Hebrew Yah jhvih adonaj LORD King James King James 3068 Jehovah - Yahweh  Strong's 3068


Eh·yeh´, is from the root Hebrew verb ha·yah´ however, many believe that in Exodus 3:15 the Almighty God's name comes from the kindred Hebrew verb ha·wah´, which is understood to be the indefinite causative form meaning "causes to become" or "proves to be".

Hebrew Exodus 3:14
vajo'mer 'elohijm 'elmoseh 'ehjeh 'aser 'ehjeh vajo'mer koh to'mar livnej jisra'el 'ehjeh slachanij 'alejkem
Note the Hebrew reads: eh·yeh´ a·sher´ eh·yeh´ and eh·yeh´.
Exodus 3:15
vajo'mer 'ovd 'elohijm 'elmoseh kohto'mar 'elbnej jisra'el jhvah 'elohej 'avotejkem 'elohej 'avrahâm 'elohej jicchaq ve'lohej ja'aqov slachanij 'alejkem zehsmij l'olam vzeh zikrij ldor dor
Greek Septuagint Exodus 3:14
The Greek reads: Ego´ eimi ho on, "I am The Being," or, "I am The Existing One";
Latin Vulgate Exodus 3:14
dixit Deus ad Mosen ego sum qui sum ait sic dices filiis Israhel qui est misit me ad vos
The Latin reads: e´go sum qui sum, "I am Who I am."

The translation of the Twenty-Four Books of the Holy Scriptures, (by Rabbi Isaac Leeser, Exodus 3:14) reads: And God said unto Moses, I WILL BE THAT I WILL BE: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I WILL BE hath sent me unto you.

The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, (by Dr. J. H. Hertz, C. H., Soncino Press, London, 1950 Exodus 3:14 footnote) reads: Most moderns follow Rashi in rendering ‘I will be what I will be’; i.e. no words can sum up all that He will be to His people, but His everlasting faithfulness and unchanging mercy will more and more manifest themselves in the guidance of Israel. The answer which Moses receives in these words is thus equivalent to, ‘I shall save in the way that I shall save.’ It is to assure the Israelites of the fact of deliverance, but does not disclose the manner.

The Jerusalem Bible (English translation 1966, Exodus 3:14) reads: And God said to Moses, ‘I Am who I Am. This’ he added ‘is what you must say to the sons of Israel: "I Am has sent me to you."

The Emphasised Bible, (by Joseph B. Rotherham, Exodus 3:14) reads: And God said unto Moses, I Will Become whatsoever I please. And he said - Thus shalt thou say to the sons of Israel, I Will Become hath sent me unto you.

The footnote on this verse says, in part: "Hayah [the word rendered above ‘become’] does not mean ‘to be’ essentially or ontologically, but phenomenally. . . . What he will be is left unexpressed - He will be with them, helper, strengthener, deliverer."

W. F. Albright (Albright, FSAC 261) states: "The enigmatic formula in Ex 3:14 which in biblical Hebrew means 'I am what I am,' if transposed into the form in the third person required by the causative Yahweh, can only become Yahweh asher yihweh (later yihyeh), 'He Causes to be what Comes into Existance'").

The Story of the OLD TESTAMENT by Alec Mutyer, edited by John Stott - Published By - Candle Books

The divine name
In the Old Testament God has many titles but only one name. In biblical thinking, a "name" is often a summary statement of a person's character (for instance 1 Samuel 25:25!), and this is always true of the divine name, Yahweh. Once its significance was revealed (Exodus 3:13-15), it became a shorthand term for all that the Lord had made known about himself.

1. in Genesis
From Genesis 4:26 onwards the divine name appears in Genesis 116 times. The patriarchs knew the name and used it (for instance Genesis 14:22; 15:2). Yet study of Genesis shows that though they used the name, it was not yet the vehicle of divine revelation; for example, in Genesis 17:1 we read, "Yahweh appeared to Abram and said to him, I am El Shaddai.'" They could call their God "Yahweh" but they knew him as El Shaddai (Genesis 17:1; 28:3; 35:11;
43:4. Indeed, the knowledge of God m Genesis is always couched in terms of El (God):
· El Elyon, "God Most High" (14:18:22);
· El Bethel (31:13);
· El Roi, "God of Seeing" (16:13);
· El Olam, "God of Eternity" (21:33);
· El Elohe Israel, "God, the God of Israel" (33:20).
The almighty God
The meaning of Shaddai as a word remains uncertain, but a study of the occasions on which it occurs reveals its meaning when applied to God. The basic idea is clearly almightiness, but it is almightiness related specifically to human incapacity, transforming helpless humans, and standing by divine promises. El Shaddai is the God who is powerful where and when humans are at their weakest.

