YAHweh or Jehovah?_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
In discussing the name “Jehovah” some points need to be made: First of all there is no “J” in the Hebrew language and never has been. The word “hovah” according to the Strong's concordance #1942 and #1943(Hebrew) means “mischief” or “wicked.” Why would we want to call our Father a name like "Jehovah?" Trace back the name “Jehovah” your self. We can’t use a Name for Yahweh unless we can rest assured that the Name pleases Him! The name "Jehovah" was unknown until 1520 AD when a biblical scholar named Galatians introduced it.
The Name Yahweh found in Scripture as the consonants YHWH, known as the "Tetragramaton" is God's holy Covenant name. The letters form a word or words from the verb "to be" and most scholars translate it as "I AM who I AM" or "I will be who I will be", or "the Self-Existent One. In most translations, following what became the Jewish custom, YHWH is rendered as LORD (please see my message on “Origin of names” that shows the origin of the terms Lord, God, Jesus, etc.)
Almost 7,000 times in the Old Testament YHWH or Yahweh is translated as “Lord.” This became a custom from the time of the 3rd century BC when the ancient Jewish scholars translated the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) into the Greek translation known as the Septuagint. They replaced the Sacred Name YHWH with "ho Kyrios" or "the Lord." It should be obvious that when Yahweh uses something 7,000 times that this is the way He wants it. He doesn't want us to come in later and change the way He has done things. Yet Yahweh placed His name in scripture nearly 7,000 times and the "tradition of the elders" is to replace His name each one of those 7,000 times with a title of man's own choosing (e.g. LORD, GOD, Adonai, HaShem, etc) (please see my message on “Origin of names” that shows the origin of the terms Lord, God, Jesus, etc.)To just use Elohim or God and apply it to Yahweh doesn’t mean that He will move for your prayer or praise. Elohim means that He has all power but until you use Yahweh He doesn’t demonstrate His power. He moved before when we used “Jesus” in His mercy. Where ever you see LORD God or Yahweh Elohim in the word it means that not only does He have all power but He actively wants to use this power in our lives! “Yahweh” is not a noun but a continually action verb. This means that when you use the Name of Yahweh He actively and continuously moves on you behalf. Wow! Do you see why it is so important to use His Name in prayer and especially in worship?
Here is a definition of the word name in the Strong's Lexicon:
Strong's # 8034 Shem; a primitive word [perhaps rather from 7760 through the idea of definite and conspicuous position; compare 8064]; an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character: - + base, [in-] fame[-ous], name[-d], renown, report.
As we can see from the above definition, Yahweh's name is not only represents His "character" but the Name Yahweh is also "His mark". Therefore the word "Shem"/Name refers to His literal written or spoken name as well as His character. If it did not refer to His literal written and spoken name then one could say that Yahweh does not have a written name at all. But we know that is not true:
Isaiah 42:8 (KJV) I am Yahweh: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
According to the above definition, His Name is also is His "memorial of individuality". This definition goes hand in hand with scripture:
Exodus 3:15 (KJV) And Elohim said moreover to Moses, Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel, Yahweh Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, hath sent me to you: this [is] my name for ever, and this [is] my memorial to all generations.
Man has set up many memorials for himself such as "The Wall" in Washington DC. If one were to go and desecrate that memorial and replace it with a bunch of different names, this person could expect to receive a great punishment for his crime. Now if we wouldn't desecrate one of man's memorials, then why would anyone want to desecrate Yahweh's Memorial - His Name? Do we have the authority to change scripture and replace His name with a title of our own liking? Surely the Messiah (Yahshua) would not do this, especially when reading the scriptures in the Synagogue:
Luke 4:17 (NKJV) And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 18 "The Spirit of Yahweh [is] upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to [the] poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to [the] captives And recovery of sight to [the] blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of Yahweh." 20 Then He closed the book, and gave [it] back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
Let's examine some of the things the Messiah said concerning His Father's name:
John 5:43 (KJV) I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
Again, we must recognize the dual meaning of the word "Name" here. Not only did He come by His Father's authority, but He also came in His Father's literal written and spoken name. This is proven when we understand the Messiah's name as "Yahshua" or "Yahweh (is) Salvation".
