Escaping Biblical Idolatry, Part 2: Knowing His Name

All the way back in Genesis 2:4 we talked about the pronunciation of what is called the tetragrammaton which are the four consonants in the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh that make up the name God gives to Moses in Exodus 3:14.   There Moses asks God what He should tell the Nation when they ask who sent him and God says,

I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”

Remember when we covered that? Now I suggested at that time, taught at that time,  what I was taught to believe was true two decades ago and that was that the name of God is sort of unknown but it seems like it is likely YAHWAY, YEHOVAH or JEHOVAH – based on the four consonants YHWH.  I taught that His name was so sacred the Jews wouldn’t even say it.  And that even today many Jews won’t even write God but only put G-D.

It seems so respectful, huh?

But I was wrong.  Dead wrong.  And the implications of my being wrong are super significant to seekers of God in spirit and truth.

So, with the help of my seeking brothers out there let’s dig a little deeper.  And we will begin by reading what else God said to Moses after He asked Him his name and God gave it to Him.  For instance in the very next verse we read:

“Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”

Now, I am betting that God said His name to Moses – in full and without any sort of mystery, and that Moses HEARD how to pronounce it.  Remember, “I am” is NOT His name.  That is just our way of trying to interpret the four consonants, and we are doing this because ancient Hebrews didn’t have vowels.

Why?

They didn’t need vowels.  They knew how to say their words and when they heard them said, they understood.  When we get to chapter 9:13 in Exodus God will say to Moses (when he is preparing to lead the Nation out from Bondage to Egypt)

13 And the LORD (Tetragrammaton) said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD (Tetragrammaton) God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. 14 For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. 15 For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. 16 And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.

So, we have four consonants in Hebrew, that have no vowel markings and we assume that we aren’t sure how to say them nor that we are supposed to BUT His NAME IS SUPPOSED TO BE DECLARED THROUGHOUT THE EARTH?

Someone has been tossing dirt over something here, folks.

Then . . . we come to Malachi 1:11 and read God say,

“For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

Why isn’t His name great among the Gentiles, folks?  

Now here our friends the Jehovah’s Witnesses will claim that it has been made known through them – and they say that the four letters are “YHWH” right? and that that name is pronounced Jehovah.  Most Christians believe this is true or they say, Yahway as the true pronunciation.  So, why, if God said “waaaaay back in Exodus” that his name was to be known throughout the earth and was to be GREAT among the Gentiles are we fumbling around with the pronunciation and why are we still saying that we can’t be certain?

Rightly or wrongly, it seems – seems – like the Nation of Israel, the one who chose adultery over faithfulness to whatever this God’s name is, purposely chose to keep His name hidden instead of making it known!  

Now, this is not so surprising because in addition to making His name known, they were also supposed to shine out to the world as a beacon of Light in order to draw all nations unto Him – and His Name – but again – they chose to hide their light under a bushel burying their talents rather than multiplying them in the earth.

Why?

They wanted a proprietary relationship with God.  They wanted Him all to themselves.

This is one reason why that when Yeshua came He taught them “that a city set on a hill should NOT be hid,” under a bushel but should shine forth so all would see it and be drawn to it.

Now, this is going to sting a bit to the ears of those souls who are pro-Israel today and think that they are still God’s chosen covenant people but, in my mind, and because of what God has done through His Son, there is today absolutely no difference at all between those who think they are Jews and those who are not, or between males or female, slaves or free, straight or gay, red or blue.  

I say this because I am NOT anti-Semitic when I lay this at their feet anciently.  The scripture condemns false Israel, not me and I am profoundly grateful for true Israel. But I think, like my brothers thought, we have to try and find the name that they hid. If I am not mistaken, I think God is so Good He clearly and plainly tells us what it is through the text!

So then where did we get the pronunciation of YHWH from since the Nation of Israel anciently did not make His name known?  Ready?

From a group of Jewish men called the Masorites who started-in on their “work” of giving vowel markings and punctuation that they created between the years of 500AD and 1000AD.

And what they created is called, “the Masoretic text.“

Think about this for a moment.

After five centuries from the time their city Jerusalem was obliterated and those who remained were sold off into a world-wide diaspora these Rabbi’s took a text that had no vowels and made it “available” to the world?

