In this Shabbat episode I am looking at the actual Name of God, which appears often, but in our bible it is disguised behind the title which describes who He is. This title you have seen many times translated as LORD. Now to understand the history of why the name of God which was so important to be known that an entire book was named after it, became disguised and so easily unknown by many of those who follow Him requires a little bit of digging into. In the book of Exodus which in Hebrew is called (Shemoth) literally means character or name. Just at first glance the name should be familiar to our Genesis readers. The reason why is because we will find that one of Noah’s sons bears the name Shem which has the same meaning. Without knowing the Hebrew meaning of the book of Exodus and taking it only by its English rendering we would think the focus of the book is on them exiting out of Egypt. In reality them exiting Egypt was only the end result of what would happen at the establishing of making God known to the world. Consider it, Egypt was the then known power of the day much like America is today. If what took place in Egypt happened here exactly how long do you think it would take for the world to take notice? How could the name of the person responsible for bringing down a world power go unnoticed? It couldn’t, hence, the only way this reality could be hidden or disguised is if someone in History chose to remove the name of the One responsible for such a defeat. This is exactly what happens when the name of God is replaced with the title, LORD.
Now before you get livid let me go into the history of why the name was changed. In the bible when we read Exodus 20 we read the following verse which gives a reasonable explanation to why the writers chose to remove the name of God from our bible.
“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” (Exo 20:7)
Of course to determine if they were accurate or not in their approach we must first make sure we have an understanding of the words in this command as they were given not as we would define terms today. The word in question which is the determining factor in the decision is the term “vain”. Key to knowing whether or not the decision to remove His name from our holy scriptures is in harmony with this command is making sure that we have the same understanding of the word as it was written then which requires study. So when we look up this word “vain” in our Strong’s Concordance which gives us an understanding of the meaning of the words as it was written then we find the following:
From the same as H7722 in the sense of desolating; evil (as destructive), literally (ruin) or morally (especially guile); figuratively idolatry (as false, subjectively), uselessness (as deceptive, objectively; also adverbially in vain): – false (-ly), lie, lying, vain, vanity. Strongs Number H7723
Certainly we can agree that we can’t speak evil, ruin, or guile of a name we don’t know, but in removing His name from our scriptures we also render it useless and in removing it we give way to deception because if we don’t know His name how much easier will it be for us to accept any name? If all I know about your father is that he is your father, and I don’t know his name well anyone can tell me anything concerning his name and without proof or prior knowledge I am obliged or likely to believe it, right? If it wasn’t for Psalms 68:4 the one place where at least the poetic short form of God’s name appears in scripture we could make an argument that names of Pagan gods could be acceptable and many ignorantly have. Bottom line is how far should we as mankind go in our deciding what should or shouldn’t be protected from others? At what point does a scholar overstep his boundaries in preserving God’s word when he chooses to omit it? Well according to scripture it is clear that we should not add to or take away from his word, and certainly replacing a name that was present in the original text with a title seems to fit the bill for going too far. (Deut. 12:32; Rev. 22:18-19)
That aside let’s see just how many times his name was removed. The Hebrew word for YHWH is H3068, H3069, and H3050 (short form) we find that H3068 appears in 5,524 verses a total of 6,521 times in our Hebrew scriptures. The Hebrew number H3069 appears in 291 verses a total of 302 times and H3050 appears in 45 verses a total of 49 times. Now it is important to note that LORD can appear multiple times in one verse which explains why the total matches would be different from the number of verses. If we add just the number of times his name was taken out and replaced with LORD subtracting the one time it appears in Psalm 68:4 in its poetic short form (YAH or as it appears in KJV JAH) or the English rendering of his name twice (H3068) as Jehovah and twice as GOD which is another title we get a total of 6867 times in the Hebrew scriptures alone (Genesis – Malachi) that our Father’s name was replaced with a title.
The foundation to understanding all the ways he has manifested himself to us in scripture is built on knowing his name and then describing who he is to us. We will see this as we make progress in this series. When He appears to Abraham, Jacob, and many others throughout scripture his name is mentioned along with his character and I believe that this is important for us. We need to know who is our banner of victory, not just that God is a banner of victory. Especially when we live in a society where there be god’s many we need to know the one true God who breathed his breath into us that we became a living soul. Speaking of which let’s look at this magnificent name.
