Do you have your doubts about the usual explanations for biblical Elohim? A Reassessment of Biblical Elohim addresses a number of areas essential to the understanding of this designation for Israels God in the Hebrew Bible: its grammatical form, the basic meaning of the term as a common noun, its role in Israelite religion, and its function in certain portions of biblical literature. First, the plural form of Elohim is examined in light of biblical, cuneiform, and other epigraphic sources. Having established the basic meaning and significance of the term, the author discusses the evidence of Elohim's role in the religious life of Israel prior to the exile. The gains of this investigation are then brought to bear on the Elohistic material in the Pentateuch.
Joel S. Burnett is Assistant Professor of Religion at Baylor University.