In Shemos 3:6, the passuk says:

"וַיֹּאמֶר אָנֹכִי אֱלֹהֵי אָבִיךָ אֱלֹקי אַבְרָהָם אֱלֹקי יִצְחָק וֵאלֹקי יַעֲקֹב וַיַּסְתֵּר מֹשֶׁה פָּנָיו כִּי יָרֵא מֵהַבִּיט אֶל־הָאֱלֹקים׃"

"I am,” He said, “the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. "

In Shemos 3:16, the passuk says:

לֵךְ וְאָסַפְתָּ אֶת־זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם ה' אֱלֹקי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם נִרְאָה אֵלַי אֱלֹקי אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב לֵאמֹר פָּקֹד פָּקַדְתִּי אֶתְכֶם וְאֶת־הֶעָשׂוּי לָכֶם בְּמִצְרָיִם׃

Go and assemble the elders of Israel and say to them: the LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to me and said, ‘I have taken note of you and of what is being done to you in Egypt.

Why is it in passuk 6 the Torah has the word "Elokei" before each name, whereas in 16, it doesn't?

  • Surmising - first quote is singular. Second is address to plural. May have something to do with it. Not sure what or why, yet.
    – DanF
    Dec 27, 2018 at 2:53
  • Are you asking if G-d of (Abraham+Itzhok+Yaakov) = G-d of Abraham + G-d of Itzhok + G-d of Yaakov? No, in Pasuk 6 there are 3 different "manifestations" of G-d each one according to each forefather's qualities (חסד גבורה תפארת), but in Pasuk 16 there's one manifestation of "G-d of your forefathers" (קומת חב"ד).
    – Al Berko
    Dec 27, 2018 at 11:01

1 Answer 1


In the first verse, God is gently informing Moshe -- as he's telling him that he has to pick up the mantle of leadership -- that his father Amram is no longer alive. We only say "the God of so-and-so" if that person is no longer alive (as otherwise, that person could exercise free will and become a baddie tomorrow, in which case God's Name shouldn't be associated with them.)

Thus "the God of your father" ... just like "God of Abraham" or "God of Isaac", ... i.e. none of them are living anymore.

  • Ok, so in the second example only Avraham is dead and Yitzchok and Ya'akov are still alive?
    – ezra
    Dec 27, 2018 at 18:10

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