ʾĒl (or ‘Il, written aleph-lamed, e.g. Hebrew: אל, Syriac: ܐܠ, Arabic: إل or إله, cognate to Akkadian: ilu) is a Northwest Semitic word meaning “god” or “deity,” or referring (as a proper name) to any one of multiple major Ancient Near East deities. A rarer spelling, “‘ila,” represents the predicate form in Old Akkadian and in Amorite. The word is derived from the Proto-Semitic archaic biliteral ʔ–L, meaning “god”.
Specific deities known as El or Il include the supreme god of the Canaanite religion, the supreme god of the Mesopotamian Semites in the pre-Sargonic period, and the god of the Hebrew Bible.
Cognate forms are found throughout the Semitic languages. They include Ugaritic ʾil, pl. ʾlm; Phoenician ʾl pl. ʾlm; Hebrew ʾēl, pl. ʾēlîm; Aramaic ʾl; Akkadian ilu, pl. ilānu.
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Keywords: El, Deity, God, Elohim, Eloah, Eloha, Elohai, El Gibbor, El Shaddai, El Shadai, YHWH, Yahweh, Lord God, Name of God, God's name, God
Bible reference(s): Gen. 17:1, Gen. 28:3, Gen. 35:11, Gen. 43:14, Gen. 48:3, Gen. 49:25, Exod. 6:3, Num. 24:4, Num. 24:16, Deut. 10:17, Neh. 9:32, Job 8:3, Job 8:5, Job 13:3, Job 15:25, Job 22:17, Job 23:16, Job 27:2, Job 27:11, Job 27:13, Job 33:4, Job 34:10, Job 34:12, Job 35:13, Ezek. 10:5, Jos. 3:10, Ps. 42:2, Ps. 84:2, Isa 9:6, Isa. 10:21, Jer. 32:18, Hos. 1:10
Source: This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “El (deity),” which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
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