1     The Significant Theological Impact of a Magnified               Translation of Exodus 20:1-3I.     Introduction     ...
2of the reasons why many of these measures were taken to protect the TenCommandments was to ensure the accurate and perpet...
3       A. King James Version               1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God,           wh...
4IV.     A Sample of Three Modern Interpretations of Exodus 20:1-3        A. Willmington‟s Bible Handbook by H.L. Willming...
5the exclusiveness of Yahweh in the sense that there is only one self-existing deity likeElohim in existence. Instead he s...
6starting from each word and word group, then advance to the sentences, then to thenearby context, and lastly, consider th...
7          ‫( 1#( אמ‬AF)): say          Verb, qal, active, infinitive construct, constructB. Exodus 20:2      a. ‫ אָּ ֹֽנ...
8             a. ‫( 1#( ֹלֹֽא‬AF)): not                Adverbial, negative, “not” (‫)ֹלא‬             b. ‫ : יִהי ֶּה‬he w...
9        The Hebrew word for “face” is always in plural form. Therefore, for smoothness,translation decisions have to be m...
10philosophical principle of Occam‟s Razor), it is the better translation choice in regards tosimplicity. According to sec...
11knowledge concerning the number of Hebrew nouns according LaSor: “Originally, 3numbers were indicated, singular (one), d...
12XI. Preferences Made for a Smooth Magnified Translation ofExodus 20:1-3       By looking into the details of Hebrew noun...
13        In Exodus 20:3, since the word, “achar” could mean “other,” “another,” “next,” or“additional,” it is definitely ...
14         Since according to Ecclesiastes there is “no new thing under the sun,”20 could thesingular-plural phenomena her...
15        1c above, over (of elevation or pre-eminence).        1d upon, to, over to, unto, in addition to, together wit...
16of three or more is larger than a group of two, Yahweh is capable of greater feats of loveand has the power to unite in ...
17Corporate Personality with Yahweh as His proper name, how many individual Godsexactly are there in Yahweh?”        This ...
18that they taught that there were three Gods rather than three Persons within oneGodhead.24Please note that John Ascunage...
19        …„Elohim said, Let us make man in our image after our likeness‟ (Gen. 1:26)….        Perhaps the idea unfolded i...
20biblical times28 to strengthen my stand. To support my stand, I could only afford tobriefly introduce the Sartorius argu...
21   Exodus 20:2-3 is the seed of this knowledge surrounding Yahweh our united GODs.                       Holy! Holy! Ho...
22                                          BibliographyAndersen, Francis I.; Forbes, A. Dean: A Systematic Glossary to th...
23Strong, James: The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible: Showing Every Word of theText of the Common English Version of t...
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Exodus 20:1-3

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Through magnified translation, close study of the first of the Ten Commandments, the Constitution of the Kingdom of Yahweh Elohim shows that human beings are expected to have three qualified gods instead of one. They are Elohim, the Spirit of Elohim, and the Image of Elohim as mentioned in the beginning of the Hebrew Bible, Genesis 1:1-2 and 27.

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Exodus 20:1-3

  1. 1. 1 The Significant Theological Impact of a Magnified Translation of Exodus 20:1-3I. Introduction Bible readers are usually familiar with the Ten Commandments (the Decalogue orthe Ten Words) and their related accounts. Jehovah (Yahweh or the LORD) Elohim(God) wrote the Ten Commandments on two stone tablets with His fingers. Elohim gavethem to Moses and commanded Moses to keep them in the Ark of the Covenant which iskept from the public in the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Duringthe time of the Judges, even looking into the Ark out of curiosity was punishable by death.Once the temple was built by Solomon, the Ark continued to be kept from ordinary sightand was guarded by the Lawgiver inside the Most Holy Place. When Moses copied theTen Commandments into the book of Exodus, Elohim, who was actively involved withthe action of His servant, banished Moses from entering Canaan before he died. Thepunishment was for disregarding Elohim‟s command to call for, not to strike, water fromthe stone. It can be assumed that Moses copied the Ten Commandments correctlybecause he was not punished when he did so. As a result, the Jewish people have beenable to accurately copy and preserve the Ten Commandments in their synagogues. Lateron, after the Logos of Elohim incarnated as Jesus Christ, He did not point out anyinaccuracies due to miscopying in the Hebrew version of the Ten Commandments. AfterJesus ascended to Heaven as our High Priest, His divine Representative, the Holy Spirit,was and still is very active on Earth. But the Holy Spirit has not revealed to Elohim‟speople that the current Hebrew version of the Ten Commandments is not accurate. One
  2. 2. 2of the reasons why many of these measures were taken to protect the TenCommandments was to ensure the accurate and perpetual communication of the text.Elohim loves the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, inorder to make it possible for people to spend perfect eternity with Him. Elohim wantspeople to benefit from the Ten Commandments, even though He knows full well thatthey are not always able to do so perfectly. They are therefore instead saved by choosingto trust Jesus as their personal Savior who paid for their sins and was resurrected from thedead for their justification. However, for those whose first language is not ancientbiblical Hebrew, there is a need for an accurate translation and interpretation of the TenCommandments in order to reap the benefits intended by Jehovah Elohim.II. The Purpose of This Research Paper The purpose of this sample research paper is to provide a more magnifiedtranslation of the modern English versions and their corresponding interpretations of thefirst three sentences of the Ten Commandments of Elohim as recorded as Exodus 20:1-3of the Hebrew Old Testament.III. A Sample of Three Modern Popular Translations of Exodus20:1-3 There are many English translations of these verses; three versions are reproducedin the following section.
