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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
(יְהוָֹה, Yehovah', Sept. usually ὁ Κω῏ / ριος, Auth. Vers. usually "the LORD"), the name by which God was pleased to make himself known, under the covenant, to the ancient Hebrews (Exodus 6:2-3), although it was doubtless in use among the patriarchs, as it occurs even in the history of the creation (Genesis 2:4). The theory of Schwind (Semitische Denkm. 1792), that the record is of later origin than the Mosaic age, is based upon the false assumption that the Hebrews had previously been polytheistic. (See GENESIS); (See GOD).
I. Modern Pronunciation of the Name. — Although ever since the time of Galatinus, a writer of the 16th century (De arcanis catholicae veritatis, lib. 3) — not, as according to others, since Raymund Martin (see Gusset. Lex. p. 383) — it has been the almost universal custom to pronounce the name יְהוָֹה (in those copies where it is furnished with vowels), Jehovah, yet, at the present day, most scholars agree that this pointing is not the original and genuine one, but that these vowels are derived from those of אֲדֹנָי, Adonai. For the later Hebrews, even before the time of the Sept. version, either following some old superstition (compare Herod. 2:86; Cicero, De nat. deor. 3, 56) or deceived by a false interpretation of a certain Mosaic precept (Leviticus 24:16), have always regarded this name as too sacred even to be pronounced (Philo, De vit. Mosis, 3, 519, 529, ed. Colon.; Joseph. Ant. 2,12, 4; Talmud, Sanhed. 2, 90, a; Maimonides in Jad. Chasaka, 14, 10; also in More Nebochim, 1, 61; Theodoret, Quoest. 13 in Exodus; Eusebius, Praep. Evangel. 2, 305). Wherever, therefore, this ineffable name is read in the sacred books, they pronounced אֲדֹנָי, "Adonay," Lord, in its stead; and hence, when the Masoretic text came to be supplied with the vowels, the four letters יהוה were pointed with the vowels of this word, the initial taking, as usual, a simple instead of a compound Sheva. This derivation of the vowels is evident from the peculiar pointing after the prefixes, and from the use of the Dagesh after it, in both which particulars it exactly imitates the peculiarities of אֲדֹנָי, and likewise from the varied pointing when following אֲדֹנָי, in which case it is written יהֵוַֹה and pronounced אֵֹּלהַים, "Elohim," God, the vowels of which it then borrows, to prevent the repetition of the sound Adonay. That a similar law or notion prevailed even before the Christian era may be inferred from the fact that the Septuag. renders יְהוָֹה by ὁ Κύριος, like אֲדֹנָי; and even the Samaritans observed the same custom, for they used to pronounce יהוה by the word שַׁימָא, Shima, i.e. THE NAME (Reland, De Samaritanis, p. 12; Huntington, Letters, p. 33). (See, on this subject generally, Hadr. Reland, Decas exercitationum philol. de vera pron. nominis Jehova [Traj. ad Rhen. 1707]).
II. True Pointing of the Word. — Maimonides (More Nebochim, 1, 62) gives an obscure account of the traditional and secret method of teaching its true pronunciation to the priests, but avers that it was unknown from its form. Many adduce the statements of Greek writers, as well profane as Church fathers, that the deity of the Hebrews was called Jao, ΙΑΩ (a few Ιευω, Ιαου ), Theodoret alone adding that the Samaritan pronunciation was IABE (Diod. Sic. 1, 94; Porphyry in Eusebius, Proep. Ev. 10, 11; Tzetzes, Chiliad. 7, 126; Hesychius often; Clemens Alex. Strom. 5, p. 666, Oxon.; Origen, in Dan. vol. 2, p. 45; Irenaeus, Hoeres. 2, 66; Jerome, in Psalms 8; Theodoret, Quoest. 15 in Exodus; Epiphanius, Hoer. 20). The Gnostics classed Ι᾿αω, as the Hebrew divinity, among their sacred emanations (Irenaeus, 1, 34; Epiph. Hoer. 26), along with several of his appellations (see Mather, Histoire du Gnosticisme, tab. 8-10; Bellermann, Ueber die Gemmen der Alten mit dem Abraxasbilde, fasc. 1, 2, Berlin, 1817, 1818); and that famous oracle of Apollo, quoted by Macrobius (Sat. 1, 18), ascribing this name (Ι᾿αώ ) to the sun, appears to have been of Gnostic origin (Jablonski, Panth. AEgypt. 1, 250 sq.).
Hence many recent writers have followed the opinion of those who think that the word in question was originally pronounced יְהוָֹה, Yahvoh', corresponding to the Greek Ι᾿αώ . But this view, as well as that which maintains the correctness of the common pointing יהוה (Michaelis, Supplem. p. 524; Meyer, Blä tter fü r hö here Wahrheit, 11, p. 306), is opposed to the fact that verbs, of the class (ל 8ה ) from which this word appears to be derived do not admit such a pointing (Cholem) with their second radical. Moreover, the simple letters in יהוה would naturally be pronounced Jao by a Greek without any special pointing. Those, therefore, appear to have the best reason who prefer the pointing יִהְוֶה, Yahveh' (not יִהֲוֶה, Yahaveh', for the first ה being a mappik-he [as seen in the form יָהּ, kindred sum, esse] does not take the compound Sheva), as being at once agreeable to the laws of Hebrew vocalization, and a form from which all the Greek modes of writing (including the Samaritan, as cited by