Leuchter-Jeroboam’s turn to the occult


The Hebrew word elohim means God most of the time in the Bible. It is plural but in some way the plural refers to the limitless nature of God. The Hebrew word for water is plural too—waters. The vastness of the ocean is probably behind this. But like elohim it is used as a singular.

However, there are some strange uses of elohim, especially where more ancient material gets past the theological filters of the Deuteronomists and late priests. One of those places is in the story of Saul consulting a spiritualist. When she calls up Samuel from the grave, she says “I see a god (elohim) coming up out of the earth” (1 Samuel 28:13).

In connection with spiritualism, this use apparently occurs again in Isaiah 8:19 which the NRSV renders:

Now if people say to you, “Consult the ghosts and the familiar spirits…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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