The Hebrew Name for God
A Collection Of Bible References, And Portions of "The Living Words." Vol. 1 by Jeff A. Benner, with Material From Scott
Stanley, and Joseph Molnar, To Aid Christians To Better Understand
God's Holy Name.
Edited By Joseph Molnar
Material in this book may be used for
educational purposes only, and must not be sold under any circumstances.
Published By The Home Press
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:3.
The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
The Hebrew Name
for God – YHVH
The Ancient Hebrew Language
The Hebrew Bible was written by Hebrews 2,500 to 3,500 years ago, whose culture and lifestyle were very different than our own. When we read the Word of God as a 20th Century American, our culture and lifestyle often influence our interpretation of the words
The word rain is a good example of how culture can influence one's view of a word. To a bride and groom preparing for an outdoor wedding, the news of rain has a negative meaning, but to the farmer in the middle of a drought, the same word has a positive meaning. For many of us, rain means a spoiled picnic but to the ancient Hebrews, rain meant life, for without it their nomadic life would end. Without a cultural understanding of the words in the Bible, much is missed or overlooked.
A language is closely tied to the culture of those who speak the language. In the case of the Hebrews who were a nomadic people of the Near East, their language is closely connected to their nomadic culture. Each Hebrew word describes an action that can be seen in the nomadic journeys of the Hebrews through the wilderness.
All modern day translations of the Bible are written from a very westernized perspective and have erased the original Hebraic, Eastern, perspective of the original words in the text. Once the Hebraicness of the text is restored, a common theme can be found throughout the Bible rising to the surface our nomadic migration through the wilderness of life.
It is simply assumed by most people that everyone everywhere thinks in pretty much the same manner. This could not be farther from the truth. In fact, the thinking processes of different cultures are as different as day is from night. We will examine some Hebrew words and ideas so that we can better understand how the mind of the Hebrew works.
Understanding how the Ancient Hebrew thought is crucial in proper Biblical understanding. If we are to interpret the Biblical text according to our way of thinking then the interpretation will be contaminated with modern Greco-Roman thinking. In my many years of research into the language of the Bible I have discovered three keys to proper interpretation of the words and ideas within the text.
Our modern languages are the product of a Greco-Roman world where abstract words are prolific. An abstract is a word or thought that cannot be related to one of the five senses; hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste. However, each Hebrew word is related to a concrete idea, a substance of action.
A good illustration of the differences is the word anger which, from a modern perspective, is an abstract idea. The Hebrew word for anger is ?? aph [H. 639] but literally means "a flaring of the nostrils in anger," a substance of action.
In fact, the word ?? aph [H. 639]] is also the same Hebrew word for the nose. Throughout this writing site you will be challenged to cease thinking abstractly and instead open your mind to the concrete meaning of words as they were understood from an Hebraic perspective.
Hebrew thought is more concerned with function whereas we, and our Greco-Roman thought, are more concerned with appearance. When we read the Biblical text we are constantly creating a mental image of what the text is describing but the original author is not describing an image of appearance but an image of function.
Hebrew Names of God in the Bible
In our modern culture a title defines the position, or character, of an individual while a name is nothing but an identifier with no meaning. In Hebrew all names are words with meaning and represent the character of the individual. Using English as an example my name, from an Hebraic perspective, could be Joe, father, husband, son or manager. The first column is the name written in Hebrew, the second is an English transliteration, the third is its literal translation and the fourth is a Biblical reference with the name.
?? El mnighty one Genesis 14:19
???? Elo'ah power
???? Elohiym powers Genesis 1:1
???? Yehu heexists Genesis 4:1
???? Ehyeh I exist Exodus 3:14
????? Adonai lords Genesis 18:27
??? Ehhad one
??? Melekh king Psalm 47:6
?? Av father Isaiah 64:8
????? Moshi'ah deliverer Isaiah 45:15
??? Ru'ahh wind Genesis 1:2
???? Borey filler Isaiah 40:28
??? Ba'al master Isaiah 54:5
???? Oseh maker Isaiah 54:5
breasts Genesis 17:1
Yehu Adonai of
Yehu Genesis 15:2
Elohiym Yehu of Elohiym Genesis 2:4
Yireh Yehu sees Genesis 22:14
Nisi Yehu is my standard Exodus 17:15
???? ???? Yehu
Shalom Yehu is completeness Judges 6:24
Yehu is our righteousness
Yehu of the armies 1 Samuel 1:3
the armies Psalm 80:7
While we may read an English translation of the Bible, it was not originally written in English. This may sound like a pretty obvious statement, but an unfortunate fact is that almost all readers of the Bible read it as if it were written in English.
We cannot define the words in the Bible from an English dictionary. Rather, we must take our definitions of Biblical words from a Hebrew dictionary, and the word “God” is no exception, this point on, you can take everything you know about every word in the Bible and toss it out the window as you are about to learn a whole new way of thinking.
While we know God is not a man and does not have an earthly body, when most of us hear the word “God” we usually have an image similar to Michelangelo’s painting of God or from the many pictures we have seen since child hood.
The dictionary defines the English word “God” as “A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.”
While this definition may agree with our modern western perspective of who God is, this definition has nothing to do with how the Ancient Hebrews perceived who God was. If our goal is to read the Biblical text from the Ancient Hebrew’s perspective, then we must define the word God from a Hebraic perspective, and not from Michelangelo or an English dictionary.
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thin enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thy self. And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth. Genesis 14:18-22 (KJV).
The Hebrew word la el [H:410], translated above as “God,” was originally written in the Ancient Hebrew pictographic script.
The first letter (from right to left) is an ox head representing strength and the second is a picture of a shepherd staff representing authority. In ancient times, a king would wear the horns of an ox as a sign of his strength and carry a staff as a sign of his authority. Both symbols, the horns and the staff, have survived to modern times as the crown, with its points representing the tips of horns and the scepter representing the shepherd staff. When the meaning of these two pictographic letters are combined the original definition of the word la el [H:410] is found—one of strength and authority -- “the mighty one.”
The name of the first letter is aleph and is related to the word pla eleph [H:504] meaning ox. The name of the second letter is lamed and is related to the word dmlm malmad [H:4451] meaning staff.
The word crown is probably derived from the Hebrew word Nrq qeren meaning “horn.” I will continue to use the Standard English words throughout this book, such as “God,” but you will want to begin to associate the Hebraic meaning of these words rather than the defective English definitions.
The Ancient Hebrews considered the yoke as a “staff of the shoulder” (see Isaiah 9:4). When plowing a field, a farmer would place two oxen in a “staff”—one was the older and more experienced and the other the younger and less experienced. The younger would learn from the older. Again, the two pictographic letters the ox and the staff, are found in this image of action.
This concept of “learning through association” can be found in the Hebrew word Pla alaph [H:502] or in the pictographic script and contains the same two pictographs.
The Hebrews did not perceive God as some great omnipotent entity but as “the mighty one,” the older ox in the yoke who teaches them, the younger ox in the yoke.
Name ? ??
When we see a name, such as "King David" we
see the word "King" as a title and "David" as a
name. in our western mind a title describes a
character trait while a name is simply an identifier.
In the Hebrew language there is no such distinction
between names and titles. Both words, King and
David, are descriptions of character traits.
The Hebrew word melekh (king) is "one who
reigns,"while daviyd (David) is "one who is loved".
Both of these words are titles, describing the
character of David. It is also common to identify
the word "Elohiym" (Elohiym) as a title and YHWH
(Yahweh) as a name.
What we do not realize is that both of these are
character traits. YHWH is both a word and a title
meaning "one who exists" and Elohiym is a word
and a title meaning "one who has and authority".
The Hebrew word "shem" more literally means
" character". When the Bible speaks of taking
Elohiym's name to the nations, he is not speaking
about the name itself but his character. When we
are commanded to not take Elohiym's name in vain,
this literally means not to represent his character in a
false manner. This is similar to our expression, "have
a good name," which is not about the name itself but
the character of the one with that name.
