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ISRAEL, YHVH (read Adonai) [is] our ELOHIM,

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YHVH (read Adonai) alone,


Listen up YOU WHO CLAIM YOU WILL NEVER LET GO OF GOD, the OWNER AN RULER that we have committee ourselves to is THE ETERNAL AND PERSONAL GOD; we have committed ourselves to Him alone,



“Hear, listen” carries the idea of listening with attention, or paying attention. It also implies obeying what has been heard. In the verse just prior to this one, this command is followed by the command to obey, which, rather than being a redundancy, was a powerful emphasis on both ideas – “listen and obey.”


In cases like this the idea of “our” is incorporated into the name for God so it is a different form of the name Elohim. However, for English readers I render it “our ELOHIM” so as to not cause confusion by using various forms of the name and because that is what it means.

What Is the Intended Meaning?

Is the intended meaning that of “YHVH is one Lord in contrast to the multiple gods of all the cultures surrounding Israel,” or “YHVH is our God; YHVH alone”?

Either possibility is viable and each one is connected to the other.

Let’s look first at the interpretation that points to monotheism. One of the key differences between Judaism and the religions around them was that Judaism has only one God, not many gods. But, at the end of the day, it means nothing to claim that God is one unless the person making that claim is also willing to obey this powerful and unique God. For a Jew to repeat this verse, and possibly the 5 that follow it, twice a day, which they have always done, seems to imply a commitment to obey this God. So, if this interpretation is chosen, it clearly states monotheism and hints at obedience. Support for this interpretation comes from passages like Deuteronomy 7:9 and 10:17, which are outside of the immediate context.

The other option is to render this verse as, “YHVH is our God, YHVH alone.” While it is not stated, it is implied that the reason they are committed to following only one God is that this God is the only one worth following because He is the only true God. If this interpretation is chosen, it clearly speaks to obedience and hints at monotheism. Support for this rendering comes from the immediate context, i.e. verses 3, 5 and 12 of this passage. Support from the immediate context should carry more weight than support from other parts of Scripture.

Thus, each option assumes that other one is also true.