Article of the Month
There are a
number of Hebrew and Greek words which refer to God.
Some of them are not exclusive to the Father —
words like EL and ELOHIM which can and do also refer to
But there are a very limited number of words
which exclusively refer to THE ONE AND ONLY supreme God
of the universe.
One of these terms is “El Shaddai.”
The term is
usually thought to mean “The Almighty.”
This is close to correct; but it lacks an
important ingredient in the meaning.
In the Greek, “Pantokrator” is the word for
And this Greek word does seem only to mean “Almighty.”
It is used exclusively for the Father.
But “El Shaddai” has a nuanced meaning which very
much helps a Christian more appreciate his Heavenly
17:1, God introduces Himself to Abram (later Abraham) by
saying, “I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be
“Almighty God” in this verse is “El Shaddai.”
Genesis 17:1 is the first place in the Bible in
which we encounter this Hebrew word.
comes from a Hebrew word meaning “the breast.”
“Shaddai,” then, implies “The Breasted” — in the
sense that God is THE NOURISHER of His followers.
It is not that He is not “The Almighty” (as
Strong’s Concordance defines the word), but that He is
The expanded meaning is so much more satisfying
than the definition which only stresses His power.
God, by this term, portrays Himself as the
Nourisher, the Strength-Giver, the Satisfier Who
pours Himself into the lives of believers.
The term “The
All-Sufficient” would better characterize the meaning of
this special term for God.
He is sufficient for us in every and all
circumstances we may face.
Not only does He have All-Power, but He uses it
to nourish our experiences for our growth in Christ.
Thus the word not only tells us what God is,
but also what He does with what He is.
6:2, 3 we find two names exclusive to our Father.
In addition to “El Shaddai,” we find “Jehovah.”
Jehovah is a word invented by English translators
to represent the Hebrew word, “Yahweh” — a name
considered so sacred to Jews that they do not pronounce
translators, not willing to deprive God of this name in
their English translations, invented “Jehovah” as a
substitute they hoped would find acceptance.
Yahweh) literally means “He is becoming what He is
God is entirely too big to be contained in a static
name. So He
names Himself with an on-going form of the verb
“to be.” He
is perpetually (eternally and forever) becoming
new to us as His plans throughout eternity are revealed
to us all.
It is the perfect name for Him.
It has no boundaries!
Based on its meaning, Jesus teaches that it is an
eternity to know God.
6:2, 3, we read, “God spake unto Moses and said unto
him, I am Jehovah; and I appeared unto Abraham, unto
Isaac, and unto Jacob by the name of El Shaddai; but by
My name Jehovah was I not known to them.”
Thus the SUFFICIENCY of God was known to the
Patriarchs before the SELF-EXISTING, PERPETUALLY
CREATIVE nature of God was introduced via Moses, whose
writings began to unveil the unfolding Plan of God for
all ages to come.
The lesson to
take from this article is the comfort message from this
one particular name for God:
He is the One Who is All-Sufficient for us in
We need no one else.
His power is there not just to be there, but to
work effectively on our behalf.
Time will reveal this for all creation.
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