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The Shema & Akkad/Echad: Yahuwah is ONE (Deuteronomy 6:4)

The King James Version (KJV) is mostly used in these lessons. Click here to access the KJV online.
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Hear o Israel the Lord [Yahuwah] our G-d is one/Akkad/'Echad. (Deut. 6:4)

The first focus is on Yahuwah. In the later copies of the original Hebrew they changed that to Adonai but in the original manuscripts it's the word Yahuwah which is the proper or the sacred name of G-d it means the one who is the one who is absolute, the unchangeable one the eternally existent. This is the proper name for G-d. it's a singular or a proper noun, the equivalent of the word Lord. .

In Deut.6:4 the next word to focus on is the word ONE/Akkad/Echad.

The word ONE there is a singular Cardinal number. The word means one in contrast to more than one; that also is a singular Cardinal absolute. [See definition of 'cardinal number' at end of lesson below.]

The controversy that has raged between Trinitarianism and Unitarianism has been over the concept of the personhood of G-d --- and now this controversy has been extended into Deuteronomy 6:4 - that's what the Jews call the Shema. This is the cradle confession of the Jewish faith and the debate centers itself around the word ONE or AKKAD/'Echad.

Just type the word akkad ['echad] in Google and you will get dozens and dozens of websites articles that debate the Jewish word for akkad.

Trinitarianism maintains that the word AKKAD conveys a compound unity. They say the word AKKAD - that word for ONE there in Deuteronomy 6:4 really means a compound unity often used in the distributive sense and they only say that because they're trying to prove that within the one essence of G-d exists a “plurality of persons”. Hence they understand this G-d to be a unique plural deity!

Unitarianism obviously rejects this idea, it argues that the word Akkad is strictly a numerical absolute, highlighting the fact that G-d [Yahuwah] is indeed a single being, hence a unique personal deity.

Now what we're trying to understand is - what indeed does the word Akkad/'Echad mean.

Does the doctrine of the Trinity lend itself credit to that definition that AKKAD really means a compound unity or does it lend itself to the idea that akkad does not mean compound unity, but rather strictly a numerical absolute, a numerical value of ONE. What does it mean?

How is Deuteronomy 6:4 meant to be understood?

1. Do you read it like this? – "Hear O Israel, the Lord [Yahuwah] our G-d is a compound united being made up of a plurality of persons." Is that how we are meant to read Deuteronomy 6:4? ...or do we read it as "Hear o Israel, the Lord [Yahuwah] our G-d is a singular being," hence a uni personal one person being called G-d [Yahuwah]?

How do we read Deuteronomy 6:4?

Well let's explore some texts.

Below are some verses that Trinitarians begin to use to teach that the word Akkad means a compound unity.

Genesis chapter 2 verse 24.

This is perhaps the most famous one - they say - see this is what the Word of G-d means - Genesis 2:24 says 'for this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh'.

Trinitarians say that the word Akkad here for one is a compound unity because it talks about a man and a woman coming together and becoming one flesh - so clearly the word Akkad must mean a compound unity - does it not? NO, It does not!

Let's examine this text a little bit. Do you notice that the words 'they shall become' are both a plural pronoun and a plural verb - can you see where the plurality exists? It does not exist in the words one flesh rather the words one flesh is a singular noun and a singular Cardinal number. Please notice where the plurality exists - they shall become. The plurality is not found in the number, it is found in the pronoun and the verb.

Genesis 2:24 speaks marriage - they shall become one flesh. The writer is trying to say that they shall become one married couple. There is no plurality of couples within the one couple. The plurality is found in they - in the fact that there are two persons but when it speaks of one flesh its clearly saying one couple, one married couple. There's no hint of plurality of couples within one couple, so this is again a wrong understanding of the word Akkad.

Let's look some other examples.

