Jehovah or Yahweh (in Hebrew Yhwh , which could mean: ‘I am who I am’) [2] is the name of the god of the Israelites , who later became the god of Christians.

The original name is not actually known. Only the writing of its consonants in the Hebrew language, Yhwh, is known. The Hebrew language did not write the vowels. So when – due to an excess of respect – the original pronunciation of the name of the Israelite god was lost, the name had to be guessed.

According to the Book of Exodus (3: 13-15) – which is part of the Bible – the god himself told the Israelites his name to distinguish him from all the other gods, who were false to him.

In consonant Hebrew , the name is spelled Yhvh, and appears 6823 times in the Old Testament . In Greek , these four letters are called Tetragrammaton (‘four letters’). There is no strong documentary evidence to confirm the Shajvéj, Shejováj or Shiejvoáj [3] pronunciations ―which are generally Spanish as Jehovah [jeová] or Yavé [iavé] -. [4]


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  • 1 Origins
  • 2 Features
  • 3 Curiosities
  • 4 Short name
  • 5 The family of the god Yahweh
  • 6 Languages ​​and dialects
  • 7 A little history
  • 8 Where does the name Yahweh come from?
  • 9 Development
  • 10 Pronunciation
  • 11 Combinations
  • 12 Sources
  • 13 References


Name of God in ancient Hebrew characters

Jehovah (or Yahweh) appears to have originally been a god of Heaven . He was associated with the mountains and was called by the enemies of Israel a “god of the hills.”

According to the Bible it often manifested itself as a fire (as on Mount Sinai ), as a column of smoke (as in the Sinai desert), and as a burning bush.


The Bible gives us a lot of information about the God Jehovah. Here are some facts and the texts that Christians use to support them.

  • Says Jehovah is the true God of the Bible (Psalm 83:18)
  • Who is the Creator of all things (Revelation [Revelation] 4:11).
  • That he was worshiped by the prophets Abraham and Moses , and also Jesus ( Genesis 24:27; Exodus 15: 1, 2; John 20:17).
  • The Bible says that he is the God of “all the Earth “, not of a single people (Psalm 47: 2).
  • The Bible says that God has a name that belongs only to him: Jehovah (Exodus 3:15; Psalm 83:18).
  • The name Jehovah comes from a Hebrew verb that means “to become.” Some experts believe that this name means “He Causes It to Be.” This definition fits with the fact that Jehovah created all things and that he fulfills all that he sets out to do (Isaiah 55:10, 11).
  • The Bible says that its most outstanding quality is love, but that it has other qualities such as benevolence, justice and power (Exodus 34: 5-7; Luke 6:35; 1 John 4: 8).

The name Jehovah is a Spanish translation of the Hebrew name for God. This was written with the four letters of the Tetragrammaton (יהוה), which correspond to the consonants YHWH. Although the exact pronunciation of this name in ancient Hebrew is unknown, the form Jehovah has long been used in Spanish .


  1. The first Bible translation in Spanish that contains the name of God Jehovah is that of the Psalms of Juan de Valdés, from around 1537.
  2. The first time the name of God appears in the Bible is in Genesis 2: 4.
  3. In the Hebrew Scriptures (better known as the Old Testament ), the name of God appears almost 7,000 times represented with the Hebrew consonants יהוה.

Abbreviated name

In the Book of Exodus (15: 2) a short form appears, Yah. Some scholars believe that this is the oldest form of the name, which caused an exclamation to the god: “Iaj!”, Which came to be accepted as the divine name. Others claim that it comes from the root hayah (‘to be’ or ‘to become’), and that this is where the meaning that appears in the Bible comes from: “I am who I am” or “I am who makes me become ».

The family of the god Yahweh

The Bible makes no mention in any of his books on this subject.

