True News 4 U — Truth-Religion — 12/19/2020
We will now pick up where we left off last week on our study of The Third Commandment. This is part 3 of 4.
Swearing by the Name of Other Gods
In contrast to memorializing the name of Yahweh, we are commanded not to mention, use, or swear by the name of other gods:
“Now concerning everything which I have said to you, be on your guard; do not mention the name of other gods [either in a blessing or in a curse]; do not let such speech be heard [coming] from your mouth.”
(Exodus 23:13, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)
The names of other gods are mentioned numerous times in the Scriptures, but it is always done in a historical fashion or as a warning against following those gods. This use of the names of false gods is, therefore, permissible. Yahweh forbids using their names in a fashion that would make them appear equal or superior to Yahweh or that would encourage worshiping them. In his last instructions to the Israelites, Joshua commented upon this statute:
“6 Be steadfast and very determined to keep and to do everything that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, so that you do not turn aside from it to the right or the left, 7 so that you do not associate [non-Israelite] with these nations which remain among you, or mention the name of their gods, or make anyone swear [an oath by them], or serve them, or bow down to them. 8 But you are to cling to the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God, just as you have done to this day.”
(Joshua 23:6-8, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis added)
In addition to breaking the First and Second Commandments, anyone who promotes multiculturalism, the melting pot, pluralism or any other concept that would introduce false gods into our society is transgressing the Third Commandment and they will be judged by Yahweh:
“4 I [Yahweh] will also stretch out My hand [in judgment] against Judah And against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will cut off and destroy the remnant of Baal [One of the major male gods of Canaan. His female consort was Asherah.] from this place, And the names and remembrance of the idolatrous priests along with the [false] priests,
5 And those who bow down and worship the host of heaven [the sun, the moon, and the stars] on [The flat roofs of the houses were often used as convenient places of planetary worship (i.e. Sabeanism, astrology).] their housetops And those who bow down and swear [oaths] to [and pretend to worship] the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] and [yet also] swear by [the pagan god called] Milcom [a false god of the Moabites and Ammonites],”
(Zephaniah 1:4-5, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)
While it does not directly promote it, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution provides for polytheism:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”
While often lauded by Christians, in reality, this amendment is an overt provision for the violation of the First, Second, and Third Commandments.
Modern Israel must repent of her pluralism, including that provided for by the United States Constitution:
 God’s Covenant People: Yesterday, Today and Forever by Evangelist Ted R. Weiland.
“24 You shall not bow down to worship their gods, nor serve them, nor do [anything] in accordance with their practices. You shall completely overthrow them and break down their [sacred] pillars and images [of pagan worship]. 25 You shall serve [only] the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God, and He shall bless your bread and water. I will also remove sickness from among you. 26 No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I [Yahweh will grant you long life.] will fulfill the number of your days. 27 I will send My terror ahead of you, and I will throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you [in flight]. 28 I will send hornets ahead of you which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite before you. 29 I will not drive them out before you in a single year, so that the land does not become desolate [due to lack of attention] and the [wild] animals of the field do not become too numerous for you. 30 I will drive them out before you little by little, until you have increased and are strong enough to take possession of the land. 31 I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines (the Mediterranean), and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates; for I will hand over the residents of the land to you, and you shall drive them out before you. 32 You shall not make a covenant with them [the non-Israelite nations] or with their gods. 33 They shall not live in your land, because they will make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it is certain to be a trap for you [resulting in judgment].”
(Exodus 23:24-33, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)
This statute also pertains to fortunetellers, soothsayers, astrologers, voodooists, prognosticators, witches, sorcerers, and necromancers:
“10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire [as a sacrifice], one who uses divination and fortune-telling, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a charm or spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or a necromancer [who seeks the dead]. 12 For everyone who does these things is utterly repulsive to the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text]; and because of these detestable practices the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God is driving them out before you.”
(Deuteronomy 18:10-12, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)
Anyone who prophesies falsely in Yahweh’s or Yeshua’s name is also guilty of a Third Commandment infraction:
“But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods—that prophet shall die.”
(Deuteronomy 18:20, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis added)
“2 “In that day,” declares the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] of hosts, “I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered. I will also remove the [false] prophets and the unclean spirit from the land. 3 And if anyone still [appears as a prophet and falsely] prophesies, then his father and his mother who gave birth to him will say to him, ‘You shall not live, for you have spoken lies in the name of the Lord’ [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text]; and his father and his mother who gave birth to him shall pierce him through when he prophesies.” ”
(Zechariah 13:2-3, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)
Defiant disobedience of any of Yahweh’s commandments or statutes is also a Third Commandment violation:
“But the person who does [anything wrong] willfully [Literally with a high hand.] and defiantly, whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one is blaspheming the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], and that person shall be cut off from among his people [excluding him from the atonement made for them].”
(Numbers 15:30, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)
“Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord God [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], “Again in this your fathers have blasphemed Me, in that they acted faithlessly and treacherously against Me.” ”
(Ezekiel 20:27, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comment added)
Christian hypocrisy moreover incites the heathen to blaspheme:
“21 well then, you who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal [in ways that are discrete, but just as sinful]? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do [In Judaism at that time, one of the leading schools of thought (that of Hillel) taught that a man could divorce his wife for any reason, such as cooking a bad meal. Paul may have in mind men who use a flimsy excuse to divorce their wives, with the real intent of marrying another woman. In God’s eyes, this is an act of adultery.] you commit adultery? You who detest idols, do you rob [pagan] temples [of valuable idols and offerings]? 23 You who boast in the Law, do you [repeatedly] dishonor God by breaking [The Pharisees were distorting and breaking God’s law by giving their own interpretations priority over the plain meaning of the Scriptures.] the Law? 24 For, “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” just as it is written [in Isaiah 52:5].”
