The Hebrew word for “God” is ÕEloµhiÆm. In other Semitic languages, and occasionally in Hebrew, this word means “gods” in the plural, The general usage in Hebrew is in the singular, referring to Yahweh, the god of Israel. The singular usage is clear in these contexts, since ÕEloµhiÆm takes a singular verb, as in this passage. Why the plural form was originally used to signify the single god, Yahweh, is unclear. Probably the shift in religious belief from the worship of a pantheon of gods to the worship of a single god is involved. In a sense we might say that, for the Israelites, Yahweh takes over the functions of the whole pantheon. Here we have the transition from “gods” to “god.” The “Sons of God” still exist in Israelite mythology but they are no longer the object of worship and of the cult.

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