Hebrew Roots/Neglected Commandments/Honouring His Name/Importance
SANCTIFYING THE NAME
“Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? .... .... Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, and what is His Son's Name, if you know?” Proverbs 30: 4
What is His Name? - do you know?
Both the writer of Proverbs and David knew the differing personalities of the godhead and their identification by Name. The use of the divine Name 'Yahweh' was current in their time and we know from Jewish literature that they identified the Son as the "Word of Yahweh" - the "Memra". (Psalm 110: 1-2) The Son was named for His earthly life by His Father as Yehoshua/Yeshua (Matthew 1:21) and we know and use the Son's Name, but the Name for the godhead which still applies to the Father has fallen into disuse. Part of the reason for this has been the mistranslation from the original texts using 'LORD' (in capitals) for the divine name 'Yahweh', as well as man-made traditions prohibiting it's use, contrary to scripture.
Yahweh named Adam, Adam named the animals and Yahweh changed men's names consistent with changes in their spiritual status, showing that names are very important.
What about the Father's Name? Do we disrespect Him by not using His Name? “You shall not take the Name of Yahweh your God in vain: for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes His Name in vain.” Deuteronomy 5:11 Also Exodus 20: 7
What is it to take His Name 'in vain'?
Websters Dictionary gives the meaning of 'vain' as -- “Having no real substance, value, or importance; empty; void; worthless; unsatisfying.” “Destitute of force of efficacy; effecting no purpose; fruitless; ineffectual;” Strongs 7723 gives the sense of being desolate, useless, false; and, the Theological Wordbook says that the ”primary meaning of 'shaw' (vain) is emptiness, vanity” ... “it designates anything that is unsubstantial, unreal, worthless, either materially or morally.”
“The evidence points to the fact that taking the Lord's name (i.e. His reputation) “in vain” will surely cover profanity, as that term is understood today, or swearing falsely in the Lord's name. But it will also include using the Lord's name lightly, unthinkingly or by rote.”
Therefore to ignore, neglect to use the Name or pass over it's importance, in regarding it of no purpose for today, is taking it in vain. Just as using it so commonly as to be without the appropriate reverence and due honor. To remove His Name from being used, is to bring it to nothing and make it without value.
Y'shua prayed “Hallowed be Your Name”, it could be translated “Let your Name be sanctified” Matthew 6: 9
Understanding that Y'shua spoke in Hebrew/Aramaic the word which He used would have been YITKADESH meaning 'to be sanctified', 'magnified' and 'exalted'. This is the antonym to profaning the Name. Ezekiel parallels the two in Ch.36:23. We either sanctify or profane His Name by our conduct. Using His Name is exalting it, as well as by portraying all that His Name represents in our lives. The Rabbis understood that it was our holiness of life that sanctified His Name. Leviticus 22:32 (Sifra 99d)
When the translators and the traditions of man substitute other titles for His name, they are robbing the people of the keys of knowledge. The translators have hidden the divine Name by using a substitute in the form of 'LORD' which is not a translation of the original text, but a title and a substitute name. As also, those who use other titles such as Adonai (lord), HaShem (the Name) in common speech. They are actually taking the liberty of changing what He is called, in contradiction to His own words. Exodus 6:2-3 The KJV translates the same word 'SHAW' (7723 vain) as 'false' in Deuteronomy 5:20 “bear false witness”
We therefore have the liberty of applying this to Yahweh, that we are not to take His Name falsely. If we use substitutes, we are using a false name for Him. It is not His true name. Isaiah 42: 8
Because the name represents the reputation of the one named, a name should be treated with respect. God's Names, in all of their forms, should be treated with enormous respect and reverence.
In Ex. 3:13-22: Moses asks God what His "name" is. He is not asking "what should I call you;", he is asking "who are you; what are you like; what have you done." This is clear from Yahweh's response. He replies that He is eternal, that He is the God of our fathers, that He has seen our affliction and will redeem us .
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIS NAME AND CHARACTER
Yahweh's Name is an extension of His being, expressing the qualities of His character and personality in relationship to His creation, and expresses the essence of the Hebrew word for existence.
In the ancient Semitic world a name had much more religious, personal, family, historical and geographical significance than in our Western Culture. Since the name was considered to be descriptive of the essential nature of the person or thing, there was a conception of identity between the name and its bearer. Names conveyed the nature and essence of the one named. Declaring one's name was a chief means of revealing or manifesting oneself (Ex. 9:16; Josh. 9:9)
The Name of the Heavenly Father was and is the most important Name, for it not only identifies who our Creator is but what He is to those who invoke His Name. Yahweh's Name has a deeper meaning than many realize. His Name means that He is the only One having real existence; that He is the One Who is; that He is One Who causes all things to be, and to be able to be, and all is dependent upon Him.
Using the Name of Yahweh and revering it is a key to understanding the nature and character of our Heavenly Father. By using His Name, the only real and personal covenant Name, we acknowledge that we know Yahweh as the Self-Existing One, and live in trust and dependence of His provision for us.
