This is My Name Forever!
The Creator of the universe says about His Name Yehovah: “This is My Name forever!”
And Elohim said to Mosheh, “I exist who I exist.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I exist’ has sent me to you.’ And Elohim said further to Mosheh, “Thus you are to say to the children of Israel, ‘Yehovah Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Avraham, the Elohim of Yitshak, and the Elohim of Ya’akov, has sent me to you. This is My Name forever, and this is My mentioning to all generations.’ (Exo 3:14-15)
The name Yehovah according to the explanation given by Elohim Himself to Mosheh in Exo_3:14-15, is formed from the imperfect form of the verb הָוָה havah. This form is a rare form of the verb הָיָה hayah and can be found in Gen 27:29, Neh 6:6, and Ecc 2:22. Although it is rarely used in the Scripture, it has the same meaning as hayah.
In Exo 3:14-15 Elohim calls Himself אֶהְיֶח אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה eh-yieh asher eh-yieh, “I exist Who I exist”, then more briefly He says אֶהְיֶה eh-yieh and then again, יהוה Yehovah by changing the first person “I exist” into the third “He exist.”
Why was that change necessary? In verse 14 the Highest is talking to Mosheh, אֶהְיֶח אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה eheyeh asher eheyeh, hence a first person will be more natural to use. And then He said “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I exist’ has sent me to you” “אֶהְיֶה eh-yieh sent me to you.”
Then in verse 15, however, YHVH is telling Mosheh to say to the children of Israel basically the same but this time He is adding the phrase “Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Avraham, the Elohim of Yitshak, and the Elohim of Ya’akov” after He has pronounced a different form of His Name יהוה and followed by “This is My Name forever.”
Again, why did He use the third person of the form of הָוָה havah we are not told. And does it matter? The Highest says whatever pleases Him, but what is essential to us is that He is telling us “This is My Name forever”: יהוה, something He did not say regarding אֶהְיֶה eh-yieh. The Masoretic pointing יְהֹוָה gives the original pronunciation of the Name.
In Rev_1:4 and Rev_1:8 we find the phrase, who is and who was and who is coming.
“I am the ‘Aleph and the Tav’, Beginning and End,” says יהוה “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev 1:8)
Translated back to the original Hebrew, it will be like this: אַשֶׁר הָיָה וְהֹוֶה וְיָבוֹא asher hayah vehoveh veyavo, “who is and who was and who is to come.” This is the description and the essence of His Name. But this cannot be regarded as a linguistic proof of the formation of יהוה by the fusion of הָוָה הֹוֶה יְהִי into one word. But this can be regarded as Hebraic poetry when read together with the Name. We read:
Yehovah asher hayah vehoveh veyavo
Do we hear how the Name fuses into its poetic description?
If we seek for the meaning of יהוה, the expression אהיה אשׁר אהיה, in Exo_3:14, is neither to be rendered, “I shall be that I shall be”, nor “I am who I am.” Because in names formed from the third person imperfect tense, the imperfect is not a future tense, but a verb tense expressing action (especially past action) without indicating its completion or continuation. Hebrew language is less concerned about time but whether the action is completed or not: the imperfect is for incomplete action and the perfect for complete.
Nor shall we render the Name as “I am”, as most of the translation do, since “to be” is not actually an action verb but an auxiliary verb which denotes state, not action. Therefore, more properly we are to render like this: “I exist” (a continuous existence) since this is the literal meaning of the verb.
The repetition of the verb in the same form and connected only by the relative “who”, signifies that the subject expressed in the verb is determined only by the subject itself. The verb הָיָה does not signifies “to be, to happen, to become” but as neither happening nor becoming is applicable to Elohim, the unchangeable, since the idea of a becoming “God” is altogether foreign to the Scriptures, we must retain the meaning “to exist” which more accurately describes YHVH.
Further, אֱלֹהִים֙ Elohim, the plural of אֱלוֹהַּ, is only used in the loftier style of poetry. The plural is not used for an abstract, in the sense of deity, but to express the notion of YHVH in the fullness and multiplicity of the heavenly powers.
It is employed in an intensive sense, so that Elohim when applied to the one true God, is in the highest and absolute fullness of the supernatural essence. In this intensive sense Elohim depicts Yehovah as the infinitely great and exalted One, who created the heavens and the earth, and who preserves and governs everything, visible and invisible.
Who has gone up to the heavens and come down?
Who has grasped the wind in His fists?
Who has bound the waters in a garment?
Who established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name, and what is His son’s name, if you know it?
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.