“The Most High” Used in Relation to God vs. the recovery buff’s “higher power”

The Phrase “(the) Most High” [Heb.: ‘elyown , Strong’s #5945] Used in Relation to God

According to the Blue Letter Bible—available online at http://www.BlueLetterBible.org—the exact phrase “most high” occurs 48 times in the King James Version (“KJV”). In many of those occurrences, the phrase “(the) most high” is the translation of the Hebrew word ‘elyown , Strong’s #5945.

The Hebrew word ‘elyown [Strong’s #5945] occurs 53 times in the Hebrew text underlying most of the Old Testament (“O.T.”) of the KJV. (Some of the underlying text of KJV O.T. is Aramaic.) It is translated:

“High,” 18;
“most high,” 9;
“high,” 9;
{see, for example, Deut 26:19;
see especially Ps 78:35: “And they remembered that God [#430, ‘elohiym] [was] their rock, and the high [#5945, ‘elyown] God [#410, ‘el] their redeemer.”}
“upper,” 8; [see, for example, Jos 16:5]
“higher,” 4; [see, for example, 2 Kings 15:35]
“highest,” 2; {see especially Ps 87:5: “. . . the highest himself shall establish her.”}
“above,” 1;
{Ps 97:9 (1st): “For thou, Yahweh, [art] high above [#5945, ‘elyown] all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods [#430, ‘elohiym].”}
“Highest,” 1;
{Ps 18:13: “Yahweh also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail [stones] and coals of fire.”}
“uppermost,” 1 [Gen 40:17]

Here are the occurrences of ‘elyown, used in the phrase “(the) most high,” where it relates to God:

“the most high [#5945, ‘elyown] God [#410, ‘el]” ( Hebrew word order: ‘el ‘elyown):

Gen 14:18: “. . . Melchizedek . . . [was] the priest of the most high God” (= first occurrence of both ‘el and ‘elyown)
Gen 14:19: “. . . Blessed [be] Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth”
Gen 14:20: “. . . blessed be the most high God, . . .”
Gen 14:22: “. . . I have lift up mine hand unto Yahweh, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth.” [emphasis added]

“(the) most high/High [#5945, ‘elyown]”

Num 24:16: “He hath said, which heard the words of God [#410, ‘el],
And knew the knowledge of the most High [#5945, ‘elyown]
[which] saw the vision of the Almighty [#7706, Shadday], . . .”
Deu 32:8: “When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, . . .”
2 Sam 22:14: “Yahweh thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice.”
Ps 7:17: “I will praise Yahweh according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of Yahweh most high.” [emphasis added]
Ps 9:2: “. . . I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High” [emphasis added]
Ps 21:7: “For the king trusteth in Yahweh, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.”
Ps 46:4: “[There is] a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God [#430, ‘elohiym], the holy [place] of the tabernacles of the most High.”
Ps 47:2: “For Yahweh most high [is] terrible; [he is] a great King over all the earth.” [emphasis added]
Ps 50:14: “Offer unto God [#430, ‘elohiym] thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:”
Ps 56:2: “. . . [they be] many that fight against me, O thou most High.”
Ps 57:2: “I will cry unto God [#430, ‘elohiym] most high; unto God [#410, ‘el] that performeth [all things] for me.”
Ps 73:11: “And they say, How doth God [#410, ‘el] know? and is there knowledge in the most High?”
Ps 77:10: “. . . [but I will remember] the years of the right hand of the most High.”
Ps 78:17: “And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness.”
Ps 78:56: “Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God [#430, ‘elohiym], and kept not his testimonies:”
Ps 82:6: “I have said, Ye [are] gods [#430, ‘elohiym]; and all of you [are] children of the most High.”
Ps 83:18: “That [men] may know that thou, whose name alone [is] Yahweh, [art] the most high over all the earth.” [emphasis added]
Ps 91:1: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty [#7706, Shadday].”
Ps 91:9: “Because thou hast made Yahweh, [which is] my refuge, [even] the most High, thy habitation;”
Ps 92:1: “[It is a] good [thing] to give thanks unto Yahweh, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:” [emphasis added]
Ps 107:11: “Because they rebelled against the words of God [#410, ‘el], and contemned the counsel of the most High:”
Isa 14:14: “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
Lam 3:35: “To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High,”
Lam 3:38: “Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?”

According to Strong’s Concordance, the Aramaic word `elyown, #5946, corresponds to the Hebrew word ‘elyown, #5945. This Aramaic word occurs four times, all in the Book of Daniel, where it is translated “the most High”

Dan 7:18: “. . . the saints of the most High . . .”
Dan 7:22: “. . . the saints of the most High . . .”
Dan 7:25 (2d): “. . . the saints of the most High . . .”
Dan 7:27: “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”

See also the Aramaic word `illay, #5943—translated “the most High” five times, “most high” four times, and “high” once—which is always used of God:

Dan 3:26: “. . . Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high [Aram. #5943, `illay] God [Aram. #426, ‘elahh], come forth, . . .”
Dan 4:2: “I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high [Aram. #5943, `illay] God [Aram. #426, ‘elahh] hath wrought toward me.”
Dan 4:17: “. . . to the intent that the living may know that the most High [Aram. #5943, `illay] ruleth in the kingdom of men , and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
Dan 4:24: “. . . this [is] the decree of the most High [Aram. #5943, `illay], which is come upon my lord the king:”
Dan 4:25: “. . . till thou know that the most High [Aram. #5943, `illay] ruleth in the kingdom of men , and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”
Dan 4:32: “. . . until thou know that the most High [Aram. #5943, `illay] ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”
Dan 4:34: “. . . I blessed the most High [Aram. #5943, `illay], and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:”
Dan 5:18: “O thou king, the most high [Aram. #5943, `illay] God [Aram. #426, ‘elahh] gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:”
Dan 5:21: “. . . till he knew that the most high [Aram. #5943, `illay] God [Aram. #426, ‘elahh] ruled in the kingdom of men, and [that] he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.”
Dan 7:25 (1st): “And he shall speak [great] words against the most High [Aram. #5943, `illay], . . .”

One other Hebrew word to look at in the Old Testament is the word `al , #5920, which occurs six times. It is translated:

“above” three times (Gen 27:39; 49:25; Ps 50:4)
“most High,” twice
Hos 7:16: “They return, [but] not to the most High: . . .”
Hos 11:7: “And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt [him].”
“on high,” once (2 Sam 23:1)


About mauihistorian

Uses pen name Dick B.: Writer, Historian, Retired attorney, Bible student, CDAAC, and active and recovered A.A. member with over 25 years of continuous sobriety. Published 42 titles and over 650 articles on the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Christian Recovery Movement. www.dickb.com
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