  3. 3. 3 A. King James Version 1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. B. New International Version 1 And God spoke all these words: 2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3 You shall have no other gods before [a] me…. Footnotes: [a] Exodus 20:3 Or besides C. The Message 1-2 God spoke all these words: I am God, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of a life of slavery. 3 No other gods, only me. The above three versions of English translations, King James Version (KJV),New International Version (NIV), and the Message are being referred to here for differentreasons: KJV is popular among the older and more conservative Christians, NIV ispopular among the less conservative Christians, and The Message is popular among theyounger yet serious Christians who appreciate the knowledge of biblical languages andthe literary style of Pastor Eugene H Peterson. There exists a working dynamic between Bible commentaries and Bibletranslations which influence and reinforce one another.
  4. 4. 4IV. A Sample of Three Modern Interpretations of Exodus 20:1-3 A. Willmington‟s Bible Handbook by H.L. Willmington “Do not worship any other gods besides me.” God will have no rivals, whether from false religions or from otherwise good things, such as family, money, or fame, which may usurp his preeminent place in our devotion. 1 B. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament by Roy B. Zuck This first commandment directly addresses the heart of the relationship presupposed by the sovereign vassal treaty. Yahweh, by virtue of His election and saving deliverance of His people from another lord (Egypt), commands them to undertake and maintain an attitude of undivided loyalty to Him. “You shall have no other gods before me” (v. 3) is a categorical affirmation of Yahweh‟s exclusive claims to lordship and worship. To violate this commandment is to repudiate the entire covenant relationship, for it is nothing short of high treason.2 C. The Book of Exodus by Brevard S. Childs Equally important for the interpretation is to note what is not being said. The claim for Yahwehs exclusiveness in the sense that Yahweh alone has existence is not contained in the first commandment. The contrast in idiom between Ex. 20.5 and that of II Isaiah is striking: There is no other god besides me (45.21), none except me (ayin zulafi, 45.21), ‟no one else (en od, 45.6), no other gods (epes lelohim, 45.14). However, in the first commandment the prohibition describes the relation of Yahweh to Israel by categorically eliminating other gods as far as Israel is concerned. The use of the singular (lo yihyeh leka) emphasizes the restricted nature of the reference.3 Noteworthy is the commentary of Childs, who, although supports the existence ofan exclusive God, suggests that the idea is not derived from the first commandment. Hegoes on further to assert that the first commandment does not contain this claim regarding1 Willmington, H. L.: Willmingtons Bible Handbook. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, 1997, S. 522 Zuck, Roy B.: A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Electronic ed. Chicago: Moody Press, 1991;Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1996, S. 373 Childs, Brevard S.: The Book of Exodus. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Westminster Press, 1976, c1974,S. 403
  5. 5. 5the exclusiveness of Yahweh in the sense that there is only one self-existing deity likeElohim in existence. Instead he states that there were no other gods who had theredeeming relationship between Israelites and Yahweh who delivered them from theslavery imposed by the Egyptians. Referring to Exodus 20:3, John I Durham takes asimilar stand, that “…the first commandment is not an assertion of monotheisticconviction, that Yahweh is the only God, and hence the sole choice.”4 So, could these three Hebrew sentences allow, or even support the perception,interpretation, understanding, or exegesis that there is more than one self-existed Beingslike Jehovah Elohim? These three Hebrew sentences will be examined more closely, asif with