Calling On The Name Of The Lord

02/15/2016

According to Genesis 4:26, man first began to call upon the name of the Lord during the days of Seth, a son of Adam. The question is, “What was the Lord’s name?”

The ancient Hebrew text of the Old Testament uses a Tetragrammaton (four Hebrew letters) for the Lord’s name. This Tetragrammaton is commonly transliterated as YHWH as the ancient Hebrew language had only consonants. It is generally spoken as Yahweh (or perhaps Jehovah). However, outside of the Bible, there is no record of Yahweh prior to 1200 B.C. or thereabouts. So, when man first began to call upon the name of the Lord in Genesis (circa 3000 B.C. according to the timeframe given in the Bible) what did they call him?

Further complicating things is the fact that the Hebrew language had not yet come into usage at the time of Genesis. That wouldn’t occur for almost 2,000 years. Obviously, then, the name of the Lord that was first used by the ancient Israelites was not Yahweh. There are only two possibilities, therefore, that I can think of to explain the use of the name Yahweh. Yahweh could be a translation of a name from an older language or older text or, since many historians believe that the origins of the name Yahweh was actually that of a pagan Canaanite god, perhaps the Israelites didn’t even know what their Lord’s original name was.  In any event, the name was considered so sacred that they were not allowed to speak it.

One thing that is fairly certain, though, according to the Bible. That is, Yahweh was not the Prime Creator, if in fact he was a god at all. This is clearly explained in Deuteronomy 32:8-9, as follows: “When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord’s (Yahweh) portion is his people; Jacob (Israel) is the lot of his inheritance.”

So, the Most High god was not Yahweh, or whatever his name might have been at that time. So, perhaps we’ve all been asking the wrong question. The better question would be: “Who was the Most High and what was his name?”

 

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