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Concept of God in the Old Testament

Mojtaba Zurvani
Associate Professor at Tehran University, Theology Faculty, Religions and Mysticism.

Ghorban Elmi
Associate Professor at Tehran University, Theology Faculty, Religions and Mysticism.

Aliashraf Karimi *
PHD Student at Tehran University, Theology Faculty, Religions and Mysticism.
*Corresponding author:



Ethnic god
En Sof

Jews consider themselves pioneer of monotheism among the worlds religions and consider monotheism in
Christianity and Islam examples of more or less influenced by Jewish monotheism. But the study of Old
Testament shows that polytheism and idolatry prevailed among the Jews for centuries; even after Moses
prophecy. After leaving idolatry and polytheism, their monotheism was monolatrism; that is the worship of a
single deity (while believing in the existence of others). Since Jeremiah, Ezekiel and second Isaiah,
monotheism entered the Jewish religious literature, but the roots of polytheism among the Jews were never
drained and finally re-emerged in various forms in Jewish mysticism. This article attempts to survey the
concept of God in the Old Testament.

Judaism is one of the worlds oldest living religions that after a few thousand years activity, has managed to sustain its existence. The term
Judaism is first found among the Greek-speaking Jews of the first century C.E. (Judaism, see II Macc. 2:21; 8:1; 14:38; Gal. 1:1314). Its
Hebrew equivalent, Yahadut, found only occasionally in medieval literature (e.g., Ibn Ezra to Deut.21:13), but used frequently in modern times
(Encyclopedia Judaica 2007, Second edition, vol 11, p511). Religions of Islam and Christianity have some similarity in terms of their content of
sacred texts with Judaism. Because, the Jewish religion is more ancient than the other two religions, studying more about this religion help us to
understand Islam and Christianity better. By study of the Old Testament, we have various effects and sometimes different of Jehovah; lord of
Israel; sometimes is exclusive god of Israelites and to bring order to the situation of these people, other people will be sacrifice and not only He
is not responsible for the fate of other nations, but to destroy them assist Israelites. Sometimes, Jehovah will appear in the form of the universal
God and is concerned about the fate of the Palestinians and Syrians, also helps Nebuchadnezzar in his war and raises Cyrus of Persia for justice.
Great contents of the Old Testament criticize polytheism and idolatry among the Israelites. For careful study on this subject it is necessary to
understand that which form have the evolution of the concept of God in the Old Testament? And despite call of Israelites by prophets to
monotheism, what was the cause of polytheism and Idolatry of Israelites? This paper is an attempt to study Jehovah in the form of ethnic God,
then, addressing the question of polytheism and prophets struggles with this. Then emergence of Jehovah in the form of the universal god will be
surveyed and in the end, Jewish Mystics attitude toward God and creation system arises.

Ethnic God
There are many verses in the bible, while acknowledging the existence of other gods, demand the Israelites stop worshiping such gods and
worship only Jehovah, because otherwise the anger of Jehovah will be arise. These verses are not denying the existence of other gods, but this
point is reminded the Israelites that they are special people of Jehovah and Jehovah is their special God and Jehovahs action in support of his
people is reminded. Jack Cottrell stated that all the people on earth believe in the existence of transcendent or sublime beings, that they belong to
it, the existence that affect them in specific ways and control their fate (Cottrell Jack, 1983, p1). In Judaism it is Jehovah who holds the fate of
Israelites. By Torah, a covenant between God and Israelites in the mountain that differently is called Sinai, Horeb and the mountain of God, was
signed through Moses. The treaty committed the Israelites to serve and worship Jehovah exclusively and yield obligations that totally called The
Low (Exod 34, 19-24; Deut 5). In addition, in the plains of Moab, covenant with that contents was signed (Deut 9,1-29; 30). Book of Joshua
chapter24 describes how Joshua led his people to worship Jehovah exclusively and pass a covenant in shechem (without pointing out to the
previous covenant by Moses in this content). No one of traditions associated with these covenants does insist that Jehovah is the only existent
God, but all of them contain the fact that the Israelites should serve and worship him alone. Some of the early prophets, such as Amos and Isaiah
explicitly do not mention the contents of the covenant, but they also emphasize that Jehovah asked Israelites to disregard other Gods and worship
him alone. This order is called properly monolatry; that is the kind of worship only one god to be worshiped, but does not deny the existence of
other gods. Theoretically monolatry is unite with polytheism (Khoramshahi, 2000, v2, p11-12). Monolatry was not unknown in the ancient near
east, Akhenaten, king of Egypt, in the fourteenth century BC was the starter of solar monolatry, according to, dynasty families worshiped, Aton,
namely sun disk while negating traditional Egyptian gods. In Mesopotamian mythology, there is speaks of the worship of a single god
temporarily. Moreover, the literature and resources of the near east, regularly used monolatry language: worshiper can serve and worship
different Gods periodically and declare that each of them is the subject of his worship. Worshiper sometimes goes so far as to claim other Gods


