Yah Is Savior: The Road to Immortality Chapter 6 “Secular Sources Confirm the Name of Yahweh”

Chapter 6 

 Secular Sources Confirm the Name of Yahweh 

     Sometimes it helps us to hear it from another source, to have it confirmed from an expert. The following is a quote from the Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 23, 1970 edition, page 867:

    “YAHWEH, the proper name of the God of Israel; it is composed of four consonants (YHWH) in Hebrew and is therefore called the tetragrammaton.  The name was first revealed to Moses (Ex.3), but the god of Moses was the God of the fathers (Ex.3:6,15), known to the Israelites as El Shaddai (Ex. 6:2-3).  In the bible, the name Yahweh is derived from the verbal root “to be,” “to exist,” and means “he who is” (Ex. 3:14 ff.).  Other etymologies, suggested by modern scholars, lack cogency: no real parallels have been found in the Egyptian or Babylonian pantheon; a god Yaw in the ancient Canaanite city of Ugarit is poorly attested; and the close links between the Israelites and the Kenites are unlikely to have included the adopting of the Kenite god.

     “The origin of the name Yahweh must be sought within Israel itself, and may well be older than the time of Moses, for the Bible speaks of a much earlier institution of his worship (Gen. 4:26), and the first syllable of Jochebed,  the  name  of  Moses’  mother,  seems   to   be derived from Yahweh.  Possibly the tribe of Levi or the family of Moses already knew the name Yahweh, which may have been originally, in its short form Yah or Yahu, a religious invocation of no precise meaning called forth by the terrible splendour of the holy made manifest.  If this is so, Moses did not receive from God a revelation of a new name; instead, a name already familiar was given, in his prophetic experience, a new meaning which thereafter prevailed.  But there is no need to reject the derivation of Yahweh from the verb “to be,” for it is supported by occurrences in Babylonian tests of the verbal root ewu (emu) meaning “to be” or “to exist” which also, in the imperfect tense, forms part of proper names such as Yawi-ilu, “the god (ilu) exists (yawu).”  The pronunciation of the Hebrew name of God may have varied in antiquity; the accuracy of the form Yahweh is supported by both the etymology in Ex. 3 and the transliteration used by Church Fathers such as Clement of Alexandria.

     “When Moses asked God his name, the answer he received, “I AM WHO I AM” (Ex. 3:14), must be understood as a revelation of profound meaning, not as a refusal by God to disclose his true identity.  The revelation does not dissolve the mystery that surrounds God, but the passage in Exodus shows that the revelation alone enabled Moses to accomplish his mission.  The emphasis lies not simply on God’s existence but on his close and dynamic presence with Moses and his people (Ex. 3:12).  This presence and power of God is stressed in the frequent biblical phrase “Yahweh Sabaoth,” “Yahweh of hosts,” those hosts both earthly and heavenly which God uses to establish his sovereignty over Israel, and through Israel over the whole world.  The name Yahweh was thus for the faithful Israelite a never-failing source of confidence, power and joy.  The ideas of God’s eternity and changelessness, not found  in  the  Exodus  passage, are present in later texts (e.g., Isa. 40:28; 41:4; 43:13; 44:6) and became predominant in the Greek versions and in most modern versions.”

     Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, 1972 edition, page 1645 has this to say:   Yahweh, [Heb.: see JEHOVAH] God: a form of the Hebrew name in the Old Testament: see TETRAGRAMMATON.   Jehovah, [modern transliteration of the Tetragrammaton YHWH; the vowels appear through arbitrary transference of the vowel points of adonai, my Lord], (page 756).

     So we see that “Yahweh” is a very close rendition of YHWH, much closer than “Jehovah”, which is a modern appellation of the divine name.

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Filed under Sacred Names, Yahshua, Yahweh

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