(Romans 2:21-24, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)
The Prophet Nathan told King David that his transgression with Bathsheba caused the same desecration:
“Nevertheless, because by this deed you have given [a great] opportunity to the enemies of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] to blaspheme [Him], the son that is born to you shall certainly die.”
(2 Samuel 12:14, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)
All believers in Messiah Yeshua/Jesus, especially, should be careful to avoid rebellion against Yahweh:
“Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God [which He has laid] stands [sure and unshaken despite attacks], bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord stand apart from wickedness and withdraw from wrongdoing. [Numbers 16:5; John 10:14, 27]” ”
(2 Timothy 2:19, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)
Although principally categorized as a Seventh Commandment transgression, miscegenation (crossbreeding/interbreeding), or interracial mixing, is also depicted in the book of Leviticus as something that particularly profanes the name of Yahweh:
 This will be addressed when we study The Seventh Commandment.
“You [Israel] shall not give any of your children to offer them [by fire as a sacrifice] to Molech [the god of the Ammonites], nor shall you profane the name of your God [by honoring idols as gods]. I am the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text].”
(Leviticus 18:21, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)
“2 “Moreover, you shall say to the children of Israel,
‘Any Israelite or any stranger residing in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech (the god of the Ammonites) [as a human sacrifice] shall most certainly be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3 I will also set My face against that man [opposing him, withdrawing My protection from him] and will cut him off from his people [excluding him from the atonement made for them], because he has given some of his children to Molech, so as to defile My sanctuary and profane My holy name. 4 If the people of the land should ever tolerate that man when he gives any of his children [as a burnt offering] to Molech, and fail to put him to death [as My law requires], 5 then I shall set My face against that man and against his [extended] family, and I will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him in playing [I.e. abandon the true God for an idol.] the prostitute (commit apostasy) with Molech.’ ”
(Leviticus 20:2-5, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis added)
Molech was a false god of the Ammonite and other non-Israelite pagan peoples. The following information demonstrates that these two particular passages do not have so much to do with idolatry as they do with forbidden lineage and, by extension, interracial relationships.
The phrase “the fire” in Leviticus 18:21 is in italics, indicating that it has been added to this verse by the King James translators.
The phrase “pass through” is translated from the Hebrew word `abiyr and its definition is pertinent, particularly as it concerns the context of Leviticus 18:
“…a primitive root; to cross over … specifically, to cover (in copulation).”
 James Strong, “Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary,” The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, s.v. “`abiyr” (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990) pg. 85.
“…Prop. causeth to pass over. Sc. semen….”
 Francis Brown, et. Al., The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon, s.v. “`abiyr,” pg. 718.
The latter lexicon also cites Job 21 in which `abiyr [Strong’s Concordance #H5674 עָבַר] is translated “gendereth:”
“Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf.”
(Job 21:10, KJV, emphasis added)
Other versions of Job 21:10 translate `abiyr as “mates” [Easy-to-Read Version (ERV), Modern KJV] and “breeds” [English Standard Version (ESV), Good News Bible (GNB), GOD’s Word (GW), International Standard Version (ISV), Lexham English Bible (LEB), Tree of Life Version (TLV), The Scriptures Version, World English Bible (WEB)].
Peake’s Commentary of the Bible questions the customary interpretation of Leviticus 18:21 and provides alternate analyses and translations:
“21 is generally interpreted as referring to a ceremony whereby children were passed through fire, possibly burning them as whole-offerings. But it is curious that the prohibition here occurs among sexual matters. The ancient versions have ‘cause to serve’ (Sam.), ‘serve,’ (LXX), ‘cause to lie down for sexual intercourse’ (Syr.), whilst other Greek Versions have ‘compel by force’.”
In light of Leviticus Chapter 18, this definition for `abiyr is undoubtedly the most contextually consistent. Under the heading “Moloch, Cult Of,” the Encyclopaedia Judaica provides additional justification for this interpretation:
“The book of Jubilees 30:7ff. connects intermarriage or rather the marrying off of one’s children to pagans [non-Israelites] with the sin of Moloch. This tradition seems to be echoed in the dissenting opinion of R.[abbi] Ishmael (cf. Meg. 4:9) in Sifrei Deuteronomy 18, who explains the prohibition of Moloch as the impregnation of a pagan woman, an interpretation lying behind the Syriac translation in Leviticus 18 and 20. The common denominator of all these traditions is the understanding of Moloch worship as the transfer of Jewish [Israelite] children to paganism either by delivering them directly to pagan priests or by procreation through intercourse with a pagan woman. This tradition, which could hardly be an invention, is now corroborated by the evidence in the Assyrian documents.” (comments added)
 “Moloch, Cult Of, The Nature of the Worship,” Encyclopaedia Judaica, 6 vols. (New York, NY: The Macmillan Company, 1971) vol. 12, pg. 232.
The following is a direct quotation from the Book of Jubilees:
 The book of Jubilees is a pseudepigraphic work containing the views and religious practices of the most rigid Hasidaean or Pharisaic school during the reign of John Hyrcanus over the house of Judah (135-105 BC).
“…if there is any man in Israel who desires to give his daughter or his sister to any man who is of the seed of the Gentiles, he shall surely die … for he has committed a sin and a shame in Israel…. And to this law there is no limit of days and no ceasing and no forgiveness, but he shall be rooted out who defiles his daughter, among all Israel, because he has given of his seed to Moloch…. And thou, Moses, command the children of Israel and testify over them that they shall not give any of their daughters to the Gentiles and that they shall not take any of the daughters of the Gentiles; for this is accursed before the Lord…. And it is disgraceful to Israel to those that give and to those that receive from any Gentiles any daughters, for it is unclean and accursed to Israel; and Israel will not be clean of this uncleanness of him who has of the daughters of the Gentiles for a wife, or who has given of his daughters to a man who is of any of the seed of the Gentiles….” (Jubilees 30:6-12)
In his book Old Testament Light: The Indispensable Guide to the Customs, Manners, & Idioms of Biblical Times, George M. Lamsa provides Leviticus 18:21 from the Syriac translation of the Old Testament:
“ “Seed,” in this instance, means “semen.” The Eastern text reads: “You shall not let any of your semen be cast into a strange woman to cause her to be pregnant….” …This ordinance is against cohabiting with pagan women….”
 George Mamishisho Lamsa, Old Testament Light: The Indispensable Guide to the Customs, Manners and Idioms of Biblical Times (San Francisco, London, Cambridge: Harper & Row, 1964) pg. 177.
“Lamsa also points out that the word “ ‘Molech’ … [in] the Aramaic reads ‘a strange woman’; that is, a woman of another race or religion.” ” (comment added)
 Ibid., p. 182.
Ezra and Nehemiah both confirm that Israelites who “marry” non-Israelites of forbidden lineages and by extension people of other races, sin in Yahweh’s sight:
“1 When these things were completed, the officials came to me and said, “The people of Israel and the priests and Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, but have committed the repulsive acts of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. 2 For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race [Literally seed] has intermingled [Historically, intermarriage with other nations led the Jews into pagan practices which brought God’s wrath and judgment upon all the people.] with the peoples of the lands. Indeed, the officials and chief men have been foremost in this unfaithful act and direct violation [of God’s will].” ”
(Ezra 9:1-2, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis added)
“2 Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, of the sons of Elam, said to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful to our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land; yet now there is hope for Israel in spite of this. 3 Therefore let us now make a covenant with our God to send away all the [foreign] wives and their children, in accordance with the advice of my lord and of those who tremble [in reverent obedience] at the commandment of our God; and let it be done in accordance with the Law.” ”
(Ezra 10:2-3, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)
“23 In those days I also saw Jews [Judahites] who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. 24 As for their children, half spoke in the language of Ashdod, and none of them knew how to speak [Hebrew] the language of Judah, but only the language of his own people. 25 So I contended with them and cursed them and struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, “You shall not give your daughters [in marriage] to their sons, nor take [any of] their daughters for your sons or for yourselves. 26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin [greatly against God] regarding these things? Yet among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless the foreign women caused even him to sin [by turning to other gods and so, judged by God, he lost his kingdom]. 27 Do we then hear about you that you have done all this great evil, acting unfaithfully against our God by marrying foreign (pagan) women?” ”
(Nehemiah 13:23-27, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)
This prohibition is often purported to be exclusively about religion and not ancestry. If this were true, Yahweh would have made an exception for children and spouses who converted to Him. No such exception can be found in the Bible.
 This will be addressed when we study The Seventh Commandment.
The Yehovah Deception
The name Yehovah is a latecomer in the rendering of our Creator’s Name. It has gained popularity within the Messianic and Hebrew Roots communities. However, there are some serious linguistic flaws with this pronunciation.
Before discussing those linguistic flaws, it is important to understand the premise of those who advocate using “Yehovah” for our Creator’s Name. This rendering is based on late medieval Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament that show the four letters yod (y)-hey (h)-waw (w)-hey (h) [hwhy] with the vowel points from Adonai.
Within these manuscripts or codices there are several instances where the vowel points for “Yehovah” (English, “Jehovah”) are found. Based on this fact, it is theorized that the scribes who produced these manuscripts accidentally preserved the name “Yehovah” by not removing the vowel points. There are serious flaws with this hypothesis and logic as you will soon see.
For those who believe this was a scribal error, it is important to realize that the Jewish scribes were ultra-meticulous. After copying a text, scribes would painstakingly review the script for any errors. The thought that a scribe would overlook numerous instances of the same mistake is unthinkable. According to the Jewish Talmud, there were 20 steps a scribe would go through to ensure textual accuracy. Below are some of these steps:
The scribe must be a learned, pious Jew, who has undergone special training and certification.
All materials (parchment, ink, quill) must conform to strict specifications, and be prepared specifically for the purpose of writing a Torah scroll.
The scribe must pronounce every word out loud before copying it from the correct text.
The scribe may not write even one letter into a Torah scroll by heart. Rather, he must have a second, kosher scroll opened before him at all times.
A Torah scroll is disqualified if even a single letter is added.
A Torah scroll is disqualified if even a single letter is deleted.
Every letter must have sufficient white space surrounding it. If one letter touches another in any spot, it invalidates the entire scroll.
If a single letter is so marred that it cannot be read at all, or resembles another letter (whether the defect is in the writing, or the result of a hole, tear or smudge), the entire scroll is invalidated.
Each letter must be sufficiently legible so that even an ordinary schoolchild could distinguish it from other, similar letters.
The scribe must put precise space between words, so that one word will not look like two words, or two words look like one word.
The scribe must not alter the design of the sections, and must conform to particular line-lengths and paragraph configurations.
A Torah Scroll in which any mistake has been found cannot be used, and a decision regarding its restoration must be made within 30 days, or it must be buried.
Considering these extraordinary measures, it is unfathomable that a scribe would leave the same mistake multiple times in a Hebrew manuscript of the Old Testament. The logic that “Yehovah” arose due to Jewish scribal mistakes is seriously flawed. No scholar would accept this explanation.
Written One Way, Read Another
So how do we explain the instances where the vowel points for “Yehovah” are found in these ancient Hebrew codices? According to biblical scholars, following a Jewish tradition beginning after the 6th century BCE, The Masoretes, i.e., Jewish scribes from the 6th to the 10th centuries CE, used an orthographic device known as Qere / Ketiv to conceal the name. Qere means, “what is read,” and ketiv means, “what is written.” It is found in existing Masoretic manuscripts dating to the 9th and 10th centuries CE. There are several forms of Qere / Ketiv, including: ordinary, vowel, omitted, added, euphemistic, split, and qere perpetuum.
The ketiv that is most relevant is the vowel qere. In this case, the consonants are unchanged but different vowel signs are added and only the qere, i.e., what is read, is vocalized. The most notable example of this is with the Tetragrammaton or the four letters of the Divine Name. To ensure that the divine name was not pronounced, the Masoretic Jewish scribes left the Hebrew consonants but they added the vowel points from Adonai and on occasions Elohim [Strong’s Concordance #H433 אֱלוֹהַּ]. Following the Qere / Ketiv, the reader was to read Adonai or Elohim, depending on the vowel points used. It was never the intent of the scribes that the reader pronounce the vowel points with the consonants. Not realizing this, early translators of the Hebrew Bible transliterated the Tetragrammaton as “Jehovah.” Once scholarship realized that this was never the intent of the Hebrew text, they noted the mistake. Today, there are some who either do not understand the Qere / Ketiv system or who are actively trying to mislead people by insisting that the pronunciation is Yehovah. However, as nearly all Hebrew scholars acknowledge, this name arose through a deliberate modification in the Hebrew text following a tradition of not pronouncing the Tetragrammaton, as noted by the below references.
“After the Babylonian Exile (6th century BCE), and especially from the 3rd century bce on, Jews ceased to use the name Yahweh for two reasons. As Judaism became a universal rather than merely local religion, the more common noun Elohim, meaning ‘God,’ tended to replace Yahweh to demonstrate the universal sovereignty of Israel’s God over all others. At the same time, the divine name was increasingly regarded as too sacred to be uttered; it was thus replaced vocally in the synagogue ritual by the Hebrew word Adonai (‘My Lord’), which was translated as Kyrios (‘Lord’) in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures,” Encyclopedia Britannica.
According to the Jewish Encyclopedia (1901 version) and the Babylonian Talmud, after the death of Simeon the Just in 290 BCE, the Jews stopped pronouncing the Holy Name. The Babylonian Talmud states, “Tosaf Sotah 38a suggests that the Ineffable Name could be pronounced only when there was some indication that the Shechinah rested on the Sanctuary. When Simeon the Righteous died, with many indications that such glory was no more enjoyed, his brethren no more dared utter the Ineffable Name,” Yoma 39b, footnote, pg. 186.
As confirmed by the Jewish Talmud, hundreds of years before the birth of Yeshua the Messiah, the Jews stopped pronouncing the Divine Name and they began concealing it by reading the vowel points from Adonai into the Tetragrammaton. The motivation behind this practice was not from irreverence but through a strong veneration for the Name. They were afraid that if it were pronounced, someone might misuse or blaspheme the Name. Part of this hesitation arose from their time in Babylon. While their reasoning was admirable, it is against the clear teachings in the Scriptures.
The Bible confirms the use of the Divine Name in both the Old and New Testaments, e.g., Genesis 12:8; 13:4; Exodus 3:15; Acts 2:21; and Romans 10:13. Clearly, our Heavenly Father’s Name was used by all believers. Additionally, the Bible states we are to bless (Psalm 145:21), call (Psalm 80:18; 99:6; Isaiah 12:4), confess (2 Chronicles 6:24-25; 1 Kings 8:35-36), declare (Exodus 9:16; Psalm 22:22; John 17:26; Romans 9:17; Hebrews 2:12), exalt (Psalm 34:3); glorify (Psalm 86:9, 12), honor (Psalm 66:2), magnify (2 Samuel 7:26), praise (2 Samuel 22:50; Psalm 69:30), remember (Exodus 3:15; Psalm 45:17), sing (Psalm 68:4), and trust (Isaiah 50:10) in His Name.
Scholarship Explains “Yehovah”
The decision to hide or replace the Tetragrammaton with the invalid vowel points from Adonai is what led to “Yehovah” (“Jehovah” in English). Except for a few outliers, nearly all scholarship confirms this basic fact. Consider the following:
“In the early Middle Ages, when the consonantal text of the Bible was supplied with vowel points to facilitate its correct traditional reading, the vowel points for Adonai with one variation – a sheva (short ‘e’) with the first yod [Y] of YHWH instead of the hataf-patah (short ‘a’) under the aleph of Adonai – was used for YHWH, thus producing the form YeHoWaH. When Christian scholars of Europe first began to study Hebrew, they did not understand what this really meant, and they introduced the hybrid name ‘Jehovah’ ” (Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 7, pg. 680).
“The Tetragrammaton or Four-Lettered Name…which occurs 6,823 times, is by far the most frequent name of God in the Bible. It is now pronounced ‘adonai; but the church father Theodoret records that the Samaritans pronounced it as (Iabe), and Origen transcribes it as (Iae), both pointing to an original vocalization yahveh [The waw yields a ‘w’ sound, not a ‘v’]” (The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. 5, pg. 6).
“Jehovah, modern form of the Hebrew sacred name of God, probably originally ‘Yahweh.’ From c.300 B.C. the Jews, from motives of piety, uttered the name of God very rarely and eventually not at all, but substituted the title ‘Adonai,’ meaning ‘Lord,’ the vowels of which were written under the consonants of ‘Yahweh.’ In the Middle Ages and later, the vowels of one word with the consonants of the other were misread as Jehovah” (The Collegiate Encyclopedia, vol. 9, pg. 580).
“Jehovah….What has been said explains the so-called qeri perpetuum, according to which the consonants of Jehovah are always accompanied in the Hebrew text by the vowels of Adonai except in the cases in which Adonai stands in apposition to Jehovah: in these cases the vowels of Elohim are substituted. The use of a simple shewa in the first syllable of Jehovah, instead of the compound shewa in the corresponding syllable of Adonai and Elohim, is required by the rules of Hebrew grammar governing the use of Shewa” (The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. VIII, pg. 329).
“Jehovah, an erroneous pronunciation of the name of the God of Israel in the Bible, due to pronouncing the vowels of the term ‘Adonay,’ the marginal Masoretic reading with the consonants of the text-reading ‘Yahweh,’ which was not uttered to avoid the profanation of the divine name of magical or other blasphemous purposes. Hence the substitution of ‘Adonay,’ the ‘Lord,’ or ‘Adonay Elohim,’ ‘Lord God.’ The oldest Greek versions use the term ‘Kurios,’ ‘Lord,’ the exact translation of the current Jewish substitute for the original Tetragrammaton Yahweh. The reading ‘Jehovah’ can be traced to the early Middle Ages and until lately was said to have been invented by Peter Gallatin (1518), confessor of Pope Leo X. Recent writers, however, trace it to an earlier date; it is found in Raymond Martin’s Pugeo Fidei (1270)” (Encyclopedia Americana, vol. 16, pg. 8.).
“The personal name of the [El] of the Israelites …The Masoretes, Jewish biblical scholars of the Middle Ages, replaced the vowel signs that had appeared above or beneath the consonants of YHWH with the vowel signs of Adonai or of Elohim. Thus the artificial name Jehovah (YeHoWaH) came into being” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Yahweh, Micropedia, vol. 10).
“In the Hebrew Bible the Jews wrote the consonants of the Tetragrammaton as YHWH, but out of reverence for the sacred name of God (or out of fear of violating Exod. 20:7; Lev. 24:16), they vocalized and pronounced it as Adonai or occasionally as Elohim. It is unfortunate, then, that the name was transliterated into German and ultimately into English as Jehovah (which is the way the name is represented in the American Standard Version of 1901), for this conflate form represents the vowels of Adonai superimposed on the consonants of Yahweh, and it was never intended by the Jews to be read as Yehowah (or Jehovah)” (The Making of a Contemporary Translation, pg. 107).
“Jehovah in that form was unknown to the ancient Israelites. In fact, Hebrew scholars say that Jehovah would have been impossible according to the strict principles of Hebrew vocalization. The God of Israel was known by a name approximately rendered into English as Yahweh,” (A Book About the Bible, George Stimpson, pg. 247).
“Although the meaning of the name remains subject to debate, Yahweh is most likely a verbal form of Heb. haya (perhaps originally hwy)…Because of the utmost sanctity ascribed to the name, Jews from postexilic times on have declined to pronounce it in public reading, and only the consonants were written (YHWH; the Dead Sea Scrolls use the archaic, ‘paleo-Hebrew’ script). Although the original pronunciation was thus eventually lost, inscriptional evidence favors yahwae or yahwe. The name is represented in the MT by the consonants with the vowel pointing for ‘adonay ‘Lord.’ From this derived ca, the sixteenth century the form ‘Jehovah’ (yehowah). In modern usage pious Jews often substitute the expression has-sem ‘the Name,” (The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary, Allen C. Myers, Ed., “Yahweh,” pg. 1075).
