The Two ELOHIM and the Golden Calf
The early Israelites understood the reason for the “Us” statements in Genesis, and the two YHVHs in Genesis 19:24.
They knew God named the Messenger YHVH at the burning bush, and they knew that the Messenger was the God of their father, Jacob.
When Moses delayed returning from His trip into Sinai, they made one golden calf to worship, and addressed this one golden calf in the plural, calling it their ELOHIM!
Saying, “These are your ELOHIM Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt” (Exodus 32:4).
God even repeated this sentence to Moses, as if to emphasize it.
The whole story repeated itself when King Jeraboam made two golden calves. And said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your ELOHIM, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt” (1 Kings 12:28).
The Angel of YHVH in Judges was Israel’s ELOHIM
The understanding of the early Israelites is also apparent in the Book of Judges. In Judges 2:1, the Angel said: “I brought you out of Egypt.” And Gideon recognized Him, as the ELOHIM who appeared to Moses, when He said “I Certainly WILL BE with you” (Judges 6:16; Exodus 3:12).
The Messenger said to Manaoh: “if you prepare a burnt offering, then offer it to YHVH” (Judges 13:16).
After recognizing the Angel of God, Manoah said to his wife: “We shall surely die, for we have seen ELOHIM” (Judges 13:22).
From these accounts, we know the early Israelites understood there were two YHVHs, and knew their ELOHIM was a speaker for the invisible YHVH.
ELOHIM always has a plural meaning in the Bible
In the Books of Judges and 2nd Kings, the Israelites called the named gods of other Nations: “ELOHIMs.” As if they were also Messengers.
- comparing YHVH to Chemosh, the ELOHIM of the Moabites (Judges 11:24);
- comparing YHVH to Dagon, the ELOHIM of the Philistines (Judges 16:23);
- comparing YHVH to Baalzebub, the ELOHIM of Ekron (2 Kings 1:2-3); and
- comparing YHVH to Nisroch, the ELOHIM of Assyria (2 Kings 19:37).
The plural word ELOHIM described the “Messenger of YHVH” who spoke as one with the invisible God; Moses who spoke for the invisible God; and the named gods of other Nations.
The word ELOHIM otherwise only bears a true plural meaning in the Old Testament as “gods,” 235 times.
There are no unexplained exceptions in the Bible. The word ELOHIM always has a “plural” meaning.
Their Father’s forgot My Name for Baal (Lord)
Eventually, the Israelites became very confused about the naming of the Messenger at the burning bush.
When they translated the Old Testament into Greek, they ignored the two names God gave them at the burning bush. They substituted the phrase “I WILL BE” with “I am He WHO IS” and they changed “He WILL BE” to Lord.
In the Book of Revelation, God improved their expression: “I am He WHO IS,” saying:
“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, WHO IS (ο ων) and WHO WAS and WHO IS TO COME, the Almighty’” (Revelation 1:8).
God made a few jokes about their forgetfulness of the Messenger’s name, and His name.
To the prophet Jeremiah, God said: “their fathers forgot My name for Baal” (Jeremiah 23:27). Which means “Lord.”
In Hosea, God prophesied that He would make a New Covenant with Israel, saying:
“I will save them by He WILL BE their ELOHIM…”
And then He said:
“I will no longer be your I WILL BE.” Meaning I will no longer be your Lord. (Hosea 1:7,9).