The translation that says “Lord”
Updated: Dec 28, 2021
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[Note: This is one of a series listed under the heading: Wordie Post." It was originally posted on the Word Press blog entitled "Our Daily Bread," found at email@example.com. The changes at Word Press are similar to those on Twitter and Facebook, where I was posting to an empty space. That was because I began and maintained that blog as one of their free offerings. When their force to change to a paid blog website did not move me, they cancelled their "Reader," so posting on Word Press has become like a caged animal at the zoo, where only workers occasionally toss the animals a bite to eat. Word Press [et al] is like what I imagine life was like in the satellite countries of the Soviet Union: meager, bleak, spiritless. So, I am transferring those forty articles here.]
In every book of the Old Testament, there are translations into English where the Hebrew written is “יְהוָ֗ה,” which is “yhwh” [Hebrew really doesn’t have and vowels as letters], transliterated as “yah-weh.” The Germans see this as “jhvh,” so they probably transliterate it as “je-ho-vah.” There are no capital letters in Hebrew, but English applies capitalization, so the Hebrew shows “Yahweh” [or “Jehovah“]. Then, translators of English show [in all cases] the word “Lord.”
Now, it is important to realize that Moses had been raised as an Egyptian, not knowing his nanny was really his mommy. He did not know he was a descendant of peoples who believed in only one god, rather than the myriad of gods the Egyptians believed in. When Moses found out he was one of those people, he saw how the Egyptian society was mistreating them as subhuman, persecuting them harshly. Moses had been a part of that ‘racism,’ thinking he was a prince of Pharaoh, with a high-ranking position in the government. Then, when he found out he was not Egyptian, but of immigrant blood, he saw Egyptian soldiers mistreating some of his new found people, so he acted in anger and murdered. Then, Moses ran away to save his life. He went to live with his uncle – one of his new people – and went from being a prince to being a shepherd.
That says Moses was a sinner, but only in the eyes of the One God that his new found blood worshiped. Who knows what rules Jacob had established? Who knows what guidelines Joseph established? Moses didn’t know any. Moses only knew he had broken Egyptian law by murdering, so he had to stay out of Egypt or be executed as a murderer. So, Moses was okay with herding sheep as a living shepherd. It sure beat being a dead prince in Egypt.
Then, all of a sudden, Moses sees a strange fire-like blaze in a bush; but it wasn’t real fire, because the bush was not smoking and wasting away into ash. Then, the strange fire began talking to Moses. It said it was the God of his people and that God wanted Moses to go back to Egypt and take all his relatives out. Moses asked, “What god shall I tell Pharaoh sent me, giving me approval to do such a thing? And, what god will my new found people recognize as the one they believe in?” Moses was then told, “’eh·yeh ’ă·šer ’eh·yeh” or “hayah asher hayah,” meaning “I Am Who I Am.” Because the Jews fear speaking the name of their G_d, they reduce that full name to an abbreviation: yhwh, so “Yahweh” bears the same specific meaning.
Now, to add a little kicker to this name, in Exodus 3:15c is written this instruction: “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.” With that said, it should be realized that Moses was not writing all this down as it happened. He was divinely led to orate this story much later; and, true Israelites were divinely led to memorize it, until others were divinely led to write it down on scrolls. Every one of the Israelites knew this instruction; and, all the Old Testament writers referred to Yahweh by name … because of that instruction.
If Moses had walked back to Egypt without Yahweh’s presence in him, but instead walked with a translator of Hebrew into English, Moses would have been so confused he would have told Pharaoh and told the elders of the tribes of Jacob, “The Lord sent me. Pack your things and get ready to move.”
Of course, everyone would have asked, “What “lord”? Besides the gods of Egypt (which are many), we have all kinds of “lords” that rule over us: adultery, murder, theft, lying, just to name a few. Can you be a little more specific?”
Nobody would have ever left Egypt, had Moses showed up naming “Lord” as the one who sent him.
Now, in Exodus 3, in the Hebrew text, there are twenty-one variations of “elohim” written, with every one of them translated into English as “God.” The Hebrew word “el” means “god” [no capitalization]. The Hebrew word “elohim” means “gods” [no capitalization]. This means most of the times the conversation Moses had was with “gods” or “elohim.” In the same chapter are found seven times “Yahweh” is written, with four of those times connecting to a form of “elohim,” as “Yahweh elohim.” The first use of “Yahweh” follows the word “malak,” where “malak Yahweh” means “angel Yahweh.” It is important to see “elohim” (“gods”) as “malek” (“angels”).
Then, there are two stand-alone presentations of “Yahweh,” where “Yahweh” needs to be read in the same light of “malak,” where “angels” are “gods,” meaning purely spiritual, not physical. When seeing this, a “Yahweh elohim” is a soul that has been divinely possessed by Yahweh. So, when the “elohim” were talking to Moses [not actually “God” – “el“], it was really Moses’ soul receiving the word of Yahweh, prior to Yahweh entering Moses and possessing him.
When Yahweh told Moses, “Don’t worry about not being a good public speaker. I will do all the talking for you,” that means Moses became a “Yahweh elohim,” by agreeing to do what Yahweh said do. Moses lowered his self-ego in submission to his God, the one named “Yahweh.”
Of course, I was raised to read “Lord” and think “Lord” meant God, the only God, the One God. It is easy to say “Lord,” when thinking about God. People understand (most of them) that to say “Lord” means to refer to God. English-speaking Christians have been programed to say “Lord,” and not “Yahweh,” because “Yahweh” is the God of Israel. And, after all, it was those filthy Jews who crucified Jesus. So, forget about calling “Yahweh” that name.
When one realizes that Yahweh told Moses his name before Moses agreed to become devoted to Yahweh and become one of His “Yahweh elohim,” Moses did not orate that Yahweh also said, “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation,” as if Moses had been told that only for his benefit … or even just the benefit of the Israelites, later to be called Jews. That is a key thing to know. It says, “Learn my name and use it, or go back to shepherding sheep and goats.” It says, “Lord” will not cut it, if a soul wants to go to heaven.
P.S.: The word “Yahweh” appears in the Old Testament 6220 times [Strong’s #3068]. There are 2,598 times a variation of “elohim” is found written in the Hebrew texts [78 variations]. There are only 325 times a variation of “adon” [meaning “lord”] is found written [30 variation]. That says, “If Yahweh wanted to be known as “Lord,” then he would have used “adon” a lot more.”