Peter (in Acts 3) confirmed that the following scripture was speaking of Yahshua:
Deut 18:18 (KJV) I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.19 And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him.
This is a direct statement saying that Yahshua did 'speak' in His Father's name. Surely then He did not hide it, substitute it, or change it. He spoke in it. Also it was written of our Savior:
Psalm 118:26 (KJV) Blessed [be] he that cometh in the name of Yahweh...
So here we have 3 witnesses that Yahshua did come in His Father's name and speak in His Father's name. Nevertheless, let’s examine more evidence: In Yahshua's prayer in John 17 He says:
John 17:5 (KJV) And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. 6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
John 17:26 (KJV) And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
This was a fulfillment of scripture in the great Psalm 22:
Psalm 22:22 (KJV) I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
Scripture does not lie. If it says that Yahshua declared His name, He had to have done so. He not only declared His Father's literal and spoken name, but also His true character to the people. However, it is evident that not all had "ears to hear" concerning His Father's true character. Not unlike today, they had much baggage (traditions) left over from their Fathers. Yahshua clearly condemned the traditions that were not in line with Yahweh's word. As He had said:
Mark 7:9 (KJV) And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of Elohim, that ye may keep your own tradition.
One of the traditions was that Yahweh's name was too holy to pronounce.
Isaiah 44:6 (KJV) Thus saith Yahweh the King of Israel, and His redeemer Yahweh of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no El'.
Notice that there are two called "Yahweh" in this verse. 1) Yahweh, King of Israel and 2) Yahweh's Redeemer, "Yahweh of Hosts." This is one of many verses that refers to the Son by the name "Yahweh" (e.g. Jeremiah 23:5-6). It speaks to the fact that Yahweh and His Name is in Him.
Now let's examine the trial in which Yahshua was sentenced to death.
Matt 26:64 (KJV) Yahshua saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. 66 What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
In light of these verses, it is fascinating to study the historical context of what was going on. Based on the above scripture, it is evident that the official charge against the Messiah was "blasphemy". The word "Power" in verse 64 was a popular 'euphemism' or substitution for the divine name Yahweh. Now according to the Mishna: "He who blasphemes is liable only when he will have fully pronounced the Divine Name.
Therefore, it is evident that historically no man could be sentenced for blasphemy unless he had actually spoken the Divine Name. This is further proven when we see that the High Priest "rent his clothes" upon hearing the name since Yahshua was his own witness (as he said "what further need have we of witnesses?").
Here are some more scriptures where Yahweh is revealing His Name:
Exodus 9:16 (KJV) And in very deed for this [cause] have I raised thee up, for to shew [in] thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
Isaiah 52:6a "My people shall know my name...”
Psalms 116:4 (KJV) Then I called upon the name of Yahweh; O Yahweh, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
Psalms 116:13 (KJV) I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of Yahweh.
Psalms 116:17 (KJV) I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of Yahweh.
Isaiah 12:4 (KJV) And in that day shall ye say, Praise Yahweh, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.
I think it is better to trust in what the scriptures say concerning His name rather than trusting in the reasoning that "since the Greek manuscripts which we have today (which are not original) do not contain the name, it must not be important." The truth is that Greek copies of the Old Testament prior to the mid 2nd century DO contain the sacred name IN HEBREW within the text itself. Manuscripts found after that era replace the sacred name with "Kyrios." No New Testament manuscripts prior to the mid-2nd century have ever been found with the possible exception of some fragments out of the book of John. In those fragments, there are no instances where Yahweh's name is replaced with "Kyrios."
In the end, Yahweh's word will be the determining factor in what is right and what is wrong. Surely the scriptures declare the importance of His name. I will close with one final scripture:
Psalms 105:1 (KJV) O give thanks to Yahweh; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.
This last scripture is one of many instances where we are told to call on His name. We can be assured that the Perfect One, Yahshua the Messiah did just that.
Here are some other Names for Yahweh (His personal Name):
Again, please see my message on “Origin of names” that shows the origin of the terms Lord, God, Jesus, etc.
Remember, Yahweh is His personal Name that reflects His character and His power. Yahweh means I AM THAT I AM. He can be anything that you need Him to be, in any situation!