Heshem, Jehovah, Jesus
June 6, 2019
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
866-295-4143,
fbns@wayoflife.org
Consider the Talmudic tradition that forbids the speaking of God’s name Jehovah or Yahweh, which is composed of four Hebrew letters. In the three centuries before Christ, Jewish rabbinical tradition determined that the name of God is too holy to be spoken. It was alleged that God’s name was pronounced in old times only by the high priest on the Day of Atonement, which is contrary to the plain teaching of Scripture. God’s glorious name has been replaced in Jewish tradition by the bland Hashem, meaning “the name,” and therefore meaning nothing.

But the Scripture teaches that God has mercifully and wonderfully revealed His name to be known and spoken by man, not to be obscured by vain tradition. “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth” (Psa. 83:18).

The name
Jehovah or Yehovah appears 6,519 times in the Hebrew Bible, beginning in Genesis 2 in relation to God’s personal creation of Adam and Eve. Jehovah is a name that encompasses everything that God is. Jehovah is the Creator, the all-powerful, the all-knowing, the eternal, the self-existent I AM, the beginning and the end, the King of kings. But the emphasis of the name is on God as Saviour, Shepherd, Father. Jehovah is the faithful covenant-keeping God. It is Jehovah who made a covenant with Abraham (Ge. 12:1-4; 15:8), Isaac (Ge. 26:1-4), Jacob (Ge. 28:11-15) and David (2 Sa. 7:8-16). Jehovah is the Author of the New Covenant with Israel (Jer. 31:31-34). Solomon emphasized that Jehovah is the God who “keepest covenant, and shewest mercy” (2 Ch. 6:14-15). When Christ returns, Israel will be called “Jehovah our righteousness” (Jer. 33:16). The name of the LORD will be known and spoken of throughout the earth. The very theme of the prophecies of Ezekiel is “ye shall know that I am the LORD [Jehovah]” (Eze. 6:7, 10, 13, 14, etc.). This statement appears 63 times. The purpose of God’s judgments upon and dealings with Israel over the past 2,600 years is that Israel will know that Jehovah is the true and living God.

Jehovah is usually translated LORD (all caps) in the King James Bible, but it is also translated GOD (all caps) 310 times.

It is claimed by some modern scholars that
Jehovah is an invention of the Masoretes, who added the vowel points to the Hebrew text beginning in the sixth century AD, and that the correct pronunciation should be Yahweh. That is a humanistic view of the transmission of God’s Word that denies divine preservation. The pronunciation of God’s name is an integral part of divine revelation and we are told by Jesus Christ that not one jot or one tittle can be lost (Mt. 5:18). We believe, then, that the Masoretes preserved the name of God. Paul tells us that God committed the oracles of God to the Jews (Ro. 3:1-2).

Thomas Ross comments on this as follows:

“The vowels of the Tetragrammaton
, that is, Yehowah or Jehovah (Exodus 6:3; Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 12:2; 26:4) are not a late addition, but represent the original and true pronunciation of the profoundly significant Divine Name. The commonly repeated modern idea that the pronunciation Jehovah is a late and incorrect invention, while Yahweh is the true pronunciation of the Name, is false. No known Hebrew manuscript on earth contains the vocalization Yahweh. On the other hand, the form Jehovah is found in a variety of locations in the oldest Hebrew copies, such as the Aleppo codex and a variety of Biblical fragments dated between 700 and 900, as well as being the universal pointing in the Old Testament Textus Receptus. Jewish scholars such as Maimonides (1138-1204) affirmed that the Tetragrammaton was pronounced according to its letters as YeHoWaH.

“Were, as the common modern notion affirms, the vowels of the Divine Name simply lifted from
Adonai, the yod of the Tetragram would have a hateph pathach underneath it, not a shewa. Furthermore, all the names in Scripture that begin with portions of the Tetragrammaton possess the vowels of Jehovah, not of Yahweh.

“If one wanted to maintain that the vocalization of God’s Name had been corrupted in Scripture, contrary to His declarations that nothing of the kind would happen (Psalm 12:6-7; Matthew 5:18), one would also need to maintain that every name in the Bible that begins with part of the Tetragrammaton has also been corrupted. Jehoadah would really be something like Yahwadah; Jehoahaz would be Yahwahaz; Jehoash would be Yahwahash, and so on” (Thomas Ross,
https://www.wayoflife.org/reports/jehovah_and_yahweh.html).

Some Karaite Jews, such as Nehemia Gordon, who do not accept Talmudic tradition, hold to the pronunciation
Jehovah.

Not only have the Talmudic Jews done a great evil in keeping the name of Jehovah God from the people, they have done an even greater evil in rejecting Jehovah’s Messiah, whose name is
Jesus.

In the New Testament, we have a higher revelation of God than the name
Jehovah, and that is the name Jesus. The angel said to Mary, “And, behold, though shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS” (Lu. 1:31). While the name Jehovah appears nowhere in the New Testament, the name Jesus appears 942 times. Jesus is the final and full revelation of God. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:1-3).

God has given Jesus “a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Php. 2:9-11).

It is God’s will that the name of Jesus be preached to all nations. “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations” (Lu. 24:47).



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