Originally, these four consonants YHWH represented the four members of the heavenly family: Y represented God He , the Father; H was Asherah , the mother goddess; W corresponded to He, the son; and H was the daughter, Anath . According to some religious tradition, the mysterious wife of the god, the Shekiná or Matronita , was also his sister. In the Jewish worship of the KabbalahYahweh’s double male-female image was perpetuated. Meanwhile other sects perceived the Shekiná or Matronita not as a goddess but as the feminine presence of the male god Yahvé. The divine marital chamber was the sanctuary of the Temple of Jerusalem, but from the moment the temple was destroyed, the Matronite was destined to roam the Earth while the male aspect (Yahweh) had to rule the heavens only.

Laurence Gardner , Bloodline of the Holy Grail .


Languages ​​and dialects

One of the last conflicting items concerning the Bible is of more recent origin and may account for the vast majority of language problems that occur. I am referring to the new handling of the Hebrew language by the Massoretes and the Tiberians , between the 6th and 12th century. The masoretesThey were responsible for many of the alterations in the vowels and definitions of Hebrew words. In that language a vowel had not been spoken for at least a hundred years before his effort, and not until 1948 that it was brought back to life again after not being spoken for almost 1600 years. There is a reason why the meanings of various words are unknown, thus making it difficult for the modern scholar to rely solely on the Hebrew version as the ultimate authority. This is why Ebla tablets are important, as the language is similar to Hebrew and may give a clearer understanding of some uncertain pronunciations.

As the Hebrew language does not use vowels in its written form, the correct pronunciation of the name of the god Yahweh was lost, and it was reinvented around 300 n. and. by the Kabbalists who gave it the Greek title of Tetragrammaton (‘[word of] four letters’).

This hypothesis is not intrinsically improbable, and in Aramaic , a language closely related to Hebrew, the verb “to be” is called hawa . But if that name is adopted it implies that we admit that Yahweh would not be a Hebrew name.

The theme of the causation of hayah is not found in any Semitic language, except the recent Syrian , but is replaced by that of some other root. Those, therefore who still consider causative to refer to hawah , once found in Hebrew in the form hawa (‘fell’); this is interpreted as ‘he who causes fall’.

A little history

Possibly from Adam to Abraham , the god Yahweh was known only by the word “Elohim” (“the Gods”, his singular “Eloka” being: “God”).

According to the Book of Genesis (18: 3), Abraham called that god “Lord” – in Hebrew Adonai .

However, in the Book of Exodus (6: 3), the god Yahweh said that he revealed himself to Abraham by the name of Elshaddai (‘almighty’) and that he only revealed his name Ehyeh to Moses in the burning bush [5 ] (name that Abraham did not know). As Abraham called the god Adonai , the Jews inserted that title – which means ‘lord’ – in the scrolls in every instance. Ehyeh was originally written after the revelation of this as a burning bush. There, when Moses asked the bush for its name, it replied that it was Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh [5](translated ‘I am who I am’), he added: “Tell them that Ehyeh (‘I am’) has sent you.” Since Moses wrote Genesis after he received the revelation of Ehyeh’s new name, we can assume that Moses inserted the title Adonai (or ‘lord’) into the sacred record, in texts such as Genesis  4:26. But it should be noted that in Genesis 4:26 the word “started” is Strongs # 2490 in the Hebrew really means ‘desecrate the name of the god by invoking him in blasphemy’. Noah had to endure this before the flood. What is being said here is that men from that time, or the time of Enos, began to desecrate the name of the god Yahweh. Here Moses called him Lord (Adonai) and the word correctly should be Lord, and not Yhvh (and then Yahweh), as some belatedly interpolate. There can be absolutely no sacred name used before the Book of Exodus (3: 14-15) other than those revealed names. Those revealed before this time were the names Elohim (‘lords’, in the plural) and Elshaddai (‘almighty’).

