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This Name is normally translated as "Lord of Hosts. The Name refers to God's leadership and sovereignty.

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Interestingly, this Name is rarely used in scripture. It never appears in the Torah i. It appears primarily in the prophetic books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, as well as many times in the Psalms. Jews do not casually write any Name of God. This practice does not come from the commandment not to take the Lord's Name in vain, as many suppose. In Jewish thought, that commandment refers solely to oath-taking, and is a prohibition against swearing by God's Name falsely or frivolously the word normally translated as "in vain" literally means "for falsehood".

Judaism does not prohibit writing the Name of God per se; it prohibits only erasing or defacing a Name of God. However, observant Jews avoid writing any Name of God casually because of the risk that the written Name might later be defaced, obliterated or destroyed accidentally or by one who does not know better. The commandment not to erase or deface the name of God comes from Deut.

In that passage, the people are commanded that when they take over the promised land, they should destroy all things related to the idolatrous religions of that region, and should utterly destroy the names of the local deities. Immediately afterwards, we are commanded not to do the same to our God. From this, the rabbis inferred that we are commanded not to destroy any holy thing, and not to erase or deface a Name of God.

It is worth noting that this prohibition against erasing or defacing Names of God applies only to Names that are written in some kind of permanent form, and recent rabbinical decisions have held that writing on a computer is not a permanent form, thus it is not a violation to type God's Name into a computer and then backspace over it or cut and paste it, or copy and delete files with God's Name in them. However, once you print the document out, it becomes a permanent form. That is why observant Jews avoid writing a Name of God on web sites like this one or in BBS messages: because there is a risk that someone else will print it out and deface it.

Normally, we avoid writing the Name by substituting letters or syllables, for example, writing "G-d" instead of "God. See Hebrew Alphabet for more information about using letters as numerals. Nothing in the Torah prohibits a person from pronouncing the Name of God. Indeed, it is evident from scripture that God's Name was pronounced routinely.

The Name was pronounced as part of daily services in the Temple. The Mishnah confirms that there was no prohibition against pronouncing The Name in ancient times. In fact, the Mishnah recommends using God's Name as a routine greeting to a fellow Jew. Berakhot However, by the time of the Talmud, it was the custom to use substitute Names for God. Some rabbis asserted that a person who pronounces YHVH according to its letters instead of using a substitute has no place in the World to Come, and should be put to death.

Instead of pronouncing the four-letter Name, we usually substitute the Name " Adonai ," or simply say " Ha-Shem " lit. The Name. Although the prohibition on pronunciation applies only to the four-letter Name, Jews customarily do not pronounce any of God's many Names except in prayer or study. The usual practice is to substitute letters or syllables, so that Adonai becomes Adoshem or Ha-Shem , Elohaynu and Elohim become Elokaynu and Elokim , etc. With the Temple destroyed and the prohibition on pronouncing The Name outside of the Temple, pronunciation of the Name fell into disuse.

Scholars passed down knowledge of the correct pronunciation of YHVH for many generations, but eventually the correct pronunciation was lost, and we no longer know it with any certainty. We do not know what vowels were used, or even whether the Vav in the Name was a vowel or a consonant. See Hebrew Alphabet for more information about the difficulties in pronouncing Hebrew. Some religious scholars suggest that the Name was pronounced " Yahweh ," but others do not find this pronunciation particularly persuasive.

Some Christian scholars render the four-letter Name as "Jehovah," but this pronunciation is particularly unlikely. Sources: Judaism Download our mobile app for on-the-go access to the Jewish Virtual Library. Angels and Angelology. Articles of Faith.

Yahweh | Translation, Meaning, & Facts |

Assignment of Debt. Barrenness and Fertility. Bigamy and Polygamy. Birth and Pregnancy. Cause and Effect. Ceremonial Objects. Chief Rabbi, Chief Rabbinate. Chiromancy Palmistry. Codification of Law. Commandments, Reasons for. Commandments, The Concepts of Jewish Faith. Conflict of Laws. Conflict of Opinion. Creation and Cosmogony in the Bible.