Concept of God in the Old Testament

International Journal of Economy, Management and Social Sciences Vol(3), No (11), November, 2014.

are traits and organs of the god who is worshiped. Undoubtedly this uttered in a moment, is sincere, but actually, does not reject the authenticity
of worshiping other gods (Khoramshahi, 2000, v2, p12).
In The Psalms admitted the existence of other gods, but asked the other gods to worship only Jehovah, apparently, while acknowledging the
existence of other gods, Jehovah is superior to the others (Psalms, 97: 2-9). In another verse from the Psalms, Jehovah is considered superior to
other gods and their King (Psalms: 3-5). In another text of Psalms, Jehovah is described The LORD and God of gods, here the existence of other
gods beside Jehovah is acknowledged again (Psalms, 136: 2-3). Also in Deuteronomy this concept is repeated: for the Lord your God is God of
gods, and Lord of lords, a great Good, a mighty, and a terrible (Deuteronomy, 10: 17). In the other section of Psalms comes: God standeth in
the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods (Psalms, 82:1). In another verse though acknowledged to the existence of other gods,
but The Lord is different from them: Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works
(Psalms, 86:8). In Leviticus, it is emphasized that Jehovah is an ethnic God: And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be
my people (Leviticus, 26: 12). In Deuteronomy, it is acknowledged to the existence of other gods, but being the superior of Jehovah is not
mentioned and Israelites are only required that to be secure from Jehovahs wrath, avoid worshiping other gods (Deuteronomy, 11: 16-17). In
another verse from Deuteronomy, in addition to being Jehovah the special God of the Israelites, it has been mentioned the prejudice of Jehovah
toward his Israelites people and cruelty towards other nations (Deuteronomy, 7: 1-6). In Numbers, Jehovah by helping the Israelites for the
surrender of their enemies and the other tribes into the hands of Israelites, practically shows that he is an ethnic God, because only has favor and
prejudice for Israelites (Numbers, 22: 33-35). Once again, Jehovah helps his tribe to destroy other tribes and this time helps Joshua in doing this
work, Jehovah not only destroy other tribes for Israelites, but also by Jehovahs order every animal related to this tribes were exterminated,
further, Jehovah personally participate in this wars(Joshua,10:29-43).
Jehovah once again and this time appears on Solomon and scares him from worshiping other gods. what in this case and previous cases is
common is that Jehovah does not say there is no god apart from me, but only wants of his people to give up worshiping other gods and only
worship him(1kings,9: 6-9). In Deuteronomy, Jehovah intensifies his threats and determines the stoning for those who in the Israel realm
worship other gods. This decree comparing to the other previous decrees about the worshipers of other gods has some differences, and claims
that the Jehovah worshipers have been in the position of the power (Deuteronomy, 17: 2-7). In the book of Jeremiah also Jehovah repeats his
threats, but like Deuteronomy does not emphasize on personal punishment, but all the people will be the target of their threats (Jeremiah, 13: 111). In the book of Deuteronomy, Jehovah after reminding his favor for Israelites, entitle them thankless and ignorant people. The case that in
these verses is noticeable is that Jehovah reminds that; these gods that the Israelites worship are new gods and their forefathers have not
worshiped them, but their existence as gods have not denied again (Deuteronomy, 32: 1-20).

