God's Ancient Hebrew Name Yahweh
by Paul Jablonowski
May 31, 2009
I am writing this newsletter on Pentecost to honor both the LORD and my
buddy Charlie Warren whose birthday happens to be today. Charlie has been
a source of encouragement and inspiration to me for over 17 years. Today
Charlie and I participated in a citywide Pentecost celebration at a local
place called The Storehouse, which is a 24/7 prayer house for unity and
revival in Huntsville Alabama. It was a great blessing to pray with Charlie
and many others for the harvest to be reaped in our city!
LORD has also been using Charlie lately to speak to me regarding His Hebrew
name of Yahweh, which is the subject of this newsletter. It was at Passover
this year, when I felt the Holy Spirit wanted me to write about His name
in this year's Pentecost newsletter. So shortly after Passover, I was
deep into study about the many different pronunciations of YHWH and their
meanings. The word YHWH or YHVH (the 4 Hebrew letters Yud, Hey, Vav
or Waw, and Hey) is what God told Moses was His name
I was excited because I thought surely the Lord would confirm my preconceived
notion that the correct pronunciation of the YHWH name was Yahowah. Instead,
the Lord used a few things like a root canal in my tooth, and our house
being burglarized to show me that the pronunciation of His name is really
a non-issue. What we really need to know is the God of the name.
I knew this in my head, but sometimes we need to experience things before
we know it in our hearts. I had written a lot on the Hebrew alphabet and
the history of the many different pronunciations of YHWH for this newsletter
when our house was robbed. My laptop computer was one of the things stolen
and so I lost all my writing on this subject. The LORD used this and some
discussions with my friend Charlie to help get my priorities straight
regarding His name.
It is not that Yahweh's name is unimportant. It is important, because
our God is not some impersonal force in a cold universe. He is a loving
Father who wants us to know Him intimately as a friend, as a son, and
even as a bride. Life is about relationships. If our relationships are
pure, then life is good. If our relationships are broken or wounded, then
life is tougher. Part of good relationships involve knowing each other's
name, and in ancient Hebrew culture a name was more than a series of letters
and correct pronunciation. Your name was a reflection of your character
and as Proverbs 22:1 says, "a good name is rather to be chosen
than great riches." So, we can't get caught up in the nuances
of correct pronunciation, when people really just need to see the love
of Jesus in action.
God told Moses His name was Yahweh and that, "this is My name
forever, and this is My memorial to all generations" (Exodus
3:15). God's character of love and forgiveness and grace is embedded in
His name Yahweh. This is why it is important to call Him by His name instead
of always using the more impersonal "Lord" or "God"
all the time. Not that we need to be legalistic about it when simply trying
to communicate with others. But when talking one-on-one to the Lord, I
use God's name Yahweh a lot as well as "Abba" which is Hebrew
In my study of the Hebrew pronunciation of Yahweh, I thought almost everyone
agreed on the first part of "Yah." However, since Passover,
I have run across a Hebrew scholar named Jeff Benner who believes that
"Yih" is a definite possibility too. So all pronunciation theories
are blown in my mind! Jeff has written an Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of
the Bible, an Ancient Hebrew Dictionary, and has an excellent
website for those who would like to learn more about ancient Hebrew -
- which was most likely the first language mankind used.
Why is it important to learn ancient Hebrew? Zephaniah 3:9 says, "I
will restore to the peoples a pure language that they
all may call on the name of Yahweh." So, having a pure language
is important since language is a major part of any culture. God is restoring
His Kingdom culture in our generation, and I believe His restored Kingdom
will include His ancient language of Hebrew. I cannot be dogmatic about
this or else I may get rebuked again by His Holy Spirit. : -) But it is
worth thinking about. If nothing else, learning ancient Hebrew can help
you think like the early disciples thought and learn how Jesus was taught
as a child. After all, Jesus lived His life as a Jewish Rabbi and not
a Greek theologian.
Just this month I was in a dentist chair getting a root canal when the
Holy Spirit used this occasion to show me that some things needed to die
in my thinking regarding the sacred name YHWH. I used to be more dogmatic
about the pronunciation which I used of Yahowah, because there are many
other sayings for YHVH like Jehovah, Yahovah,or Yihweh. However, the most
commonly used term for YHWH is Yahweh, which is what I plan to use in
my writings from now on for the sake of better communication. Jeff Benner
has a good book called "His Name is One" on more of
the Hebrew details of Yahweh's name which can be read from His web page
Again, the main lesson I have learned over the past 50 days is that the
pronunciation which you use in saying YHWH is not a major issue, but knowing
God by name is important. The quality of your relationship with God can
be enhanced when you realize that God DOES want to reveal Himself to you
as a friend, and friends know each other's names. Using "Yahweh"
in your prayers with our heavenly Father is hopefully worth getting past
all the confusion surrounding His sacred name.
Pentecost is also called the "Feast of Harvest" and while at
today's celebration at The Storehouse, I was reminded of the real purpose
of Pentecost. Namely, anointing for the harvest of souls that surround
us every day. How desperately we need Yahweh's sevenfold Holy Spirit of
love, wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge and the fear of
the Lord (from Isaiah 11:2) in order to reap the harvest. There are multitudes
of people for whom Jesus died that are waiting for a demonstration of
the Holy Spirit in their lives.
We must be His hands and His feet to go and show His love. Yahweh, help
us to see Your Spirit within each of Your people, and to honor one another
as we would honor You. LORD, help us to lay down our own will and desires,
so Jesus can receive the reward of His sacrifice, which is the end of
the age harvest of souls! The harvest is surely upon us. People everywhere
are searching for a true touch from the living God, and God will meet
them; not my way; not man's way; but Yahway!
Your friend in the Harvest of the King,
July 4, 2009 Update
Below are a few responses to my recent newsletter.
They say some things that I could not have said better myself regarding
FATHERS and how Jesus came to reveal and speak to us of His Father. How
important is this simple truth regarding knowing God as a Father! On this
Independence holiday, I am feeling a sense that our liberties in this
nation are slowly eroding and harder days lie ahead for those of us in
the USA. But the simple solution to some of our toughest problems and
sins in this nation are in understanding the truth involved in knowing
God as our Father.
Happy 4th of July!
I am glad to see you did not go off on a tangent
of pronunciation. I have seen many get ''shipwrecked'' in so doing. Here
is something to seriously consider. Jesus said He came to reveal the ''name
of the Father." The only name He revealed is "FATHER,"
something that was foreign to the Jews. They know God as El Shaddai and
many other Hebrew names. But they never knew God as Father! I ALWAYS go
back to the concept of the Father and His Family in determining matters
of ''doctrine'' etc. Do you care how your children address YOU? Usually
they call you ''daddy'' or ''dad'' and sometimes ''Father." Do you
get upset? Of course not!
Remember God is our Father, and that is the ''name''
He wants us to remember. Someone who says you must use the Hebrew name
is..... well, they are deceived and do not know God as Father.
Beware of anything that runs against the concept
of God as your Father. It also reveals the nature of God..... for it is
from God our Father that all fathers are named.
Dear Brother Paul,
Since reading the excellent article you wrote and
sent a couple of months ago regarding the power and presence contained
in the Name of the Lord, particularly the Name that you mentioned, the
Holy Spirit has been prompting me to write to you regarding it. I don't
often do this, but I don't want to be disobedient to the Spirit either.
I think you are quite right -there is great hidden knowledge to be found
in His holy Name that we have just begun, with articles such as yours,
to become aware of.
There is a lady in our congregation who comes from
a slightly different church background, and she will never refer to the
Lord as "God", but will only use the name(s) specified by scripture.
I believe she has a very valid practice. However, there is one name that
she does not use, because, I guess, she was not taught the significance
of this particular one perhaps, and that is "Father."
Ever since reading your article, the Holy Spirit
has been telling me that you will continue to receive a very special understanding
and revelation from Him concerning the Name "Father," which
Jesus used almost exclusively. As with the mysteries contained in the
Name upon which you were led to meditate, there is also great mystery
and depth of significance to the Name "Father", of which the
Church has just scratched the surface in understanding. But, of course,
Jesus understood the significance and importance very well. I think you
have probably already considered and written of this significance, but
there are even greater depths waiting for you on this subject.
So that is the message that I have for you! Hope
you don't mind my writing of it. God bless you and your family, and continue
to reveal His wonderful mysteries to you. "It is the glory of
Elohim to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings to search out a matter."