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by Dr. John Thomas
It will then be a sealess and luminous sphere, and peopled with myriads of inhabitants of equal rank and station with the angels of God.
The means by which, from the beginning, He determined to accomplish this magnificent work, were, first, by His creative energy to lay the foundation; secondly, by constitutional arrangement and angelic oversight, which men term "providence," to shape and overrule all things, so as to work out the end proposed; thirdly, by the moral force of truth, argued and attested; fourthly, by judicial interference in human affairs; and lastly, by re-creative energy in the renovation of the earth.
When the gigantic work is perfected, the edifice will be complete; and the top stone imposed with joyous acclamations, saying, "Grace!
grace unto it!
DISSERTATION ON THE ELOHIM.
The principles of universal grammar require in general that a "verb agree with its nominative in number and person"; as, the spirit moves, the waters roar.
Here the spirit is of the singular number, and third person; and so is the verb moves; hence they agree in number and person: "the waters" is of the third person plural, and so is roar; hence they also agree.
But in the first chapter of Genesis, this rule appears to be disregarded by the spirit, under whose guidance Moses wrote.
In the first verse it reads, Berayshith bara Elohim, i.e., in the beginning Elohim created.
In this sentence bara is the verb in the third person singular, and Elohim a noun in the third person plural; so that they do not agree according to the rule.
For an agreement to ensure, either the noun should be Eloah, or El, in the singular, or it should remain as it is in the plural, and the verb should be changed to barau ; as barau ELOHIM (they) created.
But it does not stand thus; it reads literally (the) Elohim (he) created.
Speaking of Elohim, Dr.
Wilson says "That this noun, which is not unintentionally here joined with the singular verb bara , is nevertheless really plural, appears not merely from its termination im, but by its being frequently joined with adjectives, pronouns, and verbs in the plural.
Vayyomer Elohim nashah adam betzalmainu , i.e., Elohim said, 'Let make man in our image'".
Parkhurst, in his lexicon under the word alah , cites many passages where Elohim is associated with other plurals.
Upon close examination there will be found no goood reason to question the conclusion, that Elohim is a noun plural, and signifies "gods".
But why the plural Elohim, gods, should have been associated with a singular verb in this chapter, Hebraists have been much perplexed to answer satisfactorily to themselves or others.
Grammar failing, they have had recourse to dogmatism to explain the difficulty.
Wilson truly remarks, that "Elohim is not unintentionally here joined with the singular verb"; though in my opinion Messrs.
Wilson and Parkhurst have widely mistaken the intention.
They imagine that it was intended to reveal a trinity of persons in one essence, or, as some express it, "society in God".
Wilson observes that "Let us make man is an expression of consultation, and marks a difference in man's creation from that of other creatures in point of importance.