I’m finding it tricky to fully understand שַׁדַּי, shaday.  Since I know very little about Hebrew, I looked for contexts where it is used.  But I can’t find examples of its use in Hebrew, modern or ancient, except in the Bible.  In every English version I’ve checked, it is consistently translated “Almighty” or just transliterated “Shaddai.”  And as far as I can tell, in the bible it is only used as a name for God, six times with אֵל, ‘êl (God) and 42 times without.

Some say it means Almighty and comes from שָׁדַד, shâdad (powerful/destroy/oppress/spoil/waste).  Others say it means “breast” and that שָׁדַד, shâdad comes from it.  I can see “Almighty” coming from “powerful” but I can’t figure out the semantics of “destroy” coming from “breast.”  (At least two verses¹ mention Shaddai sending destruction/havoc.)

Some Christian commentators go with the “breast” etymology to say it means “one Who supplies.”  And there are at least three verses² where it is used in a context of blessing and fertility.  One of them also contains שַׁד/שֹׁד, shad/shôd (breast of a woman or animal).  One (fringe?) preacher translated it “The Great-Breasted One.”  I’ve also read interpretations that it means God is our mother as well as our father.

Google Translate says שַׁדַּי means “Satan”!!  (As if I didn’t already have enough reasons to avoid Google!)

I wonder what Jewish scholars say about it.

¹Isaiah 13:6 & Joel 1:15
²Genesis 28:3, 35:11, 49:25

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