Meaning and Derivation: Yahweh is the promised name of God. This name of God which (by Jewish tradition) is too holy to voice, is actually spelled “YHWH” without vowels. YHWH is referred to as the Tetragrammaton (which simply means “the four letters”). YHWH comes from the Hebrew letters: Yud, Hay, Vav, Hay. While YHWH is first used in Genesis 2, God did not reveal Himself as YHWH until Exodus 3. The modern spelling as “Yahweh” includes vowels to assist in pronunciation. Many pronounce YHWH as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah.” We no longer know for certain the exact pronunciation. During the third century A.D., the Jewish people stopped saying this name in fear of contravening the commandment “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain” (Exodus 20:7). As a result of this, Adonai is occasionally a substitute for YHWH. The following compound names which start with “YHWH” have been shown using “Jehovah.” This is due to the common usage of “Jehovah” in the English of these compound names in the early English translations of the Bible (e.g., the Geneva Bible, the King James Version, etc.).

Have you ever seen people write G_D to avoid spelling God? That always seemed silly to me and an unnecessary superstitious act. In the spirit however I sense the need for a super sensitive respect for the unspeakable name of God. How do you pronounce YHWH since it has no vowels? I honestly believe that the commandment in Exodus 20:7 held a different and sacred meaning that has been lost to us, perhaps in part, because His true name itself is a power which man could not be trusted to use according to God’s divine will.

Since God spoke His creation into existence, I have wondered if perhaps when God breathed His name, the universe was created. I have no proof of that, any more than I know how to pronounce YHWH. The issue of not speaking this name in vain, to me, indicates that there would be an inherent danger in something happening that was not according to God’s sovereign will.

Revelation 16:9 (in part) the name of God, which hath power

One thought on “YHWH”

  1. Aside from the difficulty of pronouncing YHWH, saying G_d or whatever, is it not possible to also use the name in vain or blaspheme by thought also?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *