Yahweh, most commonly referred to by His title God (Elohim) or LORD ('Adonai), is the Powerful [Heb: אֱלֹהִ֑ים ('Elohim)], Self-Existent One [Heb: יהוה (Yahweh): He who is], the Creator of the universe. He is both a merciful Savior and the righteous Judge of mankind, the bearers of His image. God is Spiritual in his being, self-sufficient, eternal, knowing and seeing all things, gracious, patient, full of goodness and truth, and holy.
Names and Attributes
Names of God
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'Eheyeh (אהיה), translated "I AM", is the personal name of God, only used by God Himself. This is the name He originally revealed to Moses at the burning bush, where He said "I AM who I AM." Being that it would be awkward for Moses to say to the Israelites "I AM has sent me to you", God revealed to Moses the Name He was to be known by for all time: YHWH (literally translated as "He Who Is"). So Moses was to say, "He Who Is has sent me to you." Jesus used the name Eheyeh when He said "Before Abraham was born, I AM", and was going to be stoned for saying that, but He escaped.
'Adonai (אֲדֹנָי), translated as "Lord" and literally as "my master," is used in combination with the tetragrammaton, and sometimes alone, as a personal name for God. The root word, "adon" is used for God in about five places. This name emphasizes God's relationship to all of creation, but especially to the relationship with those who worship Him. The Jews would replace the name "Yahweh" with "Adonai" when they came across it in scripture so they wouldn't say "Yahweh" irreverently.
'Elohim (אֱלֹהִ֑ים) is the primary name of God in the Old Testament. This form is plural (3+), but does not imply plurality of gods. After the time of Moses it is used almost interchangeably with the covenant name given to Moses (see below). The root word for this name is El which means "mighty." This name emphasizes the power of God above all others. This name, used to describe one although plural, testifies to the concept of the Trinity.
'El (אֵ֥ל) is usually accompanied by a modifier. However, the word is used in combination in personal names (Elijah: My God is Yah; Daniel: My judge is God) and place names. It simply means by itself "God", not necessarily the one true God, but any god (however all other gods are just demons and not God).
- 'El Berith. Translated "God of the Covenant".
- 'El Bethel. Translated "God of Bethel" or "God of the house of God".
- 'El Elohe Israel. Translated "El is the God of Israel" or "God is the God of Israel".
- 'El Elyon (אֵ֥ל עֶלְיֽוֹן), translated "God Most High" or "Most High God" in many English translations, this name is used 53 times in the Old Testament. With this name, God is put above all others that might claim authority. It is used by Melchizedek referring to God as both possessor of heaven and earth and as the One who had given Abram victory in time of battle.
- 'El Gibbor. Translated "God the Warrior" or "mighty God".
- 'El Olam. Translated "God the Everlasting One".
- 'El Roi. Translated "God who sees".
- 'El Shaddai (אֵ֣ל שַׁדַּ֔י), translated "God Almighty" or "Almighty God," this is the name by which God introduces himself to Abram at the time He affirmed the covenant with him. The all-sufficiency of God is emphasized by this name. Some linguists believe the word "shaddai" comes from the root "shad," meaning "breast." If this is so, then the power of "El" is multiplied for His followers when they walk close to him.
YHWH (יהוה), often translated as "LORD" or "Jehovah", and literally as "He who is". These four letters ("tetragrammaton") are faithfully recorded by Moses to reflect the "name" God told him to tell the Israelites.. God had said "I am who I am, tell them 'I am' sent you." Later, God once again spoke to Moses and confirms the name to be YHWH. And then, in the Ten Commandments, God establishes the name as sacred.. This name proclaims the God Who Is. No more need to be said on the matter, God just IS. In His essential being, then, God is self-existing. Being thus, all of the other attributes flow "naturally" out.
- YHWH Jirah. Translated as "YHWH will Provide".
- YHWH Who Brought you out (יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ). The first time God revealed his name, saying "I am," was to Abraham. He reminds Abraham that it was His plan to separate a people to Himself, out of a pagan culture. This name would be expanded to include "Elohiq" (God of yours) in the Ten Commandments.
- YHWH 'Elohi (יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי). When God wishes to establish a relationship with someone, He announces "I am YHWH, God of ..." This form is used when God speaks first to Jacob, Abraham's grandson. God has a chosen people, especially brought out from the world. God exists in and of himself, but He chooses to communicate, and identify with, a people of His own.
- YHWH Bekereb Ha'arets (יְהוָה בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ). Translated as "YHWH In the Midst of the Land". This name reminded the people of both Egypt and the "children of Israel" that God works in the world of men. His work is specific, as seen by sparing the land of Goshen.
- YHWH Rophe'eka (יְהוָה רֹפְאֶךָ). Translated as "YHWH who Heals you". God takes a personal interest in His people, but it can be said that without Him, there could be no healing in the world. By design, His creatures are are able to survive the onslaught of disease and injury.
- YHWH Mekaddesh (יְהוָה מְקַדִּשְׁכֶם). Translated as "YHWH who Sanctifies you". In another way, God points out that it is He who is in control, He had not only brought His people out of the pagan world, but he has set them apart especially for His service He has "made them holy." The same name appears translated "YHWH, your Holy One," demonstrating that God wants His people to separate Him from all others that might compete for control (First Commandment).
- YHWH Hu' Shemi (יְהוָה הוּא שְׁמִי), translated as "the LORD is My Name." This is a confirmation of the true name of God, being given to Isaiah. In the truest sense, this is not a "name," but providing it in this list is an affirmation to the importance of the NAME.
- YHWH Maker of All things (יְהוָה עֹשֶׂה כֹּל). God reminds Isaiah that He is the Creator. He then goes on to explain in what manner He did this.
- YHWH Go'alikh (יְהוָה גֹּאַלְךָ). Translated as "YHWH Your Redeemer". Isaiah reminds God's people that they have been redeemed by God out of bondage in Egypt — a picture of the sin that held them in fear of bondage once again. More importantly, though, it was a picture of freedom from sin as evidenced through righteousness.
- YHWH Tsabaoth (יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת), translated as "LORD of Hosts" or "YHWH of Hosts". This name, emphasized by Isaiah, denotes God as the Commander of Armies, usually thought to be heavenly armies, with which He accomplishes His goals upon the earth. Able to call everything into being at once, God chooses to use his creatures to accomplish His work. This verse reminds God's people of when Yahweh sent a mighty wind to do his bidding in dividing the Red Sea.
- YHWH who Works (יְהוָה עֹשֶׂה). Jeremiah receives assurance that God is at work among His people in acts of mercy (covenant loyalty), justice and righteousness upon the earth.
- YHWH God of All Flesh (יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי כָּל-בָּשָׂר). God's message to Jeremiah, in the midst of calamity, was that He had everything under control. No act of mankind was outside of His control.
- YHWH who Smites (יְהוָה מַכֶּה). God is the One who strikes His enemies, stopping them in the course of His will.
- 'Adonai YHWH (אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה), translated "LORD God" in some translations, this self identifying name spoken to Ezekiel might be better translated, "God, the LORD," though a literal translation would state: "I am [the] Lord YHWH" or "I am [the] Lord, LORD." In form it uses the same two names that first appear in Genesis 2, but in reverse order. The true God is identifying Himself as "the One God, whose name is YHWH."
- YHWH Who Does Not Change (יְהוָה לֹא שָׁנִיתִי). In the book of the last prophet, in the last chapter of the Old Testament, God assures his messenger that He never changes. It is because of this that His people survived at all.
Attributes of God
By just these names, it can be seen that God is the Creator and sustainer of the universe. As such, it is up to God to run things the way He wants to do them. As 'Adonai and 'Elohim, His power can be seen as absolute.
God is the Creator of all things and has made everything for His glory. God should not be tested by humanity. God being the ultimate supreme being is omnipotent (all powerful), omnipresent (is everywhere), and is omniscient (all-knowing), but above all, He is holy.