Genesis 34:16 says - then we will give our daughters to you and we will take your daughters for ourselves and we will live with you and become one people. Please notice that in this example the trend continues like Genesis 2:24. “We will become” is a plural pronoun and and a plural verb. The plurality exists not in the word one [Akkad/'Echad] but it exists in the we will become.

Let's take one step further - look at the word people - the word people is a collective noun it's not a singular noun and it doesn't stress singularity. It stresses collectivity. The word people is a collective noun so here again notice where the plurality exists. Does it exist in the word one [Akkad/'Echad] or does it exist in the words we will become? and words like people where does the plurality exist? It does not exist in the word one it exists in the words we will become and the word people. This is talking about becoming one nation. Are there Nations - a plurality of Nations - existing in one nation? No, so the the plurality does not come from the word one, it comes from people and we will become.

Exodus 26:6 - you shall make fifty clasps of gold and join the curtains to one another with the clasps that the tabernacle may be 'a unit'. [one/Akkad/'Echad]

That word unit really is Akkad which really means one. It's meant to draw our minds to the idea that by clamping together the curtains we are creating one Tabernacle.

Essentially, what Yahuwah is telling Moses - join together the curtains and we end up making a tabernacle.

The tabernacle is a compound unity, but again, the plurality exists in words like curtains, clasps. The plurality does not exist in the word one tabernacle. When we say one tabernacle how many Tabernacles were there = one tabernacle.

Numbers 13:23 Then they came to the valley of Eshcol and from there cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes. 'a single cluster of grapes' so here they say it has a compound unity because we've got one cluster of grapes. Again the question is, where does the plurality exist? Here, is it in the words one cluster, or is it in the word grapes? It's clear, it exists in the noun 'grapes]. It's a plural noun. it's a collective noun. The plurality does not exist in the words 'one cluster'. When you cut 1 cluster, how many clusters do you have – one.

So what we're finding here is that in the doctrine of the trinity, trinitarianism takes a handful of verses - like these that we've examined - to try to teach that the word Akkad/'Echad is a compound unity always in the distributive sense. But what we're noticing here is that the word Akkad is never used in the distributive sense. The plurality always exists in the nouns, collective nouns - it's never used in the word Akkad. The word Akkad always means one.

The word Akkad['echad] can be used with plural nouns or collective nouns to form sentences like – this ONE family. How many families are there when I say one family? - one family one crowd etc. We will become one people - how many people are there? One people. The plurality is found in the collective noun or in the plural noun, never in the word ONE. We must understand that the plurality within the sentence is derived from the noun the pronoun and the adverb. It is wrong to say that the word Akkad['echad] stresses a compound unity. The word Akkad['Echad] or it's equivalent is a singular Cardinal absolute.

What is akkad['echad]? Its a cardinal number = a number denoting quantity = a number used in counting to indicate quantity like 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. Each number contains a quantitative value, so when you say 1, the value = 1.

Notes from A. Buzzard

Suppose we say one implies more than one, we could prove our point like this in the phrase one tripod is it not obvious that one really implies three.. does one dozen mean that one is really 12? To carry this madness to an extreme we could argue that in the phrase 'one zebra' the word one really means black and white! So when we say 1 we don't mean 1 anymore! This is the madness we've descended to.

According to Trinitarianism, ONE/Akkad['echad] does not mean 'ONE” anymore....... and how fitting now that the debate is happening over the backbone of the very Jewish faith the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4 - Hear o Israel the Lord [Yahuwah] our G-d the Lord [Yahuwah] is ONE/Akkad ['echad].) This is very serious - this is not just trying to count [1 =one] and what does that mean? We are dealing with the most fundamental verse of the Bible!

Examples of texts with One/Akkad ['echad].

Genesis 2:21 Adam had many ribs, Yahuwah took Akkad ['echad] = ONE rib.

Genesis 21 verse 15 many bushes, Hagar put her son under Akkad ['echad] = ONE bush.

Genesis 27:38 Isaac had plural blessings, Jacob got Akkad ['echad] = One blessing.

