A Plurality of Gods in Genesis?

Over at his blog Scriptural Mormonism, Robert Boylan has a brief post exploring Genesis 20:13. 

The verse in question reads:
וַיְהִ֞י כַּאֲשֶׁ֧ר הִתְע֣וּ אֹתִ֗י אֱלֹהִים֮ מִבֵּ֣ית אָבִי֒ וָאֹמַ֣ר לָ֔הּ זֶ֣ה חַסְדֵּ֔ךְ אֲשֶׁ֥ר תַּעֲשִׂ֖י עִמָּדִ֑י אֶ֤ל כָּל־הַמָּקֹום֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר נָבֹ֣וא שָׁ֔מָּה אִמְרִי־לִ֖י אָחִ֥י הֽוּא׃
And when the gods caused me to wander from my father's house, I said to her, "This is your kindness which you should do for me–––when we enter into at any place, say concerning me, 'He is my brother.'" (My translation)
Notice that the verb תעה ("to wander," "to err," "to go astray") is conjugated as a hiphil perfect 3rd person masculine plural. If the author had אלהים as a singular subject in mind he would have (or should have) dropped the final waw to make the verb a singular. As such, אלהים is most likely meant to be read as a plural–––"gods." Our confidence in this conclusion is bolstered by the well-known fact that whenever אלהים is intended as a singular the attending verbs are conjugated in the singular, as is seen throughout Genesis and the rest of the Hebrew Bible.


Of course, it's always possible that the final waw is a scribal error. The LXX, for example, renders תעה as a 3rd person singular aorist active (ἐξήγαγέν), and provides the singular nominitive masculine definite article on אלהים (ὁ θεὸς). Notwithstanding, given the LXX's translators' proclivity towards fudging the text at times when it was theologically inconvenient, and given that there's little reason for the Masoretes to have kept a supposedly errant final waw unless they figured it was meant to be there, I think it's safe to assume no scribal aberration in the verse.

What's more, this view actually accords nicely with what James L. Kugel has written about Abraham as a supposed proto-monotheist.

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