Use of Names of
of a name of God represents the way in which He is revealing Himself
through His actions. When He is displaying mercy, He is called Yahweh.
When He is displaying strict judgment, He is called Elohim. He is
revealed through His Messiah as Yeshua. These names were given for our
benefit and understanding (this is not exhaustive).
(el-oh-HEEM) – God Who Judges His Creation (Genesis 1:1, 4)
El Shadday (shad-DAH-ee) – God Almighty (Genesis 17:1)
El Raiy (rah-EE) – God Who Sees (Gen 16:13, Job 7:8; see also
Matthew 6:4, 6, 18)
El Gibbor (geeb-BORE)
– God the Champion / Mighty One in Battle (Isaiah 10:21)
– I Was, I Am, I Will Be / The Eternal Gracious One (Exodus 3:15)
Yahweh Yireh (yi-RAY) – The Eternal Will See to it / Will Provide
Yahweh Rophekha (ro-FAY-kha, kh being gutteral) – The Eternal that
Heals (Exodus 15:26)
Yahweh Nissiy (nis-SEE) – The Eternal my Banner (Exodus 17:15)
Yahweh Shalom (shah-LOME) – The Eternal is Peace / Completeness /
Prosperity (Judges 6:24)
Yahweh Roiy (ro-EE) – The Eternal my Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)
Yahweh Tzidkenu (tzid-KAY-noo) – The Eternal our Righteousness
Yahweh Shammah (sham-MAH) –The Eternal is present (Ezekiel 48:35)
Yahweh Tzavaot (Tzah-vah-OTE)
– The Lord of Hosts is found 286 times in the Tanach (OT)
Adonai Yahweh (usually
translated “The Lord God”) is the next most-used combination-name, 279
Yahweh Elohim (also
translated “The Lord God”) is found 35 times. (Author’s counts)
(ye-SHOO-ah) – Yahweh is Salvation; an angel said, “You shall call His
name ‘Yeshua,’ for He shall save His people from their sins.” (Matthew
Jacob said when blessing the patriarchs, “I wait for Yeshua.”
Moses said at the Red Sea, “Stand still and see Yeshua Yahweh!”
Greek: Iesous (yay-SOOS); Yeshua would transliterate into
Greek as Iesoua, which is a Greek feminine form; converting to masculine
makes Iesous. The name Iesous is not, as some teach, taken from the
Greek god Zeus; rather, the name Zeus, the Greek god of salvation, may
have its origins in the older Hebrew term shua (save us), which
would transliterate and convert to Sous.
English: Jesus is a recent pronunciation. There was no “J” sound in
any alphabet until the fourteenth century in England (Encyclopedia
Americana). The 1611 King James Bible had no “J”: Yeshua’s name was
spelled “Iesous” – a transliteration of the Greek.
[This is not intended to fault any language or translation.]
“My Name forever – to
Torah – the foundation:
20: Of the Ten Commandments, the first five teach us how to love God,
and the last five how to love our neighbor. The first five each contain
the Name Yahweh. Not taking His Name in vain (v.7) is a commandment to
use it respectfully, proper respect for God being a theme of these five.
6:22-27 (Priestly blessing) – Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
“Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons
of Israel. You shall say to them: Yahweh bless you, and keep you; Yahweh
make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; Yahweh lift up His
countenance on you, and give you peace.’ So they shall invoke My Name on
the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.”
Deuteronomy 8:10 (Blessing after meal) – “When you have eaten and are
satisfied, then you shall bless Yahweh your God for the good land He has
Prophecy – the application:
Isaiah 12:2-5 –
Yahweh El is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.
Therefore you will joyously draw water From the springs of salvation.
And in that day you will say, “Give thanks to Yahweh, call on His name.
Make known His deeds among the peoples; make them remember that His Name
is exalted.” Praise Yahweh in song, for He has done excellent things;
let this be known throughout the earth.
61:1-3 – The Spirit of Lord
Yahweh is upon me, because Yahweh has anointed me to bring good news to
the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim
liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable
year of Yahweh and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who
mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead
of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise
instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of
righteousness, the planting of Yahweh, that He may be glorified.
is Holy Writ – the practice:
18:49 – “I will give thanks to You among the nations, O Yahweh, and I
will sing praises to Your Name.”
