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  • Writer's pictureLouie Monteith


The Hebrew name Yahweh (or the English translation “Jehovah” as is sometimes used) comes from four Hebrew consonants YHWH (a “tetragram”, a word of four letters). We don’t know exactly how it is pronounced because the Jewish scribes would not pronounce it for fear of mispronouncing it and thereby blaspheming God (Exo 20:7; Lev 24:16). Years later when vowels were written into the Hebrew text the vowels for the Hebrew name “Adonai” were inserted into the tetragram. Therefore, we have the form of the name “Yahweh” today.

The name Yahweh means “I am that I am” and means God is self-existent in His nature and Being . . . always was and always will be. In the Old Testament Yahweh occurs 6,519 times. This would be the covenant name of God for His people.

The name Yahweh was spoken before the Flood (Gen 4:26) and later by the patriarchs (Gen 9:26; 12:8; 22:14; 24:12). But with Moses at the burning bush the name Yahweh gained a new significance. God's people were to have a new relationship with Him by virtue of God redeeming them from the bondage of Egypt and by establishing a covenant with them.

In the Old Testament, Yahweh is used along with other words to construct a compound name. These compound names of Yahweh tell us that God is self-existent and is able and ready to meet any need His people might have: JEHOVAH-RAPHA, "the Lord that heals" (Exo 15:26). JEHOVAH-NISSI, "the Lord our banner" (Exo 17:8-15). JEHOVAH-SHALOM, "the Lord our peace" (Judg 6:24). JEHOVAH-RA'AH, "the Lord my shepherd" (Psa 23:1). JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU, "the Lord our righteousness" (Jer 23:6). JEHOVAH-JIREH, "the Lord who provides" (Gen 22:14). JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH, "the Lord is there" (Eze 48:35).

In the New Testament, Jesus spoke of Himself as the “I AM” or “Yahweh” of the Old Testament. (John 8:56-59) "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57 Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him . . .

Jesus’ seven “I Am’s” are in the gospel of John: “I am the Bread of Life” (6:35). “I am the Light of the world” (8:12). “I am the Door of the sheep” (10:7; cf. v. 9). “I am the Good Shepherd (10:11, 14). “I am the Resurrection and the Life” (11:25). “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life” (14:6). “I am the true Vine” (15:1; cf. v. 5).

Do you have a need in your life today? The I AM can!



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