Every time the title Lord appears before the Book of Exodus (3: 14-15) it must be considered an interpolation or it must have the meaning of Adonai (according to Strongs no. 136, 113). In each case that Abraham uses the title Lord – as in the Book of Genesis (22:14) -, the word was not a substitute for the tetragrammaton that is then translated Jehovah or Yahweh. Abraham had to say “Adonai jireh” (which does not mean ‘Jehovah will provide’ but ‘Lord, I see’).

This is in harmony with the fact that until the burning bush told Moses his name Ehyeh, [5] both Moses and Isaac and Jacob knew the god only as Elshaddai (‘almighty’) and as Adonai . It should be kept in mind that the word Adonai was not a name but a title, therefore the god could tell Moses that he made himself known to Abraham , Isaac , and Jacob by the name of Elshaddai, and by his name Ehyeh asher Ehyeh [5] he did not make himself known to them.

Where does the name Yahweh come from?

The Old Testament (the original Hebrew Bible , which was written before the birth of Jesus Christ), was written for the most part in the Hebrew language. In the Book of Exodus (3: 9-15 and 6: 2-3), it appears that when the god reveals his name, he gives the name YHWH which in Hebrew are the letters “yod” “he” “vav” “he “(The Nameless) and simplifying the reason for pronouncing so many consonants together they adapted it to (Yahvé or Ieué).


Because of the sacredness of the name Yahweh, and the fear of desecrating it and thus violating the second commandment of the Decalogue , the Jews gradually stopped pronouncing the name. This process occurred during the period after the composition of the Hebrew Bible , although the exact date cannot be specified. The authors of the post- exilic biblical books (such as the prophets Nehemiah and Malachi ) did not hesitate to use the word Yahweh in the same way that the pre-exilic authors did. In the 3rd century BC. n. and. , when the first books of the Bible were translated into Greek, the name Yahweh was written in Hebrew characters in Greek manuscripts, as evidenced by the Fuad 266 papyrus of Deuteronomy (1st or 2nd centuries BC) and a fragment of the Minor Prophets (beginning of the 1st century ne) found in a cave in the Nahal Hever.

However, in later Septuagint manuscripts , the name of the Hebrew god appears regularly translated as Kýrios (‘lord’). This indicates that in the first centuries of the Christian era the following habit had been firmly established: reading Adonay, “Lord”, whenever the term Yahweh appeared in the reading of a Biblical passage in Hebrew, and Kýrios, “Lord”, when the Hebrew text was translated into Greek. That this custom was well established in the 1st century Jewish nation. and. this is demonstrated by the fact that Christ and the apostles used the word Lord on a regular basis when the Old Testament writersthey would have used the name Yahweh. In fact, the term Lord had so completely replaced that of Yahweh, that Yahweh or Jehovah does not appear in any passage of the New Testament .


When the Masoretes began to add the vowels to the consonant Hebrew manuscripts (7th or 8th centuries n. E.), They added the vowels of the word Adonái to the consonants Yhwh [sh-jvj]. This formed the word Yajovaji, later Yajovái, and finally Yajová [iajová] or Yajowá [iajouá]. Until today this custom has been followed in all Hebrew Bibles , even those printed by non-Jews. The Jews always substitute Adonai instead of Yahweh every time they find it in the Bible .

From the 12th century n. e., not knowing this Jewish custom, some translators of the Bible into modern languages ​​translated YHWH with the vowels that Elolah had (a word that means’ God ‘in Hebrew, and is the singular of the Hebrew word Elohim, which means’ gods’), giving Yejováj, and later “Jehovah” (with the silent “h”), and pronounced it that way; Ex. 6: 3; Ps. 83:18; Is. 12: 2; etc.).

YHWH is generally believed to be a form of the verb hâyah (‘to be’), which could mean ‘he who is’.

Today nobody knows exactly how to pronounce the tetragrammaton YHWH, because two thousand years ago the Jews believed that it was wrong to pronounce the name of God. In the ancient Hebrew language, only consonants were written (something like abbreviations in Spanish). The vowel point system was then devised to prevent original sounds from being forgotten


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