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What does Ex 15:11 mean when it asks "Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?"

Is this verse saying there are other gods besides Yahweh?

Exodus 15:11

ESV - 11 Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?

Clarify Share Report Asked July 24 2015 Stringio john labriola

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
There are multiple passages in the Bible that make it clear that there is only one true God who exists in three co-eternal, co-equal Persons (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). (I will not dwell on the Scriptural support for this position, as it is not the subject of the question.)

However, there are other passages (such as the one cited) where even devoted servants of God such as Moses seem to imply the existence of other gods. (In fact, God Himself, in the first of the ten commandments, speaks of "gods" or "other gods".)

But the context in which these other references occur makes it clear that the "gods" in question are false gods or idols, and that their inanimate and powerless nature is being contrasted with the one true, living, omnipotent God. (That is not to say that the devil and his demonic followers do not also exist and have a certain degree of power of their own (as demonstrated by Pharoah's magicians earlier in the book of Exodus through their duplication of the early plagues using their black arts), but these demonic powers are clearly subordinate to God by their very nature, since they were originally created by Him as angelic beings, and subsequently became corrupted by their rebellion against God's authority.) 

In the passage quoted from the book of Exodus, the people of Israel had just been miraculously spared from the plagues that God had sent upon the Egyptians, and delivered from Egypt and from Pharaoh's pursuing army.

While in Egypt, they had seen the worship of many false, man-made "gods" on the part of the Egyptians. The manner in which God carried out each of the plagues that were sent upon Egypt prior to the exodus, culminating in the death of the firstborn in each household, was specifically intended to demonstrate His power and supremacy over the very areas supposedly governed by the false gods whom the Egyptians worshiped and served, and to contrast His active presence and control with the inanimate nature of those false gods, and with their inability to protect the Egyptians.

Thus, when Moses made a reference to "gods" in the passage cited, he was not saying or meaning to convey that the God who had delivered Israel was just one god among many. He was contrasting the power of the one true, living God with the false gods of Egypt over whom the God of Israel had just triumphed and had shown to be mere idols or human inventions. 

In the same way, other Biblical references to "gods" are to be understood as referring either to idols or to mere humans (as in the case of Psalm 82, for example), and not stating or implying that there is more than one true God.

July 25 2015 4 responses Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Kenneth Heck
In the bible certain gods are called an abomination, such as Milcom of the Ammonites or Chemosh of the Moabites (2 Kings (23:13). Certainly, all idolatry was condemned in no uncertain terms. But there is no statement in the bible calling any particular god or religion false.

Consider these verses:

1 Cor. 8:5-6 "For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be gods many, and lords many) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him."

Deut. 10:17: "For the LORD your God is the God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward."

Admittedly, the word "god" is overworked in the bible. Today we would categorize these "gods" as angels, archangels, princes, as in the prince of Persia, cherubim, etc., some of which would be recognizably demonic. They didn't possess the known characteristics of deity that we are aware of today.

July 26 2015 1 response Vote Up Share Report


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Mini Al Mari Private practice as a cardiovascular & thoracic surgeon
Dear John, 
It means that YHVH, our Lord is not like any other. 
He is distinct, unique and "above all gods". 

Ps. 95:2-4 states:
"Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God And a great King above all gods, In whose hand are the depths of the earth, The peaks of the mountains are His also.…"

While other so-called "gods" may be real beings like Satan, the god of this world, (2 Cor. 4:4), YHVH is superior to all these "gods" and He should be the only one to be worshiped, not others. However, when YHVH, the LOGOS, incarnated into man-Jesus, he said, "worship the Father"(John 4:22-24).

August 07 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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