God Himself says in the Bible that He is a jealous God. In the second of the Ten Commandments it is commanded not to worship any idol, this is because God is jealous for our attention and worship.
As El Shaddai, His personal relationship with mankind is revealed. As El Elyon, his position as ruler over all things is clear. And finally, in revealing his name in covenant with Moses and the Israelites, "Yahweh" is "set in stone" for all time.
God is a merciful God because of his great love towards the creation. This is mainly shown by the sending of His son Jesus in order to forgive the sins of humanity. Despite His creation's repeated disobedience God has shown mercy to them by giving them a chance to turn back to Him. All blessings are gifts from God.
God is the final and ultimate judge of humanity. God's judgement is based on the truth and his judgement can be either wrathful or merciful. Though God will judge all those who have died according to what they have done, those who have their names recorded recorded in the Book of Life will be saved on account of their faith.
The law that God has firmly established shows mankind the reality of sin, and a need for salvation from its grip. When the unsaved continue in their rejection of Jesus Christ, they will suffer God's wrath. Those who choose to reject salvation will remain in their sin, facing God's righteous condemnation in Hell.
The Bible reveals God as One God, but then shows His attributes to be "shared" by Jesus Christ. Looking even closer, the reader can see that another "person" is found with those same attributes. This is what has come to be called the "trinity" — a coined word meaning "three in one."
Throughout the gospels, and then in the epistles, Jesus is referred to as "the Son of God." This is reflected the other direction when Jesus spoke often of his "Father."
Before his crucifixion, Jesus promised to send one like himself — another Comforter — to carry on the work he had begun. Before his ascension he revealed that this Comforter — the Holy Spirit — would come upon them, who did after 10 days. The Holy Spirit is the gift of God to those who receive Him, and a Comforter who equips them, giving them the tools to live a successful life.
God spoke together all of creation within a period of six days. God announced items such as light, water, celestial objects, and even life throughout this period of six days. God had created humanity in his image, thus giving them intelligence, consciousness, and superiority over the rest of God's creations.
Fall of Man
God's nemesis Satan encouraged God's human creations Adam and Eve to disobey God by eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Aware of their disobedience to God, Adam and Eve hid from God in the bushes and the trees, yet God was aware of their location. God confronted them, punishing them and banishing them from the Garden.
Also Adam and Eve were denied physical interaction with God. In result of the punishment God required humans to do physical labor for survival, and requested that they give sacrifice of their best to him. Cain and Abel, Adam's first sons both sacrifice to God. God favored Abel's sacrifice since he gave his best flock, whereas Cain only gave his leftover fruits.
God noticed the grievance of Cain for not being shown likeness to his sacrifice; God alerted him that he was about to disobey God. Cain, seemingly ignoring God, took his brother out into the field and killed him, thus being the first murder. God (even though knowing that Abel had been killed) asked Cain were his brother was at, Cain claiming he didn't know. On this response God banished Cain, putting a mark on him so that no one would kill him.
The Great Flood
Adam and Eve had more children, while Cain did so as well. Due to this, the population expanded exponentially. After about 1500 years, the different lines had begun to mix and God was forgotten. The original lifespans had been averaging over 900 years, so God determined to shorten those lives significantly to 120 years. This would take awhile, but it had become obvious that more was needed.
All of mankind had disobeyed God and evil filled their hearts. This grieved God, so he planned to flood the earth, wiping out every living creature. But the plan had an exception: Noah and his family. God commanded Noah to build an Ark in order to save him and his family and the animals of the Earth. God gave Noah specific architectural dimensions of the Ark, and commanded him to bring two of every kind of animal on the ark, and food for his family and the animals. After Noah had boarded the ark, God sent water from the sky and the floor of the oceans. After some time waters began to recede, leaving the passengers in the mountains of Ararat.
Noah then built an altar and sacrificed animals that had been designated on the ark as clean (God assigned these animals for sacrificial purposes). As the smoke rose into the clearing skies, God promised Noah that he would never destroy the earth through use of flood.
