The name is recorded as the four Hebrew consonants: YHWH; without vowels, thus the vocalization can only be guessed at today. The Masoretic text of Judaism records the vocalization of the consonantal text using a system of points, however the vocalization of YHWH was considered inappropriate to record. The Septuagint translation of Hellenistic Judaism into Koine Greek also did not record the pronunciation of the name. Other forms are Jah, Jahve, Jahveh, Jahweh, Jehovah, Yahve, Yahveh, and Yahwe. The original name for God found in Genesis 1:1ff is Elohim. It changes from Elohim" to "YHWH Elohim", with God directly naming himself in Exodus 3:13-15. (Yahweh) in In the Hebrew Bible Yahweh is the one true God who delivered Israel from Egypt and entered into a covenant with his chosen people: "Then God spoke all these words.
He said, 'I am Yahweh your God who brought you out of Egypt, where you lived as slaves. You shall have no other gods to rival me.'" Yahweh revealed himself to Israel as a God who would not permit his people to make idols or follow gods of other nations or worship gods known by other names, "I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, or My praise to idols." which is referred to as the Shema. To declare their belief that Israel's God was universal sovereign over all others as well as Israel, the more common noun "Elohim", derived from El, meaning "god," tended to replace Yahweh.
Yahweh demanded the role of the one true God in the hearts and minds of Israel, "Hear, Israel: Yahweh is our God; Yahweh is one: and you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might." Modern biblical scholars have used source criticism to interpret different character attributes of Yahweh. The documentary hypothesis employs source criticism to interpret different character attributes as originating in four distinct source documents of the Torah. For example, anthropomorphic descriptions, visits from Yahweh and use of the personal name prior to Exodus 3 are attributed to the Jahwist source.
Use of the generic title, Elohim, and descriptions of Yahweh of a more impersonal nature (for example, speaking through dreams and angels rather than personal appearances) are attributed to the Elohist source. Descriptions of Yahweh as particularly concerned with whether Judah's kings were good or bad and with centralized temple worship are attributed to the Deuteronomist Passages that portray Yahweh as acting through the Aaronid priesthood and temple-based sacrificial system are described as originating with the Priestly.
Historians of the Ancient Near East describe worship of Yahweh as originating in pre-Israelite peoples of the Levant Theophoric names, names of local gods similar to Yahweh, and archaeological evidence are used along with the Biblical source texts to describe pre-Israel origins of Yahweh worship, the relationship of Yahweh with local gods, and the manner in which Yahweh worship evolved into Jewish monotheism. In contrast, scholars who employ methods allowing for supernaturalism and divine inspiration continue to interpret the Biblical portrayal of Yahweh in a manner consistent with faith-based views.
Worship of Yahweh alone is a central idea of historical Judaism. Much of Christianity views Jesus as the human incarnation of Yahweh, for details see Names of God in Christianity. The importance of the divine name and the character of the "one true God" revealed as Yahweh are often contrasted with the significantly different character of rival deities known by different names in the traditional polytheistic religions. Some scholars, including William G. Dever, have asserted that the Asherah was worshipped as a consort of Yahweh, until the 6th century BCE, when strict monolatry of Yahweh became prevalent in the wake of the destruction of the first temple. However, the consort hypothesis has been subject to debate with numerous scholars publishing disagreement. rather than in a divine revelation to Moses.
One theory is that Jews ceased to use the name Yahweh in the intertestamental period, replacing it with the common noun Elohim, "god", to demonstrate the universal sovereignty of Israel's God over all others. At the same time, the divine name was increasingly regarded as too sacred to be uttered, and was replaced in spoken ritual by the word Adonai ("My Lord"), or with haShem ("the Name") in everyday speech, see Names of God in Judaism for details.
