How should "Elohim" in Psalm 8:5 be translated?

As far as I know, Psalm 8:5 is the only verse where the word "Elohim" in translated with uncertainty.  Context usually makes it clear, although if you know of another instance, please let me know.


Psalm 8: 4-5 in the ESV reads:


what is man that you are mindful of him,  and the son of man that you care for him?  Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings[a]
    and crowned him with glory and honor.

In the NASB, verse 5 reads,

Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty!

In the KJV, verse 5 reads:

For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

In Hebrews 2:7. via the Greek Septuagint, it reads similarly in all these versions.  Here is the ESvV


You made him for a little while lower than the angels;  you have crowned him with glory and honor.

This isn't a manuscript difference, but an uncertainty how to translate "elohim" in the Hebrew.   The Septuagint and Hebrews choose "angels."  But Elohim, although plural, is also a title for God.  Some Jewish interpreters invented the "plural of majesty" explanation, I believe, to counter the Trinitarian implication of a title for God in the plural (that is my view).

Elohim can mean "angels."  The ESV probably accommodates a dual option by translating it as, "heavenly beings."  These beings can refer to angels OR God AND the angels.  The ESV would allow the more natural understanding of Psalm 8 as being connected to Genesis 1:27, as well as the quotation in Hebrews.  At the same time, it could not refer to God alone.

What is your view?  How should this verse be translated in Psalm 8?

We can assume a footnote would be appropriate to mention other possible translations.






"God" is the best translation.
13% (1 vote)
"Angels" is the best translation.
25% (2 votes)
"Heavenly beings" is the best translation.
13% (1 vote)
It is a draw.
38% (3 votes)
13% (1 vote)
Total votes: 8
495 reads