The Meaning Of Elohim In Hebrew

Curious about the meaning of Elohim in Hebrew? It is a fascinating word to learn about. Translated into English, the word is "god" (capital or lowercase "g"), and oddly enough can refer to either Yahweh God, or to humans. After reading this article, you will have a clearer understanding of what Elohim means in Hebrew, and how that affects us as sons and daughters of the supreme Elohim.

What Elohim Means

The root word of "Elohim" is "El," and is used numerous times in the Scriptures to refer to Yahweh God. This root word is composed of two letters: Aleph (Hebrew א) and Lamed (Hebrew ל). The word "El" in Hebrew represents the idea of "one who is strong and has authority," or "a strong one with great authority." Anyone can arrive at this conclusion by studying the context of the passages in the Bible that use the word. What's also fascinating to know is the meaning behind the Hebrew letters of the word.

The original Hebrew symbol for the letter aleph is a symbol of an ox head. Logically, it represents strength, force, power. The original Hebrew symbol for the letter Lamed looks like a J, and is a symbol of the shepherd's staff. The staff represents the shepherd of a flock, who has authority over the sheep who are entrusted to him.

So, together, aleph and lamed come together to form the idea of "strong authority" or "a strong one who has authority." Neat symbolism, isn't it? English (Roman) letters carry no significance today, but in ancient Biblical times, each Hebrew letter/icon conveyed a special meaning. So we get get a better grasp of ancient Hebrew words by studying the letters that compose the root words.

From the root word "El" comes the word "Eloha" (translated into English as "god"), and the plural form "Elohim" (translated into English as God or gods).

Yahweh is Elohim

There are plenty of places in the Scriptures where Yahweh is referred to as "Elohim," but why is the plural form used? There are several ideas that seek to answer that question.

One perspective says that using the plural form better represents the threefold nature of Yahweh: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Another perspective says that using the plural form represents a higher form of strength, implying that God is the "strongest one with the most authority."

Both ideas make sense to me personally, because God is a triune entity, and he is more powerful than any other being that has power.

Humans are Elohim

I was completely blown away when I discovered that humans are sometimes referred to as "elohim" in the Scriptures. Take Psalm 82:6 as an example: "I said, 'You are gods [elohim], all of you are sons of the Most High.'"

"How could a human have the same title as the Almighty?" I initially thought. But the reason I didn't understand is that I didn't know what "Elohim" actually means in Hebrew. Plus, I thought that Elohim was God's personal name, but it isn't. It is actually one of his titles or descriptors.

After discovering that God's individual name is actually "Yahweh," and that anyone who has strength and is in a position of authority can be called an "Eloha," it all made sense.


To wrap it all up, we've discovered that the meaning of Elohim in Hebrew is "one who is strong and has authority," and that the word is sometimes used to refer to God, and other times it refers to humans. How will this knowledge affect the way you live your life? Does it encourage you to know that are a strong one who has authority? How can you use this God-given power and authority to bless God and build his kingdom?
About The AuthorJonathan Hostetler lives in southern Pennsylvania. He grew up in a strong Christian family, dedicated his life completely to Jesus at the age of 9, experienced a spiritual breakthrough at the age of 15, and is now in his mid twenties, joyfully serving Yahweh and sharing Yahweh's message of salvation and hope both on the internet and in person.
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