is a study on the two primary names of the Supreme God as it appears in
the Bible - YHVH the Tetragrammaton the ineffable name and the name
Elohim. In fact YHVH in Genesis 2 comes as combination name YHVH
Elohim. Translation often hides these finer facts. The Documentary
Hypothesis even goes to the extent of disregarding the Mosaic
revelation of YHVH and even proposes that the Monotheism of Judaism is
inherited from Persia during the captivity.
The Jewish traditions give a lot of interpretations on both these titles. YHVH was in fact considered so sacred; it was not permitted to pronounce it in common parlor. At some period of it was pronounced only by the High Priest once a year at one time at the benediction of the Day of Atonement. Since early Hebrew did not have vowels written down, we do not know even how to pronounce. The power of the name is such that if anyone could pronounce it properly, he could perform any miracle using that. What are the realities behind it? Does it have a meaning? Elohim is a plural for the generic name of God El. Why is it plural? Is the God head more than one? May be a God and a Goddess; may be Trinity or does it contains more?
Surprisingly YHVH seems to contain two pairs of male and female. Is there any relevance to it? We know the image of Elohim consists of male and female, then why was Adam created male alone? YHVH is considered as the code of all creation. In fact human DNA appears to contain the coding consisting of YHVG instead of YHVH. Why? The earliest YHVH script at the period of Moses translates pointing to Jesus.
God in his creation of man has given him freedom and become co-creators with him and partaking his divinity. The whole creation looks forward to the ultimate return of creation in union with YHVH as perfected body each part performing its function perfectly. Teilhard de Chardin's theology of Christogenesis finds relevance in this fulfillment.
This is my attempt to unravel the mysteries of the two names based on the Judeo-Christian traditions. Theologians were trying to avoid some representations by hiding certain approaches. I have overlooked those prohibitions and inhibitions and tried to be open minded.
Revelation to moses
What we lost in translation
The name represents the Power and the Essence of the named. It is like a signature of the person of authority. The very spoken name has all the powers of the person himself. Thus in Ex. 3 when Moses faces God in the burning bush he asks for God's identity.
Exodus 3: 13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’
“This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me from generation to generation.
16 “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them,
‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said:…."
All other translations follow similar terminology. However the real information embedded in the text is totally lost in all those translations. In all the translation Elohim is translated as God which in that form is used just as a generic word for God, which may in practical terms right if we overlook the plurality of the term Elohim and the explanation of the Elohim in the later portions of the Bible. We will take that later.
Here is the literal translation leaving behind the reference to God and Lord God in the original tongue of Hebrew.
3:13 And Moses said unto Elohim, `See, I when I come to the children of
Israel, and say to them, The Elohe of your fathers hath sent me to you,
and they say to me, "What is His Name?" what do I say unto them?'
14 And Elohim said unto Moses, `I Am That I Am;' ‘AHAYAH ASHER AHAYAH’ He said also, `Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel," I Am hath sent me unto you."'
15 And Elohim said again unto Moses, `Thus shall you say unto the sons of Israel,"YHVH, the Elohim of your fathers, Elohim of Abraham, Elohim of Isaac, and Elohim of Jacob, hath sent me unto you; this is My name -- to this age, and this is My memorial, to generation to generation.
"Elohe" is translated as "God"
"YHVH" is translated as 'The Lord"
15 And God said moreover unto Moses: 'Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel: YHVH, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, hath sent me unto you; this is My name for the age, and this is My memorial from generation to generation.
In the translation we lost both YHVH and Elohim
and was left with I AM.
I Am that I Am
AHAYAH means I AM in ancient original Phoenician Paleo Hebrew, the language that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob spoke. These words really define who God is. It is not intended to be a proper name for God. God is the only reality. God is the only thing that exist or I am the self (I) existence (AM). Everything else came out of that existence.
There are only three possible explanations for anything that exists now:
It is self-created,
it is eternal, or
it is created by something that is eternal.
‘Everything that has a beginning has a sufficient cause’. Something which had no beginning has no need of a cause. Furthermore, a cause has to be sufficient, or adequate. This is the principle of cause and effect.
Philosophically there are essentially three possibilities
Advaita: There is only one reality that which is eternal - Purusha - the Person and all we think as realities are the thoughts or dreams of that Purusha. All others are illusion (Maya)
Dvaita: There are two realities that are eternal- Prakriti the material world with its laws, Purusha - the person which gives consciousness and purposes. The interaction between the two gives evolution and growth and changes.
The third alternative is known as Vishista Advaita:
There is only one reality which contains all possible existential modes and all potentials for growth and change. This eternal is one unity and it changes within. Since it is eternal it has neither beginning nor end in its totality of existence, even though some isolated worlds may begin and end within it.
I am that I am is actually defining the Special non-duality - Vishista Advaita - philosophy. Jewish mysticism explains it in this way. This is the theology the concept of "aseity".
Aseity (from Latin a "from" and se "self", plus ) refers to the property by which a being exists in and of itself, from itself, or exists as so-and-such of and from itself.
that one little word captures all of the glory of the perfection of
God’s being. What makes God different from people, from the stars, from
earthquakes, and from any other creaturely thing is that God—and God
alone—has aseity; He alone exists by His own power. No one made Him or
caused Him. He exists in and of Himself. This is a quality that no
creature shares. People are not self-existent; neither are cars or
stars. Only God has the concept of self-existence.
It is this that God announces to Moses: I am that I am.
Aseity has two aspects, one positive and one negative:
absolute independence and
self-existence without a beginning.
In its "negative" meaning, which emerged first in the history of thought, it affirms that God is uncaused, depending on no other being for the source of God's existence.
In its "positive" meaning, it affirms that God is completely self-sufficient, having within God self the sufficient reason for God's own existence with all potentialities and is beyond time and space.
The first concept derives from "the God of philosophers", while the second one derives from "the living God of Revelation" (I am who I am: Exodus 3:14).
“From him and through him . . . are all things.”(Rom 11:36)
"For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him."(Colossians 1:16)
"All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being".
Philosophers often go above and beyond to give additional properties of God from this start.
As a part of this belief God is said to be incapable of changing:
For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not …(Malachi 3:6 )
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. ( Hebrews 13:8)
Changing implies development. Since God was, and is, and is to be the Absolute Perfection, there is no further need to change: he is αὐτουσία (unchanged: Gregory of Nyssa),
actus purus and ipsum esse subsistens (Thomas Aquinas).
St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274), proposes that there is no real distinction between being (esse or act of existing) and essence in God. “God is the only being in which the union of potential and realization, the composition of essence and existence, disappears. This composition is not needed here because God is existence itself.” Ipsum Esse Subsistens, i.e., Subsistent Being Itself, Self-Subsistent Existence, or Subsistent Act of Existing or Existence Itself, is God . As Ipsum Esse Subsistens, God is Esse (Existence) itself from which all other things or beings not only derive their existence, but also find their ultimate reality and meaning (hence URAM) in their existence or esse.
Thomas, also thought that aseity implies divine simplicity: that God
has no parts of any kind (whether spatial, temporal, or abstract),
since complexes depend on their individual parts, with none of which
they are identical. Classical theists have often drawn a further
implication: that God is without emotion or is "impassible": because,
it is said, emotion implies standing as patient (pass-) to some agent –
i.e., dependence. This is so because, although God has created
everything, he is not in dependence on his creation. However Bible
gives us the picture of a God as Father and his major characteristics
is love. In fact God is defined as love "God is love" This is
because, after the creation of beings within God, God gave them the
total freedom of will that they appear as outside of God as sons and
daughters of God. In order to create God himself appeared or
transformed as a family, Father (male), Mother (Ruah -female) and Son
(male). Thus God appears to transform and change and develop with
change introducing time.
Isaac Luria (1534 – July 25, 1572), "Ha'ARI" (The Lion), "Ha'ARI Hakadosh" (the holy ARI), or "ARIZaL" - born in Jerusalem, died in Safed Luria’s new myth is concentrated in three great symbols, the tsimtsum, or self-limitation, of God, the shevirah, or breaking of the vessels, and the tikkun, or harmonious correction and mending of the flaw which came into the world through the shevirah.
Gershom Scholem, On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism, p. 110
Tzimtzum - Self-Limitation
In the creation myth of ancient Judaic mysticism, God creates the universe by a process dubbed tzimtzum, which in Hebrew means a sort of stepping back to allow for there to be an other, an Else, as in something or someone else. The Judaic notion of a world of Free Will (Talmud Berachot 33b) is deeply rooted in this concept, in the understanding that in creating life, the Eyn-Sof, or the Endless One, subdued the omnipotent, all-embracing Divine Presence for the sake of the realization of the Divine Will that there be other beings (Etz Chaim 1:1:2.) Our world, then is the sacred space that the Great Spirit gave as a gift to us, a space in which to be as human as divinely possible, and as divine as humanly possible. A space to err, to fall, to believe, to doubt, to cry, to laugh. Our space, was created by the simple motion of stepping back, the humble act of honoring the separate reality of another.
This is love that sacrifice himself to give birth to another child and let them grow into their fullness as sons and daughters.