a magnifying glass, in the following section.V. A Sample of One Hebrew Version of Exodus 20:1-3 For the Hebrew text, the sentences to be examined were chosen from theWestminster Leningrad Codex because they can be conveniently copied fromwww.BlueLetterBible.org and its non-pointed text is same as Biblia HebraicaStuttgartensia as found in The NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament, 1987edition: ‫לֵּאמ ֹּר האלֶּה כָּל־הַּדְ בָּרים את אֱֹלהִים וי ְדַּ בֵּר‬ ַּ ֵּ ִ ֵּ ָּ ֹֽ ‫עבָּדִ ֹֽים מבֵּית מצְרי ִם מֵּאֶּ רץ ה ֹּוצֵּאתִ יָך אֲ שר ֹלהֶּיָךא י ְהוָּה אָּ ֹֽנֹּכִי‬ ֱ ֶּ ֶּ ַּ ִ ִ ֲ ‫5עַּל־פָּנָּ ֹֽי ַּ אחֵּרים אֱֹלהִים יִה ֶּי ֹֽה־לְָך ֹלֹֽא‬ ְ ִ ֲ At my present level of understanding the Hebrew language, I am not able toevaluate the accuracy of vowel pointing. I will simply zoom in on the consonant text4 Durham, John I.: Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 3, Exodus. Waco, Texas: Word Books, Publisher,1987, P.285.5 www.BlueLetterBible.org
  6. 6. 6starting from each word and word group, then advance to the sentences, then to thenearby context, and lastly, consider the context of the whole council of the Bible as timeand the length of 15-25 pages allows.VI. Word-by-Word Grammatical Study of the Hebrew Text Reproduced below is the parsing work already done by Andersen-Forbes: A. Exodus 20:1 a. ‫וי ְדַּ בֵּר‬ ַּ ‫ :ו‬and conjunction, sequential (ַּ‫)ו‬ ekops eh :((FA) 1#) ‫דבר‬ verb, piel, active, prefixed (imperfect) sequential, singular, masculine, third person b. ‫ :אֱֹלהִים‬God noun, proper, divine, singular, masculine, normal c. ‫( 1#( אֵּת‬AF)): [nota acc.] preposition, object marker d. ‫( 2#( כָּל‬AF)): all of noun, common, “all”, collective, common, construct e. ‫הַּדְ בָּרים‬ ִ eht :((FA) 1#) ‫ה‬ miscellany, definite article ‫( 5#( דבר‬AF)): words noun, common, plural, masculine, normal, definite with ‫ה‬ f. ‫האלֶּה‬ ֵּ ָּ ‫( 1#( ה‬AF)): the Miscellany, definite article ‫( 4#( אל‬AF)): these Noun, common, adjective, plural, common, normal, definite with ‫ה‬ g. ‫לֵּאמ ֹּר‬ ֹֽ ‫ :ל‬to Preposition, “to” (ְ‫)ל‬
  7. 7. 7 ‫( 1#( אמ‬AF)): say Verb, qal, active, infinitive construct, constructB. Exodus 20:2 a. ‫ אָּ ֹֽנֹּכִי‬I Pronoun, personal, singular, common, first person b. ‫ :י ְהוָּה‬Yahweh Noun, proper, divine, singular, masculine, normal c. ‫ : אֱֹלהֶּיָך‬gods ‫( 5#( אלה‬AF)): gods | AFAT Noun, common, plural, masculine, suffixed TAFA | (m)eeht :((FA) 4#) ‫אתה‬ Pronoun, suffixed, singular, masculine, second person d. ‫( 3#( אשֶּ ר‬AF)): which ֲ Miscellany, nominalizer e. ֹּ ‫ :וצֵּאתִ יָךה‬I brought out ‫( 1#( יצא‬AF)): I brought out | AFAT Verb, hifil, active, suffixed (perfect), singular, common, first person TAFA | (m)eeht :((FA) 4#) ‫אתה‬ Pronoun, suffixed, singular, masculine, second person f. ‫מֵּ ארץ‬ ֶּ ֶּ ‫( 1#( מן‬AF)): from Preposition, “from” (‫)מִן‬ fo dnal :‫ארץ‬ Noun, common, singular, feminine, construct g. ‫ : מצְרי ִם‬Egypt ַּ ִ Noun, proper, land, singular, feminine, normal h. ‫מִ בֵּית‬ ‫( 1#( מן‬AF)): from Preposition, “from” (‫)מִן‬ fo esuoh :‫בית‬ Noun, common, singular, masculine, construct i. ‫ : עבָּדִ ֹֽים‬servants ֲ Noun, common, plural, masculine, normalC. Exodus 20:3
  8. 8. 8 a. ‫( 1#( ֹלֹֽא‬AF)): not Adverbial, negative, “not” (‫)ֹלא‬ b. ‫ : יִהי ֶּה‬he will be ְ Verb, qal, active, prefixed (imperfect), singular, masculine, third person c. ‫לְָך‬ ot :‫ל‬ Preposition, “to” (ְ‫)ל‬ d. ‫ : אֱֹלהִים‬gods Noun, common, plural, masculine, normal e. ‫ : אֲ חֵּרים‬others ִ Noun, common, adjective, plural, masculine, normal f. ‫( 3#( עַּל‬AF)): upon Preposition, “upon” (‫)עַּל‬ g. ַּ ‫ : פנָּי‬face ָּ Noun, common, plural, masculine, suffixedVII. A Rough Literal Translation of Exodus 20:1-3 Based on the parsing of the above word-by-word grammatical study of thepassage, Exodus 20:1-3 can be roughly and literally translated by the word order as in thefollowing: Exodus 12:1 And He spoke Elohim Himself all of the words the these to say: Exodus 12:2 I Yahweh your Gods which I brought you out from land of Egypt from house of servants Exodus 12:3 Not he will be to gods others upon my faces