It is wrong to draw the plurality out of the collective noun and to insert it back into the number and this is what the doctrine of the Trinity is doing. It is taking the plurality that is in the collective noun and it puts it back into the number and they say, see, it's really the number 'ONE” [Akkad/'echad] that contains within it the plurality - but it's wrong as you can see through the many examples that the plurality exists in the noun, not in the number. So what they've done very intelligently is derive the plurality out of the noun back into the number saying falsely that One/ Akkad / 'echad really means compound unity.

But we can't get past things like Abraham was ONE/Akkad ['echad], in the texts below, can we?

Ezekiel 33:24 - Abraham was one [Akkad/'echad].

Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, [Akkad/'echad] and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance.

Isaiah 51:2 -  Abraham alone [Akkad/'echad] was called by Yahuwah.

Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, [Akkad/'echad] and blessed him, and increased him.

Deuteronomy 6:4 - The shema. Hear o Israel the Lord [Yahuwah] our G-d the Lord [Yahuwah] is ONE/Akkad/'Echad.

We have now understood the usage of the word Akkad/'Echad. We've come to understand that Akkad is quantitative in value – it strictly means a numerical one. "Hear o Israel, the Lord [Yahuwah] our G-d, the Lord [Yahuwah] is ONE."

Yahuwah is a singular noun Akkad ['Echad] is a singular cardinal absolute – there is no plurality here grammatically speaking. The text speaks of the Israelite G-d whose name is Yahuwah. Remember, this is the sacred name of G-d and this cradle statement was the backbone of the Jewish faith which would be recited daily - in the morning and in the evening. As a matter of fact even their very last words to any faithful Jew before he died was the reciting of the Shema. Their very last breath that they would take before they died was the Shema. This Creed stressed absolute belief in the one God - it was such a strong expression of monotheism especially when they were surrounded by pagan polytheistic nations, Yahuwah drummed it in. This is it, this is the backbone of your faith and they would fiercely recite it daily even unto death. As a matter of fact it is claimed that Shema became the password by which one Jew was able to recognize another throughout the four corners of the earth. It became the password to every Jew when they would meet a Jew in some distant land the first thing was tell me let me test your Judaism out - what's the greatest commandment? That's what they did to Yahushua, they tested the Jewishness of his faith - this became the password - this became the barometer of whether you were a monotheist or not. So the Hebrew word Akkad came to be known as the Cardinal singular, the Cardinal absolute.

In Mark12:29, Yahushua has been put to the 'Shema password' test – the scribe comes along and says well let's see how Jewish Yahushua is, let's see whether the backbone of his faith is the same as ours. They asked him what's the most important commandment - what is the backbone or what is the cradle statement of your faith - tell me what is central to your belief?

Yahushua says - the foremost commandment is “Hear o Israel, the Lord [Yahuwah] our G-d is one Lord [Yahuwah].” [Moses, Deut.6:4]

The scribe says we agree, I agree with you and you are right, for there is one Lord [Yahuwah].

[Malachi 2:10 Do we not have all one/Akkad/'echad father, has not one/Akkad/'echad G-d created us?]

Paul agrees with Moses, Malachi and Yahushua and confirms it in -

1 Corinthians 8:6 - yet for us there is but one G-d the Father.

1 Timothy 2:5 for there is one G-d and one mediator also between G-d and men the man Christ Yahushua.

There is one G-d and then there's the one mediator.

The Greek word is three times in these three verses of the Hebrew equivalent of Akkad/'echad,

Paul also showed the distinction between the one G-d = the one person G-d and the one other person the mediator who is Yahushua Christ. This also makes it clear that They are 2 distinctly separate beings.

