Tuesday, June 08, 2010

El Shaddai

El Shaddai (Hebrew: אל שדי) is one of the Judaic names of God.

The name Shaddai (Hebrew: שַׁדַּי), which occurs both independently and in combination with El, is used as a name of God chiefly in the Book of Job. According to Exodus 6:2, 3, this is the name by which God was known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In the Septuagint and other early translation it was translated with words meaning 'Almighty'.

The root word "shadad" (שדד) means "to overpower" or "to destroy". This would give Shaddai the meaning of "destroyer" as one of the aspects of God. Compare to "Shiva," the destroyer in the Hindu trinity, "creator, preserver, destroyer".

Another theory is that 'Shaddai' is a derivation of a Semitic stem that appears in the Akkadian shadû, 'mountain', and shaddā`û or shaddû`a, 'mountain-dweller'. This theory was popularized by W. F. Albright but was somewhat weakened when it was noticed that the doubling of the medial d is first documented only in the Neo-Assyrian period. However, the doubling in Hebrew might possibly be secondary. In this theory God is seen as inhabiting a mythical holy mountain: a concept not unknown in ancient near eastern mythology, and also evident in the Syriac Christian writings of Ephrem the Syrian, who places Eden on an inaccessible mountaintop.





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