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"El Shaddai" is a Contemporary Christian
music song. It was written by Michael Card and John Thompson, using
direct quotes from scripture as their inspiration, and recorded
by Michael Card on one of his first two albums. However, it is also
commonly associated with the singer Amy Grant, who recorded it on her 1982
platinum album Age to
The title comes from two Judaic names of God and
translates to "God Almighty" (see El Shaddai). Approximately half the lyrics
of the chorus are in the Hebrew
language, which is rather unusual for a Contemporary Christian
song. The recording was in the style of a performance ballad, but the song was
subsequently published in some hymnbooks and is
occasionally sung congregationally.
The song was a hit single for Grant, reaching the top ten
of the Billboard Christian chart. "El
Shaddai" won "Song of the Year" and Card won "Songwriter of the
Year" at the 1983 GMA Dove
Awards. It was
also named one of the "Songs of the Century" by the RIAA in 2001.
Grant recorded a new version of the song for her 2005 album
Rock of Ages...Hymns and
Faith. "El Shaddai" has been covered by many contemporary Christian
recording artists, including Pat Boone , Winans Phase 2  and Eden's Bridge.
There also exist translated versions which combine Hebrew with
Translation of Hebrew
El Shaddai, as previously mentioned, is most often
translated as "God Almighty."
El-Elyon na Adonai is a combination of two names for
God, meaning "God Most High, O Lord" (na is a particle of
entreaty, sometimes translated "please" but often left
Erkamka na Adonai is taken from Psalm 18:1 (except for
the "na," which is added) and is normally translated "I love you
(ארחמך), O Lord." Psalm 18:1 is the only place that the Hebrew
Bible uses this verb for love in the Qal stem; this is normally an
Aramaic usage. Hebrew uses this verb in the Piel stem.
For more information on the translation, refer to this thread on the Michael
Card discussion forum. Also see Names of God in Judaism, El Shaddai, El (god),
Shaddai and Elyon.
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