Pronouncing The Name
by Asher Intrater, , Revive Israel
Sometimes I am asked about the correct pronunciation of YHVH () the name of God in the Hebrew Scriptures since the time of Moses.
But first a "disclaimer" ...
It is not worth arguing about, because:
1. No one really knows for sure how it was pronounced.
2. There is no requirement in the New Covenant for specific pronunciation.
3. The first century apostolic community said the only name we had to deal with is Yeshua (Acts 4:12; Phil 2:9).
4. The name of Yeshua replaced YHVH for LORD, Adonai or "Kyrios" (Philippians 2:9).
5. The name Yeshua () is a shortened form of Yehoshua () which contains the first part ( or Yeho) of the Yehovah pronunciation of YHVH. In other words, YHVH is contained within the name Yeshua.
I am not advocating that believers in Israel start using a specific pronunciation, because:
1. The social and religious reaction against it among the Orthodox community in Israel is not necessarily worth what would be gained by trying to pronounce it.
2. When pronouncing some form of YeHoVaH in Hebrew, it is not clear what you are saying because it sounds like declensions of the verb "to be".
3. To place an overemphasis on pronunciation has often led to cultic or elitist tendencies among the groups that do so.
With all that said, anyone has the right to pronounce the name as long as it is not "in vain" (Exodus 20:7). It seems that the correct pronunciation would have been YeHoVaH (or YeHoWah if the Vav was pronounced in ancient times with a W sound, as many scholars believe).
The most obvious reason for this is that in the over 100 uses of names with the same root and the same syllable structure in the Hebrew, ALL of them without exception use the E-O-A vowel structure. The names are the following: Yehoyariv, Yehonadav, Yehoram, Yehoshevaat, Yehoshaphat, Yehosheva, Yehoshua, Yehozabad, Yehotsadak, Yehoahaz, Yehoaddan, Yehoada, Yehoyakim, Yehoyachin.
In the Middle Ages, rabbinic tradition abandoned all efforts at pronouncing YHVH by substituting the word "Adonai" (Lord). Any reference to the scribal changes of that time would be irrelevant since this is the full biblical text that we have available.
The second reason has to do with spiritual meaning. The name YHVH is connected to the verb "to be". This is seen in the Exodus 3 burning bush encounter of Moses and in more than a dozen references to "I am" as YHVH in Isaiah chapters 41-48.
In the verb "to be" in Hebrew, the "e" vowel represents the future, the "o" vowel represents the present, and the "a" vowel represents the past. Thus the spiritual significance of the name YHVH is the Eternal God, who was, is and will be (Revelation 4:8). The meaning of the name YHVH is dealt with more extensively in my book, Who Ate Lunch with Abraham?
This article was previously published on 22Jul16 here on the Revive Israel website and on 25Jul16 here on Kehila News Israel
Pronouncing The Name
by Cody Archer, , Revive Israel
In 1 Samuel 13:19-22 we see the people of Israel in a dangerous predicament - unarmed and unprepared for battle:
"Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, 'Lest the Hebrew's make swords or spears.' ... So it came about, on the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan. But they were found with Saul and Jonathan his son."
We believe this is a prophetic picture of the dangerous circumstances that the body of Messiah around the world is in today. Our senior leaders have spiritual weapons, authority and anointing; but few of them are putting those weapons in the hands of the next generation. Many have built large churches and ministries, becoming popular and "in demand". Yet often they travel the world ministering and building their ministry by themselves - without raising up spiritual sons and daughters who, one day, can take over and expand what they have started.
Being a blacksmith is not an easy or desirable job. Few people notice you or your work. It is not a high paying career choice. Who wants to labor in the heat of a sweltering furnace, day after day, in order to put weapons in the hands of the next generation's heroes knowing that your own honor and glory will not be sounded from the rooftops?
Real Leaders Raise up Other Leaders
The future of many congregations and ministries over the next 25 years depends greatly on senior leaders intentionally equipping the next generation of leaders. If this doesn't happen, many ministries that are popular today will disappear.
As so-called "millennials" (those born between the early '80s and early 2000s), we are the "next generation". We desire to learn how to fight, to lead and to advance the kingdom of God. However a lack of personal, relationship-based equipping seems to be holding us back. We respect our firmly established leaders who have years of experience and success, and the idea of their baton of leadership and oversight suddenly being passed to us either is an overwhelming idea, or we are completely uninterested. This is because before that could ever happen, we want to work together with our senior leaders, to learn practically what they do and how they do it. Even more than that, we want to receive an impartation of their vision, their values, and their passion. Only then, with the right amount of relational investment and practical equipping over the span of many years from our senior leaders, will we be confident enough and ready to take the baton when they place it in our hands.
No Time to Waste
We are moving toward the greatest spiritual battle in human history. The most intense pressures and challenges the global body of Messiah has ever faced, along with the largest revival and spiritual harvest ever seen, are knocking on our door. It is urgent that we begin to put tools in the hands of the next generation and this must become a priority NOW. It will require much time, effort and humility, but we have no other choice. Without the hearts of the older and younger generation turning to each other, we open the door to a global curse (Malachi 4:6).
As representatives of the younger generation, we are asking for your help as the veteran generation. We cannot do this alone, but together we can stop this curse in its tracks and welcome in a new season of righteousness and blessing around the world. We not only need your help; we want it. Will you not answer the call of the most fatherless generation this world has ever seen? Will you continue to pursue our hearts even after we have rejected you? Don't give up on us. We care a lot more than you might think.
(Note: We are privileged to serve under and together with Asher Intrater. He is a rare senior leader today who is equipping and releasing young leaders with much fruit. The body of Messiah around the world has much to learn from his example in this area.)
This article was previously published on 28Jul16 here on the Revive Israel website and on 29Jul16 here on Kehila News Israel
© Copyright Tikkun International Ministries. All rights reserved.