2. For Moses
At the end of forty years in Midian, Moses found himself confronted by God (Exodus 3:1). He was to return to Egypt as Israel's liberator. Seeking to excuse himself from such a daunting task, Moses pleaded in turn:
· inability (3:11-12);
· ignorance (3:13-17);
· ineffectiveness (4:1-9);
· hesitancy of speech (4:10-12);
· a longing that anyone else at all should go rather than he (4:13). Moses posed a strange problem:
when he went to the people in the name of the "God of their fathers" - the revelation of God in Genesis - they would ask him, "What is his name?" Of course, we do not know why he thought they would do this, and can only surmise. Was the name "Yahweh" a secret kept in Israel, which even Moses did not know, and which, therefore, they could use to test the genuineness of any claimant to a revelation? Or were they using "name" just as a convenient way of asking, "What revelation of God do you bring?" In any case, the meaning of the name was first revealed to Moses. This is the intention of Exodus 6:2-3, literally, "By my name, Yahweh,
I did not make myself known to them" Yahweh was previously known only as a title but not as a name, encapsulating a revelation of God.

3. "I am who I am"
With the form of this enigmatic revelation, compare Exodus 33:19, "I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and compassionate to whom I am compassionate." The additional relative clause is intended to emphasis the absolute freedom of the Lord in selecting the objects of his grace. It is equivalent to saying, "I will be gracious, totally and absolutely at my own discretion."
In Exodus 3:14-15 the verb is the Hebrew verb "to be," which, while it affirms existence, much more means "active presence." Hence, "I am the actively present One, as, when and how I choose to be." In Exodus 3:14-15 the first person singular of the verb "I am" ('ehyeh) modulates into the third person singular, "He is" (
yahweh). The Lord can say, "I," but his people will say, "He." The divine name,

then, affirms presence and action, but raises rhe question: what sort of action?

4. The Lord revealed
The coming acts in which the Lord will reveal his presence and action are specified as those of the Exodus:
· deliverance (3:16-17a);
· inheritance (3:17b);
· judgmental overthrow (3:19-20).
Note that the meaning of the name is revealed
before any revelatory acts take place. Israel is not expected to look for actions, hope they identify them correctly, and then try to deduce a theology from them. Rather, their task is first to grasp in the mind what has been verbally revealed, and then watch it working out in action. What the Lord does confirms what he has already said.
The revelation of the divine name in Exodus 3 as the God who delivers his people, keeps his promises and overthrows his enemies is amplified in Exodus 6:1-8 by the added thought or redemption and reconciliation to God (verses 6-7).

The post-Old Testament Jewish scruple about saying the divine name out loud is reflected in most English Bibles. Among the Jews the four consonants of the divine name YHWH were customarily provided with the vowels of the Hebrew word for "Lord' or "Sovereign," 'adonay. This led to the meaningless hybrid formation "Jehovah" - a non-existent word or name. The scruple has been maintained: wherever the Hebrew uses Yahweh, the translator uses capital letters, LORD;
and wherever lower case letters are used, "Lord," the Hebrew has
adonay Where the Hebrew has adonay Yahweh, "the sovereign Yahweh." the translators put "LORD GOD." What complications arise when we foolishly refuse the high privilege he extends to us, to address our God by his name as he desires to be known" Exodus 3:15)!

Further reading
J.A. Motyer The Revelation of the Divine Name (Tyndale, 1959)
U.E. Simon, A Theology of Salvation, pace 89 (SPCK, 1953)


The Hebrew verb ha·yah´, from which the word ´Eh·yeh´ is drawn, does not mean simply "to be" rather, in the imperfect state, first person singular, it means "causes to become"; or, " proves to be". For the first occurrence of God’s personal name

Genesis 2:4: Hebrew   Douay Rheims (Catholic) Bible 1899
  These are the generations of the heaven and the earth,
when they were created, in the day that the Lord God
made the heaven and the earth:
'eleh tovldovt hasamajim vha'arec bhibar'am bjovm 'asovt jhvah 'elohijm 'erec vsamajim    

Greek Septuagint
Young's Literal Translation
These are births of the heavens and of the earth in their being prepared, in the day of Jehovah God’s making earth and heavens;

Genesis 1:3 hawah


Young's Literal Translation

and God saith, `Let light be;` and light is.

vajo'mer 'elohijm jhij 'ovr vajhij'ovr


Matthew Henry's Consise Commentary

Genesis 2:4-7 Here is a name given to the Creator, "Jehovah." Where the word "LORD" is printed in capital letters in our English Bibles, in the original it is "Jehovah." Jehovah is that name of God, which denotes that he alone has his being of himself, and that he gives being to all creatures and things .... .... ...