Gershon Winkler with Lakme Batya Elior, The Place Where You are
Standing Is Holy: A Jewish Theology on Human Relationships.
Shlomo Elyashiv and Adi Sankara
Shlomo Elyashiv (Shlomo Elyashiv, also known as the Leshem or Ba'al HaLeshem 1841 -1945) articulates "advaita" akin to Sankaracharya (788-820) of Kerala. Gaon and Elyashiv held that tzimtzum only took place in God's will (Ratzon), but that it is impossible to say anything at all about God himself (Atzmus). Thus, they did not actually believe in a literal tzimtzum in God's essence. He writes:
I have also seen some very strange things in the words of some contemporary cabbalists who explain things deeply. They say that all of existence is only an illusion and appearance, and does not truly exist. This is to say that the ein sof didn't change at all in itself and its necessary true existence and it is now still exactly the same as it was before creation, and there is no space empty of Him, as is known (see Nefesh Ha-Chaim Shaar 3). Therefore they said that in truth there is no reality to existence at all, and all the worlds are only an illusion and appearance, just as it says in the verse "in the hands of the prophets I will appear" (Hoshea 12: 11). They said that the world and humanity have no real existence, and their entire reality is only an appearance. We perceive ourselves as if we are in a world, and we perceive ourselves with our senses, and we perceive the world with our senses. It turns out [according to this opinion] that all of existence of humanity and the world is only a perception and not in true reality, for it is impossible for anything to exist in true reality, since He fills all the worlds. ...
to Creation, there was only Ein Sof Ohr (nothingness of infinite light)
filling all existence. When it arose in G-d's Will to create worlds and
emanate the emanated ... He contracted (in Hebrew "tzimtzum") Himself
in the point at the center, in the very center of His light. He
restricted that light, distancing it to the sides surrounding the
central point, so that there remained a void, a hollow empty space,
away from the central point ... After this tzimtzum ... He drew down
from the Or Ein Sof a single straight line [of light] from His light
surrounding [the void] from above to below [into the void], and it
chained down descending into that void. ... In the space of that void
He emanated, created, formed and made all the worlds.
— Etz Chaim, Arizal, Heichal A"K, anaf 2
Then using his spoken words, God created all dimension of existence and all its creatures.
All this are expressed in "I AM that I AM" which essentially told Moses, who He the Elohim was.
This also explains why this "I AM" now in time appears to Moses and asks him to go to liberate the children of Israel by the power of his presence which he will express through Moses action. The immanence becomes omnipotent presence to realize and guide.
EX 3: 16 Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to me and said: I have surely attended to you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your affliction in Egypt, into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’…
the first immediate direct answer to the question of Moses was "I am
that I am" and was not YHVH. In the next sentence YHVH says to
tell Israel that "I am" has sent me to you. This now introduces YHVH
the proper name of Elohim.
Everything has two aspects : Essence and existence. Existence is only the form; essence gives what is in the form its nature and potentialities.
If God alone existed, Where can he create? It has to be within himself. "in Him" are all things created. This gives us the idea of God as a being with all things within him an image of Adam Kadamon - God with a body teeming within him the whole creation that are visible and invisible with infinite dimensions of existence.
The word "ehyeh" or "ahayah" in old testament (Hebrew) and the words "ego eimi" in new testament (Greek) mean I AM. אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֶֽהְיֶ֑ה (’ehyeh ’¦šer ’ehyeh), and the verb in this passage is הָיָה (hāyâ).
The definition of this verb is: “to fall out, to come to pass, to become, to be, to exist, to come into being, and to be in existence.”.
So this statement includes past, present, and future. In its absolute sense, time does not exist. Only under the freedom allowed by God can changes come in and it is always directed by God under His own purposes. This is not an unchanging God, but a changing creation within a changing God in order that the totality remains unchanged. God and all that is within him together remain unchanged.
The Hebrew alphabet gives a clue to the meaning behind this name.
The fact that it begins with Aleph (אֶ), the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, is indicative of the future tense. Therefore this name can be translated ‘I Will Be Who I Will Be.’ This should give us confidence and encourage us since we can understand that God is not only with us right now, but He goes ahead of us into our future, which may be unknown to us but is completely known to God.
He is faithful and will be whatever we need, not only now, but also in any situation that we will face in the future.
God is saying, “I will be whatever I choose to be in the circumstance: healer, deliverer, provider, protector. I will be that for you.”
In its essence, this name conveys a sense of both the timeliness and timelessness of God—the God who was, and is, and is to come (Revelation 4:8).
EXODUS 3:13-15, In the words AHAYAH Elohim told MOSES who He is and what is His essence. He the immanent Elohim the self-existent reality appears to empower and direct history.
Ptolemy II Philadelphus
The Septuagint LXX is a Greek version of the Old Testament. The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew (and small parts in Aramaic). This translation called Septuagint began in the 3rd century BCE and was completed by 132 BCE, initially in Alexandria, but in time elsewhere as well. 72 Scholars in both Hebrew and Greek, 6 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel, worked independently to translate the Bible to produce 72 independent translations in 70 days. In the end when compared it was seen miraculously identical to the dot. It was done at the request of . Ptolemy II Philadelphus (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Φιλάδελφος, Ptolemaîos Philádelphos "Ptolemy Beloved of his Sibling"; 308–246 BCE) was the king of Ptolemaic Egypt from 283 to 246 BCE. He was the son of the founder of the Ptolemaic kingdom. This was ordered in order to fill the need of the diasporic Jews who were not able to read Hebrew as their language was Greek the lingua franca of the country. The Septuagint is the basis for the Old Latin, Slavonic, Syriac, Old Armenian, Old Georgian and Coptic versions of the Christian Old Testament.
Thus Septuagint had already existed long before Christ was born, and it was the translation that Jesus himself used when he walked as a man on earth.
Deut. 32:39 See now that I, EVEN I, AM HE (ego eimi LXX), and there is no god with me:
I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal:
neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.
40 For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live forever.
Isaiah 41:4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning?
I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he (ego eimi LXX)….
10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness…..
13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
Isaiah 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I AM HE (ego eimi LXX)(ego eimi ego eimi – I AM I AM LXX) that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
Isaiah 46:4 And even to your old age I am he (ego eimi LXX); and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.5 To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?
Isaiah 48:12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together….15 I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me.17 Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
Isaiah 51:12 I, even I, am he (ego eimi ego eimi – I AM I AM LXX) that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;
Isaiah 52:6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he (ego eimi LXX) hat doth speak: behold, it is I.
JESUS THE GREAT I AM
In the new testament Jesus claims to be the "I AM" directly and indirectly. Here are the quotations.
Septuagint Greek Translation of Old Testment translates I Am as Ego Eimi. It is the same name Jesus used. A few particular situations are important and particularly significant to understand that Jesus indeed claimed to be part of the Elohim in its essence.
Here are a few notes:
Exodus 3:14: And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for BLASPHEMY; and because that thou, being a man, MAKEST THYSELF GOD.
Evidently the Jews who heard Jesus knew the implication and took it as blasphemy and was ready to stone Jesus for claiming to be God.
According to these passages Yahweh can say that he is the I AM because:
He gives life
He sustains and delivers
No one can deliver out of his hands
He is from ancient of days
He forgives and blots out sins
He alone declares the future and brings it to pass
He comforts his people
Compare his claims with the claims of the Jesus
He gives eternal life
He raises the dead
He sustains and delivers
He is able to prevent anyone from delivering out of his hands
He preserves believers from perishing
He came down from heaven, i.e is from ancient of days
He predicts the future and has it come to pass
He forgives and blots out sins
He gives comfort to his people
John. 6:16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea,17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew.19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid.20 But he saith unto them, It is I (ego eimi); be not afraid.21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
Matt. 8:24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.27 But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
Ps. 107:24 These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end.28 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.31 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Matt. 14:24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. (not known KJV)
John 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he (ego eimi), ye shall die in your sins.25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.—28 So Jesus said, When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.
John 13:18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he (ego eimi).20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
The 10 times ”ego eimi” is used without a predicate in John
John 4:26 Jesus said to her ”I who speak to you am He [ego eimi].”
John 6:20 But He said to them, ”It is I [ego eimi]; do not be afraid.”
John 8:24 ”I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am [ego eimi], you shall die in your sins.”
John 8:28 Jesus therefore said, ”When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [ego eimi]”
John 8:58 Jesus said to them, ”Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am. [ego eimi]”
John 9:9 He kept saying, ”I am [ego eimi] the one.”
John 13:19 ”From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am” [ego eimi].
John 18:5 They answered Him, ”Jesus the Nazarene.” He *said to them, ”I am [ego eimi].” And Judas also who was betraying Him, was standing with them.
John 18:6 When therefore He said to them, ”I am,” [ego eimi] they drew back, and fell to the ground.
John 18:8 Jesus answered, ”I told you that I am [ego eimi]; if therefore you seek Me, let these go their way,”
Lightfoot (see Biblehub) suggests that the occurrences of the absolute ”ego eimi” in John 8 and 13.19 should be translated ”I am”, since the two words in the Greek are the same as those of the LXX in certain OT passages, like Deut. 32.39 and Is. 46.4 where God is the speaker, and thus confirms his Godhead.
In Exodus it is the Angel who is identified as Yahweh and the great I AM and this Angel of God is indeed Jesus.
Deut. 33:13 And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath,—16 And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren.
Malachi 3:1 states that the temple belongs to the Angel of the covenant, i.e. ”the Lord who you are seeking will come to his temple.” This again proves that the Angel is Yahweh. Malachi also calls this Angel ”the Lord” which in Hebrew is Ha Adon, and this is never used for anyone other than Yahweh. The fact that Malachi had no problem applying this title to the Angel demonstrates that Malachi believed that this Angel was God. There are even some Jewish sources that link Malachi 3:1 to Exodus 23:20-23:
I SEND AN ANGEL. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses: ‘He who
guarded the patriarchs will also guard the children’; for so you find
in the case of Abraham that when he blessed his son Isaac, he said: The
L-rd, the G-d of heaven … He will send His angel before thee (Gen.
xxiv, 7). And what did Jacob say to his children? ‘The angel who hath
redeemed me from all evil, etc. (ibid. xlviii, 16), He hath redeemed me
from the hand of Esau, from Laban, and he it was who fed and sustained
me during the years of famine’ (referring all this to an angel – one
sent by G-d for that particular purpose). G-d said to Moses: ‘Now also,
He who guarded the fathers will protect the children,’ as it says,
BEHOLD, I SEND AN ANGEL. Wherever the angel appeared, the Shechinah
appeared, as it says, And the angel of the L-rd appeared unto him in a
flame of fire. (Ex. iii, 2), and immediately after, it says, G-d called
unto him (ibid., 4). Moreover, salvation cometh to Israel wherever they
cry unto Him (whenever Israel cries unto G-d and the angel appears, he
is a herald of salvation); at the thorn-bush – Behold, the cry of the
children of Israel is come unto Me (ibid. 9); in the case of Gideon –
And the angel of the L-rd came … and the angel of the L-rd appeared …
and the L-rd … said: Go in this thy might, and save Israel (Judg. vi,
11-14). In the millennium, likewise, when he (the angel; he will be the
herald announcing the coming of the L-rd and of true salvation) will
reveal himself, salvation will come to Israel, as it says, Behold, I
send My messenger, and he shall clear the way before Me (Mal. iii, i).”
(Rabbi Dr. S.M. Lehrman, Midrash Rabbah: Volume III: Exodus
[London: The Soncino Press, 1983], pp. 412-13)
Jewish Tradition viewed Malachi 3:1 as a prophecy of the Messiah.
Church fathers believed that Jesus is the I AM and God
THE FIRST APOLOGY OF JUSTIN MARTYR
The First Apology was an early work of Christian apologetics addressed by Justin Martyr (100-165) to the Roman Emperor Antoni
CHAPTER LXII – Its Imitation By Demons
And the devils, indeed, having heard this washing published by the prophet, instigated those who enter their temples, and are about to approach them with libations and burnt-offerings, also to sprinkle themselves; and they cause them also to wash themselves entirely, as they depart [from the sacrifice], before they enter into the shrines in which their images are set. And the command, too, given by the priests to those who enter and worship in the temples, that they take off their shoes, the devils, learning what happened to the above-mentioned prophet Moses, have given in imitation of these things. For at that juncture, when Moses was ordered to go down into Egypt and lead out the people of the Israelites who were there, and while he was tending the flocks of his maternal uncle(1) in the land of Arabia, our Christ conversed with him under the appearance of fire from a bush, and said, ”Put off thy shoes, and draw near and hear.” And he, when he had put off his shoes and drawn near, heard that he was to go down into Egypt and lead out the people of the Israelites there; and he received mighty power from Christ, who spoke to him in the appearance of fire, and went down and led out the people, having done great and marvelous things; which, if you desire to know, you will learn them accurately from his writings.’
CHAPTER LXIII – How God Appeared To Moses
And all the Jews even now teach that the nameless God spake to Moses; whence the Spirit of prophecy, accusing them by Isaiah the prophet mentioned above, said ‘The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but israel doth not know Me, and My people do not understand.' And Jesus the Christ, because the Jews knew not what the Father was, and what the Son, in like manner accused them; and Himself said, ‘No one knoweth the Father, but the Son; nor the Son, but the Father, and they to whom the Son revealeth Him.' Now the Word of God is His Son, as we have before said. And He is called Angel and Apostle; for He declares whatever we ought to know, and is sent forth to declare whatever is revealed; as our Lord Himself says, ‘He that heareth Me, heareth Him that sent Me.' From the writings of Moses also this will be manifest; for thus it is written in them, And the Angel of God spake to Moses, in a flame of fire out of the bush, and said, I am that I am, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of thy fathers; go down into Egypt, and bring forth My people.' And if you wish to learn what follows, you can do so from the same writings; for it is impossible to relate the whole here. But so much is written for the sake of proving that Jesus the Christ is the Son of God and His Apostle, being of old the Word, and appearing sometimes in the form of fire, and sometimes in the likeness of angels; but now, by the will of God, having become man for the human race, He endured all the sufferings which the devils instigated the senseless Jews to inflict upon Him; who, though they have it expressly affirmed in the writings of Moses, ‘And the angel of God spake to Moses in a flame of fire in a bush, and said, I am that I am, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,’ yet maintain that He who said this was the Father and Creator of the universe. Whence also the Spirit of prophecy rebukes them, and says, ‘Israel doth not know Me, my people have not understood Me.' And again, Jesus, as we have already shown, while He was with them, said, ‘No one knoweth the Father, but the Son; nor the Son but the Father, and those to whom the Son will reveal Him.' The Jews, accordingly, being throughout of opinion that it was the Father of the universe who spake to Moses, though He who spake to him was indeed the Son of God, who is called both Angel and Apostle, are justly charged, both by the Spirit of prophecy and by Christ Himself, with knowing neither the Father nor the Son. For they who affirm that the Son is the Father, are proved neither to have become acquainted with the Father, nor to know that the Father of the universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God. And of old He appeared in the shape of fire and in the likeness of an angel to Moses and to the other prophets; but now in the times of your reign, having, as we before said, become Man by a virgin, according to the counsel of the Father, for the salvation of those who believe on Him, He endured both to be set at nought and to suffer, that by dying and rising again He might conquer death. And that which was said out of the bush to Moses, ‘I am that I am, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and the God of your fathers,' this signified that they, even though dead, are let in existence, and are men belonging to Christ Himself. For they were the first of all men to busy themselves in the search after God; Abraham being the father of Isaac, and Isaac of Jacob, as Moses wrote.
DIALOGUE WITH TRYPHO
CHAPTER XXXIV – Nor Does Psalm LXXII Apply to Solomon, Whose Faults Christians Shudder at.
Further, to persuade you that you have not understood anything of the Scriptures, I will remind you of another psalm, dictated to David by the Holy Spirit, which you say refers to Solomon, who was also your king. But it refers also to our Christ. But you deceive yourselves by the ambiguous forms of speech. For where it is said, `The law of the Lord is perfect, ‘you do not understand it of the law which was to be after Moses, but of the law which was given by Moses, although God declared that He would establish a new law and a new covenant. And where it has been said, `O God, give Thy judgment to the king, ‘since Solomon was king, you say that the Psalm refers to him, although the words of the Psalm expressly proclaim that reference is made to the everlasting King, i.e., to Christ. For Christ is King, and Priest, AND GOD, AND LORD, AND ANGEL, and man, and captain, and stone, and a Son born, and first made subject to suffering, then returning to heaven, and again coming with glory, and He is preached as having the everlasting kingdom: so I prove from all the Scriptures.
In Exodus 3: 15-16 the Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses. He identified himself as YHVH of Elohim and defined himself as I AM that I AM. We come across the YHVH of Elohim right from Genesis in the creation story. In Genesis 1, the narrator refers to God as Elohim in plural form, translated “God” in English Bibles. In Genesis 2, we have the narrator refers to another creator as YHVH Elohim or YHVH of Elohim, translated “LORD God.” In later chapters we shall see these as two distinct creators and the explanation of the concept of Elohim. In this chapter we will have a look at the name YHVH which in Greek is called Tetragramaton.
The tetragrammaton is a Greek word written Τετραγράμματον, meaning " four letters".,
It refers to the Hebrew name of God YHVH . Even in Hebrew there are four different scripts as writing developed through the ages.
The tetragrammaton in
Proto Canaanite (ancient till 14th century BCE)
Phoenician (12th century BCE to 150 BCE),
Paleo-Hebrew (10th century BCE to 135 CE),
square Hebrew (3rd century BCE to present) scripts
Nikkud added (600 - 1000 AD)
With only the four letters without any vowels we do not know how to pronounce it. Hebrew did not have vowel notation until well into common era. Hebrew orthography, nikkud is a system of diacritical signs used to represent vowels. These diacritical systems for vowel and cantillation marks (indicating the chanting sounds in the synagogues) were added to the older consonantal layer of the Bible between 600 CE and the beginning of the 10th century.
