Posts Tagged YHWH
This last installment is where it will all come together and you should have a much better understanding of “Yahweh eloahim.”
The most difficult concept for many bible students to grasp is the fact that the Hebrew term “Yahweh eloahim” is not limited to father Yahweh or even to those known by the name Yahweh who are leaders in the eloahim.
The collective noun nature of the term eloahim makes Yahweh a family name. As noted in Part 2, this detail is specifically mentioned by the book of Ephesians:
For this cause I bow my knees to THE FATHER of our sovereign, Yahushua the messiah, FROM WHOM the whole family in the heavens and upon the earth is named. (Eph. 3:14-15).
After your perusing of Part 1 we are now ready for the next installment of our investigation regarding the issue of the possibility of more than one Yahweh in Scriptures.
Picking up from where we left off in Part 1 what we want to do next is to recognize that the true nature of Yahweh eloahim is revealed by the evidence that eloahim is the generic term for a family of ruach beings headed by a supreme eloah named Yahweh.
The subordinates and supernumeraries within this family are in Hebrew often individually referred to as a מלאך (malak), plural מלאכים (malakim), translated into Greek as ἄγγελος (angelos), and into English as “angel.”
A malak is someone you “despatch as a deputy; a messenger,” especially an “ambassador” sent by Yahweh. The word is applied to both ruach beings (angels) and humans, although each case is easily distinguished by its context. Originally, it was an office one holds and not a generic term.
How many are aware of the fact that Scriptures indicate that there is more than one personality that is referred to as Yahweh?
Strange as it may seem, when one examines the evidence contained in Scriptures, it will reveal a surprising truth that many have never considered.
Simply put, the evidence will divulge that there are plural individuals in Scriptures referred to as Yahweh!
This concept will be demonstrated by addressing the issues surrounding the Hebrew generic terms representing “deity” and “divinity.”
We’re going to start by examining the singular form אלה (eloah), its common usage as the plural אלהי (eloahi) and as the collective noun אלהים (eloahim), as well as the scriptural concept behind the expression “Yahweh eloahim.”
Let’s proceed onward to examine the evidence.
The Hebrew word אלה or אלוה (eloah)—אלהא (eloaha) in Aramaic—is a generic term derived from the title אל (el; a mighty one) and means a “mighty living being.”
Further defining what an eloah being is, we are informed that the substance of the highest eloah being, father Yahweh, is ruach (spirit, an unseen force, energy) (John 4:23-24), and that he is also described as a being of light (1 John 1:5).
This most high eloah is also defined as a consuming fire (Isa. 30:30; Heb. 12:29), a being who dwells in a devouring fire which, for mankind, is an unapproachable form of light (Isa. 33:14; 1Tim. 6:16).
Yahweh is often referred to by the singular term eloah (Aramaic form, Dan. 2:19, 45, 47, etc.). In one of the Psalms, for example, we read, “For who is eloah besides Yahweh (Ps. 18:31).” Moses writes regarding Yahweh:
And he (Yeshurun = the Israelites) abandoned the eloah who made him, AND scorned the rock of his salvation. They aroused his jealousy with foreign things, with abominations they provoked him to anger. They sacrificed to demons not to eloah, to eloahim (deities) whom they did not know, new ones who came lately; ones your fathers had not dreaded. (Deuteronomy 32:15-17)
Father Yahweh is referred to in the Aramaic portions of Daniel and Ezra as “the most high eloaha (= Heb. eloah) (Dan. 3:26),” as “אלהך (eloah-k; your eloah) (Ezra 7:14),” and as “the living eloaha, your eloah (Dan. 6:20).”
Meanwhile, in the Hebrew Scriptures he is called “Yahweh, the most high el (Gen. 14:22),” “the most high el (Gen. 14:18-20),” and, as the head of the eloahim family, “the most high of eloahim (Ps. 78:56).”
There are also a number of examples where the singular term adon (sovereign) is used when speaking of only one eloah named Yahweh.
For example, in Joshua we read about the priests who were “bearing the ark of Yahweh, adon of all the earth (Josh. 3:13).” Similarly, in passages from the book of Psalms we are told:
The mountains melt like wax before the face of Yahweh, before the face of the adon (sovereign) of the whole earth. (Psalms 97:5)
The earth trembles before the face of the adon (sovereign), before the face of the eloah of Jacob. (Psalms 114:7)
Accordingly, Yahweh is regularly defined by the singular generic term eloah and by the singular titles el and adon.