(Exodus 9:16) 'And yet for this I have caused thee to stand, so as to show thee My power, and for the sake of declaring My Name (character ) in all the earth;
GOD IS LOVE
God’s name is his character traits. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (1 John 4:8). And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.(1 John 4:16).
Now, that is huge because people are starving for love and here we have the God of the universe describing Him self as love. He is love. In this verse it doesn't say He is going to love you , or He might love you, or He will love you, or He did love you. It just states the simple fact He is love. If God is love then we can say “love is God.”
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding might love you, or He will love you, or He did love brass, or a tinkling cymbal. (1Corinthians 13:2). And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and verse it doesn't say that He is going to love you, or He though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity ( love ), I am nothing.(1Corinthians 13:3).
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing charity suffereth long, and is kind, charity envieth not, charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil: Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth, : thinkgs whether there be tongues, they shall cease: whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. (1Corinthians 13:4-6).
If you were to look up thinketh in a Greek concordance, a Greek dictionary, in a Strongs concordance, it is number (G3049), and is used throughout the New Testament as “impute” , “account”, or “to reason”.
What it literally means is to make a list. I have always been taught that God does make a list of every wrong; every sin we have ever committed, and that it is recorded in a big book in Heaven. No one ever told me that God does not make a record of evil. But, here it is in the Bible God is love. Love does not think evil. Love does not impute evil.
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
(2 Corinthians 18-19).
God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses (or making a list of their trespasses) unto them; and to try to help people understand that, He has committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Can you imagine Christ walking on this earth, walking on this planet, God being in Him and not making a record of evil? Not making a record of trespasses?
We see this at the cross. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. (Luke 23:34).
Now, let me paint this picture because this was something else that was not explained to me. I think most everybody knows while on the cross Christ said on the cross, Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
What was never pointed out to me is that no person Christ forgave asked Him to do that. Not one person that He forgave repented. Not one person stopped what they were doing; they continued killing Him. But, God was in Christ reconciling the world, not making a list of their evil. Here is the perfect picture of it: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
You need to try to keep your mind wrapped around all of this: God is love. Love does not make a record. God was in Christ not making a record of evil. If you do this, then you will see Christ on the cross forgiving people who were not asking; forgiving people who were not repenting.
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: (1 Corinthians 2:1-4)
Now, verse two again: For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. So, this is what he preached, Jesus Christ and Him crucified. This word power in a Strong's concordance is [G1411] and literally means the ability of a person. The ability. The King James uses the word “power“ but “ability” would also fit here, by teaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified, by teaching the truth of it, you can demonstrate the Spirit and ability of God. What power? What ability?
It demonstrates God's ability to forgive and not make a record. To not impute evil. This is what we just read, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” The cross is demonstrating the Spirit of God and His ability to forgive. If these people who were killing the Son of God, putting Him to death, were forgiven their sin and a record was not made in the heart of God; if God were in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself not imputing sin.
RECORD OF SIN
Let's look at John 19. This takes place after the resurrection of Christ.
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose so ever sins ye retain, they are retained. John 20:19-22).
If someone has done something against you, if someone has sinned against you, and you dismiss it, you forgive them that sin. He is saying whosoever sins you remit are remitted unto them. But whosoever sins you retain are retained in your heart. They are retained unto you. Is there a list of sin made? Absolutely! But it is not in God's book. It is in your book. It is in the book of your mind, the book of your heart.
The things we have done to other people have caused us guilt and shame. What other people have done to us, if we cannot forgive it, if we can't let it go, can respond to the people in our lives based on the wounds, the pain, the hurt we have been given, and we have been being hurt most all of our lives- some of us more than others. All of our lives as we have done things to other people we have carried guilt and shame. As people have done things to us we have carried resentment, anger, and bitterness.
The record is in your heart. The record is made by each one of us. The point being is that it is not made by God. The record of sin is made by humanity! Salvation is not to erase sin out of God's book. Salvation is allowing God to lift up sin from our book.
Each one of us have retained the memory. Maybe you think you have forgotten most of it, but your subconscious has not. It is there. There is something about yourself that you need to understand: your mind is infinite. Your mind will never have so many thoughts that it cannot have one more.
Everyone has an infinite mind. Let me give you a little equation; think this through: Your thoughts produce feelings and feelings move us to action. So, if our actions are not accurate then our thoughts are not accurate. There is nothing we can say or do that does not start in the mind. Thoughts produce feelings, feelings move us to action, and our minds are infinite.
We could say that when Adam fell into sin his mind fell into an infinite abyss, or a bottomless pit. We could just keep falling and falling becoming more and more wicked or we could turn around and accept the truth of the Gospel and start receiving the truth of God's love becoming more like God.
We are to be made in the image of the only begotten Son of God who is in the image of the invisible God. Receiving the way God thinks, being able to think the way God thinks is key. We want to have a relationship with the people in our lives as God has with them. We want to be as much like God or possess as much understanding of love as we can.
Think of it this way: “If I can come to the cross and recognize this in the only begotten son of God and the people murdering Him and torturing Him are forgiven, then I can recognize God forgives me too. He has always forgiven me. This begins to release me from guilt and shame.”
You begin to realize not only has He forgiven you, but He has forgiven everyone in your life. Everyone around you is forgiven and if He can forgive them, then you will hear yourself say, “who am I to hold a grudge against my mother, father, children, my neighbors, or people I work with?
If God has forgiven them and not made a list of their wrongs and evils then who am I to make a list?” This truth begins to allow God to lift up all sin from you. The things you have done to others and the things others have done to you.
WE ARE BLIND
And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. (John 9:39 )
Now, concerning the word ”judgment; somehow every time I read “judgment,” I get a picture of standing before God and He is judging me. He is telling me everything wrong I have ever done. The word “judgment” simply means ”a determination, to make a decision, or determine something.”
What we are reading in John 9:39 is not Jesus making a determination. but you and I making a determination. Jesus said, “ For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see. It is for you to make the determination. For you to make a judgment. That they which see might determine or recognize they are blind.”
He came into this world so that people who think they “see”, people who think they “understand” might recognize they don't. This is what He means when He says, “to be made blind.” He isn't talking about poking someone's eyes out. He is speaking spiritually here.
And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. (John 9:40-41).
Just stop right here! Once you recognize your blindness you will recognize in God's eyes you have no sin. There is another description of God in 1 John that states ...God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.( see - 1 John 1:5), God is light and in Him there is no darkness. If you have no light you are in darkness and are walking as a blind person. God is light, God is love.
Once you begin to understand God as being love and love does not make a record, you begin to have some light on yourself and on the people around you. Until you understand this truth you are walking in darkness. Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. (John 9:41).
Christ is trying to help us understand that before God we are blind; we don't have an understanding of God. If you have never been taken to the cross where you could see God's love portrayed toward those who killed His Son you have never really understood God. You believed in God, you believed in Jesus but you never understood the character of God or the love of God.
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.(2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Stop! This is speaking of the church in the last day! What we just read in verses one through four describes how the world has always been. In the last days it will be perilous because the church will be this way. They will have a form of godliness but look at the problem.
Remember, preaching Christ and Him crucified demonstrates the Spirit and power of God. The church in the last day will have a form of godliness but will deny the power, or ability of God's love; from such turn away.
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. So, they can study the Bible for a million years! The knowledge of the truth is the love of God. (2 Timothy 3:7).
God wants to help you understand His love. He wants you to see His ways. He wants you to see you are blind and that He cannot condemn a blind man. You can come to the cross and be released from all sin. You can begin to work out your salvation with fear and trembling knowing the truth of the love of God.
Most gracious heavenly Father we pray for your leading and the courage to believe the truth. We pray for your glory, in Jesus name.
If you have found the information
in this Booklet helpful and wish to
learn more, please contact:
Mr. Joseph Molnar
Tel. (864) 414-8943
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