Polytheism and idolatry

Although nowadays historically know the Israelites one of the forerunners of the slogan of monolithic in the world and know monotheism in
other religions somehow related or derived from Judaism, but the historical religious study of the Israelites and its historical criticism shows that
the Israelites in many historical periods have been idolater and pagan. In other words, they have worshiped several gods and for some of these
gods such as Moloch, they have performed human sacrifices. This idolatry or in the other words polytheism after Moses has continued for a
period of about seven centuries widely. In Genesis it is pointed out to the idolatry of Israelites in the Jacob times. In Judges also, it is pointed out
to the idolatry and polytheism of Israelites and consequently irritating Jehovahs wrath (Judges, 10: 6-14). In Leviticus also it is pointing out to
the polytheism of Israelites; it is notable that this time Jehovah demanded Moses that via Aron, represent a sacrifice for Azazel; that is symbol
for god of evil, to be expiation and scapegoat for their sins (Leviticus, 16: 1-22).
Isidore Epstein points out to the Idolatry and polytheism of Israelites and writes: some abandoned worshiping Jehovah and worshiped Baals and
aboriginal Astartes and related soil fertility and flock increase to them. And some worshiped Jehovah and Baal: they considered Jehovah as
guard of the nation, while Baal was donor of harvest and grape. A number of other acted in a consolidate manner and transferred all of the titles
and attributes and practices of the local gods to Jehovah (Epstein Isidore, 2006, p33). Dan sherbok about the cause of the attractiveness of Baal
worship among the Israelites writes: Baals power returned when he engaged in sexual relations with Anat; this ensured the fertility of the earth.
In Canaanite religion this was crucial since rainfall was vital for agriculture. Some scholars believe that the story of Baals revival was the high
point of the autumn New Year Festival; the king and a temple prostitute would act out the story of Baal and Anat. Such a mixture of sexual
activity and fertility presented a major challenge to the Israelite concept of god who demands moral and ritual obedience to his decree (Sherbok,
2003, p34).
In an interesting text and in accordance with the Bible, Tobeit writes about the calf worshiping of Israelites at the time of Jeroboam, King of
Israel: I, Tobeit, every day in my life perambulate the correct way and had the good work, all my brothers and the tribe of Naphtali,
slaughtered their sacrifices on all of the Galilee mountains for the calf that Jeroboam, King of Israel had made in Dan (Les livers
deuterocanoniques, Tobeit, 1: 3-5). Armstrong also in this regard writes: In the tenth century, King Jeroboam the first, had set up two cultic bulls
at the sanctuaries of Dan and Beth-El. Two hundred years later, the Israelites were still taking part in fertility rites and sacred sex there, as we see
in the oracles of the prophet Hosea, Amos's contemporary. Some Israelites appear to have thought that Yahweh has a wife, like the other gods:
archaeologists have recently unearthed inscriptions dedicated 'To Yahweh and his Asherah' (Armstrong, 1944, p32). Widengren also points out
to the worshiping of goddess among the Israelites and writes: another Canaanite female deity was also worshipped in Jerusalem from the days of
Solomon, the goddess Astarte (1Kings, 11, 5). In theory, but probably not in practice she was distinguished from Ashirat. Both, together with
Anat, were only differentiated manifestations of the some type of the Semitic Mother goddess (Bleaker & Widengren, 1969, v1, p260).
Widengren in continuing points out to the polytheism at the time of Solomon and writes: Solomon is also accused of having constructed highplaces for Kemosh, the god of the Moabites, and for Milkom, the god of Ammon (I kings, II, 5, 7), probably more for political, than for religious
reasons, because he was their over lord (Bleeker & widengren, 1969, v1, p260). Ahab, son of Omri, also under affection of his full influence
wife, Isabel, revived the cult of Baal worshiping, and consolidated it popularly and formally with rituals of fertility and its human victims as the
official religion of northern district; in competition with the cult of Jehovahs worship up to this time, at least nominally, was recognized as the
only God of Israel (Epstein, 1385s, p41). The dimension and spread of idolatry and polytheism among the Israelites after Moses was to such an

Mojtaba Zurvani, Ghorban Elmi, Aliashraf Karimi *


International Journal of Economy, Management and Social Sciences Vol(3), No (11), November, 2014.

