When I ask people, “what is God’s name”, I get many different responses. Almost never do I get the answer as given almost 7000 times in the “old Testament”.
God clearly gives his name in Exodus 3:14-16.
In the Christian world there is much debate and discussion as to what those verses actually mean. Many come up with saying that his name is “I AM”. This confusion does not exist in the Jewish world. It is clear in the Hebrew (no, I am not a Hebrew scholar and will not try to give Hebrew lessons. However, there are many linguistic scholars out there that can explain it, and even some Christian scholars. For example, Nehemia Gordon is a Jewish linguist and Keith Johnson is a Christian scholar.)
His name is composed of 4 Hebrew letters, yud-hey-vav-hey. English translations, both Christian and Jewish, hide his name most often by using the phrase, “the LORD” (Lord in all capitals).
There may be differences on how to pronounce His name, and I’m not going into that here, but what His name is is clear.
Does it matter if we know His name? Throughout scripture God refers to His name (one minor example: Isaiah 52:6). Do a search on the phrase ‘my name’ in the Bible. It’s an interesting quick study.
Both in the Christian and Jewish worlds, many different words are used in place of His name. LORD, HaShem, ADONAI – are some of them. In scripture, there is a shortened form of His name that is used. It is, “Yah”. Most often you will find this name tacked on to the back or front of a word or person’s or place’s name. Most people know the word, “Hallelujah”, which means ‘praise to Yah.’
In this blog, I will most often use LORD or God, as this blog is mostly targeted to Christians. However, I may at times also use “Yah”.