As a bonus, point me to where I can easily look and answer such questions myself. I did look some for an answer. Ive heard Yahweh and Elohim are both used in OT. Is this the case in Gen 1:26 and 27, where the pronoun switches from first-person plural to singular? Another side question: Does it make sense to say “Yahweh” instead of God the Father? Finally, wax interestingly about any of this at your pleasure. Glad to be on here learning more about the bible. God bless.

  • 1
    See the Hebrew Interlinear at Biblehub which answers part of your question. It's a good question and I have up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    May 7, 2021 at 1:10

3 Answers 3


There is only one word for God used in Genesis 1:26-27. It is the word "Elohim" (אֱלֹהִ֔ים). In fact, the Hebrew does not include even a pronoun for God in verse 26 where in English the translation uses "us" and "our" to reference God. Hebrew, like Latin languages, e.g. Spanish, includes pronouns with verb "conjugations" (Hebrew: Binyanim). The verb is given in the first-person plural form, requiring the addition of those pronouns in the English translation.

There are multiple websites that show the Hebrew grammatical notes in an interlinear format with English that can help you to see these things for yourself. One such website is https://www.biblasia.com. Simply choose the "Interlinear Hebrew/Greek with English" translation option in one of the windows. Note that you can see additional information about the notations within that version by hovering (mouseover) over them.

UPDATE: In response to the OP's additional comments regarding the usage of plural "Elohim" with singular verbs -- this is a relatively common phenomenon in Hebrew, with a number of Hebrew words existing in only a plural form (plurale tantum).

In English, a word like "scissors" or "physics" comes in only the plural form and has no accepted singular. But Hebrew differs in that these "plural" words can be, and often are, used as singular nouns.

Examples of plurale tantum include the word "face/faces" (panim), "water/waters" (mayim), and "skies/heavens" (shamayim). These are always grammatically plural in form but not in usage.

Nouns in Hebrew are also gendered, as they are in Latin languages, Greek, Germanic languages, etc., and many exceptions exist. Hebrew scholars and instructors will teach readers to always look at the adjectives and verbs to know both the gender and number of a Hebrew noun. (Ambiguities sometimes exist, as is evident with English translations in Genesis 1:1 as "the heaven" or "the heavens" where the noun has neither adjective nor verb associated with it.)

"Elohim" is always used throughout the Old Testament with singular verbs and adjectives when referencing the true God. The word "elohim" is, however, often used in its plural sense when referring to the pagan gods.

  • Thank you 🙏🏻. I had some follow-ups in my reply below to dottard, if interested in more
    – Al Brown
    May 9, 2021 at 2:21
  • @AlBrown I've edited my post to hopefully answer your follow-up question.
    – Polyhat
    May 9, 2021 at 4:03

The title of God in the Hebrew of Gen 1:26, 27 is a single word, אֱלהִים (Elohim). However, there are many places where the title/name of God is two words or a compound word such as:

  • יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהִ֑ים (Yahweh Elohim) = "LORD God", eg, Gen 3:1
  • אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֗ה (Adonai Yahweh) = "Lord LORD", or Sovereign Lord, eg, Eze 45:9
  • יְהוָ֣ה ׀ יִרְאֶ֑ה (Yahweh Jireh) = The LORD will provide, eg, Gen 22:14
  • אֵ֣ל שַׁדַּ֔י (El-Shaddai) = God almighty, eg, Gen 17:1
  • לְאֵ֥ל עֶלְיֹֽון (El-Elyon) = God Most High, eg, Gen 14:18, 19

There are many more.

As NigelJ has already pointed out, https://biblehub.com/interlinear/genesis/14-19.htm has an interlinear and much else.

  • 1
    Thank you. So it seems from some of what you wrote that replacing “God” (father god) w “yahweh” does not make sense, as you wrote Lord for Yahweh a couple times. Is Elohim a good one for God? Since gen 1:26 and 27 both use Elohim, any thoughts about why the plural and then the singular verb conjugations used?
    – Al Brown
    May 9, 2021 at 2:20
  • @AlBrown - that question is the subject of a huge theological literature and should be the subject of a separate question if it has not ben asked already.
    – Dottard
    May 9, 2021 at 4:30

“The Hebrew noun Elohim is plural but the verb is singular, a normal usage in the OT when reference is to the one true God. This use of the plural expresses intensification rather than number and has been called the plural of majesty, or of potentiality.” — (New International Version Study Bible, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985, p. 6)

“The plural form of Elohim has given rise to much discussion. The fanciful idea that it referred to the trinity of persons in the Godhead hardly finds now a supporter among scholars. It is either what grammarians call the plural of majesty, or it denotes the fullness of divine strength, the sum of the powers displayed by God. Jehovah denotes specifically the one true God, whose people the Jews were, and who made them the guardians of his truth.” — (Smith's Bible Dictionary)

Some verses showing the use of the word god(elohim) like Moses was to Pharaoh in Exodus 7:1 and Baal in Judges 6:31 does not show that the people who knew Moses and Baal as having compound natures. The idea that Elohim implies a compound unity when it refers to the true God is a not in the bible.

Jesus himself ascribed creation to God, not himself. Mark 10:6 ; 13:19 and Matthew 19:4.

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