Abram was the first in scripture to be called 'Hebrew'. Why? What does it mean? Is it only referring to the lineage that Abram descended from? Or, is there an understanding of this discriptive term that also applies to us, as Believers In Christ? This writing explores this concept.
The Coarse Course of YHWH
The opening chapter of Genesis introduces us to a plan of perfect order and precision. Chapter two of Genesis, however, begins to introduce to us the more natural and ‘human’, or ‘adamic’ aspect of our existence; and the story line begins to take on a more familiar expression. In chapter two, verse four, we are introduced to YHVH Elohim, or LORD God.
It is necessary at this point to reaffirm the understanding that the word ‘LORD’, as it appears in all capital letters in English in the KJV version of the Old Testament, is almost always translating the Hebrew word ‘yhvh’. There are a few exceptions to this ‘rule’, but very few. When you see, in English, LORD and in all capital letters, it is safe to assume that the Hebrew word ‘yhvh’, that which we more commonly refer to as ‘Yahweh’, is being translated. ‘LORD God’ is always the English expression of the Hebrew YHVH Elohim. However, when you see ‘Lord GOD’, with ‘GOD’ in all capital letters, this is normally translating the Hebrew ‘adonai yhvh’. These differences are important, and should be recognized as communicating a different thought process than that of ‘LORD God’.
I believe this aspect of ‘god’, as LORD God, to be totally misunderstood by most of religious humanity, and is better recognized as a representation of ‘adam’ (mankind) attempting to manifest a God quality of life, without yet having been introduced to, and united to, the Spirit of God as Love. For in Gen. 2:4 we are told of YHWH Elohim and the ‘making of earth and heavens’ by YHVH Elohim, or LORD God. In this verse, Gen. 2:4, it seems that LORD God is reversing the order established by Elohim in Gen. 1:1. In Genesis chapter one, Elohim is seen as ‘creator’, and creating a precise and orderly universe, and the order thereof is listed as ‘the heavens and the earth’. This is a specific and precise order, and sequence of events. It is as if the Holy Spirit of Love is revealing to us, right at the outset of this pageant, that “…the heavens” take orderly preeminence over “…the earth”. Why would this be, I ask myself? And Yashua, or Jesus if you prefer, tells us why.
KJV Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
There are those among us that would contend that ‘the kingdom of heaven’ and ‘the kingdom of God’ are two separate and distinct identities. I do not hold to that position, for God is Spirit, and the spiritual teachings of the New Testament writings confirm to me that the kingdom of heaven is indeed within me. It is the ‘kingdom of heaven’ within me that receives and embraces the Spiritual Truth that is imparted to us by the Spirit of Truth. Yashua confirmed this, at least in my understanding, by saying “It is the Father within that doeth the works”. [John 14:10] And he also taught his disciples a jewish prayer of the highest order, “Our Father, which art in heaven…”
In Gen. 2:4 we are told “…in the day that the LORD God (YHVH Elohim) made the earth and the heavens…” In this verse, LORD God seems to reverse, or distort, the precise order revealed in Gen. Chapter 1. Remember, God is not the author of confusion. [1 Cor. 14:33]
Perhaps the most severe obstacle to overcome for those attracted to Christianity, Judaism and Islam is grasping the spiritual reality revealed in Gen. 2:7. This verse may be the single most mistranslated and misunderstood verse in the Old Testament. In Gen. Chapter 1, Elohim declares to give to ‘adam’ a Spiritual identity, that ‘adam’ may therefore image God, and be the Likeness of God. For God is Spirit. In Gen 2:7, however, it is declared to us that YHVH Elohim, or LORD God, is uniquely responsible for ‘adam’, or man, being a “…living soul.” The remainder of this episode of this journey will be spent investigating the important hidden revelations contained in Gen. 2:7. And they are many.
