First Things First
The whole reason God created us was so that He and we could get to know each other on the most intimate level. The first step in getting to know someone is learn their name. So it stands to reason that God would want us to know His personal Name. That begs the question, "Does the Creator ever tell us His Name?"
Yes, He does. He tells us His Name early on in the Towrah (see footnote). Towrah is a Hebrew word which means "teaching, instruction, guidance, means to settle disputes". It has been translated in English Bibles as "Law", which is a terrible rape of the truth and a tragedy for all mankind.
Wait a minute. What? Hebrew?! Are we going to get all Jewish here or something? Absolutely not. The Creator created Adam and Chawah long before He ever established a covenant with the Hebrew, Abraham. That man, Abraham, by the way, was a Gentile, a Babylonian. He was not a Jew. And the religion of Judaism today is based on something called the Talmud, not on God's Word and not on His one and only Family-Oriented Covenant. Therefore, what we'll be examining has nothing whatsoever to do with the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (or with any other religion for that matter). So please. Relax your emotions and let yourself focus on the evidence being presented. It will either prove itself true or it won't. There's nothing to get antsy about here. (And no one here is going to try to pick your pocket, either, so you know right there this isn't about religion!)
Names / Shemowth / Exodus 3:15 (see note below)
And God said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'Yahowah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Izhaq, and the God of Ya'aqob, has sent me to you.' This is My Name forever, and I am to be remembered by it throughout all generations."
Names / Shemowth / Exodus 20:2 (see note below)
"I am Yahowah, your God, Who brought you out of the crucible of Mizraim, out of the house of bondage."
Through His prophet, YashaYah, whom we know of as Isaiah, He tells us His Name even more emphatically.
Yah has saved / Yashayah / Isaiah 42:8
"I am Yahowah. That is My Name. My honor and respectability I surrender to no other, nor My worthiness to carved images."
"I am Yahowah. That is My Name." Plain, simple, clear, and to the point. According to God, He has but one Name, and that one Name is Yahowah. "Yahowah … is My Name forever, and I am to be remembered by it throughout all generations." He clearly states that He expects to be remembered by His Name as long as mankind exists.
So God does indeed tell us His Name. He introduces Himself as Yahowah ( יהוה ). He spoke that declaration in Hebrew, and we find it recorded in the Hebrew Towrah, Prophets, and Writings, the so-called Old Testament, a reported 7,000 times (as we'll see, Yahowah just loves the number 7). Hebrew is read from right to left, and the letters of Yahowah's Name are Yod - י - Heh -ה - Waw - ו - Heh - ה. Each is one of the standard 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, each one is a vowel, and we know how to pronounce each one of them. The most commonly used sounds for the three vowels are:
- Yod - י - ē (long "e", as in "she")
- Heh -ה - ă (short "a", as in "father")
- Waw -ו - ō (long "o", as in "hello")
Examples of commonly used Hebrew words which use the letters of the Creator's Name, Yahowah, are:
- Towrah - TWRH - תורה - Taw Waw Resh Heh
- Shalom - SLWM - שלום - Shin Lamed Waw Mem
- Goy - GWY - גוי - Gimel Waw Yod
- Israel - YSRAL - ישראל - Yod Shin Resh Alef Lamed
- Ani - ANY - אני - Alef Nun Yod (Hebrew word for "me")
- (Important: The Hebrew "yod" is a vowel, not a consonant. It is not pronounced like the "y" in "you" or in "yellow"! The name is not "Yisrael"; it is "Israel", or "Eesrael", or "Ysrael".)
We end up with the sounds ee-ah-oh-ah. Again, it is critical to remember that the Hebrew "yod" does not carry the sound of the English consonant "Y"; that is, we do not pronounce a "yod" as "yah". The "yod" carries the sound of a long "e" in English. The Hebrew "yod hey", or in English "ee-ah", when spoken together, produce "yah". Were the "yod" to be "yah" by itself, then we would have "Yah-ah", which would be completely inaccurate. Moreover, the Hebrew "waw hey" produce in English "oh ah", or in the normal flow of speech, "owah". We end up then with ee-ah-oh-ah, or Yahowah when spoken fluidly.
Therefore, anyone—regardless of who they are and what "credentials" they possess—anyone who declares that we cannot know the exact pronunciation of His Name is a liar. And those who insist that it is disrespectful to speak His Name are religious spokespersons who have no Heavenly authority backing up their man-made religious rules. Yahowah tells us His Name, and He never tells us not to use it. Never. Not once.
