The Names of God: Yahweh

(yah-weh)
Lord, Jehovah

Use in the Bible: In the Old Testament Yahweh occurs 6,519 times. This name is used more than any other name of God. Yahweh is first used in Gen 2:4.

Variant spellings: YHWH, Jehovah

TWOT Reference: 484a

Strong’s Reference: 3068

Yahwehin the Septuagint: kurios…Lord, Master
despotês…Lord, Master, denoting the omnipotence of God (TDNT), despot, absolute ruler

Meaning and Derivation

Yahweh is the promised name of God. This name of God which (by Jewish tradition) is too holy to voice, is actually spelled “YHWH” without vowels. YHWH is referred to as the Tetragrammaton (which simply means “the four letters”). YHWH comes from the Hebrew letters: Yud, Hay, Vav, Hay. While YHWH is first used in Genesis 2, God did not reveal Himself as YHWH until Exodus 3. The modern spelling as “Yahweh” includes vowels to assist in pronunciation. Many pronounce YHWH as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah.” We no longer know for certain the exact pronunciation. During the third century A.D., the Jewish people stopped saying this name in fear of contravening the commandment “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain” (Exd 20:7). As a result of this, Adonai is occasionally a substitute for YHWH. The following compound names which start with “YHWH” have been shown using “Jehovah.” This is due to the common usage of “Jehovah” in the English of these compound names in the early English translations of the Bible (e.g., the Geneva Bible, the King James Version, etc.).

Further references of the name Yahweh in the Old Testament:Complete list available here.

  • Teri B

    Tell them I Am sent you.

    • Renee L

      EXODUS 6:3 SHOULD READ

      And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of El Shaddai, but by MY NAME
      I AM was I not known to them.

      • jhnsn d-s

        Even the Angelic spokes person used simular terms such as I am the God of your forefatehers, which moses clued in on “The God of your forefathers has sent me to you” then when Moses question on Gods pesonnel name is answered the Angel refered back to ““I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

        Since he was known as God or El shaddai of the past generations it’s understandable why the Angle would be persistant in this being said to them.

        • Joshua

          When God says to Moses that “I AM hath sent me unto you.” It was an introduction to his name. What he was saying that The One that existed, The One that exists, The One that will exist has sent me. God’s name “YHWH” was given in verse 15 hence the words “this [is] my name for ever, and this [is] my memorial unto all generations.”

  • John B

    “The Living God” is a good translation, because the Name is a compound of three forms of the verb “to be” showing that this Personage Was, Is, and Will Be (reminiscent of Heb. 13:8, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.”) Keil and Delitzsch, in their peerless commentary on the Old Testament, describe JHVH as “The Covenant Name.” I prefer that description above others because it was given to Moses along with the Covenant that pointed the faithful toward the Messiah. “The Great I AM,” “The God Who Keeps Covenant,” “The Living God,” in my view, are excellent insights to His character. The original post did not touch on God’s character and what He was communicating to Moses at the burning [glowing — like the Shekinah glory] bush [a thorn bush! — now there’s a prophesying plant!], but rather issues of pronunciation.

    • http://pickboz.blogspot.ca/ Ben Ven

      Jéhovah or yahweh was known prior Moses; see the meeting of the name of his mother probably mean Jehovah is Glory. And Moses did aske to god “what shall i say to the sons of Israel if they ask who send you? If the Israelites did not know the name of God, what would mean to them if Moses said that he was send by Jehovah? When Moses would say that he was commended by Jehovah the Israelites would be fortified because they know him and know that only Jehovah can bring then out of their servitude. When Jehovah said that they did not know him by His name, He did not mean that they did not know the name Jehovah, it mean that they do not know the meaning of that name, they only knew him like the All Mighty, but the meaning of the name Jehovah they will see when He will acte in harmony with the significance of that name. See Ezekiel 39:7 where Jehovah said that his name will be known by his people. They already know that name but they will see the meaning of that name when He will act among them. See Hosea 13:4.

      • ToddD

        It’s always better to base our understanding on God’s word rather than our assumptions. God himself says in Exodus 6:3 that He did not make himself known to Abraham, Issac and Jacob by his name, YHWH, but by “God Almighty” (El Shaddai).