Geoffrey Chapman London 1969 (Copyright 1968 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, N.)

Page 738 [77:10-15]

11 (D) Yahweh. This is the personal name of the God of Israel. The pronunciation "Yahweh" has been recovered in recent times. In the Hebr. Bible the name is written with the four consonants (Tetragrammaton) YHWH and the vowels of the word adonay adonai = "lord"- at some time in the late pre-Christian centuries Jews ceased to pronounce the sacred name out of an exaggerated reverence, and said instead Adonai). This combination produced the non-word Jehovah that appeared in the AV.

12 The meaning of the name is uncertain, and the explanations that have been suggested are too numerous to cite, The text of Ex 3:13-14 is not an explanation and is extremely difficult to translate. The Hebr. Bible has the name in the first person, 'ehyeh 'aser, 'ehyeh. The LXX rendered the name as "I am the existent [ho on = he who is]"; the Vg as "I am who am" Following P. Haupt, many have suggested that the formula was originally in the third person and read yahweh aser yahweh. Most modern scholars would connect the form 'ehyeh or yahweh with the verb hawah, the archaic form of the verb "to be." In particular, W. F. Albright and F. M. Cross insist that yahweh is from the causative conjugation of this verb and means "he causes to be."

As a name, "Yahweh" is for Albright a fragment of a longer name that he reconstructs as yahweh-' aser-yihweh, "he who brings into being whatever comes into being" (FSAG [2nd ed.] 15-16, 259-61). The name so explained identifies Yahweh as the creator. F. M. Cross (Harv TR 55 [1962] 256) has a variation on this thesis, for he thinks of "Yahweh" as part of a liturgical title for El, e.g., 'el 'aser [or du, an older relative] yahweh sebaot = "El who brings into being the hosts" (-14 below). On the other hand, if some explanation similar to the translations of the LXX and Vg is accepted and more emphasis is put on existence, then the name signifies that Yahweh is the one who really is - possibly the one who really is elohim, God. (However, this emphasis should not be carried into the philosophical sphere as if the Bible were telling us that the essence of God is existence.) But perhaps all this speculation on the etymology of Yahweh is deceptive; for even if we knew with certainty the original meaning of the name, we would have no assurance that the Hebrews understood the name correctly (most etymologies in the Bible are popular and scientifically incorrect). The usage of the name Yahweh in the Bible shows no awareness of any etymology, and there is no evidence in the OT of a theology being built around the meaning of the name. The name occurs over 6700 times and is the usual designation of God, more frequently than all other designations combined. It is also a frequent component of personal names: those that begin with Je/Jehu/Jeho and those that end with iah/jah (Adonijah, Elijah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Jehoshaphat, Jehoiachin). It is, so to speak, the Israelite name for God by which the association of Yahweh and Israel is mutually accepted and proclaimed.

Exodus 34:6 Hebrew
  vaja'avor jhvah 'alpanajv vajiqra' jhvah jhvah 'el rachvm vchanvn 'erek 'apajim vravchesed ve'emet
  Latin Vulgate
  quo transeunte coram eo ait Dominator Domine Deus misericors et clemens patiens et multae miserationis ac verus
  The Jerusalem Bible
  Then Yahweh passed before him and called out, ‘Yahweh, Yahweh, God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in faithful love

