Good Question...


On...When was the name "YAHWEH" revealed?



On Tue, 11 Jul 1995 XXX wrote:

question:

In Ex 6 God said to Moses that He did not reveal his name Lord to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob but appeared to them as God Almighty, implying that He would make His name Lord known. Assuming that that revealing process took place in the wandering times, why did God FIRST reveal his name "healer"? What is the significance of this order?

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There are a few points to consider:

1. Yahweh's name was in use in Israel MUCH EARLIER than Ex 6 (162 times in Genesis, with 34 of those on the lips of speakers. It is imbedded in peoples names, such as Joshua and Jochebed)

2. in Ex 3.13f, God tells Moses to use the name 'Yahweh' on the elders of Judah, that they will recognize and listen to that name...

3. in the Ex 3 passage, however, you get the sense that God is about to 'cement' this name into the minds of his people...the passage in 15 ("the name by which i am to be remembered from generation to generation") leads us to believe something is about to happen vis-a-vis His name YHWH.

4. in the ex 6 passage, we get the difference...the 1st two verses do NOT say 'I did not make my NAME known', but rather 'I did not make MYSELF known to them AS YAHWEH'. In other words, His dealings with Abe was 'according the character of an El Shaddai' instead of 'according to the character of a YAHWEH'. (The content of the name YAHWEH was about to be revealed in the massive display of power, judgment and redemption called the EXODUS!)...

El Shaddai was a governing, protecting, covenant-making/keeping God--involved in provision, etc.---but NOTHING AS ABRUPTLY SALVIFIC as the Exodus!

The Hebrew actually has a preposition (beth) in front of the phrase El Shaddai and Yahweh...it is technically called the BETH ESSENTIAE, with the force of focus on the character of the name...see Zond Pict. Ency. Bible, "Name": "In both instances it is the character or capacity of that name that is i view, not the bare knowledge of the name as the label for this person. Likewise, the 'name' also stood for his reputation, character, and accomplishments in doctrine and deeds." (notice how this last sentence becomes the major focus of the exodus event--"God makes a Name for Himself" as the redeemer and creator the nation of Israel.

I do not know what your reference to 'healer' is about; YAHWEH itself means only 'i am (present with you)' [best guess, the 'i am' is all we REALLY know...the context suggests that His presence with the Israelites is the issue]...or 'i exist (in contradistinction to the gods of Egypt)' [the Hebrew construction 'i am, i am' generally means 'i CERTAINLY/Definitely am'...technical term for the construction is "idem per idem"]

So, the name was known BEFORE exodus 3&6, but in the Exodus event God pours 'intense, new content' into the phrase..."the Real and Only God, who saves and is present with His people".

hope this helps,

glenn


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