Shouldn't it be spelt אֱלוהִים? Is there some reason it's not? I did some googling but could only find pages on other topics. Apologies if I missed something.

  • Step - I suggested a change to the title, but wanted to be sure it is consistent with what you intended. Did you mean "God Ha-Yam" or really mean "God Ha-Yod"? (Yad could be Hand, Yod is a letter, Yam is sea...". I can see an argument for "El Ha Yam", especially since diacritics, (vowel pointings), didn't even exist until 900ad. Also, Paleo-Hebrew could hide spaces between words. – elika kohen Mar 16 at 7:46

The spelling in the Bible is always אֱלֹהִים, never אֱלוֹהִים. The /o/ sound comes from the diacritic on the letter ל; vowels aren't always indicated by letters. In Modern Hebrew, the trend is for vowels to be systematically indicated by letters when possible, so the ordinary spelling is אֱלוֹהִים.

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  • There are no vowel pointings in ancient Hebrew. They were added in 900 A.D., (In the Aleppo Codex). – elika kohen Mar 16 at 7:41
  • @elikakohen There were vowels in ancient Hebrew. The vowel pointings are a convention for marking them in writing – b a Mar 17 at 10:26

The following is what I came across when having the same question a while back. The subject isn't settled for me yet, but had to move on.


Lamed has a 'top dot', called a cholam/holam chaser/haser when over letters other than vav. If over a vav, it is called a cholam malei. The top-dot represents a vav.

The hey has a 'bottom dot', which is called a chiriq. The chiriq represents a yod.

The way I found it explained is that the Masoretes chose to 'shorten'/save space in the Tanach by substituting some actual yods and vavs with "puncta extraordinaire" (top and bottom dots, among other dot uses).

So, in the case of 'Elohim', it would actually read "Aluhiim" - which gives me pause on the theory.

However, I did find examples of the Dead Sea Scrolls having "Eluhim":

Edit to add source: In the Beginning: A Short History of the Hebrew Language By Joel Hoffman (p. 137 - Google Books)

DDS Eluhim

EDIT: Just found two interesting resources:

  1. Ancient Hebrew Research Center (AHRC) (Jeff Benner) - Shows differences between the Masoretic and DSS - differences I was not aware of before, like Maso. K with qamatz vs DSS KH.



  1. The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition by FG Martinez - free PDF - pp. 1386


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In traditional vocalization, the א is elided when a prefixed clitic is added. Thus, “to God” is לֵאלֹהִים (lelohím) rather than לֶאֱלֹהִים (le'elohím). Observant Jews, outside of prayer, may prefer to write and say אֱלוֹקִים‎ (elokím), so as not to abuse the name of God.

See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D7%90%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%94%D7%99%D7%9D

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