All Old Testament books with the exception of Esther, and Song of Songs use this name for God.
Then in Exodus 6:2-3 we have again:
Here the last sentence could make us think that this was the first time the name was disclosed and that it was to Moses. According to this verse Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knew God only as El Shaddai (The Mighty El)
Did God make his name known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
The normal teaching even today is
Genesis 17:1 Yahweh appeared to Abram, but the revelation vouchsafed
was not "I am Yahweh" but "I am El Shaddai." It was not until Exodus
3:13-15 that the name Yahweh was given to Moses.
Josephus states:"…God declared to him [Moses] his holy Name, which had never been discovered to men before; concerning which it is not lawful for me to say anymore…".
(Josephus; Antiquities 2:12:4)
Is this true?
We can easily verify that from the Bible itself.
Adam and Eve walked daily with God. So we may assume they knew who he was. But the bible does not specifically say anything about God disclosing His name to Adam. Did Adam know his dad's name? We are really not told. So we will look into what is clearly stated in the bible.
When Cain was born Eve says: "With the help of Yahweh I have brought forth a man..."
Evidently Eve believed that Cain is the redeemer Messiah who would crush Satan under his feet and as such considered YHVH the covenant God who provided the redeemer.
Evidently Eve knew the name of God as YHVH as a covenant God. Certainly YHVH must have told Adam and Eve His name. But after the birth of Seth, Eve says: "Elôhîm has granted me another child...". Her hope of redemption was gone
Abel brought an offering to YHVH (Genesis 4:4),
Then all of a sudden we have the statement:
Genesis 4:26 To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh.
Then men began to call on the name of YHVH.'
So at the time of Seth all men knew the name of YHVH.
They must have received that from their father or Grandfather. They were all alive then.
Noah built an altar to YHVH (Genesis 8:20),
Noah called the God of Shem YHVH (Genesis 9:26).
But when it comes to Abram we have this:
Genesis 15:7 YHVH says to Abram:
'I am YHVH, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it.' …. Abram believed in YHVH, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.'
Abraham called on the name of YHVH also.
Abram called on the name of YHVH (Genesis 12:8, 13:4),
Abraham called on the name of YHVH (Genesis 21:33),
Abram built altars to YHVH (Genesis 12:7, 'to YHVH, who had appeared to him', Genesis 12:8, 13:18)
Abram said to the King of Sodom: "I have lifted my hand to YHVH, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth".' This was an oath of Abram, in YHVH's name.
And Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-Sheba, and called there on the name of YHVH, the Everlasting Elohim. ( Gen 21:33)
When YHVH appears to Abraham he replies calling God YHVH by name . "And Abram said, `Lord YHVH, what dost Thou give to me, and I am going childless? and an acquired son in my house is Demmesek Eliezer.`(Gen 15:2)
Sarai saith unto Abram, `Lo, I pray thee, Jehovah hath restrained me from bearing, (Gen 16:2)
So Sarai knew the name of God as YHVH.
When Abraham's servant Laban was
sent to Paddan Aram to find a wife for Isaac, Laban prays, "YHVH,
Elôhîm of my master Abraham, give me success today...", and Laban and
Nethuel answer him with "This is from YHVH...", (Gen 24:12,50)
Thus even the servant of Abraham knew God's name as YHVH even also to Laban abd Nethuel who lived in Padan Aram.
Rebekah enquired of YHVH (Genesis 25:22),
Isaac called on the name of YHVH (Genesis 26:25).
In Genesis 28:13, YHVH says to Jacob,
'I am YHVH, God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.'
When he was dying, Jacob said: 'I have waited for Your salvation, O YHVH!' (Genesis 49:28).
Thus all through the Old Testament it is clearly stated that God was known to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob by His name YHVH; God did make Himself known to them by His name YHVH. God made his covenant with Abraham in the name of YHVH. That name was known to all of the children of Adam through Noah.
Taken as it is translated there is clearly a contradiction. It appears that some or most churches teach that the name of YHVH was only given to Moses.
Here is what one church site explains it:
"So, how do we reconcile God’s name appearing in the text of Genesis? We do so by pointing out that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible so it was easy for him to add God’s name into each passage where Abraham called out to God. While Abraham probably only knew God as the “Lord,” each place were Moses adds a derivative of God’s name to the text, such as “Jehovah-jira” meaning “God will provide,” Abraham probably only said the “Lord provides” or “God provides” in those cases. But since God told Moses that He wanted His name to be known “for ever… unto all generations” (Exodus 3:15), it makes sense that Moses added God’s name “Jehovah” or “YHWH” to the text when he wrote the text of the Old Testament to ensure that all generations would know God’s name forever."
It would make Moses intentionally or unintentionally misguided all the world.
Evidently there must be some explanation for this gross error and contradiction. Here is the real reason.
The reason for this apparent mistranslation and wrong teaching is because Hebrew language did not have the question mark. It will be a contradiction unless we understand the placement of a question mark at the end of exodus 6:3
God was saying to Moses in Exodus 6:3: "I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as El Shaddai, and by my name Yahweh did I not let myself be known to them ? Why, I even made a covenant with them.
Apparently 21st century King James Version has translated it as
"I appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as El Shaddai, and by my name Yahweh was I not known to them?"
I am told that a more Hebrew grammar friendly translation would have been
"I appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as El Shaddai. My name is Yahweh. Did I not make myself known to them?"
On the other hand El Shaddai which means ( אֵל שַׁדַּי) God Almighty.
Other associations for the word Shaddai are related to wilderness or mountains and also to mean destroyer.
“God, the one of the mountain.” The closest association of Shaddai is to the Akkadian word Shadu, which means “mountain.”
Shadai אֵל שָׁדַּי does have another meaning which is more meaningful.
The word ShaDai means – “breast.” Moreover, when a word ends with
an “i”or “ai” it is almost always means “my”. So, literally, “El
Shadai” could very well mean “God is my breast - the life giving
source. In Jacob’s farewell address in Gen. 49:25 Jacob makes a
connection between the title of El Shaddai and the promises of
blessings of the breast and womb, which is a word play between Shaddai
and shad (breast). “…because of the Sovereign God, who will bless you
with blessings from the sky above, blessings from the deep that lies
below, and blessings of the breasts and womb.”https://blog.israelbiblicalstudies.com/jewish-studies/he-is-our-el-shadai-insight-by-dr-eli/
El Shadai (Hebrew Insight)By Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg
The first occurrence of El Shaddai is in Gen. 17:1 when God is giving Abraham the sign of His covenant with him. “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ('ani El Shaddai') ‘I am the Sovereign God.’”
In Ex. 6:3 God tells Moses that the patriarchs knew Him by only the name El Shaddai. “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as the Sovereign God, but by my name ‘Yahweh’ I was not known to them.”
The divine name El Shaddai occurs 48 times in the Bible. Out of the 48 occurrences it appears 42 times in the patriarchal period: 9 times in the Torah, 2 times in Ruth and 31 times in Job. It occurs only 6 times outside of this period: 4 times in the prophets and 2 times in the Psalms.
The six uses in Genesis are:
God to Abraham when announcing the covenant, chapter 17:1
Isaac when blessing Jacob (thinking it was Esau), ch. 28:3
God to Jacob, shortly after returning to Canaan, ch. 35:11
Jacob to his sons (except Joseph) before their second journey to Egypt, ch. 43:14
Jacob to Joseph shortly before his death, ch. 48:3
Jacob's final blessing to his sons, ch. 49:25
in the ancient cultures were seen as the dwelling places of the gods
and represented their thrones and their sovereignty and kingship upon
sitting on them. In Hebrew literature
Mount Zion was seen as the mountain from which El Shaddai rules.
“Certainly the Lord has chosen Zion; He decided to make it his home.” (Ps. 132:13)
“Sing praises to the Lord, who rules in Zion! Tell the nations what He has done!” (Ps. 9:11)
“May the Lord bless you from Zion, that you might see Jerusalem prosper all the days of your life, and that you might see your grandchildren. May Israel experience peace!” (Ps. 128:5-6)
The Bible says of God, "...I dwell on a high and holy place... " (Isa 57:15).
"...know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain..." (Joel 3:17). "...the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion" (Isa 8:18).
In the New Testament God's throne is placed on Mount Zion in the Heavenly Jerusalem:
"...you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels" (Heb 12:22).
Why was Moses then asking for God's name?
For one Moses himself wanted to make sure that the God who was in the burning bush was indeed the God of his fathers. If anyone has not heard the name of YHVH it might be Moses who was separated from his community and Israel in Egypt and was brought up in the Egyptian palace among Egyptian Gods almost as soon as he was born.
Second this name will be a proof for the elders of the Israel that Moses did meet YHVH their tribal God. This is relevant especially when the meeting took place in a territory outside that of the tribal territory of fathers of the tribes; in the foreign land of Midian. The understanding is that the Tribal Gods are only active within their tribal territory. This revelation of YHVH in the land of Midian will confirm to the Hebrews that YHVH indeed is the God above all gods or other tribes. This was important to Moses also in that he will have the courage to face Pharaoh and ask for the liberation of the Hebrews from slavery. The people always thought in terms of whose God is more powerful especially in times of war. We see this warfare between YHVH and the gods of Egypt.
