Was the Name YHVH Known to Moses?
And I appeared to Avraham, to Yitzchak, and to Ya‘akov, as El Shaddai. And by My Name יהוה was I not known to them? Exo 6:3
Was the Creator’s Name Yehovah יהוה known to Mosheh (Moses)? in order to answer this question, we need to know that in Hebrew there is neither required interrogative clauses nor question marks. The only way to determine whether a phrase is a statement or a question is through the stress and intonation of the voice.
The name YHVH was known since the time of Seth Gen 4:26.
And to Sheth, to him also a son was born. And he called his name Enosh. Then it was begun to call on the Name of יהוה. (Gen 4:26)
I am יהוה, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it. (Gen 15:7)
I am יהוה Elohim of Avraham your father and the Elohim of Yitzchak. The land on which you are lying, I give it to you and your seed. (Gen 28:13)
From the verses above, we see that the patriarchs were very well aware of the name YHVH. So, the fathers knew the Name and therefore it should be translated as question.
But, why then was there any need to make this question? If the patriarchs knew His Name, should we not expect the same from Mosheh?
What is interesting about Hebrew language is that this verse can be translated either way: as a statement or a question.
What this verse as a statement may mean is that YHVH had not revealed Himself to the patriarchs in power (El Shaddai means “God Almighty) as He would reveal Himself to Mosheh in His wrath on Egypt, as seen in the ten plagues,
I am יהוה, and I shall bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and shall deliver you from their enslaving, and shall redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments, (Exo 6:6)
For more information on how to pronounce the Creator’s Name, read the article The Hebrew Yehovah vs. the Roman Yahweh.
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.