  9. 9. 9 The Hebrew word for “face” is always in plural form. Therefore, for smoothness,translation decisions have to be made and the word “face” is read literally as “faces” or“face,” assuming that Yahweh has only one face. Other translation decisions have to bemade because words can take on many different meanings.6VIII. A Smooth Literal Translation of Exodus 20:1-3 For Exodus 20:1, the word for “God” is a proper noun. Therefore it is preferableto use the transliteration, “Elohim.” 7 Exodus chapter 1-19 provides the context forExodus 20:2 where “house” can be read as “household,” and “servants” can read as“slaves.”8 Since the nominalizer can be translated as “which” or “who” in reference toYahweh, a person, the translation preference is “who.” To complete the sentence theEnglish language, the verb must be filled in with “am” after “I” and an object “you” inafter the verb “brought out.” Even though the subject “I” is singular and “Yahweh” isused as a proper name, it is necessary to make clear that “your Gods,” can be read eitheras a singular or plural noun. Since scholars are quite confident that the Hebrew textcontaining the Hebrew word for “your Gods” was accurately transmitted by the scribes, itcan be believed that the Law Giver wrote the same word on the table of stone. So didElohim mean to use “your Gods,” which is used as a common noun or “your Elohim,”which is used as a proper noun, like the first name of a person? Therefore, since “yourElohim” fits the context of the sentence with the least explanation (according to the6 Harris, R. Laird; Harris, Robert Laird; Archer, Gleason Leonard; Waltke, Bruce K.: TheologicalWordbook of the Old Testament. electronic ed. Chicago : Moody Press, 1999, c1980, S. 1057 Brown, Francis; Driver, Samuel Rolles; Briggs, Charles Augustus: Enhanced Brown-Driver-BriggsHebrew and English Lexicon. electronic ed. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, 2000, S. 828 Harris, R. Laird; Harris, Robert Laird; Archer, Gleason Leonard; Waltke, Bruce K.: TheologicalWordbook of the Old Testament. electronic ed. Chicago : Moody Press, 1999, c1980, S. 639 (servants), 105(house)
  10. 10. 10philosophical principle of Occam‟s Razor), it is the better translation choice in regards tosimplicity. According to section VI, Andersen-Forbes prefers “your Gods,” which makesit necessary to consider the complex ancient Hebrew concept of corporate personality.9 For Exodus 20:3, the Hebrew word “lo” can be translated as “not,” no,” or “tohim.”10 This presents a difficult choice because the verb “he will be” is singular. Thephrase “other gods” in this sentence is plural. Therefore, the three Hebrew words for “no,”“other,” and “gods” should be treated as the phrase “No other gods.” Childs has foundthat it is most useful to treat “upon” and “faces” as the phrase “before me.”11 Exodus 12:1 And Elohim Himself spoke to say all of these specific words: Exodus 12:2 I am12 Yahweh your Elohim who brought you out from the land of Egypt, from the household of slaves. Exodus 12:3 No others will be gods to you before Me. Up to this point of translation, the passage seems to support the idea that there isonly one deity and that there is no other god. This next section will magnify the text evenfurther to reveal the finer details in examination of this theory.IX. Note Worthy Information about Plural of Hebrew Nouns Before moving onto the next step towards a grammatically correct, magnifiedtranslation of the above Hebrew text, it would be beneficial to cite crucial scholarly9 Robinson, H. Wheeler: Corporate Personality in Ancient Israel. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1980, c1964,P.25-3410 Harris, R. Laird; Harris, Robert Laird; Archer, Gleason Leonard; Waltke, Bruce K.: TheologicalWordbook of the Old Testament. electronic ed. Chicago: Moody Press, 1999, c1980, S. 464 (not)11 Childs, Brevard S.: The Book of Exodus. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Westminster Press, 1976,c1974, S. 40312 I will follow the general practice of using italic for words that was implied but with no correspondingword in the Hebrew manuscript.
