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G3. Knowing that God is Echad and Triune.    [Make a Comment]

We are to know that God is echad.

This precept is derived from His Word (blessed be He):

Key Scriptures

Deuteronomy 6:4 (Maimonides RP2; Meir MP2; Chinuch C417)

Sh'ma, Yisra'el! ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI echad
[Hear, Isra'el! ADONAI our God, ADONAI is one]

Matthew 28:18-19
Yeshua came and talked with them. He said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make people from all nations into talmidim, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh"

1 Corinthians 8:6
... yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom all things come and for whom we exist; and one Lord, Yeshua the Messiah, through whom were created all things and through whom we have our being.

Hebrews 1:1-5
In days gone by, God spoke in many and varied ways to the Fathers through the prophets. But now, in the acharit-hayamim, he has spoken to us through his Son, to whom he has given ownership of everything and through whom he created the universe. This Son is the radiance of the Sh'khinah, the very expression of God's essence, upholding all that exists by his powerful word; and after he had, through himself, made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of HaG'dulah BaM'romim. So he has become much better than angels, and the name God has given him is superior to theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father"? Also, God never said of any angel, "I will be his Father, and he will be my Son."

1 Peter 1:1-2
From: Kefa, an emissary of Yeshua the Messiah To: God's chosen people, living as aliens in the Diaspora - in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the province of Asia, and Bythinia - chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obeying Yeshua the Messiah and for sprinkling with his blood: Grace and shalom be yours in full measure.


The Hebrew word for "our God" in Deuteronomy 6:4 is "Eloheynu", which is the first person plural possessive of "Elohim" - a word which, despite its plurality, all Genesis 1:1 translators agree means "God". In addition, the English word "one" in Deuteronomy 6:4 is the Hebrew word "echad", which is a composite (and not an absolute) unity. So, while our God is plural in His nature, He is one God and not many Gods combined into one. This is a great mystery for which we have no natural example to aid our understanding.

Wherever it occurs in Scripture, the Hebrew word "Elohim" (along with its derivatives), although plural, is universally translated as "God", and the Hebrew word "echad", a composite unity, is most often translated "one".

Classical Commentators

Maimonides, Meir, and HaChinuch express this mitzvah as "knowing that God is a unity." They emphasize the singleness of the unity by adding that God has no partner or associate, and are in agreement that believing in the unity of God is a core belief of the Jewish faith. None of the commentators acknowledge or discuss the composite nature of "echad", or the plural nature of "Elohim".


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