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Basics of Judaism

G-d and Torah

G-d’s Name in Plural

Question: What is the correct translation for Job 35:10 ‘My Maker’, ’ Our Maker’, or Makers? After searching the internet I crossed some other verses like Kohelet 12:1 where the word Creator is plural. Is this true or false? Isn’t there only Creator and Maker of all? Could someone explain me if their are plural facets and what is meant by these plural references?

Answer: Thanks for asking this question. I will answer it in a general way, not siting any one specific verse because there are so many where The Creator is referred to in the plural that they are too many to list. Also, each one needs its own depth of understanding and that is beyond the scope of this forum.

Whenever we see Hashem referred to in a plurality it is not, G-d forbid, that we believe even for a moment that there is more than one G-d or more than one spiritual Creator or “partner” with G-d in the constant creating or sustaining of the world.

The meaning in general is that G-d created many spiritual and mystical energies that He utilizes to continuously run the universe. Those forces and energies are what G-d uses to keep everything working in the “natural” order. When verses speak about “us” as in “Let us make man” or in the verses that you quoted the verses are referring to G-d and the spiritual energies (angelic being and other creations) that are tools of G-d will. He, sort of speak, “uses” created energy to run the world because those energies and those spiritual beings exist for specific purposes and cannot do anything else. It is similar to a machine that has moving parts. Most of the parts are job specific. “Angels” which is a whole separate discussion to begin to understand, exist to do G-d’s will and follow G-d’s command with no choice as to whether or not to complete their task. The Torah and the rest of the bible use a plurality to show us that G-d works “within nature” – which includes the spiritual universe – to do His work and partners with these beings to manifest the reality that He wants.

I hope this makes sense. It is important to note that nobody truly understands or can fully comprehend these things. We try our best to explain them in human terms, but as the Ramchal, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato writes – no human being can truly understand The Creator and the creation and constant divine manipulation of this world.

Be Well,
Rabbi Litt

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