Question 8 – Are There More Gods Than One?
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” – Deu 6:4 ESV
Hear, O Israel, These are the words of Moses, stirring up the people to an attention to what he was about to say of this great and momentous article, the unity of God, to prevent their going into polytheism and idolatry. From one of the words here used, the Jews call this section Kiriathshema, which they oblige themselves to read twice a day, morning and evening; the last letter of the first word in this verse, “Shema”, meaning “hear”, and the last letter of the last word in it, “Echad”, meaning “one”, are greater than ordinary; which seems designed to excite the attention to what is contained in this passage:
the Lord our God is one Lord; the doctrine of which is, that the Lord, who was the covenant God and Father of his people Israel, is but one Jehovah; he is Jehovah, the Being of beings, a self-existent Being, eternal and immutable; and he is but one in nature and essence; this appears from the perfection of his nature, his eternity, omnipotence, omnipresence, infinity, goodness, self-sufficiency, and perfection; for there can be but one eternal, one omnipotent, one omnipresent, one infinite, one that is originally and of himself good; one self, and all sufficient, and perfect Being; and which also may be concluded from his being the first cause of all things, which can be but one; and from his relations to his creatures, as their King, ruler, governor, and lawgiver. And for this purpose these words are cited in Mark 12:29 but then they no ways contradict the doctrine of a trinity of persons in the unity of the divine essence, the Father, Word, and Holy Spirit, which three are one; the one God, the one Jehovah, as here expressed; see 1John 5:7 and so the ancient Jews understood this passage. In an ancient book of theirs it is said Jehovah, Elohenu, Jehovah (i.e. Jehovah, our God, Jehovah); these are the three degrees with respect to this sublime mystery; “in the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth”; and again, Jehovah, Elohenu, Jehovah, they are one; the three forms (modes or things) which are one; and elsewhere it is observed, there are two, and one is joined to them, and they are three; and when the three are one, he says to (or of) them, these are the two names which Israel heard, Jehovah, Jehovah, and Elohenu (our God) is joined unto them; and it is the seal of the ring of truth, and when they are joined they are one in one unity; which is illustrated by the three names the soul of man is called by, the soul, spirit, and breath; and elsewhere they say the holy blessed God, and his Shechinah, are called one; see John 10:30. [Gill]
“But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation.” – Jer 10:10 ESV
But the Lord is the true God, In opposition to all nominal and fictitious deities, which are not by nature God, only by name, and in the foolish imagination of the people: or, “the Lord God is truth” ; that cannot lie, is true to his covenant and promises, and will never deceive those that worship and serve him, and rely upon him:
he is the living God; that has life in himself, and is the author and giver of life to others; to all men natural life, to some men spiritual and eternal life; whereas the gods of the Gentiles have no life in themselves; are either dead men, or lifeless and inanimate things, stocks and stones, and can give no life to others. The words are in the plural number, “he is the living Gods”; not for the sake of honour and glory, as Kimchi observes; but as denoting a trinity of Persons in the unity of the divine essence: for though the words חיים אלהים, “living Gods”, that is, living divine Ones, or Persons, are in the plural number, yet הוא, “he”, is in the singular; which is worthy of observation. The Syriac version renders it, “the God of the living”; and so an Oxford Arabic MS, see Matt 22:32.
And an everlasting King; from everlasting to everlasting; he is King of old, even from eternity, and will ever be so; his kingdom is an everlasting one, and his throne for ever and ever, and he will always have subjects to reign over; nor will he have any successor, as mortal kings have, even such who have been deified by their idolatrous subjects.
At his wrath the earth shall tremble; that is, the inhabitants of it, when it is poured forth in judgments in the present life, and in the everlasting destruction of soul and body hereafter; and then shall they fear him, though now they do not.
And the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation; especially at the day of judgment; see Rev 6:16. [Gill]
Answer – There is but one only: the living and true God.
Photo Credit: Rob King on Unsplash