  11. 11. 11knowledge concerning the number of Hebrew nouns according LaSor: “Originally, 3numbers were indicated, singular (one), dual (two), and plural (three or more).” 13 So theplural forms of ancient Hebrew nouns can mean more than two entities. This contradictsthe commonly accepted meaning of the plural form of the noun as referring to “more thanone entity” which includes both the original meaning of dual and plural.14 Thereforethroughout the rest of the research paper, when Hebrew nouns are referred to, pluralmeans “three or more.”X. A Rough Magnified Translation of Exodus 20:1-3 Reproduced below is the magnified version of Exodus 20:1-3: Exodus 12:1 And Elohim Himself spoke to say all of these specific three or more words: Exodus 12:2 I am Yahweh, your personal15 Elohim (three or more Gods), who brought each of you out from the land of Egypt, from the household of three or more slaves. Exodus 12:3 No three or more others (additional or another or next)16 will be gods (Elohim) to you upon My face (My three or more faces).13 LaSor, William Sanford: Handbook of Biblical Hebrew Volume 2. Grand Rapids, Michigan: WM. B.Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1979, S. 7514 Andersen, Francis I.; Forbes, A. Dean: A Systematic Glossary to the Andersen-Forbes Analysis of theHebrew Bible. Logos Bible Software, 2006; 200615 Jehovah-Eloheka = The LORD your God. This title is found 20 times in Deuteronomy 16. Taking itsuse from Exodus (Exodus 20:2) where it is often used, this divine name denotes Jehovah s relationship toHis people, and their responsibility to Him. This name is more personal than His previous name, Jehovah-Eloheenu = The LORD our God. Smith, Stelman; Cornwall, Judson: The Exhaustive Dictionary of BibleNames. North Brunswick, NJ : Bridge-Logos, 1998, S. 8416 Swanson, James: Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains: Hebrew (Old Testament).electronic ed. Oak Harbor : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997, S. DBLH 337, #4
  12. 12. 12XI. Preferences Made for a Smooth Magnified Translation ofExodus 20:1-3 By looking into the details of Hebrew nouns or the less-encompassing secondperson English pronouns, the force of the passage is made clearer. For Exodus 20:1, since Elohim spoke not just one word or two words, but theopen ended three or more words, there can be an expected three or more words orcommandments. In fact there are ten words. For Exodus 20:2, Yahweh, the Hero, is not just the aloof Hero of those who werefreed from Egypt. Yahweh is also the personal Hero of each individual whom He hasredeemed and delivered. Moreover, since the reader sees that the household of not justone slave or two slaves, but three or more slaves, the author challenges the reader to wantto know exactly how many slaves our Hero has redeemed and delivered. Since there aretwo translation options for the word “elohim,” the choice is between “Elohim,” a propernoun in plural form, or another common noun that is plural in number. The precedingproper noun “Yhvh,” its singular pronoun “anoki,” and the corresponding singular verb“yatsa,” the choice of preference of the two options is clear -- the proper noun, “Elohim.”If Elohim of Exodus 20:1, who spoke to say this statement, wanted to emphasize thatYahweh is the only deity, He could have used “el,” Hebrew for the word “a single god.”So why did Elohim not write on the stone with His finger, “el” instead of “elohim?”Moreover, somehow Andersen-Forbes preferred the choice of the common noun, “Gods.”Examining the immediate context may illuminate the right choice of translation.
