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Yahweh Known by the Patriarchs
Does Exodus 6:3 tell
us that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob never knew Yahweh's Name?
Apuzzling Bible verse for many who
are aware of the sacred Name Yahweh is found in Exodus 6:3, which reads:
appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of G-d Almighty
[El Shaddai] but by my name [YAHWEH] was I not known to them"
Some Bible expositors contend that this passage shows
that Yahweh had not revealed His Name to the patriarchs. That even Moses did
not know that His Name was Yahweh, but knew Him only as Elohim or El Shaddai.
This notion is false, as we see from the events three chapters prior to this
Name Yahweh When conscripted by Yahweh to be the
leader for His people
Moses wondered what he should say when presenting himself before
Moses asked, "The Elohim of your
fathers has sent me unto you: and they shall say to me ‘What is His Name?’ what
shall I say unto them?" Exodus 3:13. From His response it is clear
Yahweh invoked His personal Name and revealed it to Moses:
said unto Moses, ‘I AM THAT I AM:’ and He said, Thus shall you say unto the
‘I AM has sent me unto you.’
said moreover unto Moses, Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel,
‘YAHWEH, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of
Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me unto you:’ this is My name forever,
and this is My memorial unto all generations," Exodus 3:14-15.
When Moses had gone aside to see the burning bush, he
was told to remove his shoes as Yahweh’s presence consecrated the very ground
upon which Moses stood.
This meeting with Yahweh took place after Moses had
spent 40 years on the back side of the desert. Now
Moses was commissioned to lead His people out of bondage, out of the
At the burning bush Yahweh clearly reveals Himself to
Moses. Despite this graphic encounter, the argument has been raised that Moses
had never known Yahweh’s Name, and Exodus 6:3 supposedly proves Moses did not
even know how to pronounce the four letters known as the Tetragrammaton (YHWH)
representing Yahweh’s Name.
Yahweh's Name in Genesis Moses
is credited with writing the first five books of the Bible and in Genesis alone
"Yahweh" appears 164 times! The first place we find Yahweh’s Name is
The first woman, Eve, is quoted in Genesis 4:1, "I have gotten a man from Yahweh!" Eve, the mother of all living (Gen. 3:20), acknowledged Yahweh by name as the
Giver of her son.
Yahweh often introduces Himself as the Mighty One of
Abram, Isaac and Jacob who all knew and worshiped Him as Yahweh.
When called out of
of the Chaldees, Abram built an altar unto
Yahweh and also called upon the Name of Yahweh, Genesis 12:8.
Isaac was visited by Yahweh at
, and the promises made to Abraham
were renewed with Isaac. There Isaac built an altar and called upon the Name of
Yahweh, Genesis 26:25.
In a dream Jacob saw a staircase ascending to the
heavens. "Behold, Yahweh stood above
it, and said, I am Yahweh Elohim of Abraham thy father, and the Elohim of
Isaac: the land whereon you lit, to you will I give it, and to your seed," Genesis 28:13.
Thus, we see that the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob all knew and called upon the Name of the Sovereign Yahweh and worshiped
in His Name.
Historical Importance of Names How,
then, do we explain Exodus 6:3, which says by the Name Yahweh He was not known
unto them? This verse is puzzling to the western mind because we are not as
aware of the importance of names as was the Semitic culture.
Those in the
have a different concept of the essential value attached to one’s name.
Perhaps the following comments will show why Yahweh
chose to reveal His Name to those of Semitic culture and background who were
psychologically better prepared to revere His Name.
"To a Semite the name establishes a mystic union
between the knower and the known. To know the name of another is in some sense
to have him in one’s soul. To pronounce his name is to make Him present
here...To disclose one’s personal name is to surrender the inmost citadel of
one’s self and hand over its keys. It is to lay oneself open to the reality,
power, influence, needs, and love of the other. This view of names is fraught
with consequences when [Yahweh] reveals His name to people and people name Him
and name themselves to Him," Naming
God, Scharlemann, pp. 6-10.
