THE NAME OF GOD
The word “God” or “Lord” is a title. We know that God is the Creator of heaven and earth: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1) Therefore one of His titles is Creator. We know that God created everything through His Son: “And to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 3:9.)
God’s Son has clearly shown us that the God of heaven is His and our Father: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16) So another title of God is Father. To make it clear to the reader who I am referring to when I say “God”, it is the Father: “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.” (1 Cor. 8:6) There are many titles for God; but we are going to learn about His personal name.
In the preface of the Nelson Study Bible, there is a subtitle, The Format. In this section it says: “The covenant name of God was usually translated from the Hebrew as “LORD” or “GOD” (using capital letters as shown) in the King James Old Testament. This tradition is maintained. In the present edition the name is so capitalized whenever the covenant name is quoted in the New Testament from a passage in the Old Testament.”
Also in the preface of the Nelson New King James Bible under the subtitle, The Text, it says: “The covenant name of God in the Old Testament, represented by the Hebrew consonants YHWH, is translated “LORD” or “GOD” (using capital letters as shown), as it has been throughout the history of the King James Bible. In this edition the capitalized form is also used whenever the covenant name is quoted in the New Testament from a passage in the Old Testament.”
Here we have the publisher acknowledging that in the King James Bible whenever the capital letters “LORD” or “GOD” are used it is in place of God’s covenant name. This is also true in all the other translations of the Bible. Also, we are told in the preface above that “LORD” or “GOD” represents the Hebrew consonants YHWH. The above evidence reveals that God has a covenant name. What is it, and why is it not used today?
In the Ten Commandments, the third Commandment says: “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” (Ex. 20:7) Notice the capital letters “LORD;” God’s covenant name appeared here in the original text. The first five Commandments have God’s covenant name in them, written with His own finger. “And when He had made an end of speaking with him [Moses] on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.” (Ex. 31:18) So God—at one point in our history—gave His name to man. Notice, that it is important to Him that His name is not used in vain. The dictionary definition of the word vain is: “Of no value or importance; worthless; empty.” I hope and pray that the heart and actions of the reader will be to honor Him and revere His name.
In the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of the Bible (by James Strong, LL.D., S.T.D.), almost every time the capital letters “LORD” or “GOD” are used, you will find the #3068. His covenant name is used at least 6,823 times between Genesis and Malachi. We will look at this #3068 in the Strong’s shortly; but first we need to understand that the Hebrew letters in the alphabet are all consonants, there are no vowels. In the book, Hebrew Grammar: A Practical Grammar For Classical Hebrew by J. Weingreen, M.A., PH.D., 2nd Edition 1959, on page 6 he says: “The original Hebrew alphabet consisted of consonants only; vowels were not represented in writing. Even today, the Hebrew scrolls of the Law which are read in the Synagogues are unpointed, i.e. without vowel signs.” Notice he says even today when the Jews read the Law in the synagogues the scrolls are with consonants only.
We want to look for God’s name that He originally gave to man, not man’s version of His name. With man’s version, we would only have the title “LORD” or “GOD” as we have today. In the book, Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar by Page H. Kelley, he says: “The Hebrew alphabet contains no vowels, but only consonants. This is because ancient Hebrew was written without vowels. Its correct pronunciation was based upon an oral tradition handed down from generation to generation. A written vowel system was devised in the period between A. D. 500 and 1000 for the primary purpose of preserving the oral tradition.” There are many other sources to find the same information; but it would take up too much of this study. So I have only mentioned these two. Ancient Hebrew was written without vowels which is when His name was given. Notice the vowel system was devised somewhere between A. D. 500 to 1000. So we want to study the original Hebrew consonants to find His name.
The Jews have an oral tradition of “laws” called the Talmud. In the Talmud, it says that you cannot speak the name of God or it is punishable by death. When the scrolls or scriptures are read in the synagogues and they come to the name of God, they too will substitute His name with the word “Adonai,” which means “Lord.” You can check this out for yourself by going to the website www.mechon-mamre.org. The man on the recording will read the scriptures in Hebrew while you follow along with the King James Version of the Bible, at the same time, on the screen. Every time the word “LORD” appears in the text he will say “Adonai.” We cannot look to the Jews to get the correct name of God because it is against their tradition to speak it. Some even go as far to say that you cannot think it. But we can look at the original Hebrew consonants, which is pretty simple.
Let’s take a look at Strong’s #3068. Remember that almost whenever you see the word “LORD” or “GOD” in the scriptures the Strong’s number will be #3068. You will see four character letters. Hebrew is read from right to left. The first consonant is called a “Yôwd” (yode) y, the second is called Hê’ (hay) h, the third is called Vâv (vawv) w, the fourth is called Hê’ (hay) h. Altogether the letters looks like this: hwhy. Sometimes you will be sent to #3069 when you look up “GOD;” but if you notice you will still see the same hwhy. If you go to the beginning of the Hebrew section of the Strong’s Concordance, it will show you the letters in our language that these Hebrews consonants represent. The Yôde is Y, the Hê’ is H, the Vâv is v or W, and the Hê’ is H. So we have YHWH. If you recall, above, in the preface of the New King James it said, “That the Hebrew consonants for the
covenant name of God was represented by YHWH.” I would also like to bring to your attention that there is no “J” in the Hebrew letters. Look for yourself at the first page of the Hebrew section of the Strong’s; it shows you all the consonants and what each one represents. There is no “J.”