Now, the Old Testament WAS translated by 70 scholars (six from each of the twelve tribes) from the Hebrew into Greek about three hundred BC.  It was called the Septuagint and is noted by the symbol LXX.

And that version is what Yeshua and His apostles would cite when it was repeated in the Apostolic Record.  The Septuagint was translated from what were the earlier forms of Hebrew or what some call, paleo-Hebrew into the Greek.  Paleo Hebrew was VERY different from the Hebrew the Masorites used to created their version on the Old Testament.  So, when the Masoretic Rabbis got together, the Paleo Hebrew was long lost (it got lost in the Babylonian captivity) and so they translated their text from “other” sources – listen – which they themselves admit were faulty.

What led them to do this?

First of all, they did not like that Yeshua the Messiah cited the Septuagint instead of the Hebrew Old Testament in His life.  And so they put their heads together – between 500 AD and 1000 AD and THEY created their own version for the world to use instead of the version Jesus used.

And what made this version so unique it they CREATED a system of punctuation and vowel demarcations that did NOT exist before!

So, there is the Septuagint, composed somewhere around 300BC or thereafter (Which Yeshua cited) and then some 800 to 1300 years later a group of alienated perhaps even angry Jewish Rabbis come together and provided the world with their own Masoretic Text.

Guess which versions of our Bibles appeal to the Masoretic Text as the basis for their translations?

  • The Latin Vulgate from which the Catholics produced their Douay Bible
  • The King James 
  • And the VAST majority of Protestant bibles.

Only the Eastern Orthodox use the Septuagint as the source for their Old Testament.

Now, before I show you some of the realities behind the Masora text, ask yourselves a reasonable question:

If the Nation of Israel failed to make God’s name known, if the Nation of Israel failed to be a city set on a hill to the world that should not be hid, if the Nation of Israel was given a bill of divorcement from God Himself for their idolatry with other pagan nations, if the Nation of Israel rejected their promised Messiah and put Him to death (except for those who were true Israel that helped make up His Bride) and if the Nation of Israel was obliterated by God in the prophesied 70AD destruction, killed or spread out over the world, and if this remaining nation HATES Christ,  WHY ON EARTH would anyone who is a believer in Christ trust a translation ”that the Rabbinical remnants that came from all of that created?  Two words – “mindless tradition.” Which I too embraced without a thought. Praise God for my supportive brothers who sought deeper and kept digging.

Now,Masorite”means, “Tradition” and while there were ultimately two main families that largely contributed to the making of the Masoretic text, one from Palestine and the other from Egypt.  In the end the ben Asher family were largely responsible for the preservation and production of the accepted text – unique vowel markings and all. 

Paleo Hebrew was more like Gyptian Hierogliphs or small pictures so vowels were not needed – just right pronunciations for hearing.  But in English, for example, vowels are super important.   For instance, if we just take in English the consonants, “PN” we can construct completely different words from those who consonants. 

  • Add an E in the middles and we get “Pen” (as in a writing utensil)
  • Add an I in the middle and we get Pin (as in item that sticks something together)
  • Add a U and we get Pun (as play on words)
  • Add two E’s and we get pene (as in pasta)
  • Add and I and an E and we get Pine (as in tree)
  • Add and O and E and we get Pone (as in the slang for “you’ve been had”)
  • Add and I and O and we get Pino (as in Grizio, the wine)

I know there are some Italian words in there that we borrow from. But, here we have the Masorites, 400 to 900 years after the life, death, resurrection, acsension of Jesus and the destruction of their city (Jerusalem).

Who came from forefathers who failed to make the name of YHWH known, and then Christianity comes in and “blossoms off their heritage and suffering” but we TRUST these scholars who have assume the task of assigning the ancient vowelless language vowel demarcations to rightly lead us to His real name?

I want you to think about a statement today that will help you wrap your mind around what I am saying:  READY

Muslims today are more favorable and kind to Christ as they respect and receive Him as at least a prophet that modern people who claim to be Jews – they says He is a complete fraud. Not anti-semetic, but I am going to build this case.

Now it is really important to remember that Judaism was an orally transmitted religion and what they HEARD was what was vital to them not so much how a picture was drawn.