His Name portrays His character and the two, His Name and character, are inseparable. His Name represents His character, but does not stand for His character. Part of His character is that as a Person, He has a Name, and that Name is Yahweh and He identifies Himself as such by that Name. He says, “I am Yahweh, that is My Name:” Isaiah 42: 8
A name is different to a title. Every person has a personal name, some have titles as well according to their marital status or profession in life or otherwise. But, while a title may be sufficient to address a person in their position, it is not appropriate in personal relationships to use a title in place of a name.
Likewise we do not address people respectfully by using terms denoting their characteristics instead of their personal name. How much more so with the Almighty when we are told to honor His Name and not take His Name in vain. (Exodus 20: 7)
There are many instructions we are given to do with His Name which, to follow, must involve the literal use of His Name as it would otherwise not be possible to fulfill them.
Interpreting His Name as representing His character only, means applying a different interpretation to the commands. For example, to honor and bless His Name would have to mean honoring and blessing His character. To assemble In His Name would be to assemble in His character. To preach, teach or anoint in His Name would then be to do them in His character. All of which we do by doing those things in His Name, but it is a distortion of meaning to interpret the Name as representing His character only.
Throughout scripture Yahweh signatures everything He says with His Personal Name, and it is actually used nearly 7,000 times. The written and spoken literal Name is actually His mark of identification and He has given His Name as a memorial of Himself - what He is and Who He is.
"This is My Name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations” Exodus 3:15
His people are instructed to call upon His Name - See Psalm 105: 1
THE IMPORTANCE OF USING THE NAME
In scripture there is great emphasis put upon using His name in praise, worship, prayer and thanks-giving. There is a differentiation made from addressing Him as 'God' (elohim) in a generic sense, or in using titles to refer to Him, from actually using His Name. His Name should be exalted by being used in worship, prayer and praise and in speaking of His wondrous works.
“Bless Yahweh O my soul: and all that is within me bless His holy Name” Psalm 103: 1
“I will extol You, my elohim, O King; I will bless Your Name for ever and ever” Psalm 145: 1
Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the Name of Elohim for ever and ever:” Daniel 2:20
"All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Yahweh; and shall glorify thy Name," Ps. 86: 9 "From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same Yahweh's name is to be praised," Ps. 113: 3.
"All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy Name, Selah," Psalm 66: 4
“Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him: talk of His wondrous works.” Psalm 105:2 Glory in His holy Name: let the hearts of those who rejoice seek Yahweh.” (105:3) "Sing to God, sing praises to His Name" Psalm 68:4
“Give unto Yahweh the glory due to His Name; worship Yahweh in the beauty of Holiness” Psalm 29: 2
“O magnify Yahweh with me, and let us exalt His Name together.” Psalm 34: 3 “Let them praise the Name of Yahweh: for His Name alone is exalted;” Psalm 148:13
“I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call on the Name of Yahweh. Psalm 116:17
“Therefore by Him (Y'shua) let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to Yahweh, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name.” Hebrews 13:15
It is Holy: "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit ... " Isaiah 57:15 Excellent: "O Yahweh, our Master, how excellent is Your Name in all the earth, you who set your splendor above the heavens," Psalms 8:1.
Majestic: "And He shall stand and feed His flock in the strength of Yahweh, in the majesty of the Name of Yahweh his Elohim; and they shall abide: for now shall He be great unto the ends of the earth," Micah 5: 4.
Awesome: "He sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His Name," Psalm 111: 9.
PRONOUNCING THE NAME
The Tetragrammaton, YHWH, according to the authority of Josephus, who being of the priestly line knew the facts kept from the people regarding the Sacred Name, was four vowels. From the 9th century BC on, these former consonants began to double as vowels, whereas previously vowels had not been written. In Greek transcription they were IEUE (4 vowels) or Iaoue, which is the way it appears in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament. Assyrian transcripts also give this as IAAU (YOD-HEY-WAW).
Y-H-W-H -- These letters are not vowels in the current usage of our language, but 'Y' can have a soft rendering and is not a hard consonant. 'W' used to be a double 'u' which had a 'oo' pronunciation, and 'H' is also a soft consonant in our language.
The 'Y' carries a 'Ya' sound as in Hallelujah --- The 'H' is an aspirate sounded 'H' The 'W' is an 'oo' sound, and, The last 'H' carries an aspirate 'hey' sound.
'Ya - H - oo - Hey' - or 'Yah-oo-eh.
Most sources endorse this. The Encyclopedia Biblica says, "The controversy as to the correct pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton, whether as Yahweh, or Yahawe, Yahwa or Yahawa .... has been gradually brought to an end by the general adoption of the view, first propounded by Ewald, that the true form is Yahwe" Divine Names p. 3311
The Encyclopedia Judaica confirms this, "Several Greek writers of the Christian Church testify that the name was pronounced 'Yahweh'" Vol.7 p.786
Samaritan poetry uses the Tetragrammaton, rhyming it with words with the same sound as 'Yah-oo-ay' giving us the phonetic sound of the Name. (Journal of Biblical literature, 25, p.50 and Jewish Encyclopedia Vol.9 p.161)
"Yahweh bless thee, and keep thee: Yahweh make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee, Yahweh lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put My Name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them," Numbers 6:24-27.