:14,19), Proverbs (3:12), Psalms (103:13), Hosea (11:1), Malachi (2:10, 3:17).

  • It is also used in various extra-Biblical pre-rabbinic books, which I will list if you are interested.
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 27, 2017 at 16:19
  • You are very welcome!
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 28, 2017 at 11:02

Shemos 4:22 Hashem calls the Jews בני בכורי ישראל. Thus Hashem is our father.

Yeshaya 63:16 כי אתה אבינו כי אברהם לא ידענו וישראל לא יכירנו אתה ה' אבינו גאלנו מעולם שמך.

  • Interesting that there wasn't an explicit mention of a paternal relationship before the exodus.
    – Ronen
    Aug 28, 2017 at 6:57
  • @Ronen Moshe Rabbeinu did not suddenly slap us with a new concept when he said הֲ־לַיְקֹוָק֙ תִּגְמְלוּ־זֹ֔את עַ֥ם נָבָ֖ל וְלֹ֣א חָכָ֑ם הֲלוֹא־הוּא֙ אָבִ֣יךָ קָּנֶ֔ךָ ה֥וּא עָֽשְׂךָ֖ וַֽיְכֹנְנֶֽךָ (Deut 32:6). Let us note that we, in the wilderness, did not react with, "What are you talking about Moshe? Why call God "Our Father"? Because it was already an explicit concept even from creation at bereshith. See the juxtaposition of "father" and "maker" in the same verse?
    – ninamag
    Aug 30, 2017 at 10:39
  • @ninamag Why couldn't it be a new concept? Moses does say in the verse "Isn't He your father" implying that it is something already known, probably from Shemos 4:22. But it would be interesting to notice an evolution of the relationship with Hashem.
    – Ronen
    Aug 31, 2017 at 9:06
  • @Ronen See the juxtaposition of "father" and "maker" in the same verse in Deut 32:6? Just as Hashem being our Maker was not a new concept, neither is being our Father.
    – ninamag
    Aug 31, 2017 at 9:34

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