Return of the Sea God

12:42 PM Anis Widayanti 0 Comments

The other day I was looking for some new materials and ended up on myspace. Let me tell you, that place has lots of Hebrew Tattoo pictures... the vast majority of them incorrect.

Today's feature is one of my new finds, and it also features an error we've seen before. Give some applause to God of the Sea!


This guy was keeping it simple, all he wanted was a single word "God". Unfortunately, somehow an extra space found its way into the tattoo, turning "Elohim" into "El Hayam" - God of the Sea.

How can a word like "God" be cut in half and still retain it's meaning you ask?

See, the original word "Elohim" means God, it's in a special multiple form to emphasize God's greatness. When it's spelled this way, you have no doubt which god is meant, it's the biblical God and no other.

Cut the frills away, and you're left with "El", aka god, no emphasis or capitalization needed. It can be used to refer to any god you like. Conveniently, the other part of the word transforms him into God of the Sea.

Edit: For Margy, who requested to see how God is supposed to be written in Hebrew:

You can write it in two ways. The one on top is what the featured tattoo was supposed to look like. People not practiced in Hebrew might not see the difference, but even spacing is crucial.

The bottom version is the one more common in modern Hebrew, I prefer to write God this way.

The difference between the two is the letter Vav, which reads here as the "O" in "Elohim". In this case it's an optional letter, you can choose whether to write it or not.

0 comments: