When the prophet Jonah, on a ship in the Mediterranean, was asked by his fellow travelers who he was, he answered: “I am a Hebrew. I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land” (Jonah 1:9). From this passage, it is clear that the Hebrews referred to their God as both “God” (Hebrew, Elohim) and “the Lord” (Yahweh). Elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible, God is called Adonai (also translated as “Lord”);a El and Eloah (also rendered as “God”); Shaddai, traditionally translated as “the Almighty”; El Elyon, the “Upper God” or “Most High”; and Yahweh Elohim, the “Lord God”—to name just a few of God’s names (see the sidebar to this article, “From Adonai to Yahweh: A Glossary of God’s Names”).
Why does God have so many names? There are as many reasons as there are names.
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