  13. 13. 13 In Exodus 20:3, since the word, “achar” could mean “other,” “another,” “next,” or“additional,” it is definitely related to the previous “Elohim” in Exodus 20:2 as a contrast.Consistent with “Elohim” in number, Elohim used “panay,” which means “faces,” insteadof “panah,” which means “face,” a possible form, even though the plural form is the onlyform found in the Hebrew Bible. However, the verb “haya” is singular. With this complex mixture of plural, singular nouns, and verbs within two verses,the Hebrew concept of corporate personality in ancient Israel must be considered.17 Eventhough considering the complexity of this concept and how it was expressed in theancient Hebrew language it must be considered before any final translation preferencescan be made. H. Wheeler Robinson described the Hebrew conception of corporate personalityin his article as the following: In the terminology of English law, “corporation” denotes either “a body corporate legally authorized to act as a single individual,” or “an artificial person created by royal charter, prescription, or legislative act, and having the capacity of perpetual succession.”18 Both usages are covered by the Hebrew conception of corporate personality, though without the necessity for any legal prescription. The larger or smaller group was accepted without question as a unity; legal prescription was replaced by the fact or fiction of the blood-tie, usually traced back to a common ancestor. The whole group, including its past, present, and future members, might function as a single individual through any one of those members conceived as representative of it. Because it was not confined to the living, but included the dead and the unborn, the group could be conceived as living forever.1917 Robinson, H. Wheeler: Corporate Personality in Ancient Israel. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1980, c1964,P.25-3418 Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, s.v.19 Robinson, H. Wheeler: Corporate Personality in Ancient Israel. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1980, c1964,P.25
  14. 14. 14 Since according to Ecclesiastes there is “no new thing under the sun,”20 could thesingular-plural phenomena here in Exodus 20:2-3, the plural with singular suffixes, be thetool through which Elohim used to reveal to His audience that Yahweh is actually aCorporate Personality? The affirmative can be supported by Robinson‟s writings on theapplications of the conception of corporate personality: They would range from the accidence and syntax of Hebrew grammar up to the highest levels of Old Testament theology. …in the use of such words as nephesh [“breath,” “spirit,” or “soul”], lebh [“heart”], dam [“blood”] in the singular with plural suffixes.21 So at this point, for the magnified translation of Exodus 20:2-3, the preferabletranslation of “elohim” from v.2 is “three or more Gods” and that of v.3 is „three or moregods.” Since “l” can mean “to” or “into,” meaning “of a transition into a new state orcondition, or into a new character or office.”22 In v.2, there is no explicit direct objectlike “attah,” the Hebrew masculine singular second person pronoun and will be translatedto mean “into” because it is consistent with the concept of “three or more God”incorporated into “Yahweh.” As far as “al” of v.3 is concerned, it is rich in meaning as it contains manyprepositional translations:  1a upon, on the ground of, on the basis of, on account of, because of, therefore, on behalf of, for the sake of, for, with, in spite of, notwithstanding, concerning, in the matter of, as regards.  1b above, beyond, over (of excess).20 Ecclesiastes 1:921 Robinson, H. Wheeler: Corporate Personality in Ancient Israel. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1980, c1964,P.34 Cf. W. Robinson Smith, Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia (Cambridge University Press, 1885),p.40: “The whole kindred conceives itself as having a single life, just as in the formula „our blood has beenspilt‟ it speaks of itself as having but one blood in its veins.”22 Brown, Francis; Driver, Samuel Rolles; Briggs, Charles Augustus: Enhanced Brown-Driver-BriggsHebrew and English Lexicon. electronic ed. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, 2000, S. 512
  15. 15. 15  1c above, over (of elevation or pre-eminence).  1d upon, to, over to, unto, in addition to, together with, with (of addition). 1e over (of suspension or extension).  1f by, adjoining, next, at, over, around (of contiguity or proximity).  1g down upon, upon, on, from, up upon, up to, towards, over towards, to, against (with verbs of motion).23 “Panay” of v.3 can be translated to mean “three or more faces” instead of “face”because it is more natural when there are no nouns or pronouns behind “panay.” Withthe absence of “ani” which means “you” is popularly implied in the sentence, there aremany prepositional meanings of “al” with the exception of “before.” It is better toassume that “faces” is referring to the faces of living beings and things as well as surfacesof the waters and the dry lands. In another words, here the phrase “al-panay” means“anywhere.” Putting the words of v.3 together, it can be understood that Elohim made astatement meaning “No three or more other gods will be united into a corporatepersonality anywhere.” The three or more Members of Yahweh love and unite with eachother perfectly but there exists no other three or more gods who are able to do the sameanywhere else. Therefore the Members of Yahweh are more worthy to be the Gods of theaudience of the Ten Commandments. There exists no other three or more gods capableof the same phenomenon, but logically it is possible for there to be two gods who canunite into one. One god cannot form a corporate personality by himself because it takesat least two members to form a group. So Elohim stated that there may be two other godswho can love and unite with each other perfectly like Yahweh. However, since a group23 Strong, James: The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible: Showing Every Word of the Text of theCommon English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order.electronic ed. Ontario : Woodside Bible Fellowship., 1996, S. H5921