89:1 – “I will sing of the lovingkindness of Yahweh forever.”
117:1 – Praise Yahweh, all nations; laud Him, all peoples!”
120:1 – “In my trouble I cried to Yahweh, and He answered me.”
122:4 – “. . . An ordinance for Israel – to give thanks to the Name
of Yahweh.” An ordinance is of one of the three categories of God’s
commandments (judgments, ordinances, and statutes).
135:1-3 – Praise Yahweh!
Praise the Name of Yahweh; praise Him, O servants of Yahweh, you who
stand in the house of Yahweh, in the courts of the house of our God!
Praise Yahweh, for Yahweh is good; sing praises to His Name, for it is
is Apostolic – from Yeshua:
17:6 – Yeshua prayed,
“I have made Your Name known to the men whom You gave Me out of the
world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your
Colossians 3:16 – “Teaching and admonishing one another with psalms
and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts
to God.” Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs are the titles of the
divisions of the 150 Psalms. Paul instructs us to teach with the
Psalms – which direct us (see Psalms above) to sing of Yahweh (that’s
praise by definition), to cry to Yahweh (that’s worship by definition),
and to give thanks to the Name of Yahweh (that’s a commandment).
is Bible aggragate
(Torah, Prophets, and Holy Writ, and Apostolic):
Name “Yahweh” is by far the most used name in the Bible: about 7,000
times, over a period of about 1,500 years, by many different people in
many different settings. This is beside all of the combination words
containing the Name or its contraction (Yah). We find no complaint from
God that they did not all pronounce it in the same exact way.
In almost every language, the contraction “Yah” is used in “Halleluyah”
– Praise Yah.
Name is written in the Dead Sea Scrolls in ancient Hebrew script. These
date from approximately 200 BCE to 68 CE.
found in a tenth-century Masoretic Text (Aleppo Codex), a Hebrew text
generally approved for use in Judaism and widely used in translations of
the Christian Bible.
no right to change the Word of God.
Deuteronomy 4:2 –
“You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take away from
it, that you may keep the commandments of Yahweh your God.”
8:20 – “If they do not speak according to this word, it is because
there is no light in them.”
Proverbs 30:5-6 –
“Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in
Him. Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be
proved a liar.”
is ancient Hebrew teaching:
sages declare that it is “forbidden to enjoy anything of this world
without a b’racha (blessing)”. Doing so is likened to stealing from the
Temple of God (Tehillim 24:1).
giving of a blessing is pronouncing God’s Name over the object –
“invoking” God’s Name (Artscroll – The Laws of B’rachos, pg 46).
is the bottom line:
should use the Sacred Name when quoting it from Scripture; we may
translate, but not purposely substitute words of a different meaning. We
should use it in praise (such as in singing Psalms), in worship (as in
humility being prostrate in prayer before Almighty God), and in
blessings (invoking God’s Name), and in teaching others how to perform
use the Sacred Name only as the proper Name for our God, never as a
common word applied elsewhere, never in a derogatory or dishonest
manner, and never in a non-serious way. The sages teach that we should
invoke God’s Name in a blessing for a provision immediately preceding
its use, in order to avoid using His Name in vain for something not
observed the teaching of blessing God for food before eating (Matthew
14:19), and it is a Torah command to bless God for prosperity after
eating (Deuteronomy 8:10). (We do not bless food.)
Treating God’s Name as Holy, and avoiding profane use, means using it
properly; denying God’s people its designed use would be overriding
God’s Word with man’s tradition (Matthew 15:3-9).
is a response to objections:
Pronunciation of the Name
Jerusalem Encyclopaedia Judaica: God, Name of –
least until the destruction of the First Temple in 586 B.C.E. the Name
was regularly pronounced with its proper vowels, as is clear from the
Lachish Letters, written shortly before that date.” It further states,
“The true pronunciation of the Name YHVH was never lost. Several early
Greek writers of the Christian Church testify that the Name was
pronounced ‘Yahweh.’ This is confirmed, at least for the vowel of the
first syllable of the Name, by the shorter form Yah, which is sometimes
used in poetry (e.g. Ex. 15:2) and the –yahu or –yah that
serves as the final syllable in very many Hebrew names.”