Plural Forms: Eloahi and Eloahim
The plurality expressed by the generic terms eloahi and eloahim are well demonstrated throughout Scriptures, being used for both pagan deities and Yahweh alike.
As we proceed with our investigation, we shall deal with the collective noun forms of eloahim and eloahi when applicable only to Yahweh. For now, we need to first deal with the evidence for the plurality of these two generic forms.
When not referring to Yahweh, the simple plural form of eloah is אלהי (eloahi), meaning more than one eloah being. A simple plural represents two or more things expressed with a plural verb (e.g., are, were) and plural pronoun (e.g., they, them, these).
The collective noun form of eloah is אלהים (eloahim), although at times this term is also treated as a simple plural. A collective noun denotes a plurality of persons or objects in a single group (e.g., the English words family, government, clergy, sheep, army, seed).
As a single group, this noun requires a singular verb (e.g., is, was) and pronoun (e.g., he, his, this) despite the fact that there is a plurality within the group. When used as a collective noun, eloahim stands for a single group or family of eloah beings.
The simple plural of eloahi and eloahim is demonstrated in a number of ways. When speaking of pagan deities, for example, we find such expressions as “all,” “them,” “their,” and “these.”
We read of “ALL the foreign eloahi (Gen. 35:4), “ALL the eloahi of Egypt (Exod. 12:12),” “Yahweh is greater than ALL the eloahim, for in the thing wherein THEY dealt proudly (he was) above THEM (Exod. 18:11).”
Some typical examples of these expressions are found in Deuteronomy:
You will break down the carved images of their eloahi, and destroy THEIR names out of that place. (Deuteronomy 12:3)
. . . and has gone and served other eloahim, and bowed down to THEM. (Deuteronomy 17:3)
For they went and served other eloahim, and bowed down to THEM, eloahim whom they knew not. (Deuteronomy 29:26)
But if you turn away your lebab, and you will not listen, but are drawn away, and bow down to other eloahim, and serve THEM . . . (Deuteronomy 30:17)
There are nearly two hundred examples of the simple plural usage of eloahi and eloahim found in the Masoretic Text. All of these have been translated in the Greek Septuagint by the plural terms θεοῖς (theois), θεῶν (theon), and so forth, which mean “deities” or “divinities.”
Golden Calves and Ark of Yahweh
There are even references in Scriptures where Yahweh is understood in the simple plural. When the Israelites built the two-headed golden calf at Mount Sinai (SNY, p. 78, n. 13 and Fig. 2), for example, they made a festival to Yahweh and, as we twice read, they proclaimed, “THESE are your eloahi, Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt (Exod. 32:4, 8).”
Later, when the Palestim saw “the ark of Yahweh” being carried out by the Israelites to the battlefield against them, they shouted, “Woe to us! Who will deliver us out of the hand of THESE great eloahim. THESE are the eloahim who struck Egypt with every plague in the wilderness (1 Sam. 4:5-8).”
In the days of King Jeroboam of Israel, the king built TWO golden calves representing Yahweh. Jeroboam then, pointing to these two idols of Yahweh before he placed one in Dan and the other at Bethel, notified the people, “Behold, your eloahi, Israel, which brought you out of the land of Egypt (1 Kings 12:28).”
In Hebrew, and only when used by those more correctly adhering to Yahwehism in reference to Yahweh eloahi in unity, the generic term eloahi, as well as eloahim, take on the qualities of a collective noun. As a result, in Hebrew the verbs and pronouns used for Yahweh eloahim and Yahweh eloahi are also singular.
As will be demonstrated in a forthcoming post, this approach is used for Yahweh eloahi to distinguish the special unity among the royalty within the greater body of the eloahim from their unity as expressed with the entire eloahim family. We will have more to say about this unity as we proceed with our investigation.
Indeed, the collective noun forms of eloahim and eloahi, when the reference is to Yahweh, explains why the Greek Septuagint translated these terms by the singular θεός (theos), which in turn came into English as the singular term God.
But over time the family and unity aspect of these two words have been, for the most part, lost in a movement toward strict monotheism (i.e., the notion that eloah, eloahi, and eloahim are all to be taken as only one personality in the deity) and later Trinitarian monotheism (three co-equal persons in the single god-head or deity).
For most readers, only the idea of singularity in the deity has generally been retained. This transformation of meaning has done substantial harm to any good understanding of just how these terms were originally used and has served to disguise the existence of more than one Yahweh (the greater and the lesser) standing in unity.
Not Plural of Majesty
The use of the plural forms eloahi and eloahim, meanwhile, cannot refer to a “plural of majesty,” as some strict Jewish monotheists advocate—a phrase invented as an attempt to explain away the plurality innate within the terms eloahi and eloahim, while maintaining the idea of monotheism as a single personality.
This hypothesis is impossible because the singular form “eloah” is often found applied as a direct reference to father Yahweh. If there was a plural of majesty (i.e., use of a plural to magnify the importance of Yahweh) the plural forms would be consistently utilized throughout Scriptures.
A plural of majesty also does not explain why the terms eloah, eloahim, and eloahi are often applied to Yahweh in the same discussion.
There is simply no consistency in Scriptures that would conform to this strained concept. Further, the clear statements, as mentioned above, to the plurality of Yahweh eloahi and eloahim also dismisses any strict monotheism (only one personality in the deity).
Rather, the collective noun attributes of eloahim and eloahi denote unity among different eloah personalities in the concept of deity.
Neither do these terms suggest equality among those personalities, as argued by Trinitarians. The evidence will prove that an entirely different construct is being utilized by the authors of Scriptures.
Furthermore, the plural form “eloahim,” when referencing Yahweh eloahim, does not express polytheism (many independent deities). Its use as a collective noun speaks of unity and not of independent actions.
Rather, the evidence, as we shall see, shows that Yahweh eloahim is a patriarchy: a family of ruach beings headed by father Yahweh, who created all the others and organized them politically into a hierarchy.
We must agree, therefore, with the conclusions of the Encyclopaedia Judaica:
It [the eloahim] is not to be understood as a remnant of the polytheism of Abraham’s ancestors, or hardly as a ‘plural of majesty’—if there is such a thing in Hebrew. (Encyclopaedia Judaica, 7, p. 679. 1972)
Time to take a break everyone. When you’re ready just proceed to Part 2 as we continue our investigation.
It is recognized that most of us have been taught from our early years that we all have an immortal soul. Then upon death, our soul would ultimately end up spending eternity in either heaven or hell depending on what Saint Peter decided at the Pearly Gates.
Unbeknownst to many, Scriptures give a quite different scenario.
What do Scriptures say about the matter?
If you’re still contemplating the conclusion of our last post, “Israel – Guess Who?”, then this follow-up is sure to make things more interesting.
We are now going to address a few other issues, namely the disposition, location, and condition of the nation of Ephraim/Israel, especially in the “Last Days.”
Let us first take a look at the general disposition of the nation of Israel.
Furthermore Yahweh said to me, ‘I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stubborn people. (Deuteronomy 9:13)
You have been rebellious against Yahweh from the day that I knew you. (Deuteronomy 9:24)
In the past, communication had been made with some leaders/teachers of several Sacred Name groups, and there happened to occur a discussion regarding the importance of keeping the commanded Festival Days of Yahweh.
It was pointed out during this discussion that scriptural logic dictates that if Yahweh has instructed us to keep his Festival Days, then he would provide us with the instructions for keeping them correctly.
This would seem to be a reasonable assumption on our part unless, of course, Yahweh likes being entertained by the masses of confused people wandering hopelessly in search of his truth, which would lead to their salvation and eternal life.
The general consensus among many individuals is that these various names are really one and the same so the utilization of any of them would have the same effect concerning one’s salvation.
Their reasoning stems from the assertion that the first part of the messiah’s name, Yah, contains the contracted form of the father’s name Yahweh, therefore Yah = Yahweh. So for salvation purposes, Yahushua (and its variants) = Yahweh.
For many, this reasoning would seem to be compatible with scriptural doctrine. On the other hand, when one examines this matter more thoroughly, Scriptures reveal quite another conclusion.
The purpose of this study is to investigate what Scriptures truly have to say about the matter.
Let’s start with some basics. One may ask, “What name was being utilized for salvation before Yahushua the messiah came in the flesh?”
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be saved. (Joel 2:32)
The next question might be, “Did anything change after the arrival of Yahushua the messiah in the flesh?”
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be saved. (Acts 2:21)
The verse from Acts seems very familiar, and any confusion can be eliminated once it is realized that Keph (Peter) was directly quoting from the book of Joel.
So far it is quite clear, Scriptures has shown us that there is one name, not names, to be called upon!
Name Above Every Name
Many have failed to comprehend the true message of the following verse:
Wherefore also Yahweh highly exalted him (Yahushua) and granted to him A NAME WHICH IS ABOVE EVERY NAME, that AT THE NAME OF YAHUSHUA EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and EVERY TONGUE SHOULD CONFESS that is sovereign, Yahushua the messiah, to the glory of Yahweh the father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
It is generally recognized that the above quote from Philippians is a paraphrase from Isaiah.
I (Yahweh) have sworn by myself, the word has gone out of my mouth (in) righteousness, and shall not return; THAT TO ME (YAHWEH) EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW, EVERY TONGUE SHALL SWEAR, and shall say, “Only in Yahweh do I have righteousness and strength.” To him he will come; and all who are angry with him shall be ashamed. (Isaiah 45:23-24)
Also, in reference to the citation from Philippians regarding “A NAME WHICH IS ABOVE EVERY NAME” it should be noted that it is stated in Psalms what that particular name is.
Let them praise the name YAHWEH, for his name ALONE IS EXALTED; his glory is ABOVE THE EARTH AND THE HEAVENS. (Psalm 148:13)
The question is now prompted, What name is above every name?
Certainly, the evidence does not support the idea that the term “Yah” is but a contracted or shortened form of the name Yahweh. Indeed, no other name besides the name Yahweh can fulfill the explicit message of Scriptures!
When addressing the issue of whether it was possible for the forms יהו (Yahu) and יה (Yah) to be abbreviations for יהוה (Yahweh), G. R. Driver gave the following response:
NO OTHER SEMITIC RACE ABBREVIATES THE NAMES OF ITS GODS, either when used independently or when compounded with other elements in proper names, although they not infrequently leave the name of the god to be supplied . . . IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE THAT A NAME SO SACRED AS יהוה WOULD BE COMMONLY ABBREVIATED, and the reason indeed why the shorter forms were alone used in proper names may be that they, not having the theological import of יהוה, were held less sacred and so more suitable for profane use. (Zeitschrift Für Die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft. 46 , p. 23. Driver, G. R. “The Original Form of the Name ‘Yahweh’: evidence and conclusions.”)
What the evidence from Scriptures reveals is the fact that Yahushua’s heavenly name was always “Yahweh.” Of course, Scriptures also report that his earthly name was Yahushua (Matthew 1:21) in addition to the earthly name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23).
What Does Yahushua Mean?
Next, Yahu-shua (Yah-shua) does not mean “Yahweh saves” as is popularly taught and accepted. When we let Scriptures define itself without human intervention, the translation of the messiah’s earthly name reveals it to be “Yahu saves”!
We will demonstrate this fact as we proceed.
Before we move forward, you will probably want to get a quick refresher on the name Yahushua from a previous post. Just click here: “What’s With the Yahu Spelling?”
At this point, you might be thinking, Who is this Yahu person, and where is he mentioned in Scriptures, and is it possible that Yahu could be one of the saving names?
To eliminate any doubt, one can rest assured that the evidence that we have provided from Scriptures absolutely confirms that there is only one saving name and it is not Yahu, Yah, Yahshua, Yahushua, or even Jesus.
When one examines Scriptures, it is without a doubt that Yahushua the messiah preexisted as a ruach (spirit) being. The apostle John, when referencing Yahushua as the logos (innermost expression, word), writes:
In the beginning was the logos, and the logos was with the deity (the father), and the logos was a deity. He was in beginning with the deity (the father) . . . And the logos became flesh, and tabernacled among us. (John 1:1-2, 14)
According to Scriptures, father Yahweh created all things by means of Yahushua the messiah.
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in the deity (father Yahweh), who created all things through Yahushua messiah. (Eph. 3:9)
All things were made by him (logos); and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3)
Therefore it was the logos who is identified as Yahweh eloahim who created Adam.
Then Yahweh eloahim formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)
It was the preexistent Yahushua, who was the ruach being or angel named Yahweh, who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and spoke to him.
And the angel Yahweh appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush . . . When Yahweh saw that he turned aside to see, eloahim called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here am I.” (Exodus 3:2-4)
It cannot go unnoticed that Yahushua is identified by John the baptist as having the name Yahweh and also as being one of the eloahi (ruling member of the eloahim). John the baptist cites Isaiah, which states:
The voice of one calling in the wilderness, Prepare the road of Yahweh, make straight in the desert a highway for our eloahi. (Isaiah 40:3)
The Name Yahweh Tampered With
As any teacher of Yahweh’s truth is aware, due to the ineffable name doctrine pervasive among the early Jewish religious factions, the sacred name Yahweh has been tampered with in Scriptures.
Just the fact that the name Yahweh has been vowel pointed numerous times in Scriptures by the Jewish scribes for the purpose of guiding the reader to read adonai or eloahim instead is a simple demonstration of this fact.
Another demonstration of the tampering of Scriptures by Jewish scribes is the stripping out of the Hebrew letter ו (waw) from various names within the same document.
For example, in 2 Kings 15:8, a person is named Zakar-Yahu (Remembered of Yahu), while in 2 Kings 15:11, the same person is called Zakar-Yah. There are numerous examples of this type of alteration within Scriptures.
This would also help explain the phrase found in Psalms recognizing that the ו (waw) should be restored to Yahu:
Now consider the following citations from Isaiah (again, the ו [waw] is restored to Yahu):
Behold, el is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for Yahu Yahweh is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. (Isaiah 12:2)
Trust in Yahweh for ever, for Yahu Yahweh is an everlasting rock. (Isaiah 26:4)
Add the following verse, and things become more interesting (ו [waw] is restored to Yahu):
Yahu is my strength and song, and is become my salvation. (Psalm 118:14)
As the above scriptural verses indicate, the praenomen of the ruach being or angel Yahweh is Yahu. Additionally indicated is the fact that the full name of this angel as rendered in Scriptures is Yahu Yahweh. The praenomen Yahu also specifically identifies which particular Yahweh appeared and spoke to the patriarchs saying:
I am the eloahi of your father, the eloahi of Abraham, the eloahi of Isaac, and the eloahi of Jacob. (Exodus 3:6)
We must now bring forth the fact that according to Scriptures, the angel identified as Yahu Yahweh became the man Yahushua the messiah and did not die in the transformation process.
And the angel said to her, “The sacred ruach will come upon you, and the power of the most high will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called sacred, the son of the deity.” (Luke 1:35)
It would then follow that, after becoming a man, Yahushua would have retained the name Yahweh as the surname given to him by father Yahweh. The only time that Yahu Yahweh is recorded in Scriptures to have died was when he was put to death as a man on the torture-stake which took place in 30 C.E.
By now you should be getting a good idea where all this is leading. Simply put, there was an excellent reason for the messiah to be named Yahushua. Regarding one’s salvation, Yahushua explicitly states:
I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
Only One Saving Name
By trying to make the name Yahushua, or any of its variants, equal to the sacred name Yahweh, many people have been trying to force a square peg into a round hole. No one attains salvation by the names Yah, Yahu, Yahshua, Yahushua, or even the popular Greek form, Jesus.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be saved. (Joel 2:32)
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be saved. (Acts 2:21)
The message from Scriptures is quite clear. Yahweh is the only name of salvation that is proclaimed throughout all of Scriptures!
It is the person Yahu Yahweh, who was also given the earthly name Yahu-shua (Yahu saves), who gives salvation by the same name given to him and shared by father Yahweh, the one and only sacred name Yahweh.
If the name Yahweh—not Yah, Yahu, Yahshua, Yahushua, or Jesus, etc.—is the only saving name that is shared with both father Yahweh and his son, then one should be able to readily solve the following riddle found in the book of Proverbs:
Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and WHAT IS HIS SON’S NAME? SURELY YOU KNOW! (Proverbs 30:4)
A complete discussion concerning this doctrinal issue can be found at this link: “Salvation and the Name of the Messiah.”
Some people are not sure about the issue of whether we can know the name of the creator. Some teach that it is impossible to attain this information. Some say the evidence reveals his name to be Yahweh, but the pronunciation cannot be known with certainty.
There are those who go so far as to say we shouldn’t even attempt to use the name Yahweh nor try to pronounce it, as it would disparage the creator. The logic would be that we are just too ignorant and should not use guesswork when trying to communicate with our creator. Besides, the creator recognizes our handicap and hopeless situation whereby he issues us forgiveness for not obeying his instruction to know and proclaim his name. The following is just one scriptural verse of many that seem to contradict such logic.
For it will be (that) ALL WHO WILL CALL ON THE NAME YAHWEH SHALL BE SAVED. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem will be salvation, as Yahweh has said, and among the saved who Yahweh will call. (Joel 2:32)
Actually, not at all, and nothing could be further from the truth. What you can do is accuse me of bringing to your attention the first part of the messiah’s earthly name: Yahu-shua (Yhw-shua). For some reason, the “waw” was stripped out of the name rendering the spelling Yah-shua.