Dispersion of people across the Earth
Though Noah and his family had been told to spread out over all the earth, the growing family stayed together, settling in a region between two great rivers. Not wishing to trust God, they began to trust themselves, possibly using skills remembered from the days before the flood. At any rate, they began to build cities, with a capital city in the midst of them with a temple built to reach into the heavens.
The effect of this activity prompted God to force a separation of the different family groups by confusing their speech patterns. As new languages became gibberish to others, no work on the great tower could proceed. As a result, mankind finally spread out into the world.
Though the name YHWH (translated "the LORD," Jah, and Jehovah) first appears in Genesis 2, it was introduced to Moses in response to the question, "Who should I say sent me?" God's answer was "I AM who I AM." A form of the verb "to be" became the basis of the word used to self-identify the author of the 10 commandments: "I am the LORD (YHWH), your God."
In the Hebrew Bible, the name of God is written as יהוה (YHWH). Since Biblical Hebrew was written with consonants only, there is significant debate on the exact pronunciation of the name. Other names for God are 'Adonai (Master) and 'Elohim (God in singular or plural form, depending on context).
In the Greek New Testament, the word Kurios (Master, or Lord) is used to translate YHWH in quoting Old Testament (Hebrew) passages. The general word Theos is used much as Elohim is used in the Hebrew, being translated as simply "God."
- ↑ Deuteronomy 10:17 (Link)
- ↑ Exodus 3:14-15; 20:2 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 1:1; Exodus 20:11 (Link)
- ↑ Deuteronomy 4:31 (Link)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Exodus 20:2
- ↑ Psalm 50:6 (Link)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 1 Samuel 2:10
- ↑ Genesis 1:27 (Link)
- ↑ John 4:24 (Link)
- ↑ Acts 17:24-25 (Link)
- ↑ Psalm 90:2 (Link)
- ↑ Hebrews 4:13 (Link)
- ↑ Exodus 34:6 (Link)
- ↑ Revelation 15:4 (Link)
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 Exodus 3:14
- ↑ John 8:58 (Link)
- ↑ Psalm 2:4 (Link)
- ↑ Psalm 35:23 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 14:18-19 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 17:1 (Link)
- ↑ Exodus 6:3 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 15:7 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 28:15 (Link)
- ↑ Exodus 8:22 (Link)
- ↑ Exodus 15:26 (Link)
- ↑ Exodus 31:13 (Link)
- ↑ Isaiah 43:15 (Link)
- ↑ Isaiah 42:8 (Link)
- ↑ Isaiah 44:24 (Link)
- ↑ Isaiah 48:17 (Link)
- ↑ Isaiah 51:17 (Link)
- ↑ Jeremiah 9:4 (Link)
- ↑ Jeremiah 32:27 (Link)
- ↑ Ezekiel 7:9 (Link)
- ↑ Ezekiel 29:16 (Link)
- ↑ Malachi 3:6 (Link)
- ↑ Isaiah 43:7 (Link)
- ↑ Deuteronomy 6:16; Matthew 4:7; Luke 4:12 (Link)
- ↑ Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37; Jeremiah 32:27 (Link)
- ↑ Proverbs 15:3; Jeremiah 23:24 (Link)
- ↑ Psalm 16:10, 71:22, 89:18-19; Isaiah 43:15 (Link)
- ↑ Exodus 20:5, 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24; Joshua 24:19; Nahum 1:2 (Link)
- ↑ Exodus 20:4, Deuteronomy 5:8 (Link)
- ↑ Romans 8:32; Ephesians 1:3 (Link)
- ↑ Romans 2:3 (Link)
- ↑ Revelation 20:11-5 (Link)
- ↑ Romans 4:15 (Link)
- ↑ John 3:36; Romans 12:19 (Link)
- ↑ Acts 2:38-39 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 1 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 1:26-31 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 3:1-6 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 3:8-21 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 4:5 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 4:1-6 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 4:9-16 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 4:17-Genesis 5 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 6:9-22 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 7-8:1-18 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 8:20 (Link)
- ↑ Genesis 8:21 (Link)