* 1 Etymology and meaning
* 2 In the Hebrew Bible
* 2.1 In the Torah
* 2.1.1 Account of the burning bush
* 2.2 In the Nevi'im (Prophets)
* 2.2.1 Contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal regarding the name of God
* 2.2.2 In the Book of Isaiah
* 2.2.3 In the Book of Jeremiah
* 2.2.4 In the Book of Zechariah
* 2.3 In the Kethuvim (writings)
* 3 The Documentary Hypothesis
* 3.1 Jahwist
* 3.2 Elohist view of Yahweh
* 3.3 Deuteronomist view of Yahweh
* 3.4 Priestly view
* 4 Early history of Yahweh-worship
* 4.1 Development
* 4.2 Orthodox Yahwism
* 4.3 Heterodox Yahwism
* 4.4 Syncretistic Yahwism
* 4.5 Ancient Israel and Judah
* 5 Use of "Yahweh" in contemporary religion
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 External links
ETYMOLOGY AND MEANING
The name is generally linked to a form of the Semitic word-stem HWH (originally HWY), meaning "being" or "becoming". Amorite personal names and Greek transcriptions of the tetragrammaton suggest that the vocalization "Yahweh" is correct, and as such should be read as having derived from a causative verbal form ("he becomes" or "he is"). On the other hand, if the name is analyzed as a (non-causative) G Stem, the verb "to be" plus the name of El, the chief god in the pantheon, could give rise to the forms "yahweh-el" ("He is El", "He shows himself as El") or the reverse, "El-yahweh" (El who shows himself). Exodus 3:13-15 is the first recorded instance of God naming himself. An etymologization of the name, connecting YHWH with the root HYH, occurs when YHWH, asked by Moses for his name, provides three names: "I Am That I Am", followed by "I Am," and finally "YHWH." He states that this is his name forever and a memorial name to all generations.......... "I AM THAT I AM [...] Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you [...] YHWH God of your fathers, [...] this is my name for ever"[Exod. 3:14-15] Subsequently, God Ex 3:13-15, where God names Himself first: The form 'Jehovah' is a hybrid of YHWH and the Hebrew word for Lord, and was not God's actual name in Old Testament times. From about the 6th to the 10th century A.D., it is believed that Jewish scholars used the vowel signs of the Hebrew words Adonai or Elohim as the vowels for YHWH, producing the name Jehovah (YeHoWaH), and this was adopted by Christian scholars after the Renaissance. In the 19th century the eminent Hebrew scholar Wilhelm Gesenius (1786-1842) suggested "Yahweh" as the most probable vocalization, based on his study of early Greek transcriptions, theophoric names, and the reported pronunciation of the name in the Samaritan tradition. As a result, in the 19th and 20th centuries biblical scholars began to use the form Yahweh and it became the conventional usage in biblical scholarship.
IN THE HEBREW BIBLE
PART OF A SERIES ON
JEWISH RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS
Orthodox (Haredi. Hasidic. Modern)
Reconstructionist. Renewal. Humanistic
Principles of faith. Kabbalah. Messiah. Ethics
Chosenness. Names of God. Musar
Tanakh (Torah. Nevi'im. Ketuvim)
umash. Siddur. Piyutim. Zohar
Rabbinic literature (Talmud. Midrash. Tosefta)
Mishneh Torah. Tur
Shulchan Aruch. Mishnah Berurah
Kashrut. Tzniut. Tzedakah. Niddah. Noahide laws
Jerusalem. Safed. Hebron. Tiberias
Abraham. Isaac. Jacob
Moses. Aaron. David. Solomon
Sarah. Rebecca. Rachel. Leah
JEWISH LIFE CYCLE
Brit. Pidyon haben. Bar/Bat Mitzvah
Rabbi. Rebbe. Posek. Hazzan/Cantor
Dayan. Rosh yeshiva. Mohel. Kohen/Priest
RELIGIOUS BUILDINGS ">Synagogue. Beth midrash. Mikveh
Sukkah. Chevra kadisha
Holy Temple / Tabernacle
Yeshiva. Kollel. Cheder
Sefer Torah. Tallit. Tefillin. Tzitzit. Kippah
Mezuzah. Hanukiah/Menorah. Shofar
4 Species. Kittel. Gartel
JEWISH PRAYERS AND SERVICES
Shema. Amidah. Aleinu. Kaddish. Minyan
Birkat Hamazon. Shehecheyanu. Hallel
Havdalah. Tachanun. Kol Nidre. Selichot
JUDAISM ">Christianity. Islam. Judeo-Christian
Abrahamic faiths. Pluralism. Others
Antisemitism. Criticism. Holocaust. Israel. Zionism
V o D o E
IN THE TORAH
According to the Book of Genesis, Yahweh said to Abraham: "Go forth from your native land and from your father's home to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, bless you and make great your name, that it may be a blessing.'" This abrupt introduction of Yahweh to Abraham signals the beginning of an integral history that extends gradually to a family, then to a people, and later still to a nation. Yahweh then grants Abraham a covenant-treaty codifying these promises.