“The scribes reasoned that if they did not point the name Yahweh then it could never be treated lightly since his name would not really be known. Initially the real pointing was probably passed along by tradition, but in time it was lost. In Exodus 20:7 the name Lord is written in capital letters according to the convention of signifying the name Yahweh, but the name as it appears in the Hebrew text is hwhy (yehowa), in which appear the consonants from the name Yahweh (hwhy [yhwh]) and the vowels from the word Lord (ynda [‘idonay]). Proof for the fabricated nature of this word are the two vowels which appear on the waw, an impossibility in Hebrew. However, until the revival of the Hebrew language in western Europe scholars read the consonants YHWH (Germans would read them as JHVH) with the vowels of ‘adonay, thereby originating the incorrect form Jehovah. This word was then introduced into English by William Tyndale and was continued by the King James Version,” (The Journey from Texts to Translations, Paul D. Wegner, pp. 172-173).
“While it is almost if not quite certain that the Name was originally pronounced ‘Yahweh,’ this pronunciation was not indicated when the Masoretes added vowel signs to the consonantal Hebrew text. To the four consonants YHWH of the Name, which had come to be regarded as too sacred to be pronounced, they attached vowel signs indicating that in its place should be read the Hebrew word Adonai meaning ‘Lord’…The ancient Greek translators substituted the word Kyrios (Lord) for the Name. The Vulgate likewise used the Latin word Dominus. The form ‘Jehovah’ is of late medieval origin; it is a combination of the consonants of the Divine Name and the vowels attached to it by the Masoretes but belonging to an entirely different word… reasons the Committee has returned to the more familiar usage of the King James Version… the word ‘Jehovah’ does not accurately represent any form of the Name ever used in Hebrew,” (Revised Standard Version, Preface, pp. iv-v).
“The probable pronunciation of the OT four-lettered word YHWH, the most profound and sacred of the Hebrew names for God. The name is interpreted in Ex. 3:14 as ‘I am who I am.’ The name was held in such high regard that the Jews were forbidden to pronounce it and read the word ‘Adonai’ (i.e., lord) instead. When the Hebrew masoretes added the vowel points to the consonantal text, they used the vowels of Adonai with the four consonants YHWH; this was transliterated in the early versions as Jehovah. This form of the word became quite popular, but it should be remembered that such a word never existed,” (The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, “Yahweh,” Vol. N-Z, pg. 2537).
“Why not in the form ‘Jehovah’? Is that not euphonious? It is, without question. Is it not widely used? It is, and may still be freely employed to assist through a period of transition. but is it not hallowed and endeared by many a beautiful hymn and many a pious memory? Without doubt; and therefore it is with reluctance that is here declined. But why is it not accepted? There it is–familiar, acceptable, ready for adoption. The reason is, that it is too heavily burdened with merited critical condemnation–as modern, as a compromise, as a ‘mongrel’ word, ‘hybrid,’ ‘fantastic,’ ‘monstrous.’ The facts have only to be known to justify this verdict, and to vindicate the propriety of not employing it in a new and independent translation. What are the facts? And first as to age. ‘The pronunciation Jehovah was unknown until 1520, when it was introduced by Galatinus; but was contested by Le Mercier, J. Drusius, and L. Capellus, as against grammatical and historical propriety.’ Next, as to formation. ‘Erroneously written and pronounced Jehovah, which is merely a combination of the sacred Tetragrammaton and the vowels in the Hebrew word for Lord, substituted by the Jews for JHVH, because they shrank from pronouncing The Name, owing to an old misconception of the two passages, Ex. 20:7 and Lev. 24:16…To give the name JHVH the vowels of the word for Lord [Heb. Adonai] and pronounce it Jehovah, is about as hybrid a combination as it would be to spell the name Germany with the vowels in the name Portugal – viz., Gormuna. The monstrous combination Jehovah is not older than about 1520 A.D.’ From this we may gather that the Jewish scribes are not responsible for the ‘hybrid’ combination. They intentionally wrote alien vowels–not for combination with the sacred consonants, but for the purpose of cautioning the Jewish reader to enunciate a totally different word, viz., some other familiar name of the Most High,” (The Emphasized Bible, [Joseph Bryant Rotherham], Introduction, pp. 23-25).
“ ‘Jehovah’ is the best known English pronunciation of the divine name, although ‘Yahweh’ is favored by most Hebrew scholars. The oldest Hebrew manuscripts present the name in the form of four consonants, commonly called the Tetragrammaton (from Greek te∙tra-, meaning ‘four,’ and gram’ma, ‘letter’). These four letters (written from right to left) are hwhy and may be transliterated into English as YHWH (or, JHVH),” (Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 2, pg. 5: “Jehovah,” Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1988).
“Jehovah – ‘A mispronunciation (introduced by Christian theologians, but almost entirely disregarded by the Jews) of the Hebrew “Yhwh,” the (ineffable) name of God (the Tetragrammaton or “Shem ha-Meforash”). This pronunciation is grammatically impossible; it arose through pronouncing the vowels of the “kere” (marginal reading of the Masorites: = “Adonay”) with the consonants of the “ketib” (text-reading: = “Yhwh”)—“Adonay” (the Lord) being substituted with one exception wherever Yhwh occurs in the Biblical and liturgical books. “Adonay” presents the vowels “shewa” (the composite under the guttural aleph becomes a simple shewa under the yod), “holem,” and “kamez,” and these give the reading (= “Jehovah”). Sometimes, when the two names YHWH and Adonay occur together, the former is pointed with “ḥatef segol” under the י —thus, (= “Jehovah”)—to indicate that in this combination it is to be pronounced “Elohim.” These substitutions of “Adonay”and “Elohim” for Yhwh were devised to avoid the profanation of the Ineffable Name (hence is also written, or even, and read “ha-Shem” = “the Name”).’ ” (Jewish Encyclopedia, Emil G. Hirsch)
Needless to say, the above sources all confirm the fact that “Yehovah” or “Jehovah” arose from scribal additions to the Hebrew text. They added the vowel points from Adonai to the Tetragrammaton. Those who state that the name Yehovah is based on the Hebrew manuscripts neglect to realize this crucial fact. The debate of Yehovah is not whether this name is found in Hebrew manuscripts but rather how the name arose within these manuscripts. As scholarship overwhelmingly verifies, the name Yehovah arose from willful and deliberate alterations to the Hebrew text by Jewish scribes. For this reason, those promoting this name are simply following an old Jewish superstition designed to conceal the true name of our Creator, Yahweh!