5:2 Pharaoh said, "Who is the YHVH, that I should obey him and let
Israel go? I do not know the YHVH and I will not let Israel go."
Further if you examine the ten plagues corresponded to a fight against ten gods of Egypt.
is not probably asking "what should I call you;" rather, he is asking
"who are you; what are you like; what have you done." That is clear
from God's response. God replies that He is eternal, that He is the God
of his ancestors, that He has seen our affliction and will redeem them
Ban on the use of the nameS of God
Since there is power in the name of YHVH it was forbidden to be spoken or read loud in order not to misuse the power. Hence when the name appears they are substituted with other terms. This is referred to a "Chillul Hashem" ("desecration of the Name "חילול השם) or "Kiddush Hashem" ("Santification of the Name" : קידוש השם)
are four references to Chillul Hashem in the Torah (Lev. 18:21; 19:12;
22:2; 22:32). The general prohibition of desecrating God’s name is
stated most explicitly in Leviticus:
“And you shall not desecrate My Holy name; and I shall be sanctified in the midst of the Children of Israel. I am the Lord who sanctifies you (Lev. 22:32).”
In addition to the references in the Torah, Chillul Hashem is mentioned extensively in Prophets and Writings, especially in the Book Ezekiel. Ezekiel 36:20–24 in which the prophet laments the Jewish Exile to Babylonia and claims that the reality of exile — specifically, the Jewish people living outside their ancestral homeland — is in itself a desecration of God’s name.
The Mishnah states: "…In the sanctuary one says the Name as it is written but in the provinces, with a euphemism….
(m.Sotah 7:6; b.Sotah 38b; m.Tamid 7:2)
The obligation to refrain from desecration of Hashem is one of the 613 commandments in rabbinical enumeration.
The following are first eight of the 613 commandments and the source of their derivation from the Hebrew Bible as enumerated by Maimonides:
Canonical order of Maimonides' list is sorted by occurrence in the Torah
1. To know there is a God — Ex. 20:2
2. Not to even think that there are other gods besides Him — Ex. 20:3
3. To know that God is One — Deut. 6:4
4. To love God —Deut. 6:5
5. To fear God — Deut. 10:20
6. To sanctify God's Name — Lev. 22:32
7. Not to profane God's Name — Lev. 22:32
8. Not to destroy objects associated with God's Name — Deut. 12:4…
The Manual of Discipline (Qumran Community)states:
"Anyone who speaks aloud the M[ost] Holy Name of God, [whether in…] or in cursing or as a blurt in time of trial or for any other reason, or while he is reading a book or praying, is to be expelled, never again to return to the society of the Yahad."
(1QS Col. 6 line 27b - Col. 7 line 2a)
a name represents the reputation of the thing named, a name should be
treated with the same respect as the thing's reputation. For this
reason, God's Names, in all of their forms, are treated with enormous
respect and reverence in Judaism.
Following the tradition of the jews, The translations also replace "YHVH" with "THE LORD" or "The Name". Thus this four letter word YHVH is called the Ineffable Name, the Unutterable Name" or "the Name"
refers to the extent of absurdity such substitutions led. Here are a few.
“You shall not take Hashem of Hashem your God in vain; for Hashem will not hold guiltless the one that takes His Name in vain.” Do you understand what we just did in that passage of Scripture? We said that you shall not take ‘The Name’ of ‘The Name’ in vain.
Exodus (33:19): “And He said, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you and I will proclaim The Name of The Name before you and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious to and show mercy to whom I will show mercy to.”
Exodus (34:5): “And Hashem descended in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed Hashem of Hashem."
‘The Name of YHVH is to be praised’ simply becomes 'the name of the name is to be praised?'
Writing the Name of God
Writing the name of God comes with more serious problems.
The prohibition lies in the prohibition of erasing the name of God. Once written it becomes sacred and erasing is akin to erasing God's commandments and even destroying God. As a rule you can not erase God’s names.
The Torah says that we should blot out the names of idolatrous gods and destroy them. The interpretation to this positive rule to negative sense would imply 'that we mustn’t do that to our God. Erasing God’s name is tantamount to erasing God.' So scribes don’t do it, ever. So, if you have a mistake that you can’t fix without repairing God’s name, that’s that – you can’t fix it. You take the sheet away, and you cannot dispose it off in the dustbin. That will be a greater crime. You have to bury it respectfully like one would do a dead honorable personality. Give it royal burial.
These rules apply to all the seven names of God:
A written name is the symbol or idol of God. Based on careful discussion of the verse Deuteronomy 12:3, the rabbis decreed that is forbidden to efface a
divine Name written on parchment (or paper),
unravel a Name embroidered in cloth, or
melt down a piece of metal or a seal upon which a divine Name is engraved or impressed.
If you are a scribe who is copying a whole bible, if at any instant you write any name of God wrongly. You have no other option than to bury the whole written portion royally and start all over again. All your labor until that time is lost apart from the cost of the burial procedures.
Note that this rule does not come from the commandment not to take the Lord's Name in vain (i.e., the Third Commandment), but rather from the inference that Jews should not destroy or efface any holy thing.
Consequently, observant Jews avoid even writing any Name or Title of God. So they write substitute names in those places.
You will see often that even in English the Jews write the name God as G-d since the word God represents YHVH. So the word G-d has to be used as the representation of the representation of YHVH.
The consequence of this strict prohibition is twofold.
do not know where the name YHVH comes. We had serious problem to find
the name YHVH in Deu 3 even in the English translations, as we have
seen. Even if we can find them out we have the second problem
2. We have no idea how the tetragrammaton is pronounced. In Hebrew originally there were no vowels, though it was developed later. As such we do not even know exactly how to pronounce the name of God YHVH.
The correct pronunciation was traditionally guaranteed by the transmission of the correct form by oral transmission from one "ha'kohen ha'gadol", the High Priest to the next High Priest. Even the High Priest can run into problems if he pronounces it wrong. So additional rules and procedures are made to safeguard him making the use of the name as little as possible. The high priests utter the name only one day in the year and that only once. This was on Yom Kippur (On the day of atonement) and that at the time of final benediction as the High Priest come out of the Holy of Holies and blesses the congregation finally. At other times other referenced names are substituted like "that name" "The Lord" etc.
Even in Christian benediction we still use it without the name YHVH as shown below"
"May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
(The "Priestly Blessing", from Numbers 6:23-27)
Here is the Aaronic blessing in the original Hebrew.
We still follow the Jewish restrictions avoiding The Name
The Mishnah conﬁrms that there was no prohibition against pronouncing The Name in ancient times. In fact, the Mishnah recommends using God's Name as a routine greeting to a fellow Jew (Berakhot 9:5).
[Published at the end of the second century CE, the Mishnah is an edited record of the complex body of material known as oral Torah that was transmitted in the aftermath of the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.]
Unger's Bible Dictionary says that inscriptions from the 1st and 2nd century B.C. indicate that Yahweh was indeed the Name used by the Hebrews. (p. 1177)
The Jewish Encyclopedia of 1901 says, "In the early period of the second temple the Name was still in common use, ....... At the beginning of the Hellenistic era, however, the use of the Name was reserved for the temple ...... It appears that the priests were allowed to pronounce the Name at the benediction only in the temple; elsewhere they were obliged to use the appellative name of "Adonai" .... Pronunciation of the Name by the temple priests ... also gradually fell into disuse. Tosef Sotah "from the time Simon the Just died [this is the traditional expression for the beginning of the Hellenistic period], the priests refrained from blessing the people with the Name. Formerly they used to greet each other with the ineffable Name; When the decline of the study of the law came the elders mumbled the Name." Vol.1 p. 201-202
However, by the time of the Talmud, it was the custom to use substitute Names for God. Some rabbis asserted that a person who pronounces YHVH according to its letters (instead of using a substitute) has no place in the World to Come, and should be put to death.
Tosef Sotah (Talmud) "from
the time Simon the Just died [this is the traditional expression for
the beginning of the Hellenistic period], the priests refrained from
blessing the people With the Name. Formerly they used to greet each
other with the ineffable Name; When the decline of the study of the law
came the elders mumbled the Name." Vol.1 p. 201-202
[Talmud is the body of Jewish civil and ceremonial law and legend comprising the Mishnah and the Gemara. There are two versions of the Talmud: the Babylonian Talmud (which dates from the 5th century AD but includes earlier material) and the earlier Palestinian or Jerusalem Talmud.]
“The Old Rabbinic Doctrine” by Rabbi A.Marmostein, saying, “There was a time when this prohibition of not using the divine name was entirely unknown among the Jews neither in Egypt, nor in Babylonia, did Israel know or keep a law prohibiting the use of God's name, the Tetragrammaton, in ordinary conversations or greetings. Yet from the third century BC to the third century CE, such a prohibition existed and was partly observed.”…"we notice that two generations are said to have uttered it openly; the men of the Great Synagogue, and the scholars of the third century of our era."
