WHAT ABOUT THE HEBREW WORD echad?
Strong's Concordance H259: 'echad ekh-awd' a numeral from 258; properly, united, i.e. one; or (as an ordinal) first:--a, alike, alone, altogether, and, any(-thing), apiece, a certain, (dai-)ly, each (one), + eleven, every, few, first, + highway, a man, once, one, only, other, some, together,
Note: I'll be using the ASV of the Bible for this study.
As near as I can tell, the Hebrew word "echad" means the same thing as the English word "one" -- 1. So, when we read Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one[echad] Jehovah:", it seems clear that Jehovah is one being. Would you agree? Well, some say, "Wait! 'echad' means one group of two or more." They may cite the following 3 texts as their "proof".
Genesis 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. (evening & morning are here [echad] group of two)
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (man & wife are here [echad] group of two)
Numbers 13:23 And they came unto the valley of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it upon a staff between two; they brought also of the pomegranates, and of the figs. (the cluster of grapes is here [echad] group of many)
So, does this then mean that Jehovah is one group of... perhaps... three in Deut6:4? Is there anyway we can know for sure? How do we determine what "one" means in the English language. By the context. Would you agree? In the previous three Bible texts, the context clearly show us that echad is referring to one group of two or more.
Now, what about the next three Bible texts? What is the context of the use of "echad" here:
Deuteronomy 17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is to die be put to death; at the mouth of one[echad] witness he shall not be put to death. ("[echad] witness" is obviously one person)
Deuteronomy 19:15 One[echad] witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter be established.. (Here again, "[echad] witness" is just one person)
Ecclesiastes 4:8 There is one[echad] that is alone, and he hath not a second; yea, he hath neither son nor brother; yet is there no end of all his labor, neither are his eyes satisfied with riches. For whom then, saith he , do I labor, and deprive my soul of good? This also is vanity, yea, it is a sore travail. ("alone"... "not a second"... Is that clear that [echad] here is also one person? I think so)
Want more evidence? Check out Numbers 7:3-82 and you will see "echad"(Strong's 259) translated to "one" ~84 times with the context indicating a single one -- no grouping.
Now, you may be thinking, "Duh Sid, so what's your point?" Yes, I agree. It is obviously simple, isn't it. But, sadly, there are those who believe that Jehovah is one group of three(some say "two"). If we only look at Duet6:4, it could be difficult to show otherwise. So, it may be helpful to be aware of additional Bible texts to be clear on the identity of the one God.
Desiring to live by every word that comes from the mouth of Jehovah (Deut8:3; Mt4:4)
-Sid Nash: 02/26/2023. Latest version: http://sidnash.org/t/echad.html