Jehovah God

Updated April 1, 2014 (first published September 10, 2013) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org;)

The following study is part of the new edition of the Advanced Bible Studies Series course Give Attendance to Doctrine that we plan to publish later this year.

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attendancetodoctrine
“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens”(Gen. 2:4).


Jehovah is the personal name by which God is revealed in the Old Testament. In the King James Bible, Jehovah is translated by LORD in all caps and it appears more than 6,500 times.

Jehovah is both Saviour and Judge. He is the covenant-keeping Redeemer to the believer as well as the holy God of judgment to the unbeliever (Deut. 7:9-10).

The book of Psalms is a book of praise to Jehovah God. Forty-one times the Psalmist says, “Praise the LORD” or “Praise ye the LORD.”

Jehovah is to be praised because of His goodness and mercy (Psa. 106:1; 103:8-14). Sixteen times we are told that Jehovah is good (1 Ch. 16:34; 2 Ch. 5:3; 7:3; Ezr. 3:11; Psa. 34:8; 100:5; 106:1; 107:1; 118:1, 29; 135:3; 136:1; 145:9; Jer. 33:11; Lam. 3:25; Nah. 1:7).

Jehovah’s mercies are great (1 Ch. 21:13), manifold (Ne. 9:19), tender (Psa. 25:6), plentious (Psa. 86:15), multitudinous (Psa. 5:7; 51:1; 69:16; 106:7, 45; lam. 3:32), everlasting (Psa 100:5; 118:1, 2, 3, 4, 29; 136; 138:8). The believer is compassed with Jehovah’s mercy (Psa. 32:10). His mercies are as high as the heaven is above the earth (Psa. 103:11). He is full of compassion (Psa. 145:8).

Jehovah is the Redeemer. Jehovah sought Adam after the fall and clothed him in coats, which signified the salvation provided by Jesus (Genesis 3:8-9, 21). The believer is clothed in Christ’s righteousness (Rom. 3:21-22; 2 Cor. 5:21).

The greatness of Jehovah’s mercy and salvation can only be understood in light of His terrible holiness (Lev. 11:45; 19:1-2; Psa. 11:4-5; Isa. 6:3; Hag. 1:12-13). Jehovah is the lawgiver and the punisher of lawbreakers (Ex. 20:1-18).

The reason that Jehovah can be merciful to sinners is because He Himself has satisfied the requirements of His own holy law. Jehovah is the God of the Passover (Ex. 12:1-7). Yea, Jehovah is the Passover Lamb. He is the only Saviour (Isa. 43:11). He is “Jesus” (Mat. 1:21; John 1:29).

Exodus 6:3 says God did not make his name Jehovah known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but the name appears 141 times in the book of Genesis. How can we solve this seeming contradiction? Exodus 6:3 does not mean that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not know the name Jehovah in any sense. In Genesis 12:8 Abraham built an altar unto Jehovah and called upon the name of Jehovah. What Exodus 6:3 possibly means is that the fathers did not see the fulfillment of the promises and therefore did not know the meaning of that name, which is that God is the faithful promise keeper who will perform His Word. Beginning in Exodus, Israel would see the fulfillment of the promises that were made to the fathers and will know by experience the meaning of the name Jehovah. Further, the statement in Exodus 6:3 could mean that it was left for Moses to proclaim the name Jehovah to Israel. The expression “I am the LORD” is repeated four times in God’s commandment to Moses (Exodus 6:2, 3, 6, 8).

Note the following comments:

“What Exodus 6:3 possibly means is that the fathers did not see the fulfillment of the promises and therefore did not know the meaning of that name, which is that God is the faithful promise keeper who will perform His Word” (Matthew Henry).

“I believe the simple meaning is this, that though from the beginning the name JEHOVAH was known as one of the names of the Supreme Being, yet what it really implied they did not know. El-Shaddai, God All-sufficient, they knew well by the continual provision he made for them, and the constant protection he afforded them: but the name JEHOVAH is particularly to be referred to the accomplishment of promises already made; to the giving them a being, and thus bringing them into existence, which could not have been done in the order of his providence sooner than here specified: this name therefore in its power and significancy was not known unto them; nor fully known unto their descendants till the deliverance from Egypt and the settlement in the promised land. It is surely possible for a man to bear the name of a certain office or dignity before he fulfills any of its functions. King, mayor, alderman, magistrate, constable, may be borne by the several persons to whom they legally belong, before any of the acts peculiar to those offices are performed. The KING, acknowledged as such on his coronation, is known to be such by his legislative acts; the civil magistrate, by his distribution of justice, and issuing warrants for the apprehending of culprits; and the constable, by executing those warrants. All these were known to have their respective names, but the exercise of their powers alone shows what is implied in being king, magistrate, and constable. God who was known as JEHOVAH, the being who makes and gives effect to promises, was known to the descendants of the twelve tribes to be THAT JEHOVAH, by giving effect and being to the promises which he had made to their fathers” (Adam Clarke).