extent that it can be concluded that idolatry among the Israelites have been deep-rooted in this era and the roots of this, back to the period before
Moses. On the other hand, the people of that period assume that the power of every nation depends on the power of their god. Ahaz was not
excluded from such assumptions and after viewing awesome Assyrian victories in war, worshiped their gods. During a visit to Egypt, Jeremiah
encountered a group of Jews who had fled to the Delta area and had no time at all for Yahweh. Their women claimed that everything had been
fine as long as they had performed the traditional rites in honor of Ishtar, Queen of Heaven, but as soon as they stopped them, at the behest of the
likes of Jeremiah, disaster, defeat and penury had followed (Armstrong, 1944, p37). However, after Josiahs reform, worshiping other gods was
prohibited, but many people covertly continued to idolatry and polytheism, even the priests of Jerusalem temple as well as other people did
polytheism. In the book of the prophet Ezekiel and on the basis of Ezekiels vision in this regard came: And he brought me to the door of the
court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and
all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about. 8:11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the
house of Israel ... Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women
weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than
these. 8:16 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch
and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they
worshipped the sun toward the east (Ezekiel, 8: 1-18). On the other hand, prophet Hosea behalf of Jehovah criticizes idolatry and polytheism
of Israelites, especially refer to the ritual intercourse that they were doing for Ishtar and consequently to profligacy of Israelites that was resulting
in this kind of polytheism (Hosea, 4: 12-14). Amos also refers to spread of idolatry among the Israelites and in this regard tells important points.
According to the verses of the book of the prophet Amos, the Israelites even in the time of Moses and in the Sinai, secretly engaged to idolatry:
Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? 5:26 But ye have borne the tabernacle of your
Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves (Amos, 5:25-26). Armstrong in this regard writes: Manasseh
had actually put up an effigy to Asherah in the Temple, where there was a flourishing fertility cult. Since most Israelites were devoted to
Asherah and some thought that she was Yahweh's wife, only the most strict Yahwists would have considered this blasphemous (Armstrong,
1944, p34).
According to the second law books, idolatry among the Israelites after the Babylonian exile and even to the second century BC has been
continued (les livres deuterocanoniques, Maccabees, 12:38-41). Le Breton noted that in the second century AD, the signs of worshiping angels
among the Jews were seen. The Christians regard such worshiping the desecration of them and ST. Paul had condemned it (Masson, Denise,
2010, v1, p230). Other items related to polytheism of Israelites is that in Jews mysticism, the angel called Metatron had enhanced to the degree
of divinity and had taken administration of the world, Bloom in this regard writes: Metatron himself wears a radiant garment of light and a
crown with forty-nine precious stones. He sheds light into all four corners of the earth and throughout the seven heavens (Bloom, 2007, p159).

