The Name of God
20th March 2008, hej
1) How important is The Name of God?
The Bible records that the Deity of Israel spoke of "my name" over 100 times. The people who know this name will be delivered and saved from trouble.
Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he has known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. (Psalm 91:14-15)
This does not say those who know about God will be delivered, but rather those who know his name. Those that know and fear this name will be healed and be made strong.
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (Malachi 4:2)
The blessings from knowing this name are great. They are salvation.
What is The Name of 'God'?
Unfortunately in translating the Bible, the pronouciation of the name and titles of the Deity of Israel have been lost. Pagan gods' names such as Dagon and Bel have been translated directly from the Hebrew text into English. However, this has not occurred in relation to the God of Israel, whose name has been obscured in translating it as, GOD or LORD, and His titles as `God' and `Lord'. These obscure both the Hebrew names and the true meanings of these titles.
The words 'God' and 'Lord' are not names
God means 'good' from Old English, Saxon and Norse 'godt','god', and Lord is from Saxon and means 'master' or someone in authority.
The Deity of Israel is by definition good (Matthew 19:17) meaning 'morally excellent' or 'right' and is the source of all things humans call good, but is said to be good (kindly benevolent) only 3 times and is associated with this characteristic only 14 times. There is nothing special about the title Lord.
The Name of Lord
Wherever in an English translation of the Bible the word is in capitals as 'GOD' or 'LORD', the Hebrew name is YHWH, mostly agreed to be pronouced Yahweh.
It means 'He who will be' or 'He shall become'. This name was revealed to Moses the leader of Israel. When Deity spoke to Moses He called himself Hayah 'I will be', but He wished his memorial, or the name people remembered him by, to be Yahveh meaning 'He will be'.
The Name of God
In an English translation of the Bible where the word 'God' appears it could be any of 3 Hebrew words, and 2 Chaldean variants.
El (pronounced Ail) which means 'mighty', 'strong','great' and 'mighty one'.
Eloah Singular and of masculine gender and means 'Powerful' or 'Mighty One'.
Elah Chaldean for 'Mighty One'.
Eloheen Chaldean plural 'Mighty Ones'.
Elohim In Hebrew "im" on the end of the word makes it plural as in 'cherubim'. It means 'Mighty Ones'.
The God or 'good' of the Bible is not often known as being good (nice), but rather is known for His power and strength. He is to be feared, or put another way, He is awesome. Before the time of Moses the leader of Israel of the Exodus from Egypt (approx. 1400BC), Deity was known in Hebrew as El or Mighty. The ancestor of the Israelis, Abraham (approx. 1900BC), was told Deity's name was El Shaddai, or the 'Strength of Mighty Ones'. A word for word translation reads,
And appeared He who will become (Yahweh) to Abram, and said unto him, I am Strength (El) of the Mighty Ones (Shaddai); walk you before my face, and become perfect. (Genesis 17:1)
As the ancestors of the Israelis had seen many angels, or messengers (Genesis 28:12), and they had been told that the Power (singular) of the universe, El, was the power (or strength) of these angels, they called these angels/ messengers of El, 'Elohim', usually translated 'God'.
For introductory articles the terms 'God' and 'the LORD' are used, however, for more detailed work the terms 'Yahweh' and 'Elohim' are used as as the Mighty One of Israel intended his name to go forth.
"Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is Yahweh". (Jeremiah 16:21)
"And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the nations, which you (Israel) have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am Yahweh", saith the Lord Yahweh...(Ezekiel 36:23)
We are told in addition that people are condemned for forgetting the name and replacing it with 'baal' which is one of the Hebrew words for 'Lord' and means 'master', 'husband' and 'chief man'.
Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal (Lord). (Jeremiah 23:27)
Finally, those created for the glory are called by this name.
Every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. (Isaiah 43:7)
To read The Name
Once the meaning of the names are known, extra understanding is obtained from the text. At creation,
The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of the Mighty Ones (Elohim) moved upon the face of the waters. And the Mighty Ones said, "Let there be light": and there was light. (Genesis 1:2-3)
And the Mighty Ones (Elohim) said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness": (Genesis 1:26)
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that He who will be Mighty Ones made the earth and the heavens, (Genesis 2:4)
Returning to when the name Yahweh was introduced, Moses wrote,
And said to me the Mighty Ones (Elohim), "'I will be who I will be': This shall you say unto the children of Israel, 'I will be' (Hayeh) has sent me unto you". (Exodus 3:14)
And in addition Mighty Ones (Elohim)said unto Moses, "This shall you say unto the children of Israel, 'He who will be Mighty Ones (Yahweh Elohim) of your fathers, the Mighty Ones (Elohim) of Abraham, Mighty Ones (Elohim) of Isaac, and Mighty Ones (Elohim) of Jacob, has sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. (Exodus 3:15)
This name 'He who will be Mighty Ones' is The Name. This says Deity's name is His intention to become 'the strong ones' of the fathers of Israel. Deity was, is and will be the 'strength' of the angels. This says Deity will also become the strength of the many descendants promised to the fathers of Israel.
Joshua, who led the Israelites into the land of Canaan, understood this and wrote always of Deity as 'He who will be Mighty Ones of Israel'. An example is,
And Joshua said unto all the people, "This says He who will be Mighty Ones of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other mighty ones". (Joshua 24:2)
The text is much richer than the English translation. Substituting the meanings, it reads,
And Joshua said unto the people, "You cannot serve He who will be (Yahweh): for He is Holy Mighty Ones (Elohim); he is a jealous Mighty One (El); he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. (Joshua 24:19)
How the people of ancient Israel understood their God is revealed only when the meanings of the words are used in the text. They said in reply to Joshua when accused of sin, (word for word from the Hebrew),
"Strength (El) of Mighty Ones (Elohim)He will be (Yahweh), Strength of Mighty Ones He knows, and Israel he shall know; if it be in rebellion, or if in transgression against He who will be, (save us not this day,)" (Joshua 22:22)
To Think upon The Name
There is a reward for thinking on this name,
Then they that feared He who will be spake often one to another: and He who will be hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared He who will be, and that thought upon his name. (Malachi 3:16)
Thinking on the Name, is thinking about how He who will be is the Mighty Ones of the fathers of Israel. To the Anglo Saxon mind, used to the idea of Deity being 'good', this is a very odd name. However, the language is very simple and cannot be mistaken. One therefore has to stop and think. Deity promised the fathers of Israel many descendants - as many as the stars they could see on a clear night (Genesis 15:5). This was a promise or a purpose. With these many desendants the name becomes He who will be the Mighty Ones of Israel. The people of Israel became the messengers of Deity to other nations, and became Mighty Ones. Of which Jesus (Yeshua) quotes the psalmist and says are all 'gods' (Elohim) or Mighty Ones:
I have said, "You are gods (Mighty Ones, Heb: Elohim); and all of you are children of the most High". (Psalm 82:6)
To think about, or remember The Name, Moses says is to remember 'the Mighty Ones of Jacob'. The prophet Hosea says the memorial of The Name of Deity is,
Even He who will be Mighty Ones (Yahweh Elohim) of hosts He who will be (Yahweh) is his memorial. (Hosea 12:5)
This says even 'He who will be Mighty Ones of hosts' is the name to remember when thinking of 'He who will be'. Just as Deity has sent messengers, angels, and just as a Nation has proclaimed Deity's purpose to the world, in the future strong/ mighty people in armies will do Deity's will on earth. And many people pray for this,
"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven...." (Matthew 6:9-10)
For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Nations; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the Nations, saith He who will be (Yahweh) of hosts. (Malachi 1:11)