This evidently resulted from the dispersion of Jews into Babylon in 586 B.C.. The Babylonians began to refer to the Jews as “Yahudim” and to ridicule them began to call them “Yahoo's” which sounded like YHVH. Hearing the Name blasphemed on the lips of pagans led to the banning of any mention of the name by anyone and by 400 BC the rabbis banned its use totally except in the Yom Kippur blessing. From 290 BC, the violators were stoned to death.
Common substitutions for Hebrew forms are:
hakadosh baruch hu ("The Holy One, Blessed Be He"),
Adonai ("The Lord"), or
HaShem ("The Name").
Even these are distorted. The usual practice is to substitute letters or syllables, so that Adonai becomes Adoshem or Ha-Shem; Elohaynu and Elohim become Elokaynu and Elokim; El becomes Keil, etc.
With the Temple destroyed and the prohibition on pronouncing The Name outside of the Temple, pronunciation of the Name was lost. What we have today is everyone’s guess. Some suggest that the Name was pronounced "Yahweh" . Historian Flavius Josephus, said that the name was just four vowels (War of the Jews, Book V, Chapter 5) Other suggests "YHVH," . The word "Jehovah" comes from the fact that ancient Jewish texts used to put the vowels of the Name "Adonai" put one YHVH. Initially soon after the vowels were added in order to assert that YHVH should not be read they added the vowels of Adonai (The Lord) on it. It then will read Yehovah which then became Jehovah.
In the Septuagint (The first Greek translation of the Torah completed in 132 BCE) which was used in the early Assembly, the Name of Yahweh was indeed written in Hebrew into the text in gold Hebrew letters. The practice of substituting titles for the divine name that developed among the Jews was applied in later copies of the Greek Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate, and many other translations, ancient and modern.
The Encyclopedia Britannica (Micropedia, vol.l0) says, “Yahweh — the personal name of the [El] of the Israelites the Masorites, Jewish biblical scholars of the Middle Ages, replaced the vowels signs that had appeared above or beneath the consonants with the vowel signs of Adonai or of Elohim. Thus the artiﬁcial name of Jehovah (YeHoWaH) came into being.
When William Tyndale first translated the first five books of Moses in 1530 the name appeared just once in Ex 6:3 In his foot note Tyndale says: “Jehovah is God’s name . . . Moreover, as oft as thou seist LORD in great letters it is in Hebrew Iehovah.” In the King James Version which appeared 1611, "Jehovah" occurs only four times, namely, in Ex 6:3; Ps 83:18; Isa 12:2; 26:4. Thus we lost that name in almost all translation in all languages. Even today we are struggling with it.
The mindset of the sages was that if you never use The Name of YHVH because you don’t know it, you can never take it in vain. This was the idea behind leaving God’s name out of peoples’ conversations and not writing it down.
of the verses of Scripture we looked at tells us to “publish the Name
of YHVH”, which means write it down. But we are told not to write it
down because it could be desecrated.
The of course you cannot call upon the name of YHVH and you cannot also be saved.
"Because I will publish the name of YHVH: ascribe ye greatness unto our ELOHIM."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkELQ5e3aLs gives the historical development of the way we pronounce YHVH.
Thus the story of prohibition and varying pronunciation of YHVH has a very varying historical background and it was further complicated by the various Jewish denominational variations.
Hebrew Letter name Pronunciation
י Yod [J] or [Y]
ה He [H]
ו Waw [W], or [U] placeholder for "O"/"U" vowel
ה He [H] (or often a silent letter at the end of a word)
"One of the Jewish practices was that one should not pronounce YHVH but read as "Adonai" ("My Lord"), or, if the previous or next word already was Adonai, as "Elohim" ("God"). The combination produces יְהֹוָה and יֱהֹוִה respectively, non-words that would spell "Yehovah" and "Yehovih" respectively.
The oldest complete or nearly complete manuscripts of the Masoretic Text with Tiberian vocalisation, such as the Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex, both of the 10th or 11th century, has six variations, mostly write יְהוָה (yhwah), with no pointing on the first h. It could be because the o diacritic point plays no useful role in distinguishing between Adonai and Elohim and so is redundant, or it could point to the qere being Shema, which is Aramaic for "the Name"."
"He who can rightly pronounce YHVH, causeth heaven and earth to tremble, for it is the name which rusheth through the universe."
The Encyclopedia Britannica (Micropedia, vol.10) says, “Yahweh – the personal name of the [El] of the Israelites ... the Masorites, Jewish biblical scholars of the Middle Ages, replaced the vowels signs that had appeared above or beneath the consonants of YHVH with the vowel signs of Adonai or of Elohim. Thus the artificial name of Jehovah (YeHoWaH) came into being ". This in Indo-European languages became Jehovah.
The earliest recorded pronunciation of השם ha-Shem 'the Name' as 'Jehovah' is 1520 A.D..
Early Greek transliterations of it are ’Iabe, where the 'b' represents a Hebrew 'v' and the 'I' a 'y' for the Greeks had no 'y,j,h,v', and are thus closest to Ya(h)ve(h).
The table below considers the vowel points for יְהֹוָה (Yehovah) and אֲדֹנָי (Adonai), respectively:
Hebrew word No. 3068
Hebrew word No. 136
In the table directly above, the "simple shewa" in Yehovah and the hataf patakh in Adonai are not the same vowel. The difference being, the "simple shewa" is an "a" sound as in "alone", whereas the hataf patakh is more subtle, as the "a" in "father". The same information is displayed in the table above and to the right, where YHWH is intended to be pronounced as Adonai, and Adonai is shown to have different vowel points.
The Encyclopedia Britannica 15th edition says, "After that event (70 AD) the liturgical use of the name ceased, but the tradition Was perpetuated in the Rabbinic schools; it continued also to be employed by healers. exorcists and magicians, and is found on many magical papyri."
Clement of Alexandria wrote that it was transliterated into Greek as IAOUE which as a transliteration retains the form of "Yahweh". (d. 212)
Theodorit says that the Samaritans pronounce it as IAVE (d. 457 Vol 12) (Journal of Biblical Literature, 25, p 50 and Jewish Encyclopedia, vo1.9, p.161)
"The pronunciation Yahweh is indicated by transliteration of the name into Greek in early Christian literature, in the Greek form of IAOUE (Clement of Alexandria) or IABE (Theodoret - 'b' in Greek is pronounced 'v')..... Strictly speaking, Yahweh is the only ‘name' of God. In Genesis wherever the word shem ('name') is associated with the divine Being, that name is Yahweh" Erdmann’s Bible
Dictionary 1979 page 478.
Encyclopedia Britannica 15th edition Volume 10 p. 786 also says "Greek transcriptions also indicated that H17!" should be pronounced Yahweh." As do most basic encyclopedias.
The Encyclopedia Judaica Vol.7 pp.679 , “the true pronunciation of the Name mﬂ‘ was never lost. Comparisons with transliterations of the name into other alphabets from very ancient times conﬁrm that the name was pronounced very much like "Yahweh" Most modern Bibles acknowledge the pronunciation was "Yahweh" (N.K.J., R.S.V., R.E.B.)
http //messianicfellowship 5Owebs com/honorname.htm|
Six Hebrew spellings of the tetragrammaton
found in the Leningrad Codex of 1008–1010,
The Leningrad Codex (Latin: Codex Leningradensis, the "codex of Leningrad")
is the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible in Hebrew, using the Masoretic Text and Tiberian vocalization. .
The fourth of the Ten Commandments, as found in Exodus 20:7, is "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain." (NAS) We do not treat the name of God lightly, and therefore consider it sacred and holy. But what exactly is this name of God? What are some of the ways in which we can fulfill this command-to treat the Name with the respect and reverence that it is due?
The name of God that appears most often in the Scriptures is often referred to as the tetragrammaton (meaning, four-letter name) or the Sacred Name. This is commonly accepted as God's "personal" name, though some Scriptural data indicates that this may not be a particular accurate label. In English, is usually written YHWH or YHVH, representing the four Hebrew Letters in the Name, (yud), (heh), (vaw/waw), (heh).
Among scholars, the commonly accepted pronunciation of the Sacred Name is "Yahweh;" however, there is no universal agreement or-more importantly no conclusive biblical proof that this is correct. Over the centuries, the Jewish scribes who were responsible for preserving the texts of the Hebrew Scriptures (which we rely upon today every time we read our Old Testaments) purposely obscured the pronunciation of the Name, a practice that came about in part because of the literal observance of the fourth commandment. In fact, it can be extremely offensive or unsettling for a Jewish person to hear the Name of spoken-or rather, attempted to be spoken.