Universal God
A. History of monotheistic thought
The conception of a god of heaven was developed in the northwest Semitic religions of the 1st millennium BCE, Where a new type of supreme
god, Baal shamem, arose. This god is first found in Phoenician inscriptions from the mid 10th cent BCE onwards and taken over into the Aramaic
and Judeo-Israelite religion, where Yahweh was equated with the god of heaven. In the Israelite-Jewish religion the explicit designation of
Yahweh as god of heaven occurs independently in the 5th century Elephantine papyri and in several post- exilic books of the OT. The
antecedents for this development lie in the pre-exilic period. Originally Yahweh was a local weather- god of the Midianite -Edomite region. Also
in later Judeo-Israelite religion Yahweh was seen as a weather-god who was responsible for rain and fertility (e. g. 2sam 22:8-16=Ps 18:8-16; Jer
10:13=51:16; 14:22; 31:12; Hos 2:10-11; Hag 1:2-11; 2:15-19; Joel 2:21-24; Ps 29; 65:10-14). Due to the rise of the monarchy in Judah and
Israel, Yahweh abandoned his status as local weather- god, a position which according to the Phoenician expression, was reserved for the god of
heaven. The political and religio-historical background for conceiving Yahweh as God of heaven is to be seen in the Phoenician supremacy over
the kingdom of Judah and Israel from the second half of the 10 th century onward. The temple of Jerusalem was built under Phoenician influence
(1 Kgs 5: 15-32; 7: 13-51). In this national sanctuary of Judah, Yahweh was venerated as enthroned upon the cherubim (1 Sam 4:4;2 Sam 6:2
=1 Chr 13:6; 2Kgs 19:15 =Jes 37:16; Pss 80:2; 99:1). This theologoumenon is of Phoenician provenience and designates Yahweh as divine king.
On the other hand, in Egypt, around 1375 BC, Pharaoh Amenhotep the fourth, reject the authenticity of ancient gods and their priests, and
exclusively called himself the duteous of Aton, the sun god that was outlined in the form of a tablet image of sun. He called himself the son of
Aton and gave himself the title Akhenaten (the duteous of Aton). Aton was the only god that existed, which was not only the god of the king
of Egypt, but also the whole world, and in his essence there was the attributes of all other gods. Akhenaten even removed the names of other
gods from inscriptions and replaced them the names of Aton (Khoramshahi, 2000, v2, p134).
B. Monotheism
Eliade about this matter that Jehovah is a universal God, says: the prophets who came to the area, were against the pagan understanding; that the
nature function is under supervision of different gods; Elijah and Hosea were on it that only Jehovah dominate on all the areas and realms, who
is creator of the world and he is the only God that bestow on the grain in desert and vinegar in amphora. as soon as that blasphemous thoughts
were suppressed, the prophets tried to overcome on the limits of lord of lords thoughts. At first, this thought was acceptable that the people cant
worship Jehovah outside of the land of Israelites, but Amos insisted that only one God, the Lord, not only saved the Israelites from Egypt, but
brought up the Palestinian from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir (Amos, 9:7; Khoramshahi, 2000,v2,p136-137). Charles recites Jeremiah of
the global missionaries and Ezekiel of monopoly- oriented: Jeremiah taught universalism, that is, that God gracious purposes embraced all
mankind, and that Zion was to be the spiritual mother of the nations: Ezekiel taught particularism, that is, that the Jews only were the objects of
gods love(Charles, 1914, p68).
Second Isaiah, the prophet of the Babylonian captivity period, went far beyond the saying that Cyrus, the powerful king of the Medes and
Persians is Jesus (anointed) of Jehovah (Isaiah, 45:1). In the standpoint of these prophets, Jehovah is not a tribal god that his power be common


Concept of God in the Old Testament

International Journal of Economy, Management and Social Sciences Vol(3), No (11), November, 2014.

with the gods of other tribes and nations, but the only creator of all things and leader of the history of all tribes and nations according to his
scheme and wisdom (Khoramshahi, 2000, v2, p137). Although there is origins of the idea of a universal god in Judaism from the Babylonian
exile period, but many of the Jewish believe that Jewish religion comes only for Jewish nation, and another nations have not deserve to have this
religion, and the roots of selfishness of Jews is secreted in this point. In the book of Isaiah, about the Oneness of god comes: Thus saith the Lord,
the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God (Isaiah, 44: 6). The Rabees
strongly reject both idolatry and dualism. Read prayers twice a day: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord (Deuteronomy, 6:4). the
confession of Israelites in the faith to the oneness of god, at least in the first century BC, and possibly for ostracizing and vilifying of continuing
dualistic notions that was prevalent in the Middle East has a history. Abahoo, The Palestinian Jewish teacher in the third century, in the polemics
that seemingly launched against the Christianity and dualism, had explained this verse: I am the first, because I have no father, and I am the last,
because I have no child, and beside me there is no God, because I have no brother [and counterpart] (Khoramshahi, 2000,v2, p41). About the
verse: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord, there are some explanations: Essence of the blessed holy one says to Israel: O my children,
whatever I create on the earth has a couple; heaven and earth, sun and moon, Adam and Eve, this world and the next, they are all paired together,
but I am unique in the world (Deuteronomy Raba, 31: 2 ; Cohen, 2011, p30). According to the first book of Kings, Solomon in the prayer that
recites, knows Jehovah as the only God (1 Kings, 8: 54-61). And Hezekiah also, in the 2Kings, accounts Jehovah the only existent god and
considers the gods of other nations, idols (2Kings, 19: 15-19).
In the Jewish religion, tabernacle and consequently the temple of Solomon were presumed the place of residence of Jehovah, and Jehovah visited
the prophets of Israel in this place. It was because of this belief that after destruction of the first temple, the Jewish, discontinued ritual offering
of sacrifice to the Jehovah, because according to them, Jehovah hasnt home yet that they dedicate their offerings to him and He accept. On the
other word, the presence of Jehovah was affiliated with temple. This idea has the effects on Jewish mystical thoughts, so that according to them,
the Jehovahs presence among the Israelites that called shechina, is not such as before continual, but happens occasionally. To solve this
problem, Jeremiah introduced a new covenant with the Jehovah, by virtue of that covenant the temple was not medium of covenant else, but the
heart of every single one of them replace the temple. Jeremiah could with this devise preserve the Israelites relationship with Jehovah. However,
in the first book of Kings, a prayer attributed to Solomon that indicate his perception of the temple has been different with the common peoples
perception about it: But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this
house that I have built?... (2Kings, 8: 27-30).