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Cynics and Cynicism. Death and Mourning. Door and Doorpost. Euphemism and Dysphemism. Extraordinary Remedies. In Exodus 23 God says:. Be attentive to him and listen to his voice; do not rebel against him, because he will not forgive your transgression, for my name is in him. But if you listen attentively to his voice and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes. This angel has the authority to pardon sins or not, a status that belongs to God.

What does this curious phrase mean? Moses knew instantly. Anyone thinking of the burning bush account does as well. When God told Moses that his name was in this angel, he was saying that he was in this angel—his very presence or essence. The I AM of the burning bush would accompany Moses and the Israelites to the promised land and fight for them.

Only he could defeat the gods of the nations and the descendants of the Nephilim whom Moses and Joshua would find there. Other passages confirm that this reading is correct. This angel is Yahweh. Perhaps the easiest way to demonstrate this is to compare Old Testament passages about who it was that brought Israel out of Egypt and into the promised land. From heaven he made you hear his voice to teach you, and on the earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from the midst of the fire.

And because he loved your ancestors he chose their descendants after them. And he brought you forth from Egypt with his own presence, by his great strength, to drive out nations greater and more numerous than you from before you, to bring you and to give to you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day. He protected us along the entire way that we went, and among all the peoples through whose midst we passed. And Yahweh drove out all the people before us. They are all the same. One of them, the angel, takes human form.

If Deuteronomy is read in light of Exodus —23, then the presence and the Angel are co-identified. In several the Name is personified—the Name is a person. Isaiah —28 is quite striking in this regard:. The Name is clearly cast as an entity, as Yahweh himself, in this text.

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This is explicit in Psalm The point of the psalm is that trusting in the Name means trusting in Yahweh himself—he is the Name. Deuteronomy has a lot to say about the Name, especially with respect to the Name being the very presence of God that will reside in the Tabernacle, the holy city, and eventually the Temple. Deuteronomy 12 is representative note the emphasis in bold :.

I would agree. Here is the passage in Joshua The Hebrew phrase here occurs only two other times: Numbers and 1 Chronicles The connection is unmistakable on two other counts.


Joshua bows to the man, an instinctive reaction to the divine presence. The angel of Yahweh was in that bush. The angel of Exodus —23 did indeed go with Moses and Joshua to claim the promised land. The Angel of Yahweh appeared in Judges 2 bringing news no one wanted to hear:. And as for you, do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of this land; break down their altars.

Why would you do such a thing? Now I say, I will not drive them out from before you; they will become as thorns for you, and their gods will be a trap for you. The call of Gideon in Judges 6 includes one appearance during this period. The passage is lengthy, so the important items are in bold. If Yahweh is with us, why then has all this happened to us? Did I not send you?

How will I deliver Israel? Please, do not depart from here until I come back to you and bring out my gift and set it out before you. Then the angel of Yahweh reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand, and he touched the meat and the unleavened cakes; and fire went up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. And the angel of Yahweh went from his sight.

The Names of God

For now I have seen the angel of Yahweh face to face. Do not fear; you will not die. This is a fascinating passage. In verse 11 the angel sits down under the oak tree for the conversation. He makes his visible presence known to Gideon in verse There is no indication that Gideon considers his presence at all strange. The reader, however, knows that, since the narrator has Yahweh taking part in the conversation vv.

The scene is reminiscent of the burning bush except that both Yahwehs have speaking roles.

Hidden Meaning in the Name of God- Yahweh

This serves to put the two characters on the same level to the reader. That tactic is by now familiar—putting both figures on par to blur the distinction. But in the case of Judges 6, the writer also makes them clearly separate. That there are two clearly separate Yahweh figures becomes more dramatic after verse Gideon asks the man who is logically the angel of Yahweh to stay put while Gideon makes a meal for him. The stranger agrees.