El Shaddai

The Lord of the Harem is Omnipotent

El shaddai, El shaddai, El-elyon na adonai, Age to age you’re still the same, By the power of the name.  El-Shaddai, El-Shaddai, Erkahmka na Adonai We will praise and lift You high, El-Shaddai.

Many teach that this compound word mean God-Almighty. As to the rest of the supposed transliteration in this song, we’ve never met anyone who knows what the gibberish is suppose to be. Except for Adonai which is my Lord.

El is the shortened word for God, usually written out as Elohim, which is a plural noun. Not the way English speaking people use a plural to mean more than one, but rather as an indication of greatness, or power. So Elohim is the powerful one, the one who called all things into being.  The one who puts forth all power. The one to whom the kingdom the power and the glory belong. It is used for pagan gods as well as judges [Gen. 31:32; Psa. 82:6].

Almighty does not quite convey the meaning of the shaddai. There is no straightforward English equivalent for the concept behind this Hebrew word. The word is plural and is in the possessive, My Almighty. Just like Adonai which is also a plural possessive, My Lord. In Hebrew a word may be plural to impart the idea of great, large, powerful, or majesty, not just three or more.

Shaddai roots from the word for woman’s breast i.e. shad, and as such contains the idea of nurturing. This is not the almighty strength of a man’s arm, it is the power of a nurturing sustaining mother. The LXX, i.e. the Septuagint translated it as all-sufficient. Jerome when creating the Latin Vulgate translated this word as Omnipotent. Scholars have suggested that the Bountiful One, or the Self Sufficient One, the Beneficent One, would be better transmission of the idea contained in the Hebrew. We suggest “God my Sustainer”.

The first three times that El-Shaddai appears it is to promise descendants and the land of Canaan first to Abraham and then to Jacob [Gen. 17:1-8; Gen. 28:1 -5; Gen. 35:9-15].  The contexts is a promise of many descendants and the land of Canaan. Everywhere Shaddai appears it is concerned with the people and the land.

mother-bearFYI: Interesting that in its verb form the word means to deal violently with, despoil, devastate, ruin, cause drought. Both the verb and the noun are in the following verse as destruction and Almighty.

Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; as destruction from the Almighty it will come! Is. 13:6 

It literally says, like shad from Shaddai. Like a mother bear who defends her young with great ferocity, then one day walks away and abandons them. That is what the Day of the LORD is like.  It is the day He abandons His people.

We cannot say Shaddai if He is not ours. It is a relationship more than a title. We must experience Shaddai, my Almighty, in order to understand the possessive.  Without a relationship we cannot say, my Lord, anymore than to say, My Almighty, My Sustainer. It is the relationship contained in the, word MY, that is all present. We must maintain the MY. We must never let the relationship degenerate into someone else’s Almighty/Sustainer. Only when we let our Lord own us, when we are willing to be a lady of the harem, will he truly become OUR Almighty.

Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, 

who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, 

will say to the LORD,  

“My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” 

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler

and from the deadly pestilence; 

he will cover you with his pinions, 

and under his wings you will find refuge; 

his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 

You will not fear the terror of the night, 

nor the arrow that flies by day, 

nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, 

nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. 

A thousand may fall at your side, 

ten thousand at your right hand; 

but it will not come near you. 

You will only look with your eyes 

and see the recompense of the wicked. 

Because you have made the LORD your refuge,

the Most High your habitation, 

no evil shall befall you,

no scourge come near your tent. 

For he will give his angels charge of you 

to guard you in all your ways. 

On their hands they will bear you up, 

lest you dash your foot against a stone. 

You will tread on the lion and the adder, 

the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot. 

Because he cleaves to me in love, 

I will deliver him; I will protect him, 

because he knows my name. 

When he calls to me, I will answer him; 

I will be with him in trouble, I will rescue him and honor him. 

With long life I will satisfy him, and show him my salvation. 


2 thoughts on “El Shaddai

  1. Pingback: Psalm 22: 9-10 | Israel & The Church in the Last Days

  2. Pingback: Ezekiel 16:1-7 A Foundling’s Tale | The Song of Songs

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