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El Shaddai

by Don Costello  
4/30/2008 / Bible Studies

Genesis 17:1

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

a. Almighty (7706 * Shaddai) Almighty.

1. Scofield Reference Bible.

a. The etymological signification of Almighty God (El Shaddai) is both interesting and touching. God (El) signifies the "Strong One". The qualifying word "Shaddai" is formed from the Hebrew word "shad", the breast, invariably used in Scripture for a woman's breast; e.g. Genesis 49:25; Job 3:12; Psalm 22:9, etc.. Shaddai therefore means primarily "the breasted". God is "Shaddai", because He is the Nourisher, the Strength-giver, and so, in a secondary sense, the Satisfier, who pours Himself into believing lives. As a fretful unsatisfied babe is not only strengthened and nourished from the mother's breast, but is also quieted, rested, satisfied, so El Shaddai is that name God which sets Him forth as the Strength-giver and Satisfier of His people.

2. Dr. W. A. Criswell.

a. El Shaddaiis a further enrichment of the supreme name YAHWEH. "El" is the singular from of Elohim, and Shaddai is literally, "sufficient"; therefore, it is rendered "Almighty". The "Almightiness" and "self-sufficiency" of YAHWEH are adequate for Him to deal victoriously and even destructively with His enemies."

3. Significant examples of the use of El Shaddai.

a. We know that God appeared to Isaac by the name of El Shaddai, because God said He did: Exodus 6:2, 3 "And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty,"

a. Isaac used the name El Shaddai to believe God to fulfill the Covenant to Jacob. Genesis 28:1-4 "And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Caanan. Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother. And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.

b. Genesis 35:9-12 "And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him. And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land."

c. Jacob used the name El Shaddai to believe God for protection and restoration of his family. Genesis 43:14 "And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved."

4. New Testament link.

a. Hebrews 11:9 "By faith he [Abraham] sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise."

5. Words

a. Perfect (8549 * tamiym) entire, also integrity, truth, without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sincerely, sound, without spot, undefiled, upright.

6. Other New Testament links are seen in the use of similar use of the word "perfect", and the Hebrew definitions "without blemish", and "entire".

a. James 1:2-4 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be PERFECT and ENTIRE, wanting nothing."

b. Philippians 2:14, 15 "Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

c. The Greek word for "blameless" is amomos (273), and it means "without blemish".

My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.

My e-mail address is

I have a blog located at:

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