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Monday, November 18, 2013

Return of the Sea God

7:24 AM

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The other day I was looking for some new materials and ended up on myspace. Let me tell you, that place has lots of Hebrew Tattoo pictures... the vast majority of them incorrect.

Today's feature is one of my new finds, and it also features an error we've seen before. Give some applause to God of the Sea!


This guy was keeping it simple, all he wanted was a single word "God". Unfortunately, somehow an extra space found its way into the tattoo, turning "Elohim" into "El Hayam" - God of the Sea.

How can a word like "God" be cut in half and still retain it's meaning you ask?

See, the original word "Elohim" means God, it's in a special multiple form to emphasize God's greatness. When it's spelled this way, you have no doubt which god is meant, it's the biblical God and no other.

Cut the frills away, and you're left with "El", aka god, no emphasis or capitalization needed. It can be used to refer to any god you like. Conveniently, the other part of the word transforms him into God of the Sea.

Edit: For Margy, who requested to see how God is supposed to be written in Hebrew:

You can write it in two ways. The one on top is what the featured tattoo was supposed to look like. People not practiced in Hebrew might not see the difference, but even spacing is crucial.

The bottom version is the one more common in modern Hebrew, I prefer to write God this way.

The difference between the two is the letter Vav, which reads here as the "O" in "Elohim". In this case it's an optional letter, you can choose whether to write it or not.

3 comments:

  1. This guy and his tattooist didn't know Greek either. He's got a Lambda (Λ) instead of an Alpha (Α).

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  2. "See, the original word "Elohim" means God, it's in a special multiple form to emphasize God's greatness. When it's spelled this way, you have no doubt which god is meant, it's the biblical God and no other."

    This is not the case. The word "Elohi" is used in Exodus 12:12 to refer to the gods of Egypt. In Exodus 23:13, the full word "אֱלֹהִ֤ים" is used in the phrase "Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods,"

    Again, the full "Elohim" is used by the Hebrew people in Exodus 32:1, when they say "people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us."

    There are many more examples, but these should suffice for now. The word simply means the generic "god," in the same way we use the word "god" in English. When Abraham wanted to specifically refer to The True and Living God, he used his NAME, YHVH, which first appears at Genesis 2:4 in conjunction with the word "elohim."

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    Replies
    1. I think you missed the main point. With a space Elohim looks more like El HaYam, God of the Sea. Kind of funny!

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