“He speaks not of the letters or syllables, but of the thing signified by that name. For that denotes all his perfections, and, amongst others, the eternity, constancy, and immutability of his nature and will, and the infallible certainty of his word and promises. And this, saith he, though it was believed by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, yet it was not experimentally known to them; for they only saw the promises afar off, Heb. 11:13” (Matthew Poole).
There is a Jewish practice that considers the name Jehovah too sacred to be spoken, but it was a ridiculous, superstitious thing that comes from their vain tradition. Since God revealed Himself by the name of
Jehovah and put it in Scripture, it is obvious that it is not wrong for man to write or speak the name.

What the Old Testament says about Jehovah, the New Testament says about Jesus.

The reason that Jehovah can be merciful to sinners is because He Himself has satisfied the requirements of His own holy law. Jehovah is the God of the Passover (Ex. 12:1-7). Yea, Jehovah is the Passover Lamb. He is the only Saviour (Isa. 43:11). He is “Jesus” (Mat. 1:21; John 1:29).

Exodus 6:3 says God did not make his name Jehovah known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but the name appears 141 times in the book of Genesis. How can we solve this seeming contradiction? Exodus 6:3 does not mean that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not know the name Jehovah in any sense. In Genesis 12:8 Abraham built an altar unto Jehovah and called upon the name of Jehovah. What Exodus 6:3 possibly means is that the fathers did not see the fulfillment of the promises and therefore did not know the meaning of that name, which is that God is the faithful promise keeper who will perform His Word. Beginning in Exodus, Israel would see the fulfillment of the promises that were made to the fathers and will know by experience the meaning of the name Jehovah. Further, the statement in Exodus 6:3 could mean that it was left for Moses to proclaim the name Jehovah to Israel. The expression “I am the LORD” is repeated four times in God’s commandment to Moses (Exodus 6:2, 3, 6, 8).

Note the following comments:

“What Exodus 6:3 possibly means is that the fathers did not see the fulfillment of the promises and therefore did not know the meaning of that name, which is that God is the faithful promise keeper who will perform His Word” (Matthew Henry).

“I believe the simple meaning is this, that though from the beginning the name JEHOVAH was known as one of the names of the Supreme Being, yet what it really implied they did not know. El-Shaddai, God All-sufficient, they knew well by the continual provision he made for them, and the constant protection he afforded them: but the name JEHOVAH is particularly to be referred to the accomplishment of promises already made; to the giving them a being, and thus bringing them into existence, which could not have been done in the order of his providence sooner than here specified: this name therefore in its power and significancy was not known unto them; nor fully known unto their descendants till the deliverance from Egypt and the settlement in the promised land. It is surely possible for a man to bear the name of a certain office or dignity before he fulfills any of its functions. King, mayor, alderman, magistrate, constable, may be borne by the several persons to whom they legally belong, before any of the acts peculiar to those offices are performed. The KING, acknowledged as such on his coronation, is known to be such by his legislative acts; the civil magistrate, by his distribution of justice, and issuing warrants for the apprehending of culprits; and the constable, by executing those warrants. All these were known to have their respective names, but the exercise of their powers alone shows what is implied in being king, magistrate, and constable. God who was known as JEHOVAH, the being who makes and gives effect to promises, was known to the descendants of the twelve tribes to be THAT JEHOVAH, by giving effect and being to the promises which he had made to their fathers” (Adam Clarke).

“He speaks not of the letters or syllables, but of the thing signified by that name. For that denotes all his perfections, and, amongst others, the eternity, constancy, and immutability of his nature and will, and the infallible certainty of his word and promises. And this, saith he, though it was believed by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, yet it was not experimentally known to them; for they only saw the promises afar off, Heb. 11:13” (Matthew Poole).
There is a Jewish practice that considers the name Jehovah too sacred to be spoken, but it was a ridiculous, superstitious thing that comes from their vain tradition. Since God revealed Himself by the name of
Jehovah and put it in Scripture, it is obvious that it is not wrong for man to write or speak the name.

What the Old Testament says about Jehovah, the New Testament says about Jesus.

Phrase -- Jehovah God (O.T.) -- Jesus Christ (N.T.)
King of kings -- Psa. 95:3 -- 1 Tim. 6:14-15
Lord of lords -- Psa. 136:3 -- Rev. 19:16
Stone of stumbling -- Isa. 8:13-15 -- 1 Pe. 2:6-8
Judge -- Isa. 24:20-21 -- Heb. 12:23 Col. 1:17; Jn. 5:22
Reigning -- Isa. 24:23 -- Mat. 25:31
Good Shepherd -- Isa. 40:10-11 -- Jn. 10:11
Only Saviour -- Isa. 43:11 -- 2 Tim. 1:10
Alpha and Omega -- Isa. 44:6 -- Rev. 1:7-18
Creator -- Isa. 44:24 -- Col. 1:16
Every knee bow -- Isa. 45:23 -- Ph. 2:10-11

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