KJV Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God [YHVH Elohim] formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
The most obvious task in investigating this verse seems to be in discussing YHVH, or Jehovah. To grasp the proper concept of what YHVH represents, some basic understanding of Hebrew is required. As a review, the Hebrew language, that which preserved for us the scripture verses we call the Old Testament, is an action verb language. All Hebrew root words are describing and revealing ‘activity’. The secret to unveiling the Hebrew language of the Old Testament is in understanding, spiritually, the activity a word is communicating. And all of the words in the Old Testament Hebrew are derived from three-letter root words that are action verbs. It is true that all three-letter Hebrew words are not root verbs. But all root verbs are made up of three letters. These root words, comprised of three Hebrew letters, or characters, are illustrating and communicating a specific activity, and the motive and purpose of that activity. And for root words to be comprised of three letters, or characters, is no coincidence. This in itself may represent the single most important aspect of discerning the Spiritual significance of biblical Hebrew. ‘Three’ is an important facet of Spiritual understanding, and on many levels.
Religion, and I use that word in the most negative of aspects, has told us that the ‘sacred name’ for ‘god’ is YHVH. This idea of a sacred name finds its roots in the Hebrew culture of the Old Testament, and from those adherents of Old Testament history that now refer to themselves as ‘jews’. The religion of Judaism established that ‘god’ had a ‘sacred name’, and that sacred name, according to Judaism, is YHVH. Those religious jews also told us that this name was a four-letter word, and no one could understand or accurately pronounce this ‘sacred name’. The jews of Judaism have impressed upon the rest of humanity this idea, so much so that even professional religionists to this very day still refer to the ‘sacred name’ as a Tetragrammaton. And a simple search in Webster’s dictionary reveals that ‘tetragrammaton’ is a made up Greek expression to indicate that the ‘sacred name’ of ‘god’ is comprised of four letters, and too sacred for man to try to pronounce. What religious rubbish!
Again, all Hebrew words are derived from root words that are formed from combinations of three letters. All root words are three-letter verbs. There are many, many words used in the Old Testament scriptures that are stand-alone root words, but when used in sentences of the scriptures, are prefixed, and/or suffixed with other letters to give context, grammar and inflections; and, to distinguish one part of speech from another. For example, many words are prefixed with the letter ‘hey’, which is the fifth letter/character in the Hebrew alphabet, and when used in this prefix role denotes ‘the definite article’, and performs the equivalent role of ‘the’ in English. Also, the letter ‘hey’ is often used as a suffix to a stand-alone word, and the ‘hey’ as a suffix designates that the word is communicating a feminine expression rather than a masculine expression. Other letters in Hebrew perform many similar functions when attached to words as a prefix or suffix, such as indicating preposition, conjunctions, adjectives and adverbs, and other grammatical functions. However, whenever a stand-alone word is prefixed or suffixed by additional letters to provide grammatical inflections, the activity that particular root word is illustrating is not lost, or disturbed. The activity of a root word never disappears just because the root word is used in a compound with additional letters. Let us now attempt to apply these basic ‘rules’ to discern the word we translate as ‘YHVH’, or more commonly recognized in English as ‘Jehovah’ or ‘Yahweh’. ‘YHVH’, ‘Jehovah’ and ‘Yahweh’ are all expressing the same Hebrew ‘tetragrammaton’ that religion has determined is a ‘sacred name’.
Hebrew is written and read from right to left, as are many eastern languages. Only those of us in western languages and cultures reverse the order from left to right. The Hebrew word we translate as YHVH is a compound of four Hebrew letters. When written in true Hebrew fashion, which is from right to left, the word appears as this; HVHY. And when read from right to left, those four Hebrew letters are as follows: yode, hey, vav, and hey. The English transliteration of those four Hebrew letters is ‘y’, ‘h’, ‘v’, and ‘h’. And some in the western language replace the ‘v’ with a ‘w’, based on how they have been taught to pronounce the Hebrew letters. In English, the ‘v’, ‘w’, and ‘u’ are all English representations of the numerous phonetic expressions of the sixth Hebrew letter, which is commonly pronounced as ‘vav’; or ‘vahv’. In this ‘tetragrammaton’, or four-letter compound word, the first letter, which is the ‘yode’ in Hebrew, is a prefix. The ‘yode’ is prefixed to the three-letter root verb ‘hvh’. This is the beginning of unveiling the mystery known as ‘yhvh’, and when unveiled, dramatically impacts and changes the remainder of the Old Testament narrative. Now, let us venture to remove the ‘yode’ prefix from ‘hvhy’, investigate the words that are derived from the ‘hvh’ root, and see what we find.