How they SAID THINGS, guttural and such, was how they passed their traditions down to each other so the pronunciation of the four consonants was everything to them and NOT what was written.  And two of my brothers found that “anciently” (as I said, Hebrew changed after the exile to Babylon as it morphed into the dialect of Acadian, and then to Aramaic) the Jews who lived in the Syrian region at the time of king David would only have pronounced the W as a “V”  – never as “W”… 

(https://www.nehemiaswall.com/historical-pronunciation-vav)

So, the pronunciation of that letter in paleo-Hebrew is “vav” NOT “waw”.  So, in terms of our pronunciation of the name it is more accurately represented by the letter “V” and not a “W”

So, Y-H-V-H not Y-H-W-H

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFhkOmznnIQ&t=673s&ab_channel=OriginalHebrew )

So, how to pronounce these letters that were supposed to go out to the world and be great among the Gentiles.  Linguists, Rabbis, Historians all agree on the pronunciation of the first and last syllables of the Name,

Y= “Yah” 

VH= “Vah” (when a word ends in “H” the “H” is silent… like when God changed Sarai’s name to Sarah… the “H” is silent.)

So, “Ya Va”

The mystery is in the 2nd syllable of the name, or that middle “H” sound. Ancient Israel long knew how to pronounce YHVH, but as we get to the time of the Roman empire, it is believed that the Jews began to keep the name under wraps, again, because they thought it was too Holy and sacred to be picked up by the gentile believers and the Roman pagans.   Not the desire of God but of their own making. 

It eventually got to the point that the only time the name was correctly uttered would be by the High Priest exclusively, and only when he was in their Temple duties.  And then forty years before the temple was destroyed in 70AD the High Priest actually stopped using the real name and started saying Adonai in its place.

Of course, the temple was destroyed in AD 70 and the pronunciation of the name was no longer common knowledge.  So the Masoretic Jews came in and purposely taught error (relative to the name) because they wanted to keep the secret of that name to themselves and were bitter toward Christianity which was growing bigtime.  It is believed that part of how the Jews obscured the Name was by taking the vowel sounds in “Adonai” (which means “lord” in Hebrew) and mixing it in with the consonants YHVH.

That would look like this

AD  O   NAI

YaH O  VaH

Apparently, around this time, the “Y” sound was also changed to a “J” sound in response to unwanted Germanic influence and there is also the belief out there that the Hebrew name for God, “Elohim,” was also inserted by some Masorites, which gives some the impression that 

YHVH

(would be said)

Yahovim 

From there my brothers (and now myself who was willing to start listening) do not believe that Yahovim/Jehovah is how the Name of God is pronounced BUT rather it is how it has been OBSCURED!

In fact, purposely obscured – by the compilers of the Masoretic text.  To prove their larceny of Truth, the name of God is not all that they obscured.  They would also try and obscure simple readings in the Tanakh that plainly pointed to the Messiah.

Let’s go to some examples,

Historical research reveals five significant ways in which the Masoretic Text is different from the Septuagint version which BTW is 1000 years earlier

  1. The Masoretes admitted that they received corrupted texts to begin with.
  2. The Masoretic Text is written with a radically different alphabet than the original Paleo-Hebrew.
  3. The Masoretes added vowel points which did not exist in the original.
  4. The Masoretic Text excluded several books from the Old Testament scriptures, and (as proven)
  5. The Masoretic Text includes changes to prophecy and doctrine.

And yet . . . the Protestants have generally received the Masoretic text over the Septuagint, lending to the “obscuring” of the name of God – the very name God himself said He wanted known in the world early on.

So, back to the correct pronunciation of His name.

Let’s address that middle letter “H” in YHVH

The letter “h” in Hebrew is actually a word… and that word is “The” which is pronounced, “Ha.”

For example, “Ha-mashiach” means, “THE Messiah” or “Ha- Satan” is “THE Satan”

If you simply let the consonant “H” pronounce itself, without adding to it or taking away from it, then it would be pronounced “HA.”

And bringing this into the four consonant YHVH this would have God’s name (that should be known around the world) pronounced as

“Yah-Ha-Vah”

YAHAVA

Remember, and as we have seen thus far in our study of the Tanakh, names are important to God in the Bible, and they hold meanings to the person’s character.

