SHORT BIBLE STUDY: El Shaddai in Hebrew

What does El Shaddai mean in the Bible? El Shaddai is one of the names used to describe the nature of God in the Bible.

It’s made up of a compilation of various Hebrew words. El more than likely comes from Elohim, the first name used to describe God in the Bible. In Genesis 1:1 God is identified as the creator,

“In the beginning, when Elohim created the heavens and the earth.”

Shaddai is the compilation of two Hebrew words, shad, which is the Hebrew word for the female breast, and shadad, the word for God’s power, both to create and destroy. Genisis 17:1-2 is where El Shaddai is found for the first time in the Bible as God calls Abram and Sarai to trust in God the Creator and to walk with faith in God who sustains them like a mother nurturing her child.

“When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai walk before me and be blameless and I will make my covenant between me and you and will make you exceedingly numerous.”

It’s in God’s faithfulness that we hear God described as El Shaddai and sometimes simply as Shaddai, but whether it is El Shaddai or Shaddai, the meaning is the same. Like Abram and Sarai, we are called to walk with faithfulness and trust in God who calls us to new journeys in life, who calls us to trust in the God of creation, who nurtures us like a mother nurturing a child, the God who calls us to walk blameless in faith – El Shaddai.