Adam Clarke's Commentary

In the day that the Lord God made, .
The word Yehovah is for the first time mentioned here. What it signifies see on Exodus 34:5,6. Wherever this word occurs in the sacred writings we translate it LORD, which word is, through respect and reverence, always printed in capitals. Though our English term Lord does not give the particular meaning of the original word, yet it conveys a strong and noble sense. Lord is a contraction of the Anglo-Saxon {A.S.}, Hlaford, afterwards written {A.S.} Loverd, and lastly Lord, from {A.S.} bread; hence our word loaf, and {A.S.} ford, to supply, to give out. The word, therefore, implies the giver of bread, i.e., he who deals out all the necessaries of life. Our ancient English noblemen were accustomed to keep a continual open house, where all their vassals, and all strangers, had full liberty to enter and eat as much as they would; and hence those noblemen had the honourable name of lords, i.e., the dispensers of bread. There are about three of the ancient nobility who still keep up this honourable custom, from which the very name of their nobility is derived. We have already seen, Genesis 1:1, with what judgment our Saxon ancestors expressed Deus, the Supreme Being, by the term God; and we see the same judgment consulted by their use of the term Lord to express the word Dominus, by which terms the Vulgate version, which they used, expresses Elohim and Jehovah, which we translate LORD GOD. GOD is the good Being, and LORD is the dispenser of bread, the giver of every good and perfect gift, who liberally affords the bread that perisheth to every man, and has amply provided the bread that endures unto eternal life for every human soul. With what propriety then does this word apply to the Lord Jesus, who is emphatically called the bread of life; the bread of God which cometh down from heaven, and which is given for the life of the world! John 6:33,48,51. What a pity that this most impressive and instructive meaning of a word in such general use were not more extensively known, and more particularly regarded! See the postscript to the general preface. I know that Mr. H. Tooke has endeavoured to render this derivation contemptible; but this has little weight with me. I have traced it through the most accredited writers in Saxony and on Saxon affairs, and I am satisfied that this and this only, is its proper etymology and derivation.

Adam Clarke's Commentary

Exodus 34:5,6 And the Lord passed by-and proclaimed, The Lord,
It would be much better to read this verse thus: "And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed JEHOVAH," that is, showed Moses fully what was implied in this august name. Moses had requested God to show him his glory, (see the preceding chapter, Exodus 33:18,) and God promised to proclaim or fully declare the name JEHOVAH, 33:19;) by which proclamation or interpretation Moses should see how God would "be gracious to whom he would be gracious," and how he would "be merciful to those to whom he would show mercy. Here therefore God fulfils that promise by proclaiming this name. It has long been a question, what is the meaning of the word JEHOVAH, Yehovah, Yehue, Yehveh, or Yeve, Jeue, Jao, Iao, Jhueh, and Jove; for it has been as variously pronounced as it has been differently interpreted. Some have maintained that it is utterly inexplicable; these of course have offered no mode of interpretation. Others say that it implies the essence of the Divine nature. Others, that it expresses the doctrine of the Trinity connected with the incarnation; the letter yod standing for the Father, he for the Son, and vau (the connecting particle) for the Holy Spirit: and they add that the he being repeated in the word, signifies the human nature united to the Divine in the incarnation. These speculations are calculated to give very little satisfaction. How strange is it that none of these learned men have discovered that God himself interprets this name in Exodus 34:6,! "And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed YEHOVAH the LORD GOD, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty." These words contain the proper interpretation of the venerable and glorious name JEHOVAH. But it will be necessary to consider them in detail.
The different names in this and the following verse have been considered as so many attributes of the Divine nature. Commentators divide them into eleven, thus:-

2. EL, the strong or mighty God.
3. RACHUM, the merciful Being, who is full of tenderness and compassion.
4. CHANNUN, the gracious One; he whose nature is goodness itself; the loving God.
5. ERECH APPAYIM, long-suffering; the Being who, because of his goodness and tenderness, is not easily irritated, but suffers long and is kind.
6. RAB, the great or mighty One.
7. CHESED, the bountiful Being; he who is exuberant in his beneficence.
8. EMETH, the truth or true One; he alone who can neither deceive nor be deceived, who is the fountain of truth, and from whom all wisdom and knowledge must be derived.
9. NOTSER CHESED, the preserver of bountifulness; he whose beneficence never ends, keeping mercy for thousands of generations, showing compassion and mercy while the world endures.
10. NOSE avon vaphesha vechattaah, he who bears away iniquity and transgression and sin: properly, the REDEEMER, the Pardoner, the Forgiver; the Being whose prerogative alone it is to forgive sin and save the soul. () NAKKEH lo yenakkeh, the righteous Judge, who distributes justice with an impartial hand, with whom no innocent person can ever be condemned. And, >
11. POKED avon, he who visits iniquity, who punishes transgressors, and from whose justice no sinner can escape. The God of retributive and vindictive justice.

These eleven attributes, as they have been termed, are all included in the name JEHOVAH, and are, as we have before seen, the proper interpretation of it; but the meaning of several of these words has been variously understood.