A word for “God” in the ancient Semitic languages. The word could be used as either a proper or a common noun. As a proper noun, El normally refers to a specific Canaanite god, regarded as the ruler among the gods, but the Bible speaks of El as the “God of Israel” (Gen 33:20). Thus, we find that Hagar encounters El-roi (Heb., “God of Seeing,” Gen 16:7-14). At Beer-sheba Abraham worships El Olam (“Eternal God,” (Gen 21:33). The name El Elyon (“God Most High”) was associated with Jerusalem (Gen 14:18-20). Jacob has a revelation of El-bethel (“God of Bethel”) at Bethel (Gen 35:7). Yahweh is known first as El Shaddai, and even the name Israel is a compound that includes the divine name El.

Gen 33:20

20There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

Gen 16:7-14

7The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur.8And he said, “Hagar, slave-girl of Sarai, where have you ... View more

Gen 21:33

33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God.

Gen 14:18-20

18And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High.19He blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
maker ... View more

Gen 35:7

7and there he built an altar and called the place El-bethel, because it was there that God had revealed himself to him when he fled from his brother.

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