Yahweh- I AM
In the Old Testament, the name Yahweh pronounced (yah-WEH) or perhaps (yah hoo wa, ) is mentioned over 6,800 times and is absent only in Esther, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs. Interestingly, this name first appears in the biblical story after the creation of man and woman. However, it was not until thousands of years later that God revealed the significance of His name to us. Yahweh is composed of a sequence of consonants YHWH pronounced (Yod Heh Vav Heh). These four letters -YHWH- are technically known as the Tetragrammaton.
Most people pronounce it Yahweh, some YahWhoAh, however, there are other ways as well. Nehemiah Gordon has done much research and has found in Jewish sources that the true pronunciation of Yud Hey Vav Hey is YahHoVaH, not Yahweh. Nevertheless, the significance is in the meaning, not the pronunciation.
There were no vowels in the Hebrew language during Biblical times. Nonetheless, vowels were added to the Original Testament or Old Testament Bible between 600 CE and the beginning of the 10th century. The Masoretes (maz-or-reets), were Jewish scholars, who were responsible for preserving the pronunciation of words.
Yahweh is a highly significant name for God in the Bible, originating from the Hebrew word for “I am” or “I exist.” This name symbolizes God’s existence and self-reliance, emphasizing His eternal nature and supreme power over all things. Yahweh was initially revealed to Moses at the burning bush when God instructed him to return to Egypt and lead the enslaved Israelites to freedom. In Exodus 3:14, Moses asked God who he should say was sending him, to which God replied with “I AM WHO I AM” and instructed Moses to tell the Israelites that “I AM” has sent him. Yahweh also directed Moses to inform the people of Israel that “The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” has sent him.
Yahweh tells us in His Word that future generations will remember Him by this name. Therefore, He absolutely wants us to know His Name is Yahweh, YahHoVah, YahWhoAh, however you choose to pronounce it.
Past, Present, Future
The disclosure of God’s name carries immense meaning and depth as it indicates that God is eternal and immutable. He exists simultaneously in the past, present, and future. Although Hebrew does not have explicit tenses for past, present, or future, we can infer the tense from the context. In this instance, the potential translations could be “I Was Who I Was” (past tense), “I Will Be Who I Will Be” (future tense), or “I Am Who I Am” (present tense).
The phrase “I AM WHO I AM” also emphasizes the self-existence of God. Unlike humans, He does not depend on anything or anyone for His existence. This declaration shows us that God is fully sovereign and independent; everything exists because of Him.
Lastly, the phrase “I AM WHO I AM”, highlights the incomprehensibility of God’s nature to our finite minds. Our limited human minds are incapable of fully comprehending the incomprehensible magnitude and mysterious complexity of His Divine Being and Will.
The ancient Hebrew scribes believed that God’s name was too holy to be written or spoken. As a result, they chose to use the word Adonai instead of pronouncing Yahweh. This practice was followed by most English translations of the Bible, where YHWH is translated as LORD (in all capital letters) as seen in Exodus 3:15.
In the Scriptures, the name of the Lord YHWH is often translated as Lord GOD in English versions, with GOD written in all capital letters. It’s important to note that both LORD and GOD represent YHWH. Yahweh, as the Self-Existent and Eternal God, is also a Relational God who is ever present with us. He is Unchanging and infinitely different from us. Psalm 50:21 reminds us that Yahweh Keeps His Covenant with Us. Despite His mystery and paradoxical nature, Yahweh remains a God we will never fully comprehend.
He is mysterious but worth seeking as He is closer than our very breath. To know Him as much as we are able, we must be intentional in seeking Him out through prayer and studying His Word, and listening to His Voice. To draw closer to Him requires both discipline and dedication..approaching nearer to the One who understands us most intimately should be our goal.
And there you have it, the name and meaning of Yahweh. There is a lot to it isn’t there? And there is even more if you care to research it.
I hope this teaching has been beneficial to you in your quest to know God better, enabling you to draw closer to Him. Blessings to you.
If you care to do so, please leave us your thoughts on this subject. We would love and appreciate your feedback.
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