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V. 1.-Jehovah comes to Abram in a vision, and
says, I am thy shield and exceeding great reward. 2. And Abram said, O ADONI Elohim! what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless ? And Elohim saith, Look toward Heaven and tell the stars. So shall thy seed be.
Let us here attentively consider the meaning adjudged to the different names in the introductory chapter; for in this extract we shall perceive their full force. Jehovah is first spoken of as the shield of Abram. Then Abram addresses him as the (Judge) ADONI ELOHIM, thus showing his union with the Godhead; and finally, Elohim, without any
distinctive epithet—that is, as the concentrated Trinity is stated as promising the progeny by which the whole world is to be blessed.
V. 10.—Jehovah saith to Hagar, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
In the preceding quotation it was shown that Elohim, or the whole Godhead, promised a numerous progeny to Abraham, from whom our Saviour was to come. But here Moses says it was JEHOVAH, that is, one person of the Trinity, who declared to Hagar that she should have a numerous progeny.
Elohim established his covenant with Abraham, and says, V. 5.Thy name shall be called Abraham, for a father of many nations have I made thee. And Elohim establishes the rite of circumcision.
Here again it is Elohim who is represented as promising a numerous family to Abraham, because, as said in the 15th chapter, this promise concerned all the world. Is it not evident that Moses must have had some very decisive reasons for being thus accurate in the use he made of this diversity of names ?
V. 20.-Jehovah declares to Abraham his intention to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham prays for the cities, v. 27.-And says, Behold
now, I have taken upon me to speak unto Adoni. When Abraham intercedes for Sodom and Gomorrah, he addresses JEHOVAH as Adoni; that is, as the Judge who is going to pronounce sentence upon them.
V. 2.-And ELOHIM did tempt Abraham, and said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and offer him for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains, which I shall tell thee. 3. And Abraham arose and went unto the place which Elohim had told him. 10. And Abraham stretched forth his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11. And the angel of JEHOVAH called to him out of heaven and said, 12. Lay not thy hand upon the lad, for now I know that thou fearest ELOHIM.
The Elohim who promised the seed to Abraham now commands him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham is going to obey, when JEHOVAH arrests his hand, because (he says) now I know thou fearest ELOHIM. Here Jehovah is represented as a merciful Mediator between Elohim and Abraham.
After the death of Abraham,-v. 11-ELOHIM blesses his son Isaac.
Moses keeps to the term Elohim, for in this blessing the whole creation is interested.
V. 1.-And Elohim said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and make there an altar unto God. And at El Bethel he built an altar, because Elohim had appeared to him there. 10. And Elohim said, Thy name is Jacob. 11. I am GoD ALMIGHTY. Be fruitful.
This extract confirms the explanation of the word Elohim given in the Preface.
Jehovah is named as being with Joseph in Egypt, and in prison, &c.; but when Potiphar's wife tempted him, he replies, v. 9.--How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against ELOHIM?
Is it possible not to perceive here a distinction of persons or offices? Moses says, JEHOVAH made Joseph to prosper; that is, JEHOVAH is represented as the merciful interposer in the affairs of mankind or of an individual. But he makes Joseph say, that the sin he was tempted to commit would be offending against the whole Godhead, viz., Elohim.
V. 16.-Joseph says to Pharaoh, Elohim will give Pharaoh an answer of peace; and accordingly Elohim is the name used throughout the interpretation of the dream.
Reflect on the events and consequences of this dream, and then we shall fully comprehend why the whole Godhead gives its interpretation, for it led to Joseph's exaltation, the establishment of his family in Goshen, the plagues of Pharaoh, the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb, &c.; events which ultimately influ. enced the fate of the whole world.
V. 15.-And Israel blessed Joseph and said, Elohim, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the Elohim which fed me all my life long unto this day.
How consistent is Moses in the use of the sacred names! In chap. xv. he says, Elohim blessed Abra-. ham, &c.; and his descendant, years afterwards, acknowledges the same Elohim as his God. And let us remember, that it is from this very family that our Saviour was to proceed, and therefore it is represented as peculiarly blessed and protected by the ELOHIM.
V. 2.--And the Angel of Jehovah appeared unto Moses in a flame of fire, out of the midst of a bush. And he looked, and behold the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 4. And JEHOVAH saw that he turned aside to see. Elohim called to him out of the bush, and said, 6. I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look on Elohim, who saith to him, 12. When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve Elohim upon this mountain. 14. And ELOHIM saith unto Moses, My name is I AM THAT I AM; and thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
The unity of the three Persons in the Divine Essence is so strict and intimate, that the appellation Elohim is occasionally applied to each of them, to
prove that they form a part of the Godhead. Thus, , in the above quotation, at first Jehovah only appears to Moses, who turned to see the burning bush, which was not consumed. Then JEHOVAH displays the whole Godhead; and Moses hides his face, for he is afraid to look on Elohim, who declares his name to be I AM THAT I AM. JEHOVAH also is formed from the verb to be, and the tense is repeated twice. Thus also is the name I AM THAT I AM. Can this be a mere accidental coincidence? And, moreover, in the sequel, JEHOVAH, or I AM THAT I AM, is the Person represented as conducting the Israelites out of Egypt, across the Red Sea, &c. 1 Cor. chap. x. v. 4. St. Paul asserts that it was CHRIST who conducted the Israelites over the wilderness, and Moses says it is the Elohim himself who announces that he is JEHOVAH.
What corroborative proof is all this of the divinity of JESUS CHRIST our Saviour !
CH AP. VI.
V. 1.-And Jehovah saith to Moses, Thou shalt see what I will do to Pharaoh, for with a strong hand shall he let them go. 2. And Elohim saith unto Moses, I am Jehovah. 3. And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of GOD ALMIGHTY; but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. 6. Wherefore say to the children of Israel, I, Jehovah, will bring you out from under your burdens of the Egyptians. 7. And I will be to you Elohim, and ye shall know that I am Jehovah your God.
It is to be remarked, that through the whole contest with Pharaoh, JEHOVAH. is the name used. JEHOVAH sends the plagues, appoints the Passover, sanctifies the first-born, overthrows the Egyptians in the midst of the Red Sea, and goes before them in a cloud. And here I must quote 1 Cor. chap. x. v. 4; for St. Paul there confirms the divinity of Christ by his