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Titles of Deity

By Craig Simpson

Everybody has a name. Our names are one of the main distinguishing features about us which make us an individual.

No individual would respond when called by a name which is not their own, and we all find a sense of comfort when strangers remember our names. If these basic statements are true of each one of us, how much more when we consider the Creator of the Universe.

We have been considering some of the basic titles by which the words "Lord" and "God" are translated in the Bible. It is proposed in this short article to have a look at the Name by which God chose to distinguish Himself.

In the Bible names had far more significance than they do today. A name recorded, often captured the essential features of a Bible character's life. And so far God to record His name, it must have a very special significance. It is often recorded that God does in fact have a name, for example:

Malachi records in 3:16-17: "Then they that fear the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels"

It will be obvious to every inquiring mind that "the LORD" is not the name of God. "LORD" is an Anglo-Saxon word which simply means "ruler." Throughout the world there are many "LORDS" and many characters are often called "Lord" in the Bible, but when God says "I am the LORD, that is my name..." He uses a different Hebrew word than is applied to other people. He actually uses His own Name.

So what is the Name of our Heavenly Father? Moses asks a similar question in Exodus 3:13-14 "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, what is his name? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." The above is a very poor translation from the Hebrew Scriptures. The words "I AM" is translated from the Hebrew word "ehyeh" which is the first person, singular number, future tense of "hayah" - "to be." Bro J.W.Thirtle in the wrote: "Out of forty other occurrences of this first person, singular number, future tense of the verb, in such a grammatical position as to make it allowable to draw a comparison with this verse, there is only one instance of "ehyeh" being rendered "I am" in the A.V. We have "I will be" 27 times, and the remaining occurrences represented by "will I be", "I shall be", "shall I be", "though I be", "should I be" etc, etc."

[Christadelphian 1818]

The word translated as "that" is the Hebrew word "asher" meaning "who which, that." And so as Bro. Thomas showed "I am that I am," is correctly translated as "I will be whom I will be" - Heb. "ehyeh asher ehyeh."

Having established this, what then of the Hebrew word "Yahweh" Bro. J.W.Thirtle again writes concerning 'EHYEH" - "Yahweh" : The former is the First person, singular number. Future tense of "Hayah" - "to be," and the latter is the third person singular. Future of havah, an older form of the same verb. "Ehyeh" is, plainly, "I will be," "Yahweh," having assumed the form of a noun, means "the He will be" or, "He who will be." Thus God when speaking of Himself calls Himself "ehyeh," and when spoken of by others desires to be called "Yahweh," for He continues to Moses in Exodus 3:15 "And God said moreover unto Moses. Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel. Yahweh God of your Fathers..." etc.

So Gods Name is "Yahweh" meaning "He who will be" - how are we to understand this? J. Thomas writes: "Yahweh" or "Yah," as a noun, and signifying "He who will be," is then the memorial name the Deity chooses to be known by among His people. It reminds them that He will be manifested in a multitude; and that, in that great multitude which no man can number, of all nations, and kindred's, and people, and tongues, which shall stand before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands (Appx. 7:9) - in each and every one of them. "He will be the all things in all" - in each and every one of them, "He will be the all things in all" - 1st Corinthians 15:28 or, as it is expressed in Ephesians 4:6 "there is one Deity and Father of all, who is upon all, and through all, and in you all."

[Eureka, vol.1, page 100]

So we see that the Name our Heavenly Father chooses to be known by is a prophetic name, it is one in which His whole purpose is summarized. It holds special interest for us as it is written in Acts 15:14 "Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name," therefore let us give earnest consideration to the lofty principles which are contained within His Name, for it has been rightly stated that the whole teaching of the entire Bible can be summarized in just one word. - "YAHWEH."