God also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is My name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. Ex. 3:15 ESV
How should we pronounce the secretive name of God? After all, we only have its four consonants to work with: YHWH, the so-called Tetragrammaton (“four letters”). What about the vowels? Strangely enough, these four letters can be pronounced in Hebrew like vowels as well, making a name which in the early Greek translations is rendered IAO. The other possibility, IAHOUA, is found as well. In the Jewish mystic traditions two versions are found: YAWOUHE (the “seven magic letters”) as well as YAWE. Do you see? The uncertainty remains! In the 19th century, the linguistic expert Gesenius suggested the pronunciation, Yahweh, which we still use.
May we pronounce God’s personal Name? Remember, Jews stopped saying it out loud many centuries ago. Wherever they found the four letters written they would just say Adonai, “Lord”. Even so, we may say the holy Name of God because He gave it to us Himself. We may not use it vainly, though. We use it with respect, with love – with awe for our God, the Mysterious One, the Ineffable One, the One Who is.
Mysterious God, how wonderful is Your Name! I pray that I will never by word or deed bring dishonour to it. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
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