  16. 16. 16of three or more is larger than a group of two, Yahweh is capable of greater feats of loveand has the power to unite in comparison to the two other gods. With these translation preferences, the next section will go on to present thesmooth magnified translation of Exodus 20:1-3.XII. A Smooth Magnified Translation of Exodus 20:1-3 Exodus 12:1 And Elohim Himself spoke to say all of these specific three or more words: Exodus 12:2 I am Yahweh, your personal three or more Gods, who brought each of you out from the land of Egypt, from the household of three or more slaves. Exodus 12:3 No three or more other gods will be united into a corporate personality anywhere.XIII. One Theological Impact to the Readers of the MagnifiedTranslation of Exodus 20:1-3 A popular orthodox understanding of Exodus 20:1-3 states that the Bible espousesmonotheism and identifies the form of the Holy Trinity with the words “One God” in thebeginning of many statements of faith such as in the following: “One God exists eternally in three persons.” Readers of the above magnified translation of the same passage may find itshocking, questionable and even heretical. It is controversial and unsettling as readersmight ask, “Even given that there are three or more Gods in the group of God as a
  17. 17. 17Corporate Personality with Yahweh as His proper name, how many individual Godsexactly are there in Yahweh?” This is indeed a very important question. According to Exodus chapter 19, at Mt.Sinai, Elohim‟s audience, the Israelites, did not have the written book form of Genesis orJob, popularly known as two of the oldest written books of the Bible. However, the oralform of the creation story must have been known to them at that time because thecommandment about the Sabbath refers to the story as in Exodus 20:8-11. They werecommanded to work six days and rest on the seventh because it was passed down throughoral tradition that Yahweh worked six days and rested on the seventh. Moses recordedthis piece of oral history which became the verses now known as Genesis 1:1-2:3. If anIsraelite who heard Elohim speak was asked, “How many individual Gods are in theYahweh group?” it can be speculated that he would start reciting pieces of his oral historyin order to find the answer. He might say, “In the beginning Elohim…one…created theheavens and the Earth. The Spirit of Elohim…is two….the Image of Elohim…isthree. …Elohim created to make. Three! There are exactly three Creators in Yahweh.Each Creator is a God.” It could be argued that the Israelites believed in Tri-theism. According to Paul PEnns,Tri-theism. In early church history men such as John Ascunages and John Philoponustaught that there were three who were God but they were only related in a looseassociation as, for example, Peter, James, and John were as disciples. The error of thisteaching was that its proponents abandoned the unity within the Trinity with the result
  18. 18. 18that they taught that there were three Gods rather than three Persons within oneGodhead.24Please note that John Ascunages and John Philoponus taught that the three Gods “wereonly related in a loose association.” But the fact is that the ancient Israelites are not tri-theists. To them, the threeDeities, namely Elohim, the Spirit of Elohim, and the Image of Elohim are all part of thecorporate personality and therefore are not loosely associated with one another. Thethree Deities reveal Their tight association through at least three ways: (1) Through theliteral meaning of Elohim, “three or more Gods,” which refers to the existence of threebeings just like how some ancient Hebrew names refer to historical facts. For example,Jacob, which literally means “grab,” commemorates the actual event of his grabbing ofhis brothers heel at birth. The name, Spirit of Elohim, is to show that “a body without itsspirit is dead,”25 that the Spirit and Elohim have close relationship much like the spirithas a close relationship to the body. The name, The Image of Elohim, is to show that theImage has a close relationship to Elohim much like an object has a close relationship toits image. (2) Through the proper name of Their corporate personality Yahweh, (3)Through the supernatural event, namely the creation of all things in only six days,26which They accomplished as a team and was recorded the finger of Elohim onto the twostone tablets. Even Robert Baker Girdlestone, a Trinitarian, contends that there are three divinePersons in the Godhead, marking a departure from Polytheism, and moving towards Tri-theism:24 Enns, Paul P.: The Moody Handbook of Theology. Chicago, Ill. : Moody Press, 1997, c1989, S. 19925 James 2:2626 Exodus 20:11
