YAHWEH and ELOHIYM: Examining The Names Of God (1)


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Psalm 113: 1-5 Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. 2 Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. 3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised. 4 The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. 5 Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high?

When Charles Wesley (one of the leaders of the early Methodist Church) read this Scripture he was led to write one of my favorite songs. “Blessed Be The Name” is in our Baptist Hymnal:

O, For a thousand tongues to sing, blessed be the name of the Lord!
The glories of my God and King, blessed be the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the Name, Blessed be the Name,
Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
Blessed be the Name, Blessed be the Name,
Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Blessed Be The NAME Of YAHWEH!

The opening sentence “Praise ye the LORD” is literally:

Halal Yahh Halal

from whence we get our English Hallelujah. The people of God are told to praise the name of YAHWEH! One of the most famous names of God in Scripture is YAHWEH (though some refer to it as YEHOVAH or JEHOVAH). This is the most sacred name of God in Scripture. Pastor John Piper wrote:

God’s name is almost always translated LORD (all caps) in the English Bible. But the Hebrew would be pronounced something like “Yahweh,” and is built on the word for “I am.” So every time we hear the word Yahweh, or every time you see LORD in the English Bible, you should think: this is a proper name (like Peter or John) built out of the word for “I am” and reminding us each time that God absolutely is.”

YAHWEH is the God we praise, the God of the scripture. Though this name of God is sometimes translated JEHOVAH, the consensus among Biblical scholars is that the first translation of the Hebrew יְהֹוָה YHWH was, in the 6th century BC, most likely YAHWEH. So I use YAHWEH instead of JEHOVAH. Either way you pronounce YHWH this is the most holy name of God in Scripture. YAHWEH reveals certain things about our God.

  • YAHWEH is the eternal I AM. The God of scripture is never “I WAS” or “I WILL BE”. One of the first questions a child asks about God is:

Who made God?”

The proper response is “no one made God. God is self existent. He is the Great I AM. God never ends, and never began. Though Christ was made flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14) He did not begin existence at that manger in Bethlehem. Jesus Christ is the “Son of God become flesh for our salvation”. Jesus told the Pharisees:

John 8:23-24 … Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

  • YAHWEH is absolute reality and utterly powerful. In a world where feelings are often elevated above all else, God is in control. He knows what is best for us, and controls all things to bring forth the best outcome. The Psalmist said:

Psalm 116:1-4 I love the LORD {YAHWEH}, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. 2 Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. 3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. 4 Then called I upon the name of the LORD {YAHWEH}; O LORD {YAHWEH}, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.

It is the EVER PRESENT LORD Who is our Protector and King.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD {YAHWEH} is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

In a politically correct and progressively wrong world the Christian trusts not in “feelings” but in the Eternal and Great “I AM”, the YAHWEH!

  • Everything in the universe is dependent upon YAHWEH. Nothing happens by blind fate or chance. “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD {YAHWEH}”. Nothing happens by “luck”, but all things are by the LORD. He is the first cause, the last cause, and every cause in between. My salvation is certain because my faith is in the certain and sure “I AM”. The Psalmist confidently declared:

Psalms 116:13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD {YAHWEH}.

I suspect the Apostle Paul had this precious Psalm in mind when he wrote the Church at Rome:

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Salvation and blessing do not come by my hand, but by my God’s hand. I was saved the day I called “upon the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:2). My salvation is sure because my God is sure. My God is able to …

keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.
(2 Timothy 1:12)

… to keep me from falling (Jude 24)

I am frail, but God is constant. Our God is the absolute standard of truth. The Bible says:

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Some people think that there is a god of the old covenant and a god of the new covenant. This is patently wrong. The old covenant was given to us by the unchangeable and immutable “I AM”. Jesus said of this old covenant:

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Both covenants – old and new- are written through and about an immutable God Who never changes. Our God is the great “I AM”.

Who Is Like Our ʼElôhîym

Psalm 113: 5 Who is like unto the LORD {YAHWEH} our God {ʼElôhîym}, who dwelleth on high?

YAHWEH is not the only name of God in Scripture. YAHWEH speaks to God’s eternity. YAHWEH made all things, yet is made of none. He alone is self existent. But God’s name is also ʼĕlôhîym, which is the earliest name of God found in Scripture.

The earliest name of God found in Scripture is not YAHWEH, but ʼĔLÔHÎYM.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God {אֱלֹהִים ʼĕlôhîym, pronounced el-o-heem’} created the heaven and the earth.

ʼElôhîym is a plural in the Hebrew text. If this name were applied to a mythological god like Apollo, Zeus, Mercury, et.al, then it would be translated “gods”. In this world there are many gods and goddesses that seek to take the place of the true ʼElôhîym. The Apostle said:

1 Corinthians 8:5-6 For though there be {many} that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Though ʼElôhîym would be a plural if applied to an idol, the God of the Scripture is One God. God told His Old Covenant Israel:

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 Hear, O Israel: The LORD{Yahweh} our God {ʼElôhîym} is one LORD {Yahweh} : 5 And thou shalt love the LORD {Yahweh} thy God {ʼElôhîym} with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

God is one. God is ʼElôhîym, a compound Unity.

  • ʼElôhîym is our Father. When we pray, we pray:

Our Father Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name!

ʼElôhîym is our Father Who is in Heaven. Jesus gave us another name for God – “Father”. He is the Head of the family of righteousness, those who are born again by faith in Christ. Our Father in Heaven is our Provider and Protector.

Matthew 6:8 … your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him …

ʼElôhîym our Father watches over the saved, lovingly providing our needs.

  • ʼElôhîym is our Jesus. The Father speaks to us through His Son Jesus (Hebrews 1:2), Whom He has appointed Heir of all things. All things belong to Christ.

All things were made BY Jesus (John 1:3)
All things were created BY Jesus FOR Jesus (Colossians 1:16)

The Father says of Jesus …

Hebrew 1:8 … Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom.

  • ʼElôhîym is the Holy Spirit of God. It is the Holy Spirit who indwells the believer. Jesus promised us, “The Holy Spirit lives with you, and will be IN you”.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

The Holy Spirit guides and empowers our prayers. We are commanded to be …

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching …

Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost

We As Believers Are To Live Our Lives Praising YAHWEH ʼELÔHÎYM

The Old Testament priest would never rush into the Holy of Holies, nor never run into God’s Presence. Yet so often Christians rush into God’s Presence to demand something. We are not, in our urgency, to rush into His presence. We are to love the LORD God Who loves us so. The Apostle put it this way:

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts

Let us magnify the great “I AM”, the wonderful Triune God Who gives us life and eternal life. Let us magnify Him in all we do. May God the Holy Spirit impart this Word of Truth into our hearts and lives. In Jesus name. Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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