Now we need to figure out what these letters actually say. There is a consistency all through the Strong’s in the Hebrew words until you come to the Father’s name; then afterwards this consistency picks up again. Shortly, I will show you what I mean. Remember the Jews do not speak His name, nor do they want a bunch of Gentiles doing the same. The good news is that our Father has left clues to His name. Here are a few scriptures:
Ps. 68:4 “Sing unto God, sing praises to His name: extol Him that rideth upon the heavens by His name JAH, and rejoice before Him.” The Strong’s number for JAH is #3050.
In the book of Psalms when it says, “Praise the LORD,” which in Hebrew is HalleluYAH, the number is also #3050. For instance:
Ps. 113:1, 9 “Praise the LORD!” (#3050) Let’s look at #3050—we have a Yôde and Hê’ (hy) pronounced “YAH.” There is no “J.” You can look all through the Hebrew section and a Yôde and Hê’ is always pronounced “YAH” until you start to get closer to the Father’s name, #3068. I will show you what I mean—look at #3051. It has Yôde and Hê’ and it says “YAH.” Now look at #3055 to #3068—they now say Yôde and Hê’ is “Yeh.” They are going to take us closer to pronouncing God’s name as “Yehovah.” I will show you that it is impossible to get “Yehovah” out of a Yôde, Hê’, Vâv, and I will give you much information to back this up. Let’s continue with more words with Yôde and Hê’—for instance look at #29. You will see a Yôde and Hê’ and it says “yah.” #138 Yôde Hê’, “yah;” #190 Yôde Hê’, “yah;” #223 Yôde Hê’, “yah;” #274 Yôde Hê’, “yah;” #281 Yôde Hê’, “yah;” and this goes on and on until you get closer to the Father’s name. Now all of a sudden a Yôde Hê’ is “yeh.” Let’s look at a few after His name (#3068) to see if the same applies: #3131 Yôde Hê’ again is “yah;” #3143 Yôde Hê’, “yah;” #3145 “yah;” #3150 “yah;” #3167 “yah;” and the list goes on and on. Look for yourself!
So now we know that the first two letters—Yôde Hê’ (hy)—of the Father’s name is YAH. Okay, the third letter in the Father’s name is Vâv. This gives you the double “oo” sound like “too.” If you look at #3063, the third letter (from right to left) is a Vâv (w) for the name Judah. It shows you the double “oo” sound. Also, #3037 Vâv is an “oo” sound; #3442 the third letter Vâv is “oo;” #3443 the third letter Vâv is “oo;” #6832 the third letter Vâv is “oo;” #7238 the third letter Vâv is “oo;” #7307 the second letter Vâv is “oo.” You can continue searching on your own to find that the letter Vâv is an “oo” sound. So now we have YAH-OO or YAHU. Now, there is something very interesting about the name YAHU. My husband happened to open a book on our shelf one night, and found something fantastic. The book is titled: ARCHÆOLOGY AND THE BIBLE by George A. Barton, copyright 1916. On pp. 486-487 he talks about “numerous papyri found since 1895 at Elephantine, an island at the First Cataract of the Nile,” that reveals “the existence of a Jewish community there. The documents are dated from the year 494 B.C. to the year 400 B.C.” Apparently, it was thought that there was a garrison placed there by Psammetik II, King of Egypt, 593-588 B.C. There was a temple on this island that the Jews had built there. The priests of the god of Khnub made an agreement with the acting Governor, Waidrang, to destroy the temple of the Jews. Waidrang sent a letter to his son, Nephayan, who was commander of the army at Syene. He mustered up Egyptians with other forces to destroy the temple. After the temple was destroyed, the Jewish priests sent a letter to the Governor of Judah for permission to rebuild the temple. The Governor of Judah, Bagohi, agreed and said: “Build it again.” Now according to the letter that was translated, they give the name of the God whom they serve. I will write here exactly what was said in the letter about His name. I am only bringing to your attention the name used for God at Yeb (which is what they called the island) because there is too much to the letter, and it would take a lot of space and time: 1) “The temple of YAHU, the God which is in Yeb…” 2) “…We [the Jews] and our wives and sons were clothed in sackcloth and were fasting and praying to YAHU, God of heaven…” 3) “…Concerning the temple of YAHU God, to build it in Yeb…” 4) “…Let them offer upon the altar of YAHU God…” 5) “…Then merit (righteousness) shall be thine before YAHU, God of heaven.” Notice, the Jews in Bethlehem-Judah agreed to rebuild the temple to YAHU God of heaven. Remember that the Jews knew the name of God as it was given to them by Moses (I will show more on this later) and at Mount Sinai when God spoke to them the Ten Commandments. But this is not the first time His name was given. His name is first found in Genesis 2:4.