Perhaps this gives a clue why Yahweh allowed His Name
to be obscured or even replaced with titles. He desires to allow only those
dedicated to Him to know and invoke His Name Yahweh, as a mark for those who
truly love and serve Him.
A People Called By His Name Israel
anciently was known as "the people of
Yahweh," and were in a covenant relationship with
Him. They were to represent Him and His way of life here on earth, and be a
model nation for the heathen around them.
people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek
my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and
will forgive their sin, and will heal their land," 2 Chronicles 7:14.
"His people," and
says they are called by His Name. This privilege of calling upon His Name
Yahweh was only to
In the Millennium Yahweh will make His Name known to
all men, for Yahshua will rule with a rod of iron, and Yahweh’s law will reign
supreme: "For then will I turn to
the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of Yahweh, to
serve him with one consent," Zephaniah 3:9. "And Yahweh shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall
there be one Yahweh, and his name one," Zechariah 14:9.
A Covenant Name At
this time Yahweh is selecting certain ones to learn of Him and to administer
His laws and teach His way of life in the Kingdom, Acts 15:14-17.
To those now in training He reveals His Covenant and
His Covenant Name. He is not trying to save the world now nor has He decreed
that everyone is to know of His Name and Covenant today.
Yahweh is the exclusive Covenant Name made known to
His people with whom He is in a deeper relationship. Those who love Him and
keep His commandments, Exodus 20:5, are in a
son-daughter relationship with Him.
Yahweh’s Name was known to the ancient patriarchs,
appearing numerous times in the Genesis account. Note that the word name does not occur in connection with
"El Shaddai" (G-d Almighty, King James). Rather, He appeared
"as" El Shaddai.
It was in the character of, or nature of El Shaddai that He appeared to the patriarchs. Yet, in the
character of Yahweh, with all the rich meaning that the covenant Name implies,
He had NOT YET made Himself completely manifest. That would come later with a
Israel Truly Knew
His Name The
deep significance of the Name Yahweh was made known to
. Yahweh’s Name was not
arbitrarily withheld, but only now was there history-making ACTION in
from bondage from which we can draw deep significance.
In Exodus 6:5 Yahweh tells Moses He has heard the
groaning of the enslaved Israelites and has remembered His Covenant that He
made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Prior to this time Yahweh had acted as the omnipotent
El Shaddai, the Creator and omniscient Sovereign of the earth. Now He will
demonstrate His redemptive power as He acts on behalf of His people
Note how His Name and what it means is manifest by what He will do: "Wherefore
say unto the children of Israel, I am Yahweh, and I will bring you out from
under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage,
and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I
will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you an Elohim: and you shall
know that I amYahweh your Elohim, which brings you out from
under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land,
concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob;
and I will give it you for an heritage: I am Yahweh," Exodus 6:6-8.
By His name Yahweh He was not really known to His
people. But now in these three verses Yahweh lays open His plan to bring
out of bondage, redeem them, protect them, perform miracles, and take them for
His own people. He will bring them into the Promised Land and give it to them
for an heritage because He is Yahweh.
He will perform miracles for His people with plagues,
manna, quail, the pillar of cloud and fire, clothing and shoes will not wear
out—all of these He promises and more because He, Yahweh, is in a covenant
relationship with Israel.
Until this point
did not know the true
meaning of His Name, as Exodus 6:3 says.
Name and Glory Revealed "Show
me your glory," pleaded Moses with Yahweh.
had been redeemed from the death and the bondage of
, and had ratified the
Covenant proposed by Yahweh (Ex. 24:1-8). Moses felt insecure and needed more
encouragement to carry on and asked Yahweh to show His resplendent glory,
Moses was well aware of Yahweh’s omnipotence and asked
now to see His glory. Please notice that Yahweh proclaimed His Name at the same
time He revealed His glory:
Yahweh descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the
Name of Yahweh. And Yahweh passed by before him, and proclaimed, Yahweh, YAHWEH
a merciful El and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and
that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the
fourth generation. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head
toward the earth, and worshiped," Exodus
34:5-8. Yahweh’s Name is intimately bound up in His glory and
righteous character. Moses cannot look directly into His face for he would
likely be burned to a crisp. Moses sees Yahweh’s glory and at the same time
hears Him declare His covenant Name Yahweh.
