The Jews maintain the Unity of God by constant repetition of the Shamah, “Hear O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is ONE”. (Deut.6:4)
Moslems say: “He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.” (Qur’an, sura 112)
How do we approach this demand for UNITY, this ONENESS? How do we understand the word ONE from the Bible?
The Hebrew word for ONE in Deut.6:4 is ECHAD. But it can be shown that the word does not imply a singularity. Let me explain. In Genesis 2:24 we read “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become ONE flesh.” Here again it is ECHAD. Now think about this for a moment. When two people get married, they are still two separate people, they don’t amalgamate into a single blob of flesh! They retain their individuality, and yet we are told that they are ONE. Therefore the word ECHAD must be properly understood.
In Genesis 3:22 we read, “Behold, the man has become like ONE OF US, to know good and evil.” This is the Lord speaking, and He uses the expression ONE OF US. Again it is ECHAD for ONE. But what about the US? It reminds us of His earlier word, “Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness.” (Gen.1:26) And in Isa.6:8. “Whom shall I send, and who will go for US?”
Finally, a delightful example may be found in the Hebrew text of Exodus 26:6, which reads, “And you shall make fifty clasps of gold, and couple the curtains one to the other with the clasps, so that the tabernacle may be a single whole.” But the words one to the otherare literally “man to his wife”. And the words a single whole are just ECHAD.