In the Genesis narrative, the next step of this history begins with the birth of a promised son to Abraham and his wife Sarah: "Yahweh treated Sarah as he had said, and he did what he had promised her. Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age." When this son, Isaac, is grown, Abraham's servant credits Yahweh with orchestrating events to lead him to Rebekah to be Isaac's wife. Rebekah's father and brother agree: "This matter stems from Yahweh... Rebekah is at your call; take her with you and let her be a wife to your master's son, as Yahweh has spoken."
When Jacob (Isaac and Rebekah's son) flees from his twin brother Esau, Yahweh appears to Jacob, saying, "I, Yahweh, am the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The ground on which you are lying I shall give to you and your descendants." After Jacob's son, Joseph, is sold as a slave in Egypt, his master notices that "Yahweh was with Joseph" and takes him into his household, with the result that "Yahweh blessed the house of the Egyptian for Joseph's sake; indeed, Yahweh's blessing was on everything he owned."
In Exodus, Yahweh initiates a covenant with Israel. His right to be Israel's God is based in his redeeming them from slavery in Egypt. The people of Israel agree to the covenant terms Yahweh gives, including the Ten Commandments: I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me, and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.- Exodus 20:1-6 (WEB)
In Leviticus, Yahweh indicates that these laws have an overarching purpose: to distinguish the nation of Israel and to highlight the unique identity of Yahweh. "For I am Yahweh your God. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy: neither shall you defile yourselves with any kind of creeping thing that moves on the earth. For I am Yahweh who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy." Leviticus can be described as "the book of the holiness of Yahweh" whose fundamental requirement is, "You shall be holy to me."
In Numbers, the priests are instructed to bless the nation of Israel as follows: "'Yahweh bless you, and keep you. Yahweh make his face to shine on you, and be gracious to you. Yahweh lift up his face toward you, and give you peace.' "So they shall put my name on the children of Israel; and I will bless them." In Deuteronomy, Moses reviews the terms of the covenant before Israel continues on to the promised land under the leadership of Joshua. Yahweh intends his commands to reveal his unique wisdom and identity to the other nations of the earth. Moses writes, Behold, I have taught you statutes and ordinances, even as Yahweh my God commanded me, that you should do so in the midst of the land where you go in to possess it.
Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who shall hear all these statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' For what great nation is there, that has a god so near to them, as Yahweh our God is whenever we call on him? What great nation is there, that has statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
- Deuteronomy 4:5-8 (WEB)The detailed religious requirements of the covenant should not detract from the love between Israel and their redeemer, "Hear, Israel: Yahweh is our God; Yahweh is one: and you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might."
Account Of The Burning Bush
According to Exodus, Yahweh appeared to Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush.[Exodus 3] Yahweh said to Moses, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Throughout the discussion between Yahweh and Moses, Moses seems reluctant to attempt to lead Israel out of Egypt. At one point, he said to God, "Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and tell them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you;' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' What should I tell them?" God replied, "I AM WHO I AM," and he said, "You shall tell the children of Israel this: 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
Yahweh also said to Moses: You shall tell the children of Israel this, 'Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, and this is my memorial to all generations. Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and tell them, 'Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, "I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt; and I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey."
- Exodus 3:14-17 (WEB)This introduction to "Yahweh" as the personal name of God associates the divine name with the Hebrew verb "hayah" meaning "to be". "I will be what I will be" indicates "[m]y nature will become evident from my actions." Later in Exodus, God frequently declares that from his actions (such as the ten plagues) Israel and Egypt "shall know that I am Yahweh." Thus, as God, Yahweh is revealed by both his personal name and his mighty deeds in history rather than a list of characteristics.