Mystical God
Philo of Alexandria repeatedly emphasizes on mans inability to know god, and specifically says: what is important is to understand that the
essence of god for no creature could be understood, we can only know his existence and effects (Masson, 2006, v1, p43). Gershom Scholem,
sees God flows in all creatures and knows all things related to God. His view is somewhat closer to the pantheistic view, according to him: God
in the world space is unique, he filled all the space of the universe and he is in the midst of anything that is in the world and there is nothing in
him and obstacle of him; another objects and anything is in him. He sees everything, because all his entity is vision, he has no eyes to see them,
so he has the authority to see self in his immanent (Scholem, 2010, p 452-453). Latent God, or the most esoteric of the godhead, as have said,
has not quality and attributes, however, both Zohar and Kabbalah call this latent entity, as well, En- sof, that is unlimited (Scholem, 2010, p
274). Bleeker in line with Eliade and Scholem states: therefore, the Kabbalists have distinguished between two aspects of the divine: the hidden
and unknowable deus absconditus, and the manifest, self-revealing, accessible God of religious experience. Of the former not even existence can
be predicated; he (or rather it) is the paradoxical fullness of the great divine Nothing. The Kabbalists called it En sof, the infinite. It is so
hidden in the mystery of its nothingness that it is not even mentioned in the Bible (Bleeker, 1971, v2, p30). Shokek writes also in this regard:
Zohar teaches that En sof manifests everything from potentiality to actuality (Shokek, 2001, p30). This, is done through Sefiroths. The ten
Sefiroth constitute the revealed spiritual attributes of the Godhead but they are revealed only to En sof (Shokek, 2001, p25).
According to Jewish mysticism, God essence manifests through Sefiroths. Zohar always has pointed out to hierarchical construction of reality
in Sefiroth grades, but obviously hasnt regarded them as stairs of ladders between God and the universe, but has regarded them as different
steps of manifestation of Godhead that are in continuing each other and complement each other (Scholem, 2010, p275). Frank also writes about
degrees of hierarchical construction of reality in Godhead: thus in philos hierarchical construction of reality the essence of God, though
utterly concealed in its primary being, is nevertheless made manifest on two secondary levels, the intelligible universe constituting the logos,
which is Gods image, and the sensible universe, an image of that image. philo further delineates the dynamics of the logos activity by defining
its two constitutive polar principles, goodness or the creative power, and sovereignty or the ruling power, which are clearly reminiscent of the
principles of unlimited and limited in platos philebus (23c-3Ia), and reappear in Plotinus, two logical moments in the emergence of the intellect,
where we find unlimited intelligible matter proceeding from the one and then turning back to its source for definition (Frank, 1997, p 51-52).
The main contribution that philo has in the philosophical-religious thoughts, is his assume about logos. With further expansion of the idea of the
book of wisdom, philo evaluate the Greek concept of logos and conceived it such as personality that called second God and sometimes son
of God, that is Gods revelation and creation device and his action and his inherent essence effects in the universe. By philo, certainly logos was
in a position lower than God. And so with the principal belief of logos in Christian theology, that is, the logos that became corporeal, is not
equal. Philo believed that, God not only is incorporeal, but also is devoid of all attributes and qualities; God is a simple existence that nothing
can be attributed to him. He is absolute being, fixed unity, eternally immutable and pure immaterial intellect (Epstein, 2006, p239). However,
there is no doubt that the idea of the logos and then shechina; that at first in Neoplatonist ideas were proposed in the form of logos and then
became shechina in Jewish mysticism, had essential role in shaping the idea of Logos and Christ in Christianity. Gershom Scholem believed that
logos and shechina are one: in one column of the book of Samuel ben Kalonymus read: creatures praise Shechina that create himself, but in the
world they are praising only Gods soul. In other words, direct prayer to God, in spite of being infinite and all divine presence, including His
Holiness, only of the eschatological perspective is possible. The point is directed to Creator Shechina or spirit of living God. That is, sanctity of
his holiness that in spite of everything, often appear as the Logos (Scholem, 2011, p176).

