The most common word translated as "God" is אֱלֹהִים, elohim which is plural. In addition to elohim, two singular words, אֵל el and אֱלוֹהַּ eloha translated "God." Occasionally two different words are used in the same verse, both of which mean "God." Here are three examples of this:
- El tells Jacob He is Elohim of his father:
And He said, “I am God, the God of your father. Fear not to go down to Egypt, for I will make you there into a great nation. (Genesis 46:3 NJPS)
וַיֹּאמֶר אָנֹכִי הָאֵל אֱלֹהֵי אָבִיךָ אַל־תִּירָא מֵרְדָה מִצְרַיְמָה כִּֽי־לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל אֲשִֽׂימְךָ שָֽׁם
- David composed a song with a line asking who is Eloha except YHVH and who is a rock but Elohim:
Truly, who is a god except the LORD, who is a rock but our God? (Psalm 18:31 )
כִּי מִי אֱלוֹהַּ מִבַּלְעֲדֵי יְהוָה וּמִי צוּר זוּלָתִי אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ
- Job complains those who provoke El are secure and Eloha provides for them:
Robbers live untroubled in their tents, and those who provoke God are secure, those who God's hands have produced. (Job 12:6)
יִשְׁלָיוּ אֹֽהָלִים לְשֹׁדְדִים וּֽבַטֻּחוֹת לְמַרְגִּיזֵי אֵל לַאֲשֶׁר הֵבִיא אֱלוֹהַּ בְּיָדֽוֹ
Each of these examples seems to say there is more than one God, or, that the meaning of "one" God is more complex than a numerical "1."
If there is only one God, why are there three different words which mean God?