Appendixes A B C


Appendix A


The following section consists of some secular and authoritative writings that will shed more light on the subject of the Shekinah. Please read all of the material with an open mind and heart and you will see how the Spirit of Prophecy backs up most of these opinions and theories. Let the Shekinah reveal Herself to you. You must be as a little child if you wish to behold your Mother.

THE HEBREW GODDESS, THE SHEKHINAH

"The Hebrew term shekhinah (lit. "dwelling, resting") first appears in early rabbinic literature, referring to the divine presence in the Jerusalem Temple, in Palestine, among the people of Israel, and more generally, within the world. It also signifies an intermediate aspect or emanation of divinity that links the divine realm to the realm of creation. Finally, in a number of medieval mystical texts, the term shekhinah represents the divine hypostasized in feminine form.

AS CONVEYOR OF THE DIVINE PRESENCE

Although the verb shakhan ("dwell") can be found in the Bible, the first occurrence of its noun derivative, shekhinah, is in the targum Oneklos, an Aramaic translation-paraphrase of the Hebrew Bible written sometime between the first and fourth centuries CE. Here, biblical anthropomorphisms that seem to compromise Jewish belief in the incorporeality of God are explained away through the substitution of the shekhinah or God's shekhinah for God. Hence, "I dwell among them" (Num. 5:3) becomes, in the Targum, "My shekhinah dwells among them"; "You cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live" (Ex. 33:20) is paraphrased "You cannot see the face of my shekhinah"; and so on. In the Targum of Onkelos, as in other Targums, the word shekhinah ....is simply an abstract noun, grammatically feminine ...used to convey God's presence in the world and among his people Israel.

Early rabbinic references to the shekhinah associate it with the Tabernacle erected to God in the wilderness. According to such sources as Genesis Rabbah 3.9 and Shabbat 87b of the Babylonian Talmud, God sought to dwell in the universe from the very first day of creation, yet he did not do so until the Tabernacle was built. Once this was accomplished, his shekhinah - God's presence - came to rest within it. Similarly, the shekhinah is said to abide on Mount Sinai (B.T., Sot. 5a) and later, in the Jerusalem Temple (Ex. Rab. 2.2). The shekhinah, then, is associated with specific objects or places, all of which are bound up in Israel's history as a people chosen by God.

The shekhinah is said to rest only on those who are righteous, departing from those who sin B.T., Sot. 3b, Yoma' 22b) and refusing to rest on those who are indolent, gloomy, or frivolous (B.T., Pes. 117a). According to the Babylonian Talmud, the shekhinah further disassociates itself from scoffers, slanderers, hypocrites, and liars (San. 103b). The removal of the shekhinah from the sinner led some rabbis to maintain that with the destruction of the First Temple, brought about by the sins of Israel, the shekhinah departed from the world. Hence, the shekhinah was not present in the Second Temple as it had been in the First. Others, however, claim that the shekhinah was present, though intermittently.... Later following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, it came to rest in a number of synagogues in Babylonia. It is also considered present in all places where a minyan (a quorum of ten men are gathered in prayer) has been established (B.T., Ber. 6a). Finally, as Megillah 29a of the Babylonian Talmud maintains, it is present wherever the Jewish people are, even in exile, and in the future will be with them when they are redeemed. God's presence, in other words, may depart from certain types of persons but not from Israel as a whole.

Yet despite this frequent association of shekhinah not only with the people of Israel but with specific persons and places, the Talmud claims that God and his shekhinah are everywhere. The shekhinah, then, despite its coming into the world on account of Israel, does not only dwell among its people. It is omnipresent. As Sanhedrin 39a rhetorically asks, if the sun, one of God's servants, shines upon the whole world, how much more must the shekhinah of God himself shine?

AS INTERMEDIATE ASPECT OF DIVINITY

With belief in God's transcendence creating a sense of distance between God and His creations, the word shekhinah came to be understood as an intermediate aspect of divinity, a concept that is most fully developed in Jewish mystical literature. Yet with even nonmystical rabbinic sources, shekhinah serves as more than a theologically acceptable substitute for God. It becomes a means of emphasizing the immanence or indwelling of God both in the world and among his people.

In the Targum, as in the Talmud and Midrash, and numerous medieval mystical texts, shekhinah becomes equated with kavod ("glory" of God), heir to the Biblical "cloud of glory" that dwelt in the sanctuary as a visible manifestation of the presence of God (Num. 9-10). The Targum further associates the Hebrew shekhinah with the Aramaic memra' ("word") although, as Joshua Abelson (1912) maintains, memra' (like the Greek logos) goes beyond shekhinah to signify divine wisdom, power, love and justice. In the Talmud, shekhinah further becomes associated with ruah ha-qodesh ("the holy spirit"). Both serve as expressions of God's nearness in relation ship to Israel and the world . Both are also used in particular connection with outstanding personalities and with the gift of prophecy. Thus, the shekhinah is said to rest on men who are wise, strong, tall, and wealthy. Certain talmudic sages are also singled out as worthy of having the shekhinah rest upon them. So, in former times, were the prophets, those who spoke "by the Holy Spirit" and upon whom the shekhinah was said to rest (B.T., Yoma' 9b San. 11a, B.B. 15b).

According to the rabbis, the shekhinah maintained an especially close relationship with Moses. It was with him from his infancy through adulthood (B.T., Sof. 11a, 12b; San. 11a), continually speaking to him. Consequently, Moses separated himself from his wife so as always to be ready for the shekhinah (B.T., Yev. 62a, Shab. 87a). Raphael Patai (1967) speculates that a third-century synagogue mural from Dura-Europos (in southeastern Syria), depicting the infant Moses in the arms of an unnamed woman, does not show Moses with the Iranian goddess Anahita, as Erwin R. Goodenough suggests in his Jewish Symbols of the Graeco-Roman Period (New York, 1964), but rather with the shekhinah. Although one cannot dismiss the possibility that the figure may only represent Pharoah's daughter, should Patai's claim be true, the Dura-Europos mural takes on special significance as the earliest extant depiction of the shekhinah as feminine in physical form. Testifying to the influence of Hellenistic art on the Jews of that community, it predates Jewish literary descriptions of the shekhinah as a feminine figure by approximately eight hundred years.

Yet even in the Talmud and Midrash, the shekhinah takes on certain personifications. Like the Holy Spirit (Ghost), it is often described as light or fire. An example of "fire that eats fire" (B.T., Yoma' 21b), its light more radiant than that of the sun, shines upon the righteous in heaven (B.T., San. 39a, Hul. 60a, B.B., 10a). In addition, again like the Holy Spirit (Ghost), the shekhinah is associated with sound. Thus, for example, in Lamentations Rabbah, the shekhinah verbally despairs over the Israelites' unwillingness to repent. Similarly, it utters cries of grief over the deaths of the wicked and the righteous (B.T., Hag. 15b). In a number of rabbinic passages, the shekhinah is described as having wings. Proselytes are particularly singled out as those entering under the protective wings of the shekhinah (B.T. Yev. 48b, Shab. 31a). As George Foot Moore maintains in his two-volume study Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era (Cambridge, 1927-1930), these other personifications often give the rabbinic shekhinah a "semblance of personality." It is this personality that is expounded upon and given deeper significance in numerous mystical texts.

Gershom Scholem, in Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941), points out that in Jewish mystical literature the shekhinah serves as a reminder not of God's immanence but of his remoteness from the world of creation. Though Scholem acknowledges a connection between these conceptions, in medieval Jewish mysticism the shekhinah takes on significance as an intermediate figure between God-who remains remote and unknowable- and the lower, material realm of being. The role of the shekhinah here is analogous to that assumed by angels in Qabbalah (twelfth- through sixteenth-century Jewish mysticism) and merkavah mysticism (a mystical tradition roughly dating from the first century BCE through the tenth century CE) and by the Demiurge, the divine creator, who stands in contrast to the "true" God, again, in the merkavah tradition. According to Scholem, merkavah visionaries exercised a kind of "mystical anthropomorphism" in order to maintain that the Demiurge was in effect God appearing on the throne of glory, visible, and yet, because of his transcendent nature, unable really to be seen.

In the thirteenth century Zohar and other early qabbalistic texts, creation occurs through a series of ten male and female sefirot ("emanations") that emerge from the hidden God, who is Ein Sof (lit., "endless, infinite"). Shekhinah is here identified with the feminine Malkhut ("kingdom"), the lowest of the ten sefirot and, consequently, the one closest to creation itself. While Patai and others have compared the shekhinah to the Virgin Mary of medieval Catholicism, this comparison is superficial. Both appear as feminine figures who help forge a link between God and the material world....To the qabbalists knowing the shekhinah might bring about greater vision, but nothing could bridge the infinite gulf between the mystic and the hidden God.

AS DIVINE HYPOSTASIS

Alongside the view of the shekhinah as one of many feminine emanations of divinity appears a vision of Shekhinah personified as the feminine form of God. Indeed, as Scholem writes in On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism(New York, 1965), by the thirteenth century the Shekhinah had emerged as a "quasi-independent feminine element" within God, envisioned as queen, princess, bride, and "Matrona," or lady. This conception of the Shekhinah contains a vivid eroticism that enables human sexuality to serve as a mirror of divine structure. Here, the ninth emanation of God, Yesod ("foundation"), together with all of the higher emanations, forms a male image of the celestial bridegroom or king. The union of the king with his bride, Shekhinah (the tenth emanation), produces what Scholem calls a "procreative life force," a force dynamically active in the world of creation (Scholem, 1961, p.227).

One further finds in qabbalistic literature the identification of the Shekhinah with the mystical community of Israel. Going beyond the early rabbinic depiction of the shekhinah in exile as conveyor of divine presence, one here sees human actions mirrored in a separate divine realm, with the Shekhinah experiencing on the divine level what the Jews experience historically. Thus she too is said to have gone into exile following the destruction of the Second Temple, causing the feminine and the masculine elements of God to be alienated from one another. In the Zohar, the Shekhinah appears in this context not only as queen, bride, and daughter, but also as mother, likened to the biblical Rachel, who weeps for her children. According to Scholem, the Shekhinah of the Zohar becomes a symbol of "eternal womanhood." as such, she assumes countless images and names.

AS THE DIVINE FEMININE

In Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, Scholem credits the concept of the Shekhinah as the feminine element of God with being one of the most significant and lasting innovations of qabbalistic literature. He maintains that its widespread popular recognition is evidence of its having responded to a "deep-seated religious need" among the Jewish people. Indeed, despite the theological problems that the mystical vision of the Shekhinah created by calling into question in reality if not in theory the absolute unity of God, the popularity of this feminine concept of deity continued at least through the seventeenth century.

Arthur Green (in Heschel, 1983) suggests that the Shekhinah of medieval Qabbalah raises two important questions for contemporary Jewry. (1) Are both men and women in need of a feminine image of the divine, and if so, what role does this image play? (2) Can the image of the Shekhinah, created exclusively by a male community, be appropriated by those Jewish women who have begun to re-image the divine as feminine out of conviction that they too have been created in the image of God? While Green seems to believe that a "truly feminine [Jewish] spirituality" might begin by reexamining and possibly appropriating early feminine images of deity that were later rejected by the tradition, drawing upon images from other religious traditions, or creating new images altogether. Some have begun to alter traditional blessings from "Baruk attah Adonai" (Blessed are you, O Lord") to "Barukhah Yah Shekhinah" ("Blessed are you , Shekhinah"); others however reject the use of the shekhinah as an image, claiming that it reveals more about men's concepts of womanhood than it does about divinity itself."

The preceding section on the Shekhinah was taken from the article written by Ellen M. Umansky for the section under Shekhinah in The Encyclopedia of Religions, pages 236-238.


Appendix B


THE SABBATH

"The SABBATH, to which we now turn our attention, is an exceptional figure among the female divinities of Judaism. The SABBATH is a unique example of a day of the week -- or more precisely, the name and idea of such a day -- having been developed into a female nomen and endowed with the character of virgin, bride, queen, and goddess...

"If because of the Sabbath you turn away your foot

From pursuing business on My holy day,

If you call the Sabbath a delight,

And God's holy and honored day,

If you honor it by not following your way

And by not seeking your business

Nor speaking thereof -

Then you will find delight in Yahweh,

And I shall feed you with the heritage

Of your father Jacob

For the mouth of Yahweh has spoken." -- Isaiah 58:13,14

"The character and laws of the Biblical Sabbath are validated by the myth of Creation: God created the world in six days, and on the seventh, the Sabbath, He rested; He blessed and sanctified it, and consequently it is the duty of every Israelite to do likewise and to refrain from all work on that holy day...

"The number seven, Philo points out, is the only one in the 'decade' (i.e., the first ten digits) which is neither produced by multiplication with any other number nor produces one within the decade if multiplied by another...

"This rich symbolism of the number seven is transferred by Philo in its entirety to the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath. We are left in doubt as to whether this application was the idea of Philo himself or whether it originated with others. One of the two passages in which Philo discusses the symbolism of the Sabbath is explicitly stated to be a mere recording of what others have invented; the other is phrased so as to indicate that it contains original thoughts of his own on the subject. In the first he says:

"Some have given to it (the seventh day, the Sabbath) the same name of the virgin, having before their eyes its surpassing chastity. They also call her the motherless, begotten by the father of the universe alone (who is) the ideal form of the male sex with nothing of the female. It (seven) is the manliest and doughtiest of numbers, well gifted by nature for sovereignty and leadership. Some give it the name of 'season' ('decisive time'), judging its conceptual nature from its manifestation in the realm of sense... For seven reveals as completed what six has produced, and therefore it may be quite rightly entitled the birthday of the world...

"Sabbath as the motherless, chase virgin does not, of course, jibe well with the excellences of the day marked by seven, 'the manliest and doughtiest of numbers'; but as to the sovereignty and leadership which Philo also attributes to the Sabbath, these -- as we know from his speculations about the two Cherubim -- he regarded as traits of the FEMALE component of the deity. In the passage in which Philo presents these ideas as his own, he indulges in an even less restrained sexual symbolism:

"The prophet (Moses) magnified the holy seventh day, seeing with his keener vision its marvelous beauty stamped upon heaven and the whole world, and enshrined in nature itself. For he found that SHE (the Sabbath) was in the first place motherless, exempt from female parentage, begotten by the Father (YHWH) alone, without begetting, brought to the birthyet not carried in the womb (this is the Divine Mother who was brought forth from the Almighty). Secondly, he (Moses) saw not only these, that she was all lovely and motherless, but that she was also a virgin, neither born of a mother nor a mother herself, neither bred from corruption nor doomed to suffer corruption. Thirdly, as he scanned her, he recognized in her the birthday of the world, a feast celebrated by heaven, celebrated by earth and things on earth as they rejoice and exult in the full harmony of the sacred number...

"The Sabbath is described as a daughter of Godbegotten by her Father alone without the participation of any female, and therefore motherless. She is marvelous in her beauty, ever virginal, incorruptible, but, at one and the same time, endowed with sovereignty and leadership. In these features, we shall recognize without difficulty some of the traits which also characterized other female numina of the Talmudic and Kabbalistic periods.

"...in addition to all the legalistic detail, there is one single passage in the Talmudic literature which indicates that the personification of the Sabbath as a bride and a queen dates back to Talmudic times...

"The common feature between the Talmud's and Philo's view of the Sabbath is that both personify her as a WOMAN: Philo makes her the virgin daughter of God, who is also the sovereign and ruler of the world; the talmud presents her as the bride of Israel and a queen...

"The Sabbath (7th day) descended from Heaven to the earth on Friday at the ninth hour (and remained) until Sunday at the rising of the sun so that the earth might see the deeds of the Sabbath...

"The personification of the Sabbath is a strong element also in another Falasha writing, the so-called Abba Elijah. In it we read that God gave the Sabbath the following names: Luminous, Glorified, Honored, Beautiful, Resuscitating, Rejoicing, Beloved, and Guardian; and that the name Sabbath itself means 'I Am God alone'...

"As might be expected, the Iaconic Talmudic allusions to the Sabbath as bride and queen were seized upon by the Kabbalists and developed into a Sabbath mythologem, upon which then was built one of their most important mystical rituals. Although the peak of the Sabbath adoration was reached only in the 16th century in the Safed center of the Palestinian Kabbalists, the trend towards it was heralded as early as the 12th century in both poetic and doctrinal exposition...

"'The children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath' -- this refers to the night, the mystery of the female; and 'Remember the Sabbath day' refers to the day, the mystery of the male.'

" The feminine Sabbath is, moreover, mystically identified with the Shekhina, or the Sephira of Kingship, while the male Sabbath is the Yesod ('Foundation') or Tif'eret ('Beauty'), i.e., the male aspect of the deity. Since the Shekhina is also identified with the Community of Israel, in this manner the Shekhina becomes the bride, or mate, of the Sabbath Yesod.

If we recall that Philo already had discerned a 'manly and doughty' aspect in the Sabbath, in addition to her feminine aspects of virginity, beauty, and sovereignty, we find that the Kabbalistic distinction between a male and a female Sabbath is, again, an idea which has its roots in antiquity.

"Elsewhere the Zohar describes the preparations one is supposed to make for reception of the Sabbath, the queen and bride, in proper fashion...

"With the Sabbath, a queenly visitor entered even the humblest abode, which, due to her presence, was transformed into a royal palace, with the table set, the candles burning, and the wine waiting. The mistress of the house became mysteriously identified with the Queen Sabbath, who wasalso identical to the Shekhinah, the divine Matronit, God's own consort. As for the master of the house, he felt his chest swell and his consciousness expand due to the 'additional soul' which came down from on high to inhabit his body for the duration of the Sabbath. All these supernal presences made man and wife feel part of the great spiritual world order in which every act and word was fraught with cosmic significance, and in which the supreme command of the day was 'Rejoice!'"

OTHER FEMININE TERMS

"...the 'Word,'...also had a Greek counterpart in Logos; the 'Daughter Voice (Bat Qol)', through whom God's will was made audible on earth; the law ( Torah), God's beloved whom He made the bride of Moses; the Earth ( Adamah), considered in the literal sense the mother of all living; theMother City, and especially Zion, regarded as the mother of the people; and her counterpart, the Daughter of Zion, who represented theMother's children, the people of Israel. All these were PERSONIFIED, ALL were FEMALE, and all partook, to a greater or lesser extent, of a numinous character." -- Excerpts by Raphael Patai, The Hebrew Goddess, (New York, Avon Books, 1978), Chapter VIII, "The Sabbath -- Virgin, Bride, Queen, and Goddess."

The Sabbath(s), as we can see from the above excerpts, has a twofold aspect of being male and female. It also has a two fold aspect of being referred to as a mother and a daughter, each begotten from a male being (Father). Both the Divine Mother and the Divine Daughter came forth from Their respective male counterparts as Eve did from her male counterpart, Adam. Therefore, it is correct to say that they were begotten by their respective male counterparts (not by their father) and that they were motherless. The Almighty brought forth His Divine Presence as His Shekhinah Glory was manifested. The Fahter then begat the Son through the bosom of the Divine Mother. The Son, the Expressed Image of the Father, in turn, manifested His own Shekhinah Glory and Second Self, the Divine Daughter. Both the Divine Mother and the Divine Daughter you could say were motherless, since they were not birthed as the Son was, but rather manifested as Eve was.

The Sabbath is the Seal of the Creator and the Re-Creator. The Shekhinah is the Queen, Bride, Matronit of the Sabbath, and Yeshua is the King, Bridegroom and Lord of the Sabbath. Each time we say S ABBA TH we call out, ABBA - Father. And Each time we call out AB-BA, we are saying AB - Father, but we also call BA - Mother. They are Images of One Another; you can't have One without the Other. So in the name SABBATH we have a male and female aspect depicting our Creator and Re-Creator, our Father and Mother, Yeshua and Yeshuw'ah, Who are the Images of Their Father and Mother. When we accept and keep the Sabbath holy we receive the SIGN of the Creator Yeshua and we rest in His Salvation Yeshuw'ah, the Other Creator, the Other Comforter (Parent), the Other Messiah, the Shekhinah, the Other Member of the Divine Family. We must keep the Sabbath in and through the Holy Spirit. When we give ourselves completely over to Yeshua and the Holy Shekhinah, this is our true rest. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Yeshua the Messiah) has set me free from the law of sin and death."


Appendix C


THE NAMES OF GOD

'EI 'Elyon. The Hebrew word 'Elyon is an adjective meaning "higher, upper," e.g., the "upper" pool (lsa. 7:3), the "upper" gate (11 Kings 15:35), and "highest," e.g., the "highest" of all the kings of the earth (Ps. 89:28). When used in reference to God, the word can rightly be translated as " Most High." Since in reference to God 'elyon is never preceded by the article ha- ("the"), it must have been regarded as a proper noun, a name of God. Thus, it can be used as a divine name meaning " the Most High" (e.g., Deut. 32:8; Isa. 14:14; Ps. 9:3) or in parallelism with YHWH (e.g., Ps. 18:14; 21:8; 83:19), EI (Num. 24:16; Ps. 107:11), and Shaddai (Ps. 91:1).

Among the Canaanites, ' EI and ' Elyon were originally distinct deities, the former attested by archaeological evidence from Ugarit in Western Syria, the latter by evidence from Phoenicia further south. Later, both terms were combined to designate a single god 'EI 'Elyon. In the *Tell el-Amarna Letters of the 15th-14th centuries B.C.E., the Canaanites called 'EI Elyon " the lord of the gods." According to Genesis 14:19-20, Melchizedek, king of Salem, was "a priest of God Most High [ El 'Elyon]," and he blessed Abraham by " God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth." Abraham accepted the title "Most High" as merely descriptive of his own Godhe swore by " YHWH, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth." The combined form 'EI Elyon occurs also in the Aramaic *Sefire inscriptions of the eighth century B.C.E. (See Pope, EI in the Ugaritic Texts (1955), 54ff.) and in later Greek inscriptions as Zeus HypsistosWhereas for the pagans the term referred to the god who was supreme over the other gods, in Israel it referred to the transcendent nature of the one true God.

'EI 'Olam. According to Genesis 2l:33, "Abraham planted a tamarisk at Beer-Sheba, and invoked there the name of YHWH, the everlasting God." The Hebrew for " the everlasting God" is 'el 'olam, literally, " the God of an indefinitely long time." Perhaps it was the title of EI as worshiped at the local shrine of Beer-Sheba (cf. EI Bethel, "the EI of Bethel," in Gen. 35:7). Then Abraham would have accepted this Canaanite term as descriptive of his true God. In any case, the epithet is logical in the context, which concerns a pact meant for all times. The term by which Abraham invokedYHWH at Beer-Sheba is apparantly echoed in lsaiah 40:28, where YHWH is called " the Everlasting God [ 'elohei 'olam], the Creator of the ends of the earth" (cf. Jer. 10:10, melekh 'olam, " the everlasting King"; Isa. 26:4, zur 'olamim, " an everlasting Rock"). In Deuteronomy 33:27, where " the ancient God" ( 'elohei gedem) parallels " the everlasting arms" ( zero'ot 'olam), the text is uncertain. Only in the late passage of Daniel I2:7 (probably translated from Aramaic) is the article used with 'olam. "The man clothed in linen... swore by Him that liveth for ever ( be-hei ha-'olam)."

'EI Shaddai. According to the literary source of the Pentateuch that the critics call the "Priestly Document," YHWH "appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as EI Shaddai" (Ex. 6:3). The traditional English rendering of the obscure Hebrew term ' EI Shaddai as " God Almighty" goes back to ancient times. The Septuagint renders Shaddai as Pantokrator, " All-powerful"; this is followed by the Vulgate's Omnipotens, " Omnipotent." Apparently, this rendering is based on an ancient rabbinic interpretationsha, "who," and dai, "enough," i.e., " He who is self-sufficient" (e.g., Hag. 12a); thus, the Jewish translators Aquila and Symmachus in the early centuries C.E. translated shaddai by Greek hikanos, "sufficient, able." But this definition can hardly be taken as the true etymology of the termNo fully satisfactory explanation of it has yet been accepted by all scholars. The term is usually explained as a cognate of the Akkadian word sadu', "mountain," but not in the sense that ' EI Shaddai would mean "God the Rock" (cf. zur, " Rock," an epithet of God, e.g., Deut. 32:4, 30, 37).

Rather, 'EI Shaddai would mean "' El-of-the-Mountain," i.e., of the cosmic mountain, the abode of 'El; for the Patriarchs the term would mean " the God of Heaven." The ending -ai of shaddai would be adjectival, as in Ugaritic 'rsy (to be vocalized 'arsai), "She of the Earth," the name of one of the three daughters of the Ugaritic 'EI. It may be objected that Akkadian sadu should be cognate with Hebrew sadeh, "open field"; and that therefore in Hebrew the divine name should have been 'EI Saddai. It is possible, however, that the Patriarchs brought the term with them from Mesopotamia, and thus preserved the Akkadian shift of original 's to `s in this word, contrary to the correct Hebrew distinction between original 's and s`. Or, perhaps, Akkadian `sadu is not cognate with Hebrew sadeh, but with Hebrew shad, " breast," which comes from proto-Semitic tadthe semantic development from rounded "breasts" to "hills" and "mountains" would not be impossible. Although no Ugaritic equivalent of 'EI Shaddaihas yet been found, in the Ugaritic poem about Baal and Anath (11 AB, iv-v:23-24, in Pritchard Texts, 131-3) it is said that Asherah "penetrates the dd [ mountain?] of EI and enters the pavilion of King Father Shunem [ or the King, the Father Or Years?]."

In the Bible the full name, 'EI Shaddai, is used only in connection with Abraham (Gen. 17:1), Isaac (Gen. 28:3), and Jacob (Gen. 35:11; 43:14; 48:3). The word Shaddai alone occurs as God's name in the ancient oracles of Balaam (Num. 24:4, 16), in poetic passages (lsa. 13:6; Ezek. 1:24; Joel 1:15; Ps. 68:15; 91:1; and 31 times in Job), and even in archaizing prose (Ruth 1:20-21). Moreover, Shaddai is an element in very ancient Israelite names, such as Ammishaddai ("My Kinsman is Shaddai"; Num. 1:12) and Zurishaddai ("My Rock is Shaddai"; Num. 1:6).

'EI Ro'i. The divine name 'EI Ro'i occurs in Genesis 16:13. After Hagar was driven away by Sarai (Sarah) and fled into the western Negev, at a certain spring or well she had a vision of God, "and she called YHWH who spoke to her, ' You are 'EI Ro'i,'" The meaning of the word " Ro'i" in this context is obscure. By itself it can be either a noun, "appearance" (I Sam. 16:12), "spectacle, gazingstock" (Nah. 3:6), or a participle with a suffx of the first person singular, "seeing me," i.e., who sees me (Job 7:8). Therefore, 'EI Ro'i could mean either " the God of Vision" (who showed Himself to me) or " the God who sees me." The explanation of the divine name that is given in the second half of the same verse (Gen. 16:13b) is equally obscure. As the Hebrew text now stands, it is usually rendered as "She meant, 'Have I not gone on seeing after He saw me [aharei ro'i]?' " (JPS, 1962), or, "She meant, 'Did I not go on seeing here [halom] after He had seen me?'" (E.A. Speiser, Genesis (1964),117). In the following verse (16:14) it is stated: "Therefore the well was called Be'er-Lahai-Ro'i." This name is explained in a footnote as "Apparently, ' The Well of the Living One Who sees me.'"(JPS). However, on the basis of the name of the well, E.A. Speiser (op. cit., p. 119) would emend the unvocalized Hebrew text of Genesis 16:13, hgm hlm r'yty 'hry r'y, to read hgm 'lhm r'yty w'hy. " Did I really see God, yet remain alive?" The name of the well he would then take to mean, " Well of living sight." Since the well was in the region occupied by the Ishmaelites (and Hagar was the mother of Ishmael), the divine name'EI Ro'imay have been proper to the Ishmaelites rather than to the Israelites.

'El Berit. The divine name 'El Berit ("God of the Covenant") occurs only in Judges 9:46, where mention is made of "the house [i.e., temple] of 'EI Berit" at Shechem. This is certainly the same sanctuary that is called "the house [i.e., temple] of Ba'al Berit" in 9:4. From the treasury of the temple of Baal-Berith the citizens of Shechem gave seventy silver shekels to Abimelech, the son of Jerubbaal (another name of Gideon) to aid him in his fight for the sole kingship of Shechem against the other sons of Jerubbaal (ibid.). A few years later, the rebellious citizens of Shechem were burned to death by Abimelech in the temple of El-Berith where they had taken refuge (9:46-49).

The Deuteronomist editor of the Book of Judges regarded Baal-Berith as a pagan god. But the case is not quite that simple. First of all, in early Israel the word ba'al, meaning " owner, masterlord," was often regarded more or less as a synonym of 'adon, " lord" (see below under "'Adonai"), and so it could be used legitimately as a title of YHWH. Among the sons of King Saul, who was certainly not a worshiper of a pagan god, were those who bore the names of Merib-Baal, " the Lord contends" (?) and Eshbaal (originally, 'ish-ba'al), " man of the Lord," I Chron. 8:33, 34; 9:39, 40; and even one of King David's sons was called Beeliada (originally ba'al-yada'), " the Lord knows" (1Chron. 14:7), who is called Eliada ( 'el-ya,da'), " God knows" in II Samuel 5:16. Only after the time of Solomon was the word " Baalrecognized in Israel as the specifc title of the Canaanite storm-god Hadadand thereafter avoided by true Israelites as a title for YHWH. ( Scribal tradition later changed the ba'al in older Israelite names to boshet (" shame") in the Books of Samuel and Kings.) lt is likewise uncertain what the berit (" covenant") refers to in the wordsBaal-Berith or El-BerithShechem was regarded as a sacred site by Abraham and Jacob, each of whom erected an altar there (Gen. 12:6-7; 33:19-20). In addition, Jacob's acquisition of land at Shechem (Gen. 33:19; cf. 48:22) and the connubium between the sons of Jacob and the sons of Hamor (as the Shechemites were then called) imply certain covenant agreements. Moreover, the strange name, "sons of Hamor" ( benei hamor, "sons of the ass"), who is said to be the "father of Shechem" (Gen. 34:6), seems to have something to do with covenant making. From the *Tell-el-Amarna Letters (c. 1400 B.C.E.) it is known that there was a strong Hurrian element in Shechem. The Septuagint is therefore probably correct in reading hhry ("the Horite," i.e., the Hurrian) instead of hhwy ("the Hivite") of the Masoretic Text in describing the ethnic origin of "Shechem" (Gen. 34:2); moreover, the uncircumcised Shechemites (Gen. 34:14, 24) were most likely not Semitic Canaanites (see E. A. Speiser, op. cit., 267). It is also known that the slaughtering of an ass played a role among the Hurrians in the making of a covenant. Thus, Baal-Berith or El-Berith may have been regarded by the Shechemites as the divine protector of covenants.

Did the early Israelites perhaps regard El-Berith as the God of the covenant made between YHWH and Israel? It is a noteworthy fact that Joshua, who had apparently been able to occupy the region of Shechem without force because Israelites who - many scholars believe - had never been in Egypt were already iiving there, renewed the Covenant of Sinai with all Israel precisely at Shcchem, the city sacred to El-Berith, " the God of the Covenant" (Josh. 8:30-35; 24:1-28). Therefore, even though the late Deuteronomist editor of the Book of Judges (it is conjectured by the adherents of the documentary hypothesis) considered Baal-Berith one of the pagan Canaanite Ba'alimthis term may well have been regarded in early Israel as one of the titles of YHWH.

'Adonai. The Hebrew word 'adon is correctly rendered in English as "lord." In the Bible it is often used in reference to any human being who had authority, such as the ruler of a country (Gen. 42:30), the master of a slave (Gen. 24: 96), and the husband of a wife (Gen. 18:12). In formal polite style a mannot necessarily a superior, was addressed as "my lord" ( 'adoni; e.g., Gen. 23:6, 15; 24:18): and several men could be addressed as "my lords" ( 'adonai: e.g., Gen. 19:2). Since God is "Lord ['adon] of all the earth" (Josh. 3:11), He is addressed and spoken of as " my Lord" - in Hebrew, 'Adonai ( literally, " my Lords," in the plural in keeping with the plural form, ' Elohim ...). Originally, " 'adonai," especially in the combined form " 'adonai YHWH" (e.g., Gen. 15:2, 8; Deut. 3:24; 9:26), was no doubt understood as " my Lord." But later, " 'Adonaiwas taken to be a name of God, the " Lord." -- The Judaica Encyclopedia, Names of God, Volume 7, p 678 - 680

© Charles Pace 2016