Monday, August 1, 2011

What is the name of God

The Name of God

Many of us have heard or seen the name of God spoken or written various ways, depending on the source. Some of the names that are used are; God, Elohim, Lord, YHWH, Yahweh, El Shaddai, Adonai, Jehovah (in many forms), and many others as well.

As a result of seeing all these different names for God, it can be quite confusing at times. Which one is correct? And how do we know. Particularly in view of the mounting evidence that the names of God, as well as other assorted things in scripture have been altered innocently or deliberately by the scribes and translators. So let’s explore the name of God with what might be some new information to you. It was new to me recently and turned out to be quite insightful. It is to this day, the clearest explanations I have seen for the name of God, taken from the original language.

God does have a name, and He wants us to know it and use it. His proper name has been removed from nearly all of scripture today, and is supplanted with words like God, Elohim, Lord, etc.

The following text is excerpted from a book by Richard Ruhling, titled The Earthquake and the 7 Seals. I am indebted to Richard for this revealing information.

Proverbs 30:4 asks, “What is His name?” These words reflect our need to know. Josephus, a Jewish historian at the time of Jerusalem’s destruction, gives us a major clue. He describes the high priest’s golden crown, “in which was engraven the sacred name [of God]...It consists of four vowelsWars of the Jews, Book 5, Chapter 5, Section 7.

Some modern authorities agree. “The letters of the Name of God in Hebrew are yod, hay, vav, and hay. They are frequently mispronounced Yahveh ...[but] they are all vowels.” Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, The Book of Words, Jewish Lights Publ, p. 27.

Some say those letters are consonants, but a renowned Hebrew textbook says, “Long before the introduction of vowel-signs, it was felt that the main vowel-sounds should be indicated in writing, and so the three letters, yothe, hay, waw, were used to represent long vowels” A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew, Weingreen, Oxford University Press, 1959, p. 7-8. God’s name is spelled yod, hay, waw [vav], hay.

The above three sources all support God’s name as four vowels. His name is said to be glorious. Psalm 96:8  How?
One reason is because of the meaning of the Hebrew letters—yod, hay and vav that compose it.

  1. The yod is the first letter of God’s name. It is the smallest Hebrew letter and it looks like an apostrophe. As a vowel it has the sound of “i” in Gloria and it means hand as in giving, receiving or ownership.
  2.  The second letter of God’s name is the hay which sounds like “ah” and it represents light or rain.
  3.  The third letter is the vav and as a vowel sounds like “oo” in tooth. It looks like a concrete nail and has the meaning of nail or hook.
The meanings of the letters suggest they are the initials of the Father (Genesis 22:8), Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:2), and the Son Psalm 2:12; Isaiah 53:4-7. God’s name is glorious for its meaning depicting the role of Father with an outstretched hand, the Holy Spirit as light to guide us and the Son nailed for us on the cross.

The best of Hebrew transliterates Josephus’ statement of God’s name (“four vowels”) as IAUA. “I” has the international “I” sound as in Gloria. [Phonetically IAUA is ee’-ah-oo”-ah.] 

This may be one reason the Jews “profaned” it--to avoid the heathen mocking it or laughing at them because it is so different. But you wouldn’t want God to have a name like Tom, Dick or Harry; His name must be different. The reason you might see it written as YHWH, or YAHWEH, is because phonetically, they sound very much the same.

Consonants [like b, d, k, or m] are made by obstruction of air flow. God’s name has no obstruction like our names or characters have. His name and His character are all flow and melody. And the vowel tones are pure [not diphthongs like ah-ee = I. This reminds us of His apocalyptic promise—“then will I turn the people to a pure language [margin says lip] that they may all call upon the name of IAUA.” Zephaniah 3:9.

The first two letters (IA= ee-ah) were part of many Hebrew names—the prophets often came in God’s name like JeremIA or ZecharIA, and we should pronounce the “i” like “ee” as they do in most countries. Elijah was pronounced “el-ee-ah,” because there is no J in Hebrew. So Elia means El [short form of Elohim, meaning God] is IA. Women named Maria or Gloria have the short poetic form of God’s name (IA) as part of their name. Countries like SyrIA or SamarIA also have God’s name as part of theirs.

HalleluIA is an international word meaning “Praise IA” in most languages. You can read this short form of God’s name in Psalm 68:4, except translators supplanted the Hebrew yod with “J” making it “Jah,” where it should be IA [ee-ah].

Before the second coming, “Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.” Matthew 17:11. Since God’s name means salvation, it stands to reason that His name will also be restored to it’s rightful place in the end time. It is our privilege to share in this work of Elijah.

It is my belief that God’s sacred name, which is IAUA, is now being restored to it’s rightful place, in our minds and our hearts.

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