Zecharia Sitchin's Errors on "Elohim"
Zecharia Sitchin is Jewish. I would imagine that he speaks Hebrew. However, when it comes to biblical Hebrew, he apparently doesn't know Hebrew grammar. Sound crazy? Think about it. You know English; you're reading it now, and you speak it. But could you successfully diagram the sentences in this paragraph? Could you explain all the verb tenses? Could you give me the grammatical relationships of all the prepositional phrases to the verbs which they modify? Could you explain all the subject-verb relationships? I hope you get the point. Grammatical analysis -- which is essential for correct translation -- is not the same as being a speaker of the language. If there were no difference, we wouldn't have English classes in middle school, high school, and college.
Let's apply this to the Hebrew Bible and Sitchin's comments about elohim. Contrary to what Sitchin says, elohim does *not* always mean "gods" (plural); the meaning of the term is to be determined by grammatical and contextual clues. Grammar is to language what your graphical internet browser is to the websites on the internet - it is the organizing vehicle that gives meaning to the data -bits of information. As you'll see below through the PDFs and the videos, this is very easily demonstrated. Grammar dictates the formation of words, the relationship of words to each other, and the meaning of those words with respect to that arrangement. Without attention to the rules of grammar that have governed the languages of ancient texts, you can make the texts say anything.
The PDF files below illustrate (from the Hebrew) that elohim often refers to a "god" or "God" (proper name). Besides this evidence from the Hebrew Bible, I have also posted examples from ancient Mesopotamian texts (Akkadian) from the famous El-Amarna texts where the plural word for "gods" ('ilanu) refers to a single person or god - just as in the case of Hebrew elohim. Why is Sitchin unaware of this material?
- Comments on the noun elohim
- Akkadian 'ilanu as a plural-formed word referring to a singular individual.
VIDEO 1: a video of me searching the Hebrew Bible with the LOGOS Bible software for:
- all occurrences of elohim in the Hebrew Bible;
- all the places where elohim is demonstrated as singular through the grammar of subject-verb agreement;
- all the places where elohim could legitimately be translated as a plural because of the verb;
- all the places in the Hebrew Bible where the word elohim
is identified as Yahweh–the singular God of Israel–showing that
elohim is singular for context reasons.
- (18.2 MB; 11:27 time)
- PDFs accompanying Video 1
- All occurrences of elohim in the Hebrew Bible (results in Hebrew); 251 pages; 2.5 MB; 2,601 occurrences, 99%+ are singular by grammar or context.
- Elohim as the subject of a singular predicator (results in Hebrew and English)
- Elohim as the subject of a plural verb form (results in Hebrew and English)
- YHWH coupled with elohim to show elohim is singular in context
VIDEO 2: a video of me doing a search for where elohim is the subject of a verb of creation. I go through all the results and each time the God of Israel is the elohim referred to, the verbs are SINGULAR. No, Genesis 1:26-27 doesn’t have plural gods creating humankind. (21 MB; 14:46)