  19. 19. 19 …„Elohim said, Let us make man in our image after our likeness‟ (Gen. 1:26)…. Perhaps the idea unfolded in the plural form Elohim may be expressed more accurately by the word Godhead or Deity than by the word God; and there is certainly nothing unreasonable in the supposition that the name of the Deity was given to man in this form, so as to prepare him for the truth that in the Unity of the Godhead there are Three Persons. As long as the passage above quoted stands on the first page of the Bible, the believer in the Trinity has a right to turn to it as a proof that Plurality in the Godhead is a very different thing from Polytheism, and as an indication that the frequent assertions of the Divine Unity are not inconsistent with the belief that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.27Notice that Girdlestone was willing to state that “Father is God, the Son is God, and theHoly Ghost is God” but not “Father is a Deity, the Sin is a Deity, and the Holy Ghost is aDeity” in an attempt to avoid the math. A Deity plus a Deity plus a Deity equals threeDeities. A Deity multiplying a Deity multiplying a Deity equals a cubic Deity in a cubicunit, not of a singular Deity. Infinity plus infinity plus infinity equals a three times biggeror denser infinity than infinity. An infinity multiplying by infinity multiplying infinityequals a cubic infinity in cubic unit and does equal to infinity of a singular unit.Therefore this analogy of the one God version of Trinity does not work for real objectswhen we consider the math requirement of handling the units.XIV. Conclusion Even though I have been wrestling with Exodus 20:1-3 for quite a while, due tothe late start of writing this paper and being rusty in practice of biblical study papersusing a digital library, I will not be able to deal with objections or alternativeexplanations like the plural of majesty which did not exist in the Hebrew language during27 Girdlestone, Robert Baker: Synonyms of the Old Testament: Their Bearing on Christian Doctrine. OakHarbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1998, S. 21
  20. 20. 20biblical times28 to strengthen my stand. To support my stand, I could only afford tobriefly introduce the Sartorius argument based on the biblical revelation that the majorcharacteristic of our eternal God is love and therefore there must be one or more Beingsin His category as the recipients of His love in the past eternity.29 Allow me to introduce a convention similar to the word “lord,” “Lord,” and“LORD” in New International Version of the Bible, so that the usage of the word, “god”can be made clearer:1. “god” = non-biblical god in the sense of non-living things, plants, animal, or beings regarded by the beings themselves or others as objects of worship.2. “GOD” = a self-existed divine being3. “God” = the English proper name which is equivalent to the Hebrew proper name Elohim and the Greek proper name Theos of GOD the Father. With the above convention, I would like to summarize the main points of the paper onExodus 20:1-3 clearly as the following: There are three GODs in a unique corporate personality of the ancient Hebrew conception. The name of the corporate personality is Yahweh. His uniqueness is memorialized by the meaning of Yahweh –“He was and He is and He will be.”30 The three members of Yahweh, the corporate personality, were revealed in the first chapter of Genesis. In its English translation, Their names are God, the Spirit of God, and the Image of God.3128 Morrey, Robert: The Trinity: Evidences and Issues. Iowa Fall, IA: World Bible Publishers, Inc., 1996, P.9429 Bickersteth, Edward Henry: The Trinity. Grand Rapid, MI: Kregel Publications, 1957, p.17130 Exodus 3:14; Revelation 1:431 Genesis 1:1, 2, and 27
  21. 21. 21 Exodus 20:2-3 is the seed of this knowledge surrounding Yahweh our united GODs. Holy! Holy! Holy! Amen, amen, and amen.
  22. 22. 22 BibliographyAndersen, Francis I.; Forbes, A. Dean: A Systematic Glossary to the Andersen-ForbesAnalysis of the Hebrew Bible. Logos Bible Software, 2006; 2006Bickersteth, Edward Henry: The Trinity. Grand Rapid, MI: Kregel Publications, 1957Brown, Francis; Driver, Samuel Rolles; Briggs, Charles Augustus: Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. electronic ed. Oak Harbor, WA: LogosResearch Systems, 2000.Childs, Brevard S.: The Book of Exodus. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The WestminsterPress, 1976, c1974.Durham, John I.: Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 3, Exodus. Waco, Texas: WordBooks, Publisher, 1987Enns, Paul P.: The Moody Handbook of Theology. Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press, 1997,c1989.Girdlestone, Robert Baker: Synonyms of the Old Testament: Their Bearing on ChristianDoctrine. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1998Harris, R. Laird; Harris, Robert Laird; Archer, Gleason Leonard; Waltke, Bruce K.:Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. electronic ed. Chicago: Moody Press, 1999,c1980.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_(grammatical_number)#cite_note-0LaSor, William Sanford: Handbook of Biblical Hebrew Volume 2. Grand Rapids,Michigan: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1979.Morrey, Robert: The Trinity: Evidences and Issues. Iowa Fall, IA: World BiblePublishers, Inc., 1996Robinson, H. Wheeler: Corporate Personality in Ancient Israel. Philadelphia: FortressPress, 1980, c1964.Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, s.v.Smith, Stelman; Cornwall, Judson: The Exhaustive Dictionary of Bible Names. NorthBrunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos, 1998.Smith, W. Robinson: Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia. Cambridge University Press,1885.
  23. 23. 23Strong, James: The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible: Showing Every Word of theText of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence ofEach Word in Regular Order. electronic ed. Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1996Swanson, James: Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains: Hebrew(Old Testament). electronic ed. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997, S.DBLH 337, #4Willmington, H. L.: Willmingtons Bible Handbook. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale HousePublishers, 1997.www.BlueLetterBible.orgZuck, Roy B.: A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Electronic ed. Chicago: MoodyPress, 1991; Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1996.

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