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Girdlestone's Synonyms of the Old Testament
The name Shaddai (שׁדי ) is always rendered Almighty.
The LXX renders it by the word θεός, κύριος and παντοκράτωρ, God, Lord, and Almighty in five passages we find ἱκανός, which we might translate All-sufficient. Jerome adopted the word Omnipotens, Almighty, and other versions have followed in his track.
The title Shaddai really indicates the fulness and riches of God's grace, and would remind the Hebrew reader that from God cometh every good and perfect gift, - that He is never weary of pouring forth his mercies up on his people, and that He is more ready to give than they are to receive. The word is connected with a root which signifies a breast, and hence the idea is similar to teat contained in our word exuberance. Perhaps the expressive word bountiful would convey the sense most exactly. [Compare the rendering allgenugsame in the Berlenburger Bible.] this rendering will be illustrated and confirmed by a reference to some of the passages in which Shaddai occurs, as they will be found specially to designate God as a Bountiful Giver. The first passage in which the word is found is Genesis 17:1, where we read that 'Jehovah appeared to Abram, and said, I am El-Shaddai; walk before me, and be thou perfect: and I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly . and thou shalt be a father of a multitude of nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of a multitude of nations have I made thee. and I will make thee exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.'
The title is next found in Genesis 28:3, where Isaac says to Jacob, 'El-Shaddai bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be an assemblage of peoples.'
The third passage is Genesis 35:11, where God says unto Jacob, 'I am El-Shaddai: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and an assemblage of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins' (compare Genesis 48:3).
The fourth passage is Genesis 43:14, where Jacob, in the intensity of his anxiety on behalf of his youngest son whom he is about to send into Egypt, throws himself up on the tender compassion of the All-Bountiful God, and says, 'El-Shaddai give you tender mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother and Benjamin.'
There is only one other place in Genes is in which this name is found, namely, Genesis 49:25, where Jacob is blessing his son Joseph, and says, 'From the El of thy father, there shall be help to thee; and with Shaddai, there shall be blessings to thee, blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts (here the word Shad is used in its original sense), and blessings of the womb.'
These passages appear to establish the fact that whilst the name El sets forth the Might [When we read of the Mighty One of Israel, or the Mighty God of Jacob or Israel, the word for Mighty is usually Abir or Avir (אביר ), a word marking strength and excellence. sometimes gad̊l (גדול ) great, is used, e.g in Deuteronomy 7:21; and in one or two eases the Hebrew name for a Rock is used to set forth the firmness of the Divine power: see for examples, Isaiah 30:29. The 50th Psalm begins with the three names El, Elohim , Jehovah (A. V. The Mighty God, even the LORD).] of God, the title Shaddai points to the inexhaustible stores of his Bounty.
Passing by the reference to this name in Exodus 6:3, which will be discussed in a later section, it may be noticed that Shaddai is only once again used in composition with El, namely, in Ezekiel 10:5; without El it is used twice by Balaam (Numbers 24:4; Numbers 24:16), twice by Naomi (Ruth 1:20-21), twice in the Psalms (68:14,. 91:1), and three times by the prophets (Isaiah 13:6; Ezekiel 1:24; Joel 1:15). These are the only places in which it is to be found in the Bible except in the Book of Job, in which we meet with it thirty-one times.
the Second Week of Advent