A Late Rendition – Evolution of Je(ho)vah by the Masoretes.
From the book Pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton: A Historico-Linguistic Approach, we find this interesting scholarly explanation regarding the progression of the name Jehovah and the evolution of the “ho” sound from early Masoretic (Ben Asher) Manuscripts to the later Medieval Manuscripts.
“Both Paul Kahle and Peter Katz believed Jehovah to have originated with a combination of vowels of ‘adhonay and shema’ with the consonants of the Tetragrammaton. Dr. Reisel concurs: ‘The sewa under the yod is in my view connected with the pronunciation shema (rendering for hwhy), from which the spelling yehouah < yehwah was derived, under the partial influence of ‘dhny.’ In early Masoretic (Ben Asher) MSS the common vocalization of the Tetragrammaton is yehwah in later (Medieval) MSS we find yehouah. This is the reason why many scholars view Jehovah (Yehovah) as an unnatural, artificial construction. Such arguments against the Jehovah-pronunciation would become null and void if it could be traced back to early North Israelite usage.”
This is the problem we see. Yehovah lacks any ancient manuscripts before the Masoretic times to back it up. The preponderance of ancient evidence clearly shows us it must be discounted as a viable pronunciation.
Case of the Missing Vowel Point
Some will debate that the vowel points of Adonai and Yehovah are not the same. While this is technically true, this difference is due to Hebrew grammar. Wikipedia explains this process: “The vocalisations Yehovah and Adonai are not identical. The shva in YHWH…and the hataf patakh in [Adonai]…appear different. The vocalisation can be attributed to Biblical Hebrew phonology, where the hataf patakh is grammatically identical to a shva, always replacing every shva nah under a guttural letter. Since the first letter of ינדא is a guttural letter while the first letter of הוהי is not, the hataf patakh under the (guttural) aleph reverts to a regular shva under the (non-guttural) Yod.”
The above citation was sent to Professor Fassberg, Ph.D., at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and he concurred that the explanation was correct based on Hebrew grammar (for additional information on Professor Fassberg, see section “Waw or Vav?”).
Once a person realizes this fact, the argument that Yehovah does not contain the vowel points from Adonai is simply false. The hataf patakh (compound shwa) found under the aleph of Adonai and missing from the yod of Yehovah is the result of Hebrew grammar. Those who state otherwise in defense of Yehovah are not understanding the mechanics of the Hebrew language.
Another problem with those claiming that Yehovah is confirmed through the vowel points from Adonai is that we see alternative pronunciations of the Tetragrammaton based on Hebrew vowel points added by the Masoretes. For example, the Leningrad codex, a codex that many advocates of Yehovah rely on, contains additional Hebrew spellings. Below are six examples where the Divine Name contains different vowel points (transliteration approximate):
The Adonai Preceding Yehovah Dilemma
Those who argue that the vowels for Yehovah have no relation to Adonai have some explaining to do. Within the Leningrad codex and the Aleppo codex (see image below) is it merely coincidence that when the Tetragrammaton is preceded by Adonai, it receives different pointing? If Yehovah contains the proper and correct vowels, then why do we see the pattern of inserting the vowels for Elohim in the Tetragrammaton when Adonai proceeds it? This is a serious dilemma for the Yehovah proponents and clearly it proves a redundant pattern. This is one of those elementary concepts that slips past the unlearned but it is well understood in scholarship.
As seen (on p. 15) in the Aleppo Codex in Judges 16:28, the name YHWH appears twice with two different sets of vowel points with the approximate renderings “Yehwoh” and “Yehohiw.” “Yehwoh” derives from the vowel points of Adonai and “Yehohiw” derives from the vowel points of Elohim. When the word Adonai was in close proximity in the text to YHWH, the Jews added the vowel points from Elohim to YHWH, indicating the reader was to read “Elohim.” This was to reduce redundancy with the Hebrew Adonai. Strong’s Concordance #H3069 explains this process: “Yehovih (yeh-ho-vee’); a variation of #H3068 [used after #H136, and pronounced by Jews as #H430, in order to prevent the repetition of the same sound, since they elsewhere pronounce #H3068 as #H136]” (for clarification, #H136 correspondents to “Adonai” and #H430 to “Elohim”). According to the Englishmans Concordance, #H3069 is found a total of 615 times in the Hebrew Old Testament.”