Mojtaba Zurvani, Ghorban Elmi, Aliashraf Karimi *


International Journal of Economy, Management and Social Sciences Vol(3), No (11), November, 2014.

The idea of Shechina in the Kabbalas thought is of great importance, Shechina is a manifestation of God. Because all things penetrate in all
things, the events of a world, affects the entire world. As, in Zohar had come: from an activity in beneath [earth], an activity similar that
motivated in heaven. Hence, due to the fall of the first human, there was a break in the world and darkness and evil entered it, explicitly the
Godhead presence, abandoned the En suf. Now divine presence with glory will not encompass whole of the world, but only occasionally appear
here and there. He appeared among the ancient Israelites and continued to manifestation to particularly be companion to the Jewish people.
though, the disobey of Israelites prevents full functionally of Gods love, hence, the aim of Jewish righteous, is to attempt for reunification of
Shechina with En suf. The reunion will automatically restore harmony to the whole world and the kingdom of the Messiah would be fulfilled.
Considering that the human soul is interested in Sefirot, then who will experience such coordination and unification, can have a global impact.
Hence, the faithful are asked to take on a life of meditation and contemplation, along with the ultimate perfection and act for re-establishing of
lost harmony of the world (Smart, 2004, v2, p 57-58). Gershom scholem believes that Sefiroth permeates through Adam Kadmon. In the stage
that is consistent with the appearance of God through old Adam or Adam Kadmon, before breaking dishes, the active forces still are not under
supervision of a living and organic whole and have not an exact and distinct transfiguration. Now, that the dishes have been broken, a new flux
of light from the original source boils off its perch and can be poured into the top of Adam Kadmon and gives regulate the chaotic elements. The
light of Sefiroth that permeates from Adam Kadmon, ordered in an exquisite appearance that in every one of them, Adam Kadmon appears
limited and explicit forms. Each Sefiroth in its specific ratio to the God transfigurates and takes shapes that the Kabbalists call it Partsuf or
form of God (Scholem, 2010, p339).

In this article it was noted that according to the Old Testament, Jehovah is primarily a tribal God who is only concerned about the fate of his
people. In the Old Testament it is confessed to the existence of other Gods besides Jehovah, but has asked the Israelites to worship only Jehovah.
In practice, it was observed that the Israelites that were accustomed to polytheism and idolatry, despite the efforts of Moses could not desist
polytheism and idolatry and secretly and when the favorable conditions were available, evidently were worshiping other Gods along with
worshiping Jehovah. Thus, the monotheistic message of the prophets of Israel, only among a small number of followers of prophets was
considered. In Jewish mysticism, roots of polytheism again, but this time under the influence of Greek philosophy and in combination with the
old folk believes, prevalent among the Israelites appeared. Jehovah as the philosophical god was described as a transcendent God far from the
world and human, to avoid contact with the imperfect and mortal world, acts only by means of his middlemen such as: Adam Kadmon, Shechina
and ten Sefiroths. Sometimes, some Jewish mystics regard Shechina as wife of Jehovah in relation of creation. Now, the idea of an ethnic God
and eventually being God chosen people of Israelites, more than any other beliefs, affected the Israelites thoughts and behaviors.

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