Name/Attribute/Meaning: I AM; the self-existent, eternal God
Transliteration: YHWH, Jehovah, sometimes GOD (Genesis 15:2)
First Place the Name appears: Genesis 2:4
The Hebrew names Elohim and Adonai are applied to other Semitic deities but YHWH is unique to the God of the Bible. This name is often referred to as the tetragrammaton (Latin for four letters) and sometimes called the “personal name” of the Hebrew God. In English translations, YHWH is translated as the LORD with all capitals as compared to Adonai which is translated the Lord with only the first letter capitalized (Lord) Early Hebrew did not have vowel markers which were added later by the Masoretes to assist in reading. Scribes believed the name reflected by the Tetragrammaton to be so holy that it was never spoken aloud and a new writing utensil was employed, the word written, the utensil broken and not used again. Such reverence has actually caused the true pronunciation to be lost.
In order to further protect the name YHWH they began writing it with the vowels from Adonai creating YAHOWAH but continued to pronounce Adonai. When the first English translators encountered Jahowah they did not realize it was an artificial construct and transliterated it into English as Jehovah. The current English pronunciation of the YHWH is derived from simply adding the vowels “a” and “e” between the consonants of the Tetragrammaton to make it pronounceable and is interchangeable with Jehovah in compound names. Conservative Jewish tradition still does not read it aloud or use the transliterated version of Yahweh. (See Bible Project video about YHWH)
The revelation of this name to Moses was based on the Hebrew verb “to be” and is found in Exodus 3:14 when the LORD reveals Himself to Moses in the burning bush. The name “Elohim” is used in relation to creation throughout the first chapter of Genesis. In Genesis 2:4 the name YHWH is introduced in conjunction with Elohim (LORD God) in relation to the creation and relationship to humanity. Moses, the traditional author of the Torah, first five books of the Bible, would therefore have made the decision to insert the personal, relational name of God in Genesis 2.
Tell them that I AM sent you. He defies description yet allows us a glimpse of His Glory in this revelation of Himself.
YHWH is often used as the first part of compound descriptive names for God. It is easier to describe what God is not than to do justice to what HE IS…
All of His attributes modify each other perfectly. He is both mercifully just and justly merciful.
This is difficult to understand but allows us to glimpse the enormity of identifying God.
YOU ARE… What an incredible blessing it is to be able to turn to YOU! To be able to know YOU on any level is an incredible gift but for YOU to choose to reveal YOURSELF to us and desire a relationship with us is beyond comprehension!
Thank YOU for reaching out to us and help us to never take this relationship for granted! To know YOU and be known by YOU is a priceless treasure!
Help us to continue to build on the foundation YOU have provided and seek to know YOU better in every area of our lives!
In Jesus’ Holy Name we pray, ~ Amen