The words of Yahushua in the Gospel of Mark 12:29 are most powerful because when reciting the Shema, that cradle confession, he does not alter it and He certainly does not redefine it. He leaves it as is. He says it has been long written that our G-d yeah Yahuwah G-d is the only one G-d. He doesn't alter it, he doesn't insert himself into it, he leaves it as originally written. So who or what is Yahuwah G-d, who's Yahuwah - because that's what the text says in Deuteronomy 6:4 - Hear o Israel, the Lord [Yahuwah] our G-d, the Lord [Yahuwah] is ONE [Akkad/'echad].

Yet Trinitarians falsely claim that Yahuwah is three persons including the pre-existent, pre-incarnate Son Yahushua.

Moses in Deut. 6:4 connects Elohim, yeah G-d with his sacred name. We're talking about the name of G-d we're talking about the fact that Moses has named who the Israel ONE G-d is - it's Yahuwah. So who is Yahuwah? Is G-d a compound unity existing within it as a plurality of persons like we would say a crowd or a family or is G-d strictly a singular Being or in other words one person?

If Akkad/'echad is a compound unity then what does this say about Yahuwah? If Yahuwah is a compound unity, then G-d the Father is Yahuwah, G-d the Son is Yahuwah ,and G-d the Holy Spirit is Yahuwah.

The text says the Lord [Yahuwah] is ONE. If Akkad means a compound unity then we are saying that every person that exists within G-d [Yahuwah] is also a G-d [Yahuwah]. Now if we go back to the doctrine of the Trinity and we're saying G-d the Father, G-d the Son, G-d the Holy Spirit, they all three must be G-d [Yahuwah]. That doctrinal model tells us so, but there's no three gods, there's only one G-d – according to this fundamental, bedrock text [Deut' 6:4].

Akkad/'echad is a numerical absolute stressing singularity in being in person.

Yahuwah G-d the Father is ONE Yahuwah. No one else is Yahuwah.

According to the usage of Akkad/'echad from Genesis to Malachi, from Matthew to Revelation, Yahuwah is NOT all three members of the false Trinity, but the ONE person which the Bible defines as father.

Yahushua in his quotation in Mark 12:29 seemed to identify his father Yahuwah as One/Akkad/'echad' and this is to the exclusion of himself = confirming that He Himself is not Yahuwah and did not pre-exist with the Father, etc.

Remember what it says in Isaiah 45:5, 6 and 21, G-d says I am Yahuwah there is no other.

CONCLUSION: In the minds of both the old and the new testament writers they considered Yahuwah their G-d as ONE, or more exactly, as ONE person/being, namely the father who is the creator of us all according to Malachi 2:10. The Jewish cradle confession of monotheism was put in place to safeguard against polytheism.

The Shema was put in place to separate Yahuwah's people as worshippers of the ONE true G-d [Yahuwah] in the midst of pagan polytheists. What began in the Old Testament namely the Shema, [Deut. 6:4] the oneness / singularity of Yahuwah, in Judaism was carried down all throughout the New Testament. Yahushua did not alter it nor did the first church Ekklesia. It seems the New Testament data points to the remarkable fact that Yahushua, Paul, Peter, John and company held a monotheistic or more expressly a Unitarian view of Yahuwah.

It is dangerous, it is dangerously wrong to alter the meaning of the word Akkad /'echad to make it sound like a compound unity. This idea is not agreeable within the parameters of the scriptures. The Trinitarian model fails to assert that the word Akkad/'echad does not mean strictly numerical ONE but a collective unity – it is wrong.

Words like Akkad/'echad lend itself powerfully to the fact that they carry the numerical quantitative value of ONE.

Any plurality will invariably be derived from the subjective noun, not the Cardinal number. That's a rule that has to be a rule in the Bible.

The conclusion of this whole matter is simply that Yahuwah is ONE - unique and personal, hence Christian monotheism ought to be Unitarian [not Trinitarian] in its theological position.

NOTE: › definitions › cardinal-numberDefinition of Cardinal Number

Cardinal numbers (or cardinals) say how many of something there are, such as one, two, three, four, five. They answer the question "How Many?"