The Name of God

Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and the name of his son? Tell me if you know! (Proverbs 30:4)

A century before the birth of Christ this was the challenge put forth to the wise, "what is his name, and what is his son's name?" From the context of the question it was not an easy or obvious answer – "Tell me if you know!"

God the Father

The proper, personal name of the most high God was further suppressed during the 70 year Babylonian captivity of 586 BCE. The Babylonians knew their captives were called "Yahudim" bearing the name of God, their Elohim. To ridicule them, these Babylonian pagans called them Yahoo's. In hearing this, it became so offensive to the Jews that they totally ceased using God's proper name.

Writings of the Hebrew sages' tell us that the name was not used because it was so sacred that they dared not use it for fear of breaking God's law against using the Lord's name in vain. However, it was repeatedly used and copied in the scriptures because by Torah (Deuteronomy 4:2) neither the name of God nor the Words of Moses could be added to or diminished. That is why we have received old scrolls (i.e. Dead Sea scrolls) intact. When they were worn, they were buried and not destroyed, so that the name contained within them would not be defamed. But through non-use, the enemy had these keepers of God's Word almost destroy or lose the name of their God. Today, Jews still do not call God by His name, but rather use "HaShem" ("the name") as the name of God. Thus, the protective concealment continues even today.

Yet, we are repeatedly encouraged to praise His name. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name. (Hebrews 13:15) Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. (Psalm 149:3)

One of Jesus' ministries was to declare the actual name of His Father: 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. (John 17:26)

In both the Old and New Testaments we are instructed to praise his name and yet most in Christendom only know Him as "God," "Lord," "God the Father" or "Jehovah." None of these are truly the pronunciation of His name. For us in the English speaking countries the translation of His name to Jehovah or even Jah was less than 500 years ago, because the letter "J" didn't even exist until about 1520 CE. (There is no "J" or "V" in Hebrew.) The Tetragrammaton (or four letters) of God's name of YHVH is the four letters of Hebrew as it was written after the Babylonian captivity.

However, the first translation into Greek by the Sanhedrin (2nd Century BCE) is called the Septuagint. In its original form they preserved the writing in its original palaeo-Hebrew (paleo = old i.e. before Babylonian captivity.) as YHVH_paleo which in modern Hebrew is YHVH_hebrewor in English is YHVH.

In The War of Jews book 5, chapter 7, the historian Josephus gives us the insight to determine that God's name should be pronounced as Yehuweh (Yahuweh, Yahveh or the generally preferred, Yahweh).

The Son

We in English speaking countries sing, "Jesus, name above all names..." Jesus is the precious name upon which we call for our salvation, healing, deliverance and very life. It is the name that evokes our love, tears and joy. It is the name that has the power to move mountains, raise the dead, and cast out devils.

Yet, Jesus is not the name to answer the question in Proverbs 30:4 - What is his name, and the name of his son? Tell me if you know! Today many are preparing for that time when we will reign with Him in His millennial kingdom and when He will once again be called by His Hebrew name. This is the name given to Mary by the angel Gabriel from the mouth of Yehweh more than 2000 years ago. His name is Yeshua or Y'shua (pronounced yeh-ho-shoo-ah), or as Strong's Concordance lists it in Hebrew as yehowshuwa' (H3091). In any language His name means salvation.

His name is writtenYeshua_hebrew in modern Hebrew andYeshua_paleo in paleo-Hebrew. [Author's note: Remembering that Hebrew reads right to left, notice the similarity of the father and son's names in paleo-Hebrew (YHVH_paleo vs.Yeshua_paleo ) and its dissimilarity in modern Hebrew (YHVH_hebrew vs. Yeshua_hebrew)

The Holy Spirit

To complete our understanding of the Hebrew names for the Godhead, let us look at the Hebrew name for the Holy Spirit:

the (an article) = ha

Holy = qodesh, kodesh or kadosh

Spirit = ruwach or ruach

Thus we would call the Holy Spirit, Ruach HaKodesh.

Because of His love for us, God is again revealing His Hebrew name to His people today. In this hour before Yeshua's soon coming return many are feeling the urgency for a greater relationship, knowledge and intimacy with Him. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29, and 3:6, 13, 22)

1 A digest version from Randy Schroeder's forthcoming book, "Awakened to Righteousness"