The Magnitude of His Name

God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you’” (Ex. 3:14, ESV).

The name, “Yahweh,” is the proper name of God in Hebrew. The Name is so important. It is used more than 6,000 times in the OT—more than any other name of God in the Bible.

The Hebrew name includes only four letters—YHWH. The Jews regarded it with holy reverence that they never spoke the Name. They would rather use the word, “adonai,” which means, “lord,” than the Name, “Yahweh.”

I read that whenever a Jewish writer comes upon this Name to copy it, he puts his pen down.  Then he gets another pen, a special pen, and then writes the Name down.  That is how the Jews give super-reverence to this Name of God.

To distinguish Yahweh from Adonai, the English versions use the word, LORD, in all caps. When you see LORD in all caps, it translates the Heb., yhwh. When you see Lord, with only the first letter in capital, it translates the Hebrew, Adonai.

Now you might be surprised to know that the name, Jehovah, is not in the Bible.  It is not found in the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Jehovah is the English vocalization for Yahweh.

In the Hebrew, YHWH, had no vowels. Some reverent Jewish translators called the Masoretes inserted the vowels of Adonai into YHWH. The vowels are a, o, and a. Inserting it in YHWH, it was then vocalized as, Yahowa. It came to be pronounced in English, Jehovah.

Yahweh is the super-important name of God.


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