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?

VIDEO: a video of me searching the Hebrew Bible with the LOGOS Bible software (version 7) for:

  • all occurrences of elohim in the Hebrew Bible;
  • all the places where elohim is the subject of a verb (generally)
  • all the places where elohim could legitimately be translated as a plural because of the verb form (i.e., all the places where elohim is the grammatical subject of a plural predicator); NOTE: I have written a peer-reviewed journal article on this construction, showing that, in all cases where elohim has plural predication something else in the grammatical context indicates that the singular God of Israel is still in view. The exception is where a pagan (non-Israelite) is speaking about "elohim" -- in which case there may be plurality in view.
  • 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.

: The comparison of the verb searches show how seldom elohim takes a plural verb form, relative to its total uses as a grammatical subject of a verb.