There is another source of information confirming Yôde Hê’ Vâv as being pronounced YAHU and it is older than the account we just read. The book is titled: The Lachish Letters, by Harry Torczyner. These letters were found inscribed on pottery fragments. Each translated fragment shows Yôde Hê’ Vâv pronounced as YAHU (pp. 23, 37, 51, 79, 117, 159). (See Joshua 10:31-35.)
I would like to bring to your attention that there are 65 names in Hebrew that end in the three letters Yôde Hê’ Vâv (why). Each one of these names is pronounced YAHU. I am going to give a list that you can look up; but mostly it is to make a point that these letters form the name YAHU. Also, each one of these names describe an aspect of YAH’s character—for instance: #3414 Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) means “YAH will rise;” #452 Eliyahu (Elijah) means “God is YAH;” #2148 Zekaryahu (Zechariah) means “YAH has remembered;” #8304 Serayahu (Seraiah) means “YAH has prevailed;” #558 Amatsyahu (Amaziah) means “Strength of YAH;” #3012 Yigdalyahu (Igdaliah) means “Magnified of YAH.”
I would encourage you to look up these numbers. They were a real blessing to me. Almost all the prophets had a name that said YAHU at the end. It is beautiful to think that their names were a description of the Father’s name. To touch lightly on the pronunciation of God’s name as “Yahweh”—you cannot get this pronunciation when the first three letters are Yôde Hê’ Vâv (which we have seen is YAHU). The Jews accept the name “Yahweh;” but remember that they are not to speak the name of God.
There is only one letter left: it is Hê’ (h). Let’s take a look at some words ending in Hê’. Most of the Hebrew words end in Hê’, so I will only give a few. #2847 “chittah”: this word ends in Hê’ and is translated “ah”. #2854 “chathullah”: ends in Hê’, “ah”. #2861 “chathunnah”: ends in Hê’, “ah”. #2878 “tibchah”: ends in Hê’, “ah”. You can look at every page in the Strong’s and you will see that Hê’ at the end of a word is “ah”.
So now we have YAHU and AH, YAHUAH (sounds like YAHOO-AH). Another name we can look at is “Judah.” It is spelled Yôde Hê’ Vâv Daleth Hê’ (hdwhy). Daleth (daw’-leth) is a “D” and “Judah” is pronounced YAHOO-DAH—the same letters as the Father’s name (#3068 hwhy) except for the daleth (d). So, to find out how to pronounce the Father’s name, simply remove the daleth (D) and you have YAHOO-AH (YAHUAH hwhy).
I mentioned earlier that the Father’s name was given to Moses:
Ex. 3:13-15: “Then Moses said to God, ‘Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you”, and they say to me, “What is His name?” What shall I say to them?’ And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM… Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you.”’” Now look at verse 15: “Moreover God said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: The LORD [#3068] God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name for ever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’” Notice the word “LORD” in all capital letters—this is #3068 YAHUAH! So the Father has told us that His name, YAHUAH, is a memorial to ALL generations; and that it is His name for ever.
Jer. 23:26, 27: (vs. 16 tells us this is YAHUAH speaking) “How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.” How sad that God’s chosen people (at that time) forgot the Father’s name because they wanted to worship the false god Baal.
Jer. 16:19-21: “O LORD [YAHUAH], my strength and my fortress, my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come to you from the ends of the earth and say, ‘Surely our fathers have inherited lies, worthlessness and unprofitable things.’ Will a man make gods for himself, which are not gods? ‘Therefore behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know My hand and My might; and they shall know that My name is the LORD [#3068 YAHUAH].’”
The Father will cause us to know that His name is YAHUAH! HalleluYAH (praise be to YAH)!
Did His Son call Him YAHUAH?
John 5:43: “I have come in My Father’s name and you do not receive me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.”
John 17:6: “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.”
John 17:11, 12: “Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name…”
Matt. 22:43, 44: “He said to them, ‘How then does David in the Spirit call Him “Lord,” saying: “The LORD [#3068 YAHUAH] said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool?”’” (Jesus quoted from Psalm 110:1.)
Matt 23:39: Jesus says, “For I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD [#3068 YAHUAH]!’” (Jesus quoted from Psalm 118:26.) There are many more scriptures in the New Testament where Jesus quoted His Father’s name from the Old Testament.
Remember that the Father’s name, YAHUAH, was written with His finger in the first five Commandments. Isn’t it beautiful that He would reveal His name to you and me? I would like to leave you with this last scripture:
Prov. 30:4: “Who has ascended into heaven or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if you know?” Now you know the name of God— YAHUAH. The name of His Son we will learn next…
This topic was studied, researched, and written, with love. I hope it is a blessing to you.
Sincerely, Kimberly Ann Lahud