  • dawn

    Each letter in the Hebrew alef-beit (alphabet) has a picture form.
    Y: Hand
    H: Behold/Revelation
    V: Nail
    H: Behold/Revelation

    I prefer to pronounce His name as Yah-oo-ah, which is very close to Jehovah. The Hebrew language doesn’t have the J and the v is usually pronounced as oo. So, replacing the Je with Yah we have Yahovah. Then take out the v and replace with the oo then we get Yahuah. (This is how I would transliterate it.) Many times the Hebrew names in the Scriptures have yahu or yah in their name, very common. for example Yirmiyahu is Hebrew for Jeremiah. notice the Y and J and the yahu at the end. His name means Yahu will lift up or Yahu will set free. Yahu and Yah are short form of His proper name. See the Psalms 146:1 Praise the LORD, יח (Yah) (H3050)!
    Praise the LORD, יחוח (YHVH) (H3068), O my soul!

    Yahushua’s name means:

    “Yah or Yahu is salavation.”

    John 14:11
    Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;

    The physical alway depicts the spiritual. Exciting stuff!

    • http://kingdominfo.net Minister Milton

      There are a lot of people that use the YAH-OO-AH (YAHUAH) but most people do not realize that that trasliteration of the name violates the syntax/grammar of the Hebrew Language both Modern and Ancient. In the language, you cannot have two vowel sounds appearing together in a syllable and in words. The name I use is YAHU or YAHUH pronounced YAH-OO. H3068 from the concordance of The Sacred Nme has a three letter spelling as well as a four letter spelling

  • Bob

    Amen Dawn!

    The truth does not need defending…
    Only to be proclaimed!!!

    JESUS said, “My sheep hear My voice.”

    JESUS is YAH in the flesh, and the virgin birth eludes to this truth.

    YAH Bless!

  • Ycheeayl Ben YAHWEH

    Praise YAHWEH and Praise YAHWEH BEN YAHWEH, and bless all who have received the only true name of GOD. The SON of YAHWEH, YAHWEH BEN YAHWEH has come and manifested the name of YAHWEH in the earth. All power in HEAVEN and in EARTH is in the NAME YAHWEH. What is to note regarding the growing recognition of the NAME YAHWEH is the timing? Why in this time of what appears to be Great despair and tribulation is there now a desire for people to return to YAHWEH? This name is most HOLY and from the Council of Nicene in 325 C.E. to the advent of the printing press in 1611 THE HOLY NAME YAHWEH has been purposely kept from those to whom it is for. All people who are spiritually or historically downtrodden, having broken hearts, deaf, dumb, lame in the mind, blind, and mentally dead to the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding that comes from THIS MOST HOLY NAME: YAHWEH (YHWH) (YOD HE WAV HE) have been deprived of this promised blessing.

    This sign in HEAVEN (in HEBREW SHAMYIM which means LOFTINESS)of the appearance of THE NAME YAHWEH on the blue letter bible website is extremely powerful and the owners of this site are blessed for their courage and compassion in sharing this blessed opportunity for the children of YAHWEH who diligently seek HIM.

    My name is Y’cheeayl Ben YAHWEH and it means “May YAHWEH Live”. In the Bible my name is spelled “Jehiel” concordance reference H3171. However my designation as “a” son of YAHWEH is to promote the LIVING YAHWEH AND HIS SON YAHWEH BEN YAHWEH forever. Barak and Todah (Bless and Thank You) Blue Letter Bible Family!

  • Tom Baker

    Yahweh is never called king of kings in the Tanakh. Yahweh becomes human to save . . . Yehoshua. He did not come to judge or He would need to be called “Yehoshaphat.” Yahweh earns the title king of kings as Jesus. Yahweh our God is god of gods and lord of lords, great, powerful mighty and awesome. Yahweh is not just the God of the Hebrews or the God of the patriarchs but He is God of all flesh . . . Jer 32.27. Yahweh died for the sins of all flesh . . . Jew and gentile, male and female, slave and free. Blessed be the name of Yeshua who came in the name of Yahweh because He is . . was . . . and will be Yahweh. There can only be One God and He shall be king over all the earth, His name alone . . . Yahweh. At the name of Jesus every knee will bend and tongue confess that He is Yahweh.

  • jhnsn d-s

    Were do the vowels come from in the names yahweh or jehovah?

  • http://cultivateinfluence.blogspot.com/ A Reader

    Wonderful info. Thank you for sharing. An inspiration. God bless you for your knowledge.

  • believes

    BLB, Would you add an option to replace LORD with YHWH or with the image of the tetragrammaton.