Who Is El

Who Is El

Ancient Near East
Who Is El

Who Is El or Elohim

ʼEl or ʼIl is a Northwest Semitic word meaning “god” or “deity” and can be the name of a specific deity including the supreme god of the ancient Canaanite religion, Israelite religion, and the supreme God of East Semitic speakers in Mesopotamia’s Early Dynastic Period, and in all reality, they were all the same god only worshiped differently by the people or cultures. This may be hard for some to accept, but please continue reading.

The plural of El is not Elohim, but Elim. Elohim in singular form is Eloh which we will discuss later. ʼĒl (or ʼIl, Ugaritic: 𐎛𐎍  (ʾilu, pl. ʾlm); Phoenician: 𐤀𐤋(l pl. ʾlm); Hebrew: אל ʾēl, pl. ʾēlîm); Syriac: ܐܠ‎; Arabic: إل‎ or إله‎; cognate to Akkadian ilu, pl. ilānu: 𒀭)

In Sumerian cuneiform, Dingir “𒀭” (Sumerian pronunciation: [tiŋiɾ]) is the word for god, goddess, or deity, as it is used in front of the names of the different gods and goddesses. The Dingir “𒀭” is also the cuneiform of the god An which is also an ideogram for “Sky” or “Heaven”, An is also the father of the Anuna (anu-na also spelled Anunna) which most scholars interpret as “of princely seed or offspring” but the translation of this word is literally Children of An or children of Heaven. The plural of diĝir can be diĝir-diĝir, among others 𒀭𒀭.

The Akkadians Anu (Anum, or Ilu 𒀭𒀭  DAN) used the Sumerian phonogram for the syllable An and added to them a logographic reading for the native ilum and from that a syllabic reading of /il/. In Hittite orthography, the syllabic value of the sign was again only An. As I mentioned earlier, ilu is cognate to the Northwest Semitic ʼEl or ʼIl.

If El and ilu also known as An or Anu or one and the same we should also see strong similarities between these supreme deities, and I suggest there are. Both Els’ of the Canaanite religions are fathers of other lesser deities, who are called in Israelite and Ugaritic text “The sons of El”, and An is also the father of lesser deities. The biblical El is called the God of heaven, and so is An, both are said to live in heaven that’s above the other deities’ abodes. The Canaanite El, the biblical El, and An had no temples, but tents, the Israelites later built a temple for YHWH. The main difference between the Canaanites and eastern Semitic people was this, even though they acknowledged An, and El as the supreme deities they worshiped these deities offspring as their gods as well, but the Israelites acknowledged the existence of these other deities, or “sons of El” but only believed El was the true or most powerful deity as all other deities derived their power from An/Anu and El.

Even in Sumerian and Akkadian tablets, it is mentioned that the Anunna receive their powers or attributes from An/Anu respectively, as well as their right to rule over the lands and possess the “ME”. This is also mentioned in the book of Deuteronomy 32.8-9, However, you will shortly see how they changed the text in your bible and the Masoretic text, older versions of this text say something quite different.

“When Elyon gave the nations as an inheritance, when he separated the sons of man, he set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God (bny ‘l[hym]). For Yahweh’s portion was his people; Jacob was the lot of his inheritance”


Now go see what they translated it as in your bible. Several texts are older than the Masoretic text as I said and they say, Sons of Elohim, several copies of the Septuagint says υιων θεου, ‘sons of God’, Qumran text (DSS) 4QDtj says בני אלהים, ‘sons of God’, Qumran text (DSS) 4QDtj says בני אלהים, ‘sons of God’, and depending on the text the number is 70 or 72 which is derived from counting the number of nations mentioned, which is also mentioned in Ugaritic texts as the “70 sons of El”. Elyon assigns these sons of el to be the tutelary deities over the nations.

Elohim is derived from Eloah, being an expanded form of the Northwest Semitic noun ‘il. The related nouns Eloah (אלוה) and el (אֵל) are used as proper names or as generics, in which case they are interchangeable with Elohim. When referring to the God of Israel, Elohim is usually understood to be grammatically singular (i.e. it governs a singular verb or adjective) despite the -im ending that denotes plural masculine nouns in Hebrew. An exact cognate outside of Hebrew is found in Ugaritic ʾlhm, the children of El, the creator god and chief deity of the Canaanite pantheon, in Biblical Aramaic ʼĔlāhā, where the plural Elohim is understood to be the sons of El. One verse in the Hebrew bible that is a great example of the use of the singular Elohim for the God of Israel and Elohim plural directly connecting the Elohim plural with the sons of El is Psalms 82 I will give the literal translation from the Hebrew in English:

1 A Psalm of Asaph – Elohim (אֱ‍ֽלֹהִ֗ים) takes his stand in the congregation of the divine (literally the congregation of ‘אֵ֑ל’ El) among the gods (אֱ‍ֽלֹהִ֗ים) he judges…

6 I have said you are gods (אֱ‍ֽלֹהִ֗ים) sons of the most high (עֶלְי֣וֹן Elyon) all of you…

Psalms 82 1,6

Elohim is both singular and plural depending on the verb or adjective, the first Elohim is obviously singular because of the phrase “takes his stand” here is a verb, singular masculine participle. And the second Elohim is plural because one can not be among or in the midst of one. And the singular Elohim calls the other Elohim “sons of Elyon”, the most high

So in my conclusion, I suggest that Abraham from the city of Ur (Sumer) probably living in either the Akkadian Period or perhaps the Ur III period who spoke a Semitic language like that of the Akkadians, or perhaps Akkadian itself came to the conclusion that Ilu or II was the one true god and moved westward into the lavant with his family, who his son married his Aramaic kinsmen daughters, and Il became El the God of Israel, And this is also why the book of genesis is so much like the Akkadian/Babylonian tablets like the Enuma Elish, and The Eridu Genisis and other Mesopotamian creation and flood stories, The Israelites did not steal or plagiarize anything, It is the same stories because they are also part of that culture.

I would suggest that Abraham lived right before or during the Akkadian reign of Sargon of Akkad, as their is much evidence that it was Sargon of Akkad who is the figure called Nimrod (meaning Rebel) in the Hebrew bible.

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