Notice, as well, that we do not need to use the vowel pointing system developed by the rabbis, whom Yahowah hates, in order to clearly understand how to pronounce common words in Hebrew, the language of Heaven. Just a heads up.
It really is just that plain and simple. Who is it, then, who dares to tell us that we can no longer know His Name, or that we are forbidden to vocalize it?
As for the spelling I've chosen to use, Y-A-H-O-W-A-H, that is completely arbitrary. I-A-O-A would be accurate, as would Y-A-O-A. In fact, spelling His Name in English as Yaoah is probably the purest form. It sounds like "Noah" with the sound of the "N" being replaced with the sound of "Ya", and with the stress falling back onto the first syllable. However, because "Yahowah" isn't exactly incorrect, and because I have already registered my site's name with the "Yahowah" spelling, I am pretty much "stuck like Chuck" with the less than perfect spelling for the time being.
Fortunately, the English spelling isn't really important because the Name is Hebrew, not English. And even though how we pronounce the Name is not the most important thing, either—though it is certainly important—we ought to try our very best to get it right.
When it comes to names, the proper procedure is to transliterate them rather than to translate them. We translate verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc. But we are to transliterate names. That is, we are to represent names using letters from our language to replicate the sound of the foreign name. Therefore, the Creator's Name can accurately be represented in English as Yahowah or Yaoa.
By far, the most important thing about our Creator's Name is that we understand it. That is, we want to learn what He's telling us about Himself through the Name by which He has chosen to be known. The idea that someone's name actually means something is foreign to many of us who speak English as our native language in the USA. But it was the norm in ancient times. So we'll start learning what Yahowah is telling us through His Name in the next section when we look at the pictograph characters with which He first communicated His Name. You will enjoy that, I'm sure.
Before we go there, you might be wondering if Yahowah even cares whether or not we carefully consider the meaning of His Name. It's a reasonable question. After all, if Yahowah doesn't care, why should we?
Well, as it turns out, He does care:
My Messenger / Malaki / Malachi 3:16-18
Then those who revered Yahowah spoke to one another, and Yahowah gave attention and heard it. A book of remembrance was written before Him for those who revere Yahowah and who highly value His name.
"They will be Mine," says Yahowah of the vast array of armies, "on the day that I prepare My treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who works at his side with him."
So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who works side by side with God and one who does not work side by side with Him.
Therefore, we too should care about His Name. First, we ought to learn what it is, and we have accomplished that goal on this page. We ought to learn how to pronounce it, and we've done that as well. Next, we'll want to understand what He's trying to tell us with His Name, and we're going to do that in the next article.
= יהוה = ee-ah-oh-ah = Yahowah
Song / Mizmowr / Psalm 19:7
Yahowah's Towrah is complete and entirely perfect, returning and restoring the soul. Yahowah's testimony is trustworthy and reliable, making understanding and obtaining wisdom simple for the open-minded and receptive.
Yahowah's () Towrah (torah – teaching, guidance, direction, and instruction) is complete and entirely perfect (tamym – without defect, lacking nothing, correct, genuine, right, helpful, beneficial, and true), returning and restoring (suwb – transforming) the soul (nepesh – consciousness). Yahowah's testimony ('eduwth – restoring and eternal witness) is trustworthy and reliable ('aman – verifiable, confirming, supportive, and establishing), making understanding and obtaining wisdom (hakam – educating and enlightening oneself to the point of comprehension) simple for the open-minded and receptive (pethy – easy for those who are receptive).
When you see the "ow" letter combination in words from Hebrew, such as Yahowsha, it is pronounced like the "ow" in "throw". That is, the "o" is long and the "w" is silent. We include the "w" to remind the reader that the actual Hebrew word is spelled with the Hebrew vowel "waw" (ו), which carries either the English sound of a long "o" or a long "u". So when you see, for example, "Shabbathown", the "thown" is pronounced like "thrown" as in, "The ball was thrown hard," without the "r". Easy-peasy, Weezie!
Names / Shemowth / Exodus
The name of the 2nd book of Scripture is Shemowth, which is a Hebrew word that means "Names". It is pronounced "shee MŌTH", the second syllable being stressed and sounding like the name "Moe" (as in Larry, Moe, and Curly Joe) with the "th" sound suffixed. Your English Bible most probably calls this book Exodus. "Exodus" comes from a Greek word that means "departure."
It is an indisputable fact that the Towrah, Prophets, and Writings (slanderously called The Old Testament) were written in Hebrew, not Greek, Latin, or English. Therefore, I have chosen to use the actual English translation of the original Hebrew word, Shemowth, which is "Names". That is an honest and reasonable path to take.