There is no randomness to naming for Jews, ESPECIALLY with the very name of God himself that He gives Moses. The point? “Jehovah” has a meaning but that is not the name God wanted to be known by because “YAHAVA” says it all.

For instance, an ancient Rabbi wrote that every creature on earth actually breathes says His name.  How?   Breathing is not just exhaling (HA) nor is it just inhaling, (AH) but it is BOTH – HA AH and it is God who is both spirit and gives the breath of life.

If you want to really get mind-blown, when we read in Genesis 2:7

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” 

The line, “and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” is really, “the breath of lives,” ostensibly referring to one male and one female.   But that is for another day. But when Yeshua says, that YAHAVA is spirit (which is pneuma in Greek and Ruach in Hebrew) we are saying that He is the (Ha) BREATH of Life.

Speaking of Life, Adam called his rescuer, Eve – in Hebrew, what?  AVA.

Did you know that the Hebrew word for breath is HAVA so when we say His name we speak of the “giver of Life.”

Additionally, we know that God is called, Father, right?  Especially after the incarnation but He was also known by the Jews to be their Father.

  1. The Hebrew word for father is AB

But the soft “b” sound in Hebrew is ALWAYS pronounced like a “V” so really, “Ab” is pronounced “Av” not “Ab” 

The POINT??? (listen) 

One cannot say YAHAVAH without uttering “father” at the same time.

Thus far God’s real name includes the terms,

Breath/breathing/Spirit

Father, and 

Life

But we are not done. And this one is the clincher to me.  The Hebrew word for love is “ahavah” (remember the soft “B” is ALWAYS pronounced like a “V”) and the POINT?

We cannot say God’s true name without saying, love, “Ahavah” and we cannot say love, in the Hebrew, without saying His name

From this, God is the Father, God is breath, God is Life, and GOD IS LOVE…. (Yahavah Ahavah)

And from this we see that His very real authentic beautiful name contains many of the main attributes of His Character. It has been said that John wrote His epistles to confound Gnostic thought and what did the Gnostics think of the OLD TESTAMENT GOD?  That he was a ruinous destroyer.  Interestingly, the Hebrew word for ruin or destroy is HOVAH.  Consider Psalm 68:4 says, which is

“Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH,” (which means Lord) and add “HOVAH” and we get, that “God is a ruiner or destroyer.”

Then the joke is on us because in my opinion, any Hebrew scholar in the know is laughing at this pronunciation.   Remember that John wrote his epistles to confound the views of the Gnostics in his day and specifically said

1st John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (He is “avahah” the lover NOT Yahovah the destroyer as the Gnostics claimed)

John repeats these 8 verses later and says

1st John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love;  (Avaha, love, not Yahovah ruin)

Then when we read in Mark 14:36 Where Jesus says, 

Ava, Father (He doesn’t say “abba,” but ava), all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. 

And he was saying, and they were hearing at that time, the name of God. Or when Paul writes, 

Roman 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Ava, Father.  (They heard that God is their Father)

Or when Paul wrote in Galatians 4:6 

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Ava, Father. (And again, they and now we hear that Ava is our Father, our YAHAVA).

And when we read Jesus saying that God is a Spirit, we prove it by the breathing His name   – the inhaling and the exhaling, of name itself –

YAHAVA 

Have you ever stopped and wondered what John 12:28 means when Jesus says

Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

Have you ever asked yourself what the name is?

It’s Father. (av)

It’s breath. (ha ha)

It’s life (ava)

It’s love (ahavah)

Have you ever wondered what Yeshua meant when, in His intercessory prayer to His father before His disciples and He said

John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

Or six verses later when He adds

12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

Or 14 verses later where He adds

26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Have you, like me, just assumed that what we were told by Kabbalistically-led Israelites long after His death and resurrection was correct when the true Israelites were taken up as His Bride and the remainder were lost and wholly subject to mysticism?

I don’t know about you, but I will proudly, boldly but humbly make His name known, as it was supposed to be known for the past several thousand years and that name is not Yehovah, Jehovah or Yaway – they are meaningless. It will forever be 

YAHAVA.

And He wanted the world to know it – and so we will use it as one foundational brick in being liberated from Biblical Addiction.

Shawn McCraney
Shawn McCraney
Articles: 108

Leave a Reply