Josephus: Wars of the Jews 5:5:7 –
Josephus speaks of the Name on the High Priest’s crown being pronounced
like four vowels – meaning the four letters are vowel-like, formed
without closing the lips or tongue or throat. This implies enunciation.
of the Name
God says what is His memorial Name for all generations, and further
instructs us to use it, then it becomes disparaging to compare God’s
instruction to the capital offense of calling a king by his first name.
of the Jews 12:4 (Reason for disuse) –
Josephus was born a few years after Yeshua left this earth (CE 37).
He said of the Sacred Name, “concerning which it is not lawful for me to
say any more”. He says the reason is superstition. This claims that it
was used until superstition made it unlawful for whatever people were
under that authority.
for disuse) –
established by God to be a light to all of the nations (Isaiah 42:6).
Israel did not well uphold this purpose as commanded, though God’s Word
has come to us through them. They went into captivity several centuries
before Yeshua came. In captivity, to keep gentiles from profaning the
Sacred Name, they limited its use. They even wrote the Hebrew
tetragrammaton (YHVH) with the vowel pointings for adonai, which led
some unsuspecting gentiles to come up with “Yahovah” – later becoming
“Jehovah” (Jerusalem Encyclopaedia Judaica: God, Name of). Paul tells us
that we have been shown what was previously a mystery: that gentiles are
to be partakers in God’s Covenant (Ephesians 3:4-6).
Talmud: Yoma 39b (Time of disuse) –
After Simon the Just died (134 BCE), the “priests ceased to bless
Israel with the Name . . .”.
This admits that the priests used it for most of 1500 years, during
Tabernacle and Temple times, to bless Israel.
Talmud: Yoma 69b (Noting Ezra’s use) –
This is one rabbi’s complaint about Ezra’s action (Nehemiah 8:6) of
pronouncing the Name outside the Temple: “Because ‘YHWH’ must not be
pronounced outside the Temple.”
Sanhedrin 90a, Sukkah 5a & Shavuos 35a, Avodah Zara 18a (Penalty
for use) –
“One who phonetically utters
the Tetragrammaton loses his share in the world to come”
“So stringent is the
prohibition against the use of the Tetragrammaton that one may not
pronounce the letters of the Tetragrammaton in proper order, even
without their vowels” “Nor is one permitted to enunciate the first two
letters of the Tetragrammaton”
So now we
learn the “real” unpardonable sin! And it was admittedly committed, no
less, by Ezra! According to this, it would be forbidden to say
“Halleluyah” or enunciate the names of many prophets, such as Eliyahu
Talmud: Sanhedrin 60a (Use of substitutes) –
“ ‘A blasphemer is not guilty unless he mentions the proper Name of
God,’ said R. Jehoshua b. Karha”. It is further explained that this
refers to execution for cursing, but if one curses using a pseudonym, he
is only warned.
23:16-22 (Use of substitutes) –
Yeshua taught that using a substitute term does not alleviate the
sin of using God’s Name in vain. This seems to invalidate of the purpose
behind pseudonyms (such as using “Adonai” / the Lord or “Hashem” / the
Name) for the Sacred Name.
(Claimed use of substitutes) –
Various Hebrew texts indicate that Yeshua used the Sacred Name. It
is written in Shem Tob’s Hebrew Gospel of Matthew 4:7, 4:10, 5:33, 21:9,
21:42, 22:37, & 22:44. The disciples are also quoted as using the Name.
The DuTillet Hebrew Matthew uses a symbol to represent the Sacred Name
in similar places. If Yeshua and the disciples used a substitution, it
would be expected that such substitutions would be written.
The Greek copies that we now have retain minimal evidence (Compare
“ego eimi” (I Am) in Greek John 18:5 and Septuagint Exodus 3:14).
“The Kingdom of Heaven” or “The Kingdom of God” can never be shown
to be a circumlocution for God’s Name.
be noted here that Yeshua was hanged (crucified) for (purported)
blasphemy (Sanhedrin 43a).
trumps tradition, and Yeshua’s teaching undermines the tradition of the
quoted rabbinic sect. The issue is one of the most-often repeated
commandments in the whole Bible! Blessed be the Name Yahweh, forever!
Now, to put this in perspective, God said that He would
exalt His Word (which became flesh) even above His Name! – (Psalm 138:2
and John 1:14). Glory be to our Lord and Savior, Yeshua the Messiah, now
and forever! – (2 Peter 3:18).
(Followers of the