In ancient Judaism, a tradition developed in which the pronunciation of the Sacred Name was forbidden except under the most holy of circumstances. The usual practice, then, would be to substitute another name for the Sacred Name as a show of reverence. For instance, the name (Adonai), a biblical title or description often ascribed to God, was spoken in place of when the Scriptures were being read in the Synagogue. In order to remind the reader of this, the Jewish scribes adopted the practice of adding the vowel points (the little dots and dashes around the Hebrew letters which represent vowel sounds) from (Adonai) to such that the Sacred Name was written as .This was a practical way of setting apart the Name of God as holy
nterestingly enough, when the Scriptures were first translated into English a mere 400 or so years ago, the translators were unaware of this Jewish practice. When they encountered in the scriptures, they came up with the pronunciation "Yehovah" or "Jehovah", an entirely non-existant word never intended by the Hebrew scribes. In all our preserved Hebrew texts today, the Sacred Name still appears as its true pronunciation lost to antiquity. In many modern English Bibles, it is represented as "Lord" in capital letters, so as to distinguish it from all other names or titles in Scripture.
The practice of substituting another name for is not only a common practice in Judaism, but it is also Biblical. In fact, our Master Yeshua (Jesus) Himself actually models this for us. In no less than 29 times according to Matthew, Yeshua used the substitution "Heaven" as seen, for example, in Matthew 4:17, "From that time Yeshua began to preach and say, repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
In our modern English vernacular, the word "God" is commonly used in reference to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Since the true vowel sounds of the Sacred Name are unknown, some have continued the practice of neither writing nor speaking the Name by carrying it over into the writing of the English word as well. When the name "G-d" appears without the vowel "o" in modern writings, it is not an attempt to blot out or make void the Sacred Name, but rather a contemporary show of reverence and respect through the indication that it is no longer pronounceable, nor is it to be used lightly or casually. When referring to God, either in our speech or in our writing, we would do well to be sensitive to these Jewish practices if we hope to avoid being unnecessarily offensive to Jewish People who practice, uphold or are at least aware of these traditions.
Within the Scriptures, we find other Hebrew words which may be used reverently as references to the Holy One. In addition to (Adonai), we often see the word (Elohim), which is usually translated in our English Bibles as "God." In cultural Judaism. the name (Hashem), which literally means, "The Name," is also a common term.
But perhaps it was Yeshua (Jesus) who taught us best how to speak the Name of God. Through the salvation of the Son, we can come confidently before our Father; and as He calls us into His presence as little children, we may respond by calling out, Abba (Daddy)!"
Tetragrammaton written in paleo-Hebrew script on 8HevXII
Prohibition on Writing the Name of YHVH
The written tetragrammaton, as well as six other names of God, must be treated with special sanctity. They cannot be disposed of regularly, lest they be desecrated, but are usually put in long term storage or buried in Jewish cemeteries in order to retire them from use. Similarly, it is prohibited to write the tetragrammaton (or these other names) unnecessarily. To guard the sanctity of the Name sometimes a letter is substituted by a different letter in writing (e.g. יקוק), or the letters are separated by one or more hyphens.
Some Jews are stringent and extend the above safeguard by also not writing out other names of God in other languages, for example writing "God" in English as "G-d". However this is beyond the letter of the law.
The Encyclopedia Britannica 15th edition says, "After that event (70 AD) the liturgical use of the name ceased, but the tradition was perpetuated in the Rabbinic schools; it continued also to be employed by healers. exorcists and magicians, and is found on many magical papyri. It is asserted by Philo that only priests might pronounce it and by Josephus that those who knew it were forbidden to divulge it. Finally the Samaritans shared the scruples of the Jews, except that they used it in the judicial oaths ....... The early Christian scholars therefore easily learnt the true pronunciation." Vol.12 p.995
If the pronouncing the name and appended with a prayer has the power to get the answer, why not use it. This may look magic. Then again is not all answered prayers magic?
We have recorded that Clement of Alexandria wrote that it was transliterated into Greek as IAOUE which as a transliteration retains the form of "Yahweh". (d. 212) Theodorit says that the Samaritans pronounce it as IAVE (d. 457 Vol 12) (Journal of Biblical Literature, 25, p 50 and Jewish Encyclopedia, vol.9, p.161)
pronunciation Yahweh is indicated by transliteration of the name into
Greek in early Christian literature, in the Greek form of IAOUE
(Clement of Alexandria) or IABE (Theodoret - 'b' in Greek is pronounced
'v')..... Strictly speaking, Yahweh is the only 'name' of God. In
Genesis wherever the word shem ('name') is associated with the divine
Being, that name is Yahweh" Eerdmans Bible Dictionary 1979 page 478.
Encyclopedia Britannica 15th edition Volume 10 p. 786 also says "Greek transcriptions also indicated that יהוה should be pronounced Yahweh." As do most basic encyclopedias.
“The restriction upon communicating the Name proper probably originated in Oriental etiquette; in the East even a teacher was not called by name.
For naming his master Elisha, Gehazi was punished with leprosy (II Kings viii. 5; Sanh. 100a).
After the death of the high priest Simeon the Righteous, forty years prior to the destruction of the Temple, the priests ceased to pronounce the Name (Yoma39b). From that time the pronunciation of the Name was prohibited.
"Whoever pronounces the Name forfeits his portion in the future world" (Sanh. xi. 1).
Hananiah ben Teradion was punished for teaching his disciples the pronunciation of the Name ('Ab. Zarah 17b). It appears that a majority of the priests in the last days of the Temple were unworthy to pronounce the Name, and a combination of the letters or of the equivalents of the letters constituting the Name was employed by the priests in the Temple.
Thus the Twelve-Lettered Name was substituted, which, was at first taught to every priest; but with the increase of the number of licentious priests the Name was revealed only to the pious ones, who "swallowed" its pronunciation while the other priests were chanting.
Another combination, the Forty-two-Lettered Name, Rab says, was taught only to whomever was known to be of good character and disposition, temperate, and in the prime of life (Kid. 71a; comp. Rashi to 'Ab. Zarah 17b). Maimonides, in his "Moreh," thinks that these names were perhaps composed of several other divine names.” http://jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=52&letter=N&search=Names%20of%20God
So they have concocted a story that the priests stopped using the name in the temple because of its sanctity. (http://www.karaitejudaism.org/talks/Saying_YHWH_verses_Adonay_or_Hashem.htm)
(Karaite Judaismor Karaism is a Jewish religious movement characterized by the recognition of the Tanakh alone as its supreme authority in Halakha (Jewish religious law) and theology. It is distinct from mainstream Rabbinic Judaism, which considers the Oral Torah, as codified in the Talmud and subsequent works, to be authoritative interpretations of the Torah. Karaites maintain that all of the divine commandments handed down to Moses by God were recorded in the written Torah without additional Oral Law or explanation. As a result, Karaite Jews do not accept as binding the written collections of the oral tradition in the Midrash or Talmud.. This is more like the difference between the Catholic and Protestant Christianity. As seen above they differ in their opinion about the use of God's proper name and even the history and explanation of why the ban on the use of the name came about)
Language: Moabite (a West Semitic Language close to Hebrew)
Medium: basalt stone stele
Size: 1.15 meters high 60-68 centimeters wide
Length: 35 lines of writing
Honoree: Mesha, king of Moab (late 9th century BCE)
Approximate Date: 830 BCE
Place of Discovery: Dhiban [in modern Jordan]
Date of Discovery: 1868
Current Location: Louvre Museum Paris, France
Inventory number: AO 506
Here is the relevant part of the quote: ….. "And Kemosh said to me, "Go, take Nebo from Israel." And I went in the night and fought against it from daybreak until midday, and I took it and I killed the whole population: seven thousand male subjects and aliens, and female subjects, aliens, and servant girls. For I had put it to the ban for Ashtar Kemosh. And from there I took Yahweh's vessels, and I presented them before Kemosh's face." …… http://www.kchanson.com/ANCDOCS/westsem/mesha.html
The Oldest textual evidence currently is found in Ketef Hinnot Silver Amulets
Excavations in Jerusalem in 1979–80 by Gabriel Barkay turned up two amulets dating from the late seventh century BC. They were found in the fourth of several burial caves he discovered on an escarpment known as Ketef Hinnom, which overlooks the Hinnom Valley just opposite Mt. Zion. Each amulet contained a rolled-up sheet of silver which, when unrolled, revealed the Priestly Benediction inscribed on them.
These are called "The Ketef Hinnom Scrolls/Amulets" (KH1 & KH2 scrolls)
Writing Paleo-Hebrew characters
Created circa 650 - 587 BCE (pre-exile)
Present location Israel Museum
Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology: By J. Randall Price, H. Wayne House
The Sacred Name Doctrine
If You Don’t Call upon The Name of YHVH You will not be Saved
13:9 — I will put this third through the fire; I will refine them as
silver is refined and test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name, and I will answer them.
I will say: They are My people, and they will say: "YHVH is our God."
Ezekiel 39:7 — So I will make My holy name known among My people Israel and will no longer allow it to be profaned.
Then the nations will know that I am YHVH, the Holy One in Israel.
Evidently, Our Father wants us to call upon His Name.
Every request made to that name will be answered
Jesus himself said:
John 14:13-14 "And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."
That is why we end our prayers "In the name of Jesus, Amen"
Acts 2:21 'AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.'
This is a quote from
Joel 2:32 "And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of YHVH will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as YHVH has said, even among the survivors whom YHVH calls.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
for the same Lord is Lord of all,
abounding in riches for all who call on Him;
for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."
How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed?
How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard?
