Hebrew Names of God
Hebrew Names of God -
Almighty God graciously chose to reveal His Name (i.e., His character and presence by means of His acts and deeds) to the world through the Hebrew people. Through the ancient Hebrew Patriarchs, through the great deliverance God effected by means of His servant Moses, through the eloquent oracles and admonitions of the Hebrew prophets, and most especially through the manifestation of the Mashiach Yashua: in all these ways God has revealed His Name. In fact, the Scriptures make it clear that the name of Yashua is so vital to our correct apprehension of reality that without it we are literally lost, since we are told “there is no other name by means of which it is necessary for us to be saved” (Acts 4:12)
Names Revealed in the Tanakh
Of the various Names of God found in the Tanakh, the one which occurs most frequently (6,823 times) is the Tetragrammaton, YHWH, though the other Names are significant and provide additional light on the nature and character of God.
YHWH : In the Tanakh, YHWH is the personal name of God and his most frequent designation, occurring over 6,800 times. This is the Ineffable Name or Unutterable Name of the God of Israel. Because it is composed from the four Hebrew letters Yod, Hey, Wav, and Hey, it is also referred to as the “Tetragrammaton,” which simply means “the four letters.” When God commissioned Moses to be Israel’s liberator from the bondage of Pharaoh’s Egypt, he asked for God’s Name in order to validate his God-given role to the children of Israel (see Exodus 3:14). God simply answered Moses, “ehyeh-asher-ehyeh”:The phrase ehyeh asher ehyeh (rendered as “I am who I am” in the KJV) derives from the Qal imperfect first person form of the verb havah: "I will be," and therefore indicates a connection between the Name YHWH and being itself.
Elohim:The word Elohim is the plural of El (or possibly of Eloah) and is the first name for God given in the Tanakh: “In the beginning, God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1): The name Elohim is unique to Hebraic thinking: it occurs only in Hebrew and in no other ancient Semitic language. The masculine plural ending does not mean “gods” when referring to the true God of Israel, since the name is mainly used with singular verb forms and with adjectives and pronouns in the singular (e.g., see Gen. 1:26). However, considering the Hashalush Ha Kadosh (Trinity), the form indeed allows for the plurality within the Godhead.
El: The word El comes from a root word meaning “might, strength, power” and probably derives from the Ugaritic term for god. The basic form El appears over 250 times in the Tanakh.
Eloah: The word Eloah is the singular (or dual) of Elohim and appears more than 70 times in the Tanakh, primarily in more poetic passages. The root-meaning of the word is unknown. It is generally thought that the same divine name is found in Arabic (Ilah as singular "a god", as opposed to Allah meaning "The God" or "God") and in Aramaic (Elah). In the Tanakh, the singular form is used in six places for heathen deities (e.g., 2 Chronicles 32:15; Daniel 11:37-8;), though in the majority of cases the name is used for the God of Israel.
Elah: The origin of the Aramaic word Elah is somewhat uncertain, though it might be related to a root meaning “fear” or “reverence.” It is found only in the books of Ezra and Daniel.
Yah: It is generally thought that YAH is a shortened form of YHWH. This Name of God occurs about 50 times in the Tanakh. In Psalm 68:4 [5, H] this Name is particularly stressed. The Name YAH is also found in the construct word “hallelu-YAH,” which means “you [pl.] praise the LORD,” as well as in many Biblical proper names (e.g.,Eliyahu). This Name appears over 50 times in the Tanakh, and is first used in Exodus 15:2 Exodus 15:2, where Moses and Israel sing a song regarding their deliverance from Pharoah’s horsemen: (see Ex. 15:2; 17:16; Psalm 68:5, 19; 77:12; 89:9; 94:7, 12; 102:19; 105:45; 106:1, Isa. 12:2; 26:4; 38:11, etc.).
Adonai: Adonai is the plural of Adon, meaning “Lord, Lord, LORD, master, or owner” (the word Adon derives from a Ugaritic word meaning “lord” or “father”). In theTanakh, the word Adon can refer to men and angels as well as to the LORD God of Israel (e.g., Exodus 34:23). God is called the “Lord of lords”(Deuteronomy 10:17) and Psalm 8:1 mentions God as “YHVH our Lord.”
HaKadosh: The idea of the holy (kadosh) implies differentiation: the realm of the holy is entirely set apart from the common, the habitual, or the profane. The holy is singular, awe-inspiring, even "terrible" or dreadful (see Neh. 1:5; Psalm 68:35). "holiness" is an equivalent general term for "Godhead," and the adjective "holy" is synonymous with "Divine" (see Dan 4:8,9,18; 5:11). The Lord’s "holy arm" (Isa 52:10; Ps 98:1) is His Divine arm, and His "holy Name" (Lev 20:3, etc.) is His Divine name. In fact, for many Hebrews, Hakkadosh Barukh Hu, “The Holy One blessed be He”, is a synonym for the Sacred Name of God Itself.
It thus becomes possible to determine with a fair degree of certainty the historical pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton, the results agreeing with the statement of Ex. 3: 14, in which YHWH terms Himself . "I will be", a phrase which is immediately proceeded by the fuller term "I will be that I will be," or, as in the English versions, "I am" and "I am that I am." The name is accordingly derived from the root (=), and is regarded as an imperfect. This passage is decisive for the pronunciation "Yahweh"; for the etymology was undoubtedly based on the known word.
The Encyclopedia Judaica, Volume 7, page 680, further states this fact.
The true pronunciation of the name YHWH was never lost. Several early Greek writers of the Christian Church testify that the name was pronounced "Yahweh". This is confirmed, at least for the vowel of the first syllable of the name, by the shorter form Yah, which is sometimes used in poetry (e.g., Ex. 15:2) and the -yahu or -yah that serves as the final syllable in very many Hebrew names.
The Encyclopedia Britanica, Volume 23, page 867, confirms this fact.
YAHWEH, the proper name of the God of Israel; it is composed of four consonants (YHWH) in Hebrew and is therefore called the Tetragrammaton...
The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Volume 9, page 160, confirms this fact.
Of the names of God in the Old Testament, that which occurs most frequently (6,823 times) is the so-called Tetragrammaton, YHWH (), the distinctive personal name of the God of Israel.
And The Jewish Encyclopedia Volume 12, pages 118-119, confirms this fact also.
TETRAGRAMMATON: The quadriliteral name of God, (). The Tetragrammaton is the ancient Israelitish name for God...