Other gods, "little g"
Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.
Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you;
The First Commandment
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Who are these “other gods” that are mentioned in the First Commandment? Do they have individual names? Do they all go under the category of small “gods”? Does this sub-category of “other gods” have a title or a special name?
The answer will surprise you.
To find the answer let’s start by investigating the original Hebrew Scriptures to see if we can discover the identity of these “other gods”
The first question we should ask is this.
What is the Hebrew translation of “other gods” and “gods of the people” as revealed in Deuteronomy 6:4?
What is the Hebrew name for the “no other gods” found in the first commandment in Exodus 20:3?
Unfortunately, the English translation has created a good bit of confusion on this most important subject of “other gods”. To resolve this matter we simply need to look at the original Hebrew to see what it is literally saying. When we look closely into the matter and consult the actual Hebrew text we learn that the Hebrew Scriptures do not literally say “other gods”, the Hebrew literally says Elohim and “other ones”.
So let's take a look at the First Commandment that is translated into English, as “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” and compare the ENGLISH translation to the original Hebrew.
When we do we can clearly see that the English translation got it wrong. The literal translation should be as follows.
You shall have Elohim and no others before Him.
So the object of the commandment, or better stated, the teaching of the first commandment is not about “other gods”. They are not the focus of this teaching, but instead, the focus is on the one true Elohim, the name translated as God in English.
This literal translation directly from the original Hebrew is strengthened by the very fact that the Hebrew word that is translated in English as other “gods” small “g” small “o” small “d” is none other than ELOHIM the name of the true and living God.
This error in translation is what is causing the confusion.
Obviously, the name of the other false or imaginary gods is not ELOHIM.
Add to that the fact that In the Hebrew they are not referred to as other gods at all, they are simply referred in the Hebrew as “other ones”, which has unfortunately been translated into English as other gods.
So what is the first teaching or what we understand as the first commandment actually revealing?
It is simply this.
The true and living God whose name is Elohim is directing His people to keep Him and Him alone as the object of their affections and worship.
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