And how will they hear without a preacher?
[In the Bible, the Hebrew word for call means to call out to, to cry unto, and the Greek word means to invoke a person, to call a person by name.]
Sacred Names Advocates hold to the view that the pronunciation and meaning of the Name have not been lost, and that the Name is Sacred. Therefore,
Advocates are often referred to as belonging to the Sacred Name movement. They believe that the pronunciation of the Sacred Name is essential for salvation and that it must be used in worship. They believe it is a matter of extreme importance to know, use, and trust this name, that this is absolutely crucial in serving the “True Mighty One.” To use this name is a foremost doctrine among them, which if practiced, will eventually lead to the salvation of the soul.
Below are some quotes or paraphrases of Sacred Name beliefs:
In order to have a right to the tree of life one must obey the Commandments. Those who love and make lies will be excluded. Since the Sacred Name is the first commandment of the Decalogue one must know and use it; continuing to believe anything less than the truth of the Word excludes one from Paradise. Those who believe we Sacred Name Advocates place the matter of the Name on an equal par with the Sabbath are very much mistaken. We do more than place it on an equality with the Sabbath. We give proof of its greater importance than the Sabbath. The first three of the Ten Commandments emphasize the importance of His name. Translations, which employ the use of the Sacred Name, demonstrate the importance of using the name “Yahweh” exclusively in worship. After this, our next obligation is to submit humbly to the inspired word of our Heavenly Father.
The idea that names differ in various languages is only a feeble excuse for using a name different from that of the original inspired Scriptures. In order to distinguish the Creator from all various objects of worship, we must call Him by His Personal Name if we wish Him to hear us.
We are not advocating the worship of a name. What we are advocating is the worship of Him who bears that name; the One whose Name alone is Yahweh. It is presumptuous to substitute a common title such as Lord because there are lords many on the earth and the master of the most humble slave is a “lord.”
The issue when this age comes to a close will be the name of the Creator, His Son, and the mark, name, and number of the Beast. True commandment keeping includes the correct Name. It is the blasphemy of the Roman Catholic Church and her Protestant daughters who are defaming the Sacred Name of the Most High. The substitution of such man-made titles as Lord, God, Herr, Gott, Theos, Jesus, and Jehovah are blasphemy.
If you are a member of a religious organization that does not call itself the Assemblies of Yahweh, can you believe you are in the true body of the Messiah?
True worshippers incorporate the Name of the Father, which identifies them as part of the true spiritual family. Our purpose is to show the exclusive use of the revealed, Personal Name of the Heavenly Father.
who does not know the Name of the Messiah or the Heavenly Father cannot
be saved. The Name of the Heavenly Father is of supreme importance to
your salvation. Without using it, you cannot be saved. It is necessary
to restore the Sacred Names of the Heavenly Father and of the Savior.
In the Bible “Lord” and “God” should be translated “Yahweh,” or “Lord”
should be “Master.” “God” should be “Mighty One” or “Elohim.” “Lord
God” should be “Yah Yahweh.” “Jehovah” should be “Yahweh.” “Jesus”
should be “Yahshua.” “Christ” should be “The Messiah.” And “Ghost”
should be “Spirit.” Man has gone away from his Creator and has amassed
for himself a host of idols, worshipping them by many different names.
The Sacred Name-Yahweh-is the one and only True Name of the Almighty
which has been revealed to mankind.
The Divine Name in the Hebrew Scriptures
In the Hebrew Bible, the tetragrammaton occurs 6828 times.
However the Jewish scribes change the originals in several places by changing YHWH into Adonai in 134 places and Elohim in 8 places. As such we cannot really count them exactly. But as we can see, the name occurs in very large numbers indicating the importance.
YHWH God’s personal name, first occurs in Ge 2:4. It is here translated as the Lord God.
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
The divine name YHVH is
l a verb,
l the causative form,
l the imperfect state,
l of the Hebrew verb הוה (ha·wahʹ, “to become”).
Hence it could be translated as:
"I will be what I will be"
“One who Causes to Become.”
"One who causes to Evolve"
This reveals Jehovah as the One who, with progressive action, causes himself to become the Fulfiller of promises, the One who always brings his purposes to realization
Taken in their context of creation it refers to
“These are the historical origins.” Hebrew, ʼelʹleh thoh·ledhohthʹ, “
These are the begettings of”; Greek, hauʹte he biʹblos ge·neʹse·os,
“This is the book of origin (source)”; Lain., iʹstae ge·ne·ra·ti·oʹnes,
“These are the generations.”
The YHVH contains all three Past, Present and Future.
HYH = Haya = He was
HVH= Hoveh = He is
YHYH= Yiheyeh = He will be
"He was, He is, He will be"
(Rev 4:8; 1:4,8)
As you can see evidently the one word with four letters is combined in different ways to get three meaningful readings which is said to be the full expression of the meaning of the one word.
YHVH is eternal being. Here the name given in Hebrew is "YHVH Elohim". which is considered as one name and is translated as “Jehovah God.” Elohim is plural of El. El means god or God. Thus Elohim would mean assembly of gods. Thus it should be translated as YHVH of gods or God of gods.
This expression, without the definite Hebrew. article "ha" (the) before ʼElohimʹ, is used 20 times in Ge 1–3.
first occurrence of the expression Yehwahʹ ha·ʼElo·himʹ is in 1Ch 22:1,
where it is rendered “Jehovah the God.” meaning "YHVH the true
Then David said, "This will be the location for the Temple of the LORD God and the place of the altar for Israel's burnt offerings!"
BDB Theological Dictionary lists the following interpretations of the name YHWH, proposed by a score of venerated theologians:
"Many recent scholars explain YHWH as from HWH > Hiph. of hawa:
The one bringing into being;
Giver of existence, creator;
He who brings to pass;
Performer of his promises;
He who causes to fall (rain or lightning);
The name Howa for Eve comes from this word, Because she gives life.
"But most take YHVH as Qal of hawa:
The self-existent One;
The absolute and unchangeable one;
The existing, ever-living;
the one ever coming into manifestation
He will be;
He will approve himself (give evidence of being, assert his being).
This gives the name I AM for God.
YHVH the Hebrew letter meaning
As we know each Hebrew letter stand for an idea and is used as the building blocks of the creation. We will look at the meaning of the letters in YHVH
The first letter is Yod.
The Mystery of Yod
Suspended in mid-air, Yod is the smallest of the Hebrew letters, the "atom" of the consonants, and the form from which all of the other letters begin and end:
The first dot with which the scribes first start writing a letter, or the last dot that gives a letter its final form -- is a yod. (Likutei Maharan) He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last - the eternal being who is in everything and is immanent in everything.
In the Jewish mystical tradition, Yod represents a mere dot, a divine point of energy. Since Yod is used to form all the other letters, and since God uses the letters as the building blocks of creation, Yod indicates God's omnipresence.
In fact, the word יוֹד (yod) itself depicts something of the geometry of creation. It begins with the Yod itself, as a dot, and then moves downward, from the divine toward the created order to form Vav (the "hook" of creation). Finally it moves outward in the horizontal realm as Dalet (the "doorway" of creation). This can better be seen with the following illustration:
Since Jesus upholds the world by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3), and Yod is part of every Hebrew letter (and therefore every word), Yod is considered the starting point of the presence of God in all things - the "spark" of the Spirit in everything.
As the first letter (ot, or sign) of God's Name, Yod shows that He is Spirit, He is One, and that from Him derive all other things by the power of His Word.
The Mystery of Hey
According to the Jewish mystics, Hey represents the divine breath, revelation, and light (the word "light" is mentioned five times on the first day of creation (Gen. 1:3-4), which is said to correspond to the letter Hey). Since the numerical value of Hey is five, this corresponds on a physical level to the five fingers, the five senses, and the five dimensions. On a spiritual level it corresponds to the five levels of soul:
1. Nefesh - instincts
2. Ruach - emotions
3. Neshamah - mind
4. Chayah - bridge to transcendence
5. Yechidah - oneness
Hey represents God's Creative Power
"By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth" (Psalm 33:6). In the Talmud (Menachot 29b) it is said that the "breath of His mouth" refers to the sound of the letter Hey - the outbreathing of Spirit.
This is what gave the Adam a living soul.
Moreover, in the fifth word of Genesis 2:4, the hey appears smaller than usual:
could be seen as "in Hey" they (i.e., the heavens and the earth) were
created. Moreover, since Bet represents the Son of God (the Word of the
LORD), we could read this as the Son breathed forth creation.
The Sacred Name, , includes two instances of the letter Hey.
Hey and the Divine Presence
According to one midrash, Yod left Aleph to become part of Dalet, thus forming Hey. Since Aleph represents God and Dalet represents broken humanity, Hey is a picture of the presence of God within the human heart. This function of Hey can be seen when (Abram) was renamed to (Abraham) and (Sarai) was renamed to (Sarah).
Adding a Hey at the end of a noun "feminizes" it or allows it to be "fruitful" and reproductive.
The sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is called "Vav" (pronounced "vahv")
The letter Vav is the sixth letter of the Aleph-Bet, having the numeric value of six. The pictog