The Names Of God: Elohim

Day 2 of 3 • This day’s reading


The name Elohim reveals God’s personhood. “Elohim” is, in the Hebrew language, the plural of the singular word for God, “El.” The name Elohim thus signifies a plurality of persons within this one powerful creator God. 

In Genesis 1:1, it is Elohim who creates the heavens and the earth. In Genesis 1:2, the Spirit of God is also mentioned as being active in creation, as it moves over the surface of the waters. 

The Gospel of John likewise instructs us that when God spoke the worlds into existence, the “Word” ordering creation was actually Christ who was with God in the beginning. All things came into being through Him (John 1:2-3). As the apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Colossians, 

“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth…all things have been created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16). 

What the plural name Elohim reveals to us is the Trinitarian definition of God as the one God, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. What this means for creation is that at the root of the personhood or identity of God is a being who has eternally existed in relationship and community. When this Trinitarian God then forms the crowning achievement of His creation and the mirror image of His own identity as a man, God creates him for community: “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).