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El Elyon: God Most High {Meaning and Lessons}

In this article, we will continue our study of the names of God. This time we will be looking at El Elyon, what it means, and how we can learn that He is the God Most High. So, get your Bible, and let’s jump in…

There are many different names of God throughout the Bible, each describing God’s distinct characteristics. The Old Testament alone features no less than sixteen different names of God.

One of God’s names in the Old Testament is El Elyon. For Christians, it is essential to understand the meaning of El Elyon as God’s name and what it means for us today. As each one of His name carry such huge meaning and importance to us.

The name El Elyon, used first used in Genesis 14:18, is usually translated as “God Most High.

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. – Genesis 14:18

El Elyon indicates the maginficiant degree of God as the God above all gods or the ultimate God. As the name of God, it describes His attribute of being the Ultimate and Highest authority of all!

The name El Elyon is seen in several times in the Old Testament. It is used by the Psalmist to sing God’s praises, by Melchizedek to bless Abram, and by God’s enemies, Satan and his demons, identifying the attributes of God that they desire for themselves.

But to understand the meaning of the name El Elyon, we must dive into the original Hebrew meaning of these words.

What Does El Elyon Mean In Hebrew?

El Elyon is just one of the many names of God used in the Bible and is a combination of two words, each with a different meaning. Most people are familiar with Jehovah and not El, but El is used in several names for God, like El Roi. Let’s take a look at it.

El Meaning In Hebrew

This is a shortened form of the word Elohim, which means “Strong Creator.” The name Elohim, as found in Genesis 1:1, is commonly translated as “God” in most English versions of the Bible. Here is what the Strong’s Concordance has to say about the Hebrew word, El.

אֵלʼêl, ale; shortened from H352; strength; as adjective, mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity):—God (god), × goodly, × great, idol, might(-y one), power, strong. Compare names in ‘-el.’

Elyon Meaning In Hebrew

The word “Elyon” means highest or most. It is a superlative word, indicating the position of something at the highest level.

עֶלְיוֹןʻelyôwn, el-yone’; from H5927; an elevation, i.e. (adj.) lofty (comparison); as title, the Supreme:—(Most, on) high(-er, -est), upper(-most).

When combined with the prefix “El” as the name of God, it means the “Strong Creator who is the Highest, higher than any other.

El Elyon Mean In Hebrew

Because El and Elyon are Hebrew words, it only appears in the original Hebrew version of the Old Testament. It was translated to Greek as ὁ Θεός ὁ ὕψιστος or God the highest for the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament.

Although the name El Elyon does not appear in the New Testament, the Greek version of this name of God is used in the New Testament as well.

El Elyon In The Bible

El Elyon, God Most High, is used 28 times in the Old Testament. Although this name describes a specific attribute of God, the context within which the name El Elyon is used also tells us a lot about the meaning of the name.

Here are just a few examples where we find the name of El Elyon in the Old Testament.

Melchizedek, Priest Of El Elyon

The first time we see the name of El Elyon in the Bible is in Genesis 14. When Chedorlaomer, the king of Elam, and his allies defeated Sodom and Gomorrah, they took Lot, Abram’s nephew, captive and took all he had with them.

Abram and 318 men in his house then went after them and attacked them by night. He defeated Chedorlaomer and returned Lot and all the possessions taken to Sodom.

On his return, the king of Salem, Melchizedek, brought bread and wine. Genesis 14:18 identifies Melchizedek as a priest of God Most High (El Elyon).

Verses 19-20 reads: “And he (Melchizedek) blessed him (Abram) and said: ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High (El Elyon), Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High (El Elyon)….’”

Although we know very little about Melchizedek, he was a priest of God Most High. We can therefore see that someone outside of Abram’s family also served El Elyon.

Centuries later, after David made war against and defeated Salem, it became Jerusalem, the same city where Solomon built the temple, which is still known as the Holy City. Pretty neat how God ties things together like that!

el elyon bible verse

Satan Recognizes El Elyon

In Isaiah 14:12-14, the prophet Isaiah describes Satan and how he has fallen. In verses 13-14, he describes Satan’s plotting against God:

“…I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High (El Elyon).”

Satan here recognizes God as El Elyon, God Most High. He acknowledges this attribute of God as the one attribute he would like to have ascribed to himself.

Satan not only wanted to be like God but also wanted to take God’s place. He wanted to be the most high.

Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar and El Elyon

In the book of Daniel, we read the story of a young Jewish exile in Babylon named Daniel, who served in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar.

On many occasions, King Nebuchadnezzar referred to Daniel’s God as El Elyon (Most High God).

In Daniel 2:47, after Daniel gave the king the meaning of the dream that bothered him, Nebuchadnezzar said: “…Truly, your God is God of gods….”

In Daniel 3:26, after God rescued Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, from the furnace, King Nebuchadnezzar called to them:

“…Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out and come here!

Another time that the name of El Elyon was mentioned in the book of Daniel was when Daniel had a vision of what was to come.

King Nebuchadnezzar became arrogant, and Daniel warned him that he would fall from grace and live like an animal for a period “…till you know that the Most High (El Elyon) rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” (Daniel 4:25).

El Elyon In The Book Of Psalms

The name of El Elyon appears 19 times in the book of Psalms, more than in any other book of the Bible. Here are a few examples:

  • Psalm 57:2 – “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.”
  • Psalm 78:17 – “Yet they sinned still more against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert.”
  • Psalm 91:1 – “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”
  • Psalm 97:9 – “For you, O LORD, are Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.”

What Does El Elyon Mean For Believers Today?

There are a few lessons that believers today can take from the knowledge and understanding of El Elyon, that our God is God Most High.

  • Only One True God – In Exodus 20:3, God commanded: “You shall have no other gods before me.” God is El Elyon, The Most High God, elevated above all other gods and idols.

    There can be no other God. He alone is worthy of our praise.
  • God Possesses Heaven And Earth – God is Elohim, the Strong Creator. And as He is the Most High God, he created heaven and earth, not because he was commissioned or appointed by someone higher to do so.

    But because He wanted to make it for himself. He possesses heaven and earth, and he created us for his purpose.
  • Tithing – The first reference in the Bible to tithing appears in Genesis 14:20. After receiving the blessing from Melchizedek.

    We read: “And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” Abram tithed to El Elyon by giving a tenth of everything to Melchizedek, the priest of El Elyon.

One of God’s names in the Old Testament is El Elyon. This name is typically translated as “God Most High” but literally means “the Strong Creator who is Higher than anything or anyone else.”

Christians today can learn a lot about God’s attributes by studying His Name’s true meaning and the context within which it is used.

More On The Names Of God Series

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