Re: An Early Trinity

George Murphy (
Tue, 14 Sep 1999 15:45:28 -0400

Gary Collins wrote:
> I have a question: I have heard it said that in Genesis 1 the nouns/pronouns used for
> God are in the plural, but the verbs used are in the singular.

The word "God", _elohim_ has a plural form ("im" is the usual masculine plural
ending for nouns - as in cherubim &c.). For that matter, so does "heaven" (_shamaim_).
The 3d person singular pronouns (e.g. "he" in 1:5) in English are part of a rendering of
the 3d person singular forms of the verbs in Hebrew (_qara'_ = "he called") or
pronominal suffixes on nouns.

> Do you know if this is
> correct? Also, is it true that there is a 'dual number' in Hebrew, and the use of Elohim
> implies at least three (two would have a different word ending)? Thanks for your time,

Biblical Hebrew, like classical Greek, does have a dual number but it is usually
used for things that naturally come in pairs, like eyes. It wouldn't normally be used
for "two apples" or something like that.

I am not an expert Hewbrew grammarian so anyone who is should feel free to
correct me if necessary.

George L. Murphy