This character means to “make”, “throw”, or “work”. It is the picture of a closed hand and an arm and by extension the meaning is easy to see as the primary part of our body that we use to do work is done with our arm. Thus one thing we see in the character of our Father is that he works.
This character means to “reveal” or “look” or “behold”. The usual response when we are in praise to the Creator is to surrender our hands to the sky recognizing and beholding the revelation of His beauty. We look to the skies as the direction of Heaven in response to how great he is with all that we as mankind can offer to him with how small we are.
This character means to “add”, or “secure”, or “establish”. As it is the picture of a nail or peg it reflects the meaning since we use a nail or a tent peg to secure a structure to add a board to a wall. When you nail something you have it locked in place.
When we put the characters together we see that “the hand reveals the nail revealed”. When we behold the nails in the hand of the Messiah indeed we can see that Yahushah came from His father. For Yahushah indeed is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world and the work that he has done was supposed to be told to all generations and preached everywhere, yet someone felt that the best way to preserve this truth was to hide it and thus they hold the truth in unrighteousness and rather than become an instrument of the Creator, became a tool of Ha Satan. (Rev. 13:8) Let’s consider all that Yah did so that His name could be known, he established twelve judgments upon Egypt from the rod turning into a snake to all of Egypt’s army being swallowed up in the Red Sea and ten of those judgments were plagues beginning at the water turning into blood.(Exo. 7:17) This he did for two very important reasons that Moses never neglects to allow Him or us to forget, one was to bring his people out of the house of bondage, Egypt, and the other reason was so that His name could be known. What we see is it was upon this basis that when Yah sought to wipe out the children of Israel and start over with Moses on several occasions that Moses appealed to him. Saying, if you kill all these people what would be said about you? That their God couldn’t bring them into the land that you promised. (Num. 14:15). This name was so important that it was the first of the Ten words translated commandments in Exodus twenty, which says:
I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (Exo 20:2)
Now, just to clue you in though KJV uses the word LORD doesn’t make it the original word used. The word that should be there is YHWH which should be clear anyway from the context because knowing he is the lord doesn’t tell you who he is. It tells you what relationship he has to us as mere humans, but it doesn’t tell you his name. The second part tells you something about his character based on what he did. He brought them out of Egypt and the last part tells you what he delivered them from, which means he is contrasting who he is based on what he has done and bringing them out of bondage meaning he is to be connected to the opposite of bondage, which is freedom. Therefore, how should we in turn view the next nine words he speak in Exodus 20? Here is a clue, as the road map to freedom, not the institution of bondage. Nevertheless, I will digress, the point is God wanted us to know his name, to signature him and him alone for the victory that he delivers us from and bottomline Lord just doesn’t cut it, because Lord doesn’t distinguish him from the person you pay your rent to which is a landlord or from the employer who you enslave eight to twelve hours of your day for. The term lord only means master and though he is our Lord if we make him so, he has a name that we should be familiar with. Definitely more familiar then we are with the name that signs our checks every two weeks or month.
Finally, it was very important that we tackle this issue because we will find that this will be the foundational understanding as we begin to peel another layer off of the skin of scripture in unfolding more about our father. In fact many of the times that Yah reveals more about himself it will be connected to His name. One of the words that describe our relationship to him uses the poetic short form of his name and has preserved its pronunciation across all languages and that word is HalleluYAH and we actually pronounce it more accurately then when we attempt to say his full name by using Jehovah. His name has also been encoded in many of the prophet’s name, though we miss it using the English rendering, such as Jeremiah which in Hebrew is YirmeYAHu or Isaiah which in Hebrew is YeshahYAHu, this is marvelous to consider. Next time on There is something about that Name we will look at El Elyon the Most High God that was revealed to Abram as he ate with King Melchizedek.
All Ancient Hebrew Characters provided by Jeff Benner Ancient Hebrew Research Center