Those who support Yehovah do so entirely on the vowel points added by the Masoretes. However, as we find in the Leningrad and Aleppo codices, along with many others, there are several different renderings for the Tetragrammaton. How is it possible to reconcile that the Jews both preserved the name Yehovah and explain why they introduced these alternate Hebrew spellings? For those who believe that Yehovah is the correct pronunciation, their only recourse would be to state that these other spellings were mistakes. However, based on the Jewish Talmud, the thought of a Jewish scribe making such a mistake, especially to the Divine Name, is unthinkable. Jewish scribal rules required that if a Torah Scroll was found to contain any mistakes it could not be used, unless the mistake was resolved within 30 days. If not, the scroll was to be buried. Knowing this, even if these alternative pronunciations were mistakes, to believe that they were all missed and allowed to remain in the text is unbelievable.
The other explanation is that the Jews willfully concealed the name with the vowel points from Adonai (as seen in Genesis 2:4 within the Leningrad codex) and Elohim (as seen in Judges 16:28 of the Leningrad and Aleppo codices). Considering the implausibility that the Jews overlooked these alternative spellings, the only logical conclusion is that they were aware and added the vowel points to instruct the reader not to pronounce the Divine Name and replace it with the words “Adonai” and “Elohim.” As a side note here, the Masoretes would often add the vowel points from Elohim to YHWH when the Tetragrammaton preceded the word “Adonai.” This was to reduce redundancy within the text.
Here are some videos to check out:
Exposing the Erroneous Name Yehovah
Discover the truth behind the erroneous hybrid names Yehovah and Jehovah. Many who advocate this name do so based on the writings of the Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex proposed by a certain Karaite Jew. Which name does scholarship support - Yehovah or Yahweh? Does ancient Hebrew support the letter waw or vav? What about Ashkenazi vs Yemenite vs Sephardic Hebrew? How do these sects of Judaism pronounce the vav or waw?What about Adonai and Yehovah? Did the Masoretes use the vowel pointing for Adonai to create the name Jehovah or Yehovah as to not inadvertently pronounce the name Yahweh? Discover the meaning of the Yehovah vowel points and tetragrammaton pronunciation.
7 Reasons the Name YEHOVAH Is a Counterfeit!
In this video we give 7 reasons Yehovah is a Counterfeit name for Yahweh and should be discounted as complete nonsense and an impossibility. We get questions from time to time asking us “is Yehovah the name of god?” Find out why there has been a disastrous misunderstanding of the name Yehovah in the Aleppo and Leningrad codices by some in the Messianic and Hebrew Roots movement. Scholarship answers the Yehovah vs Yahweh debate decisively and it’s rooted in the vowel pointing for Adonai in the Tetragrammaton.
Those claiming that Yehovah is confirmed through the vowel points from Adonai is that we see alternative pronunciations of the Tetragrammaton based on Hebrew vowel points added by the Masoretes. For example, the Leningrad codex, a codex that many advocates of Yehovah rely on, contains additional Hebrew spellings. Below are six examples where the Divine name contains different vowel points (transliteration approximate):
It’s surprising for some to learn that the short form of the name “Yah” (Yahweh = ee-ah-oo-eh) is found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. e.g. Manuscript 4Q120-4QpapLXXLevb shows us the Greek: Iota, Alpha, Omega, Transliteration: YAW or Yahw. This clearly shows that the vowel pointing with “Yeh” is erroneous as it relates to the phonetic pronunciation of the name and supports the scholarly consensus that these vowel markings are a direct result of the later vowel pointing for Adonai added to the Tetragrammaton.
Preeminent Scholar and PhD DEBUNKS the Name Yehovah
Preeminent Scholar and PhD at the Hebrew University debunks the Name Yehovah in a recent email conversation. Do scholars recognize the name Yehovah at all? Do the manuscripts with Yehovah for the tetragrammaton prove it's use anciently? Why is it some reject scholarship and the understanding that Yehovah came from the vowels for Adonai? What about the Hebrew letter vav vs the waw? Find out why Yehovah is a ridiculous translation for the proper name Yahweh.
Yehovah or Yahweh?
“Yehovah or Yahweh?” Pastors Don Esposito and Randy Folliard discuss the Jehovah, Yehovah or Yahweh question on location in the old city of Jerusalem, Israel, discuss the erroneous name “Jehovah” or “Yehovah” that some believe should be used in place of Yahweh. A few proponents of the name Yehovah are advocating that this form is based on an ancient document. In fact, this false hybrid is based on the late, 10th Century C.E. Aleppo Codex, which is when scribes were erroneously adding the vowels Adonai. Their assumptions concerning the vowel pointing of Yahweh’s Name are preposterous. Don and Randy explode their rationale through modern scholarship and actual ancient documents that clearly attest to the name Yahweh.
This wraps up our third of four parts to the teaching on The Third Commandment. I hope this third part has been informative and educational.
We will dive into our final part four next week on The Third Commandment.
November 4, 2020
Psalm 119:65-72 Hebrews 11
Psalm 119:65 TETH.
Early Hebrew Middle Hebrew
Late Hebrew Modern Hebrew
Ancient Name: Thet?
Meanings: Surround, Contain, Mud
Psalm 119:65 TETH. Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O YHVH,
according unto Thy WORD.
Psalm 119:66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge:
for I have believed Thy Commandments.
Psalm 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray:
but now have I kept Thy WORD.
Psalm 119:68 Thou art good, and doest good;
teach me Thy Statutes.