Names of God

There are several Hebrew words used in the Old Testament when referring to God. The most often used is written as “the LORD”, YHWH, which we pronounce as Yahweh. It means “the existing One” and is known as the name of the One true God. It is sometimes translated as Jehovah, but this is not quite as accurate. The true pronunciation of this word, YHWH, has been lost, because the devout Jews decided they should never utter the name of God aloud.

In Genesis 17:1, God calls Himself God Almighty, literally “‘el shadday”, or El Shaddai.

In Genesis 21:33, we are told that “Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God.” The Hebrew is “‘el òwlam”‘ or El Olam.

Later, when God speaks to Moses from the burning bush, Moses asks for God’s name. Exodus 3:13-14~ “Then Moses said to God, ‘Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?’ And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”

I love that passage! I AM. Period. End of discussion. The Hebrew for the phrase is “hayah”, which means “to be, exist, abide”.

We can learn much from the names of God, for He reveals things about His nature, His very character, in His name. He is Almighty- all power and might is His. He is Everlasting- eternal, no beginning and no ending. He is I AM- He is who He is and always has been and always will be. He just IS.

I love that. God says “I AM.” That is enough for me. He is genuine, unchanging, always there.

This entry was posted in Abraham, August 2011, Exodus, Genesis, God's Name, Jews, Moses. Bookmark the permalink.

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