Yahweh’s Name and glory reveal that He is merciful and
gracious, patient, full of goodness and truth, exceedingly merciful. All of
these attributes are bound up in His glorious Name.
Moses heard Yahweh’s Name firsthand right from
Yahweh’s mouth as he stood barefoot at the burning bush where he was drafted by
Yahweh to become the deliverer of
. Moses also heard His voice
again and saw His glory as Yahweh spoke to him in Exodus 6:1-8 and revealed His
plans to free
from bondage and redeem them unto Himself.
Mother’s Name: ‘Yahweh-gloried’ Moses
likely knew Yahweh’s Name even as a child, for his mother’s name was Jochebed (SEC No. 3115). "Yowkebed" literally means, "Glory of
Yah," or "Yahweh-gloried." Notice:
name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare
to Levi in
and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister," Numbers 26:59.
Would this be the reason Moses asked to see the
"glory" of Yahweh in Exodus 33:18? With his mother’s name Jochebed,
it would only seem fitting that at some point Moses would want to see that
special glory of Yahweh as a memorial of his wonderful mother.
When one learns the depth of meaning of Yahweh’s Name,
one soon realizes how great is His loving mercy and
how great the future is for those who love Him. We must apply what we learn and
hold fast to Yahweh’s Name and His Word.
Evidence Is Plentiful You
can verify that our Heavenly Father’s Name is indeed Yahweh. With the passing
of time more evidence of this neglected truth will come to light. Many look
forward to a special verification from the Dead Sea Scrolls yet to be revealed.
One discovers Yahweh’s Name frequently in recently
published dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries and modern Bible notes. The
Name Yahweh is being used increasingly by the academic community, even those
who may not be religious, such as historians, reporters, and newscasters.
Isn’t it significant that when a scholar wants to
appear "scholarly" in speaking of the personal Mighty One of the
Scriptures, that he will use "Yahweh" instead of the common title?
A Study of His Name Yahweh In
the book, Naming God, we are told:
"Yahweh’s name has a deeper meaning than many realize. His name means that
He is the only one having real existence; that He is the One Who is; that He is
One Who causes all things to be and which He finally will be able to be.
[Elohim] exists, reveals Himself, possesses a name and discloses it: He does
all this in His history-making action for justice, freedom, and fellowship; and
it is in our corresponding collaborative action on behalf of a new earth where
He can be [Elohim] and we can be human that we can meet, hear and invoke
Yahweh," pp. 9-10.
The Bible teaches that baptism into Yahshua’s saving
Name is a necessary step in salvation. Yahshua promised that the Holy Spirit
would surround and guide people into truth, but that upon being immersed, the
Holy Spirit would indwell them, John 14:17.
Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of
Yahshua Messiah for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the
Holy Spirit," Acts 2:38.
Baptism into Yahshua’s Name fulfills the necessary
criterion of the trine formula given in Matthew 28:19. Yahshua carries the
short form of the Father’s name Who sent Him. John
states that the Holy Spirit is sent in the name of the Son, Yahshua.
Thus, we have the Father’s Name "Yah," His
Son’s, Yahshua, and the Spirit given us at baptism. All three are present. The
baptisms recorded in Acts are in the singular Name of Yahshua.
We are baptized into the Body of Yahshua. He is the
Head of the Body. We become a part of His Body (1Cor.
-27), following Him, taking on His Name.
When all the saints are sealed with the Name of the
Father and the Son as spoken of in Revelation 14:1, the perfect number of 144,000 are redeemed as the firstfruits from the
Meanwhile, the everlasting evangel now continues to be
preached, calling more to be chosen and sealed in their foreheads before the
winds of judgment are released.
Yahweh is calling you to come out of this "
of our pagan society and to be sealed in His Name, that you not be in bondage to the coming Beast System.