Tuesday, July 16, 2013

El Shaddai

From Kingdon Through Covenant:
First, Yahweh reveals himself as El Shaddai (God Almighty). This is the first occurrence of this divine name in the Scriptures. In an attempt to determine the meaning of the Hebrew term “Shaddai,” scholars have argued over the origin of the word and have come to a stalemate. Its meaning, however, can be determined quite well from the usage of the word. This name for God is associated especially and particularly in the Old Testament with the lives of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It seems that this name was given to encourage faith because of the disparity between the covenant promises and the reality of the situation in which they found themselves at that time. Thus, in this context, Yahweh is the God who intervenes powerfully. It is customary in the Greek Old Testament to translate El Shaddai by “almighty” (παντοκράτωρ),13 and this expresses the meaning very well. (259)
I am encouraged by this brief discussion of the meaning of El Shaddai. I am strengthened by the very thought of the "God who intervenes powerfully." There are many things in my life that need a powerfully intervening God. And He exists. And just as He kept His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He keeps His covenant with people of the new covenant. He has already decisively intervened powerfully for us in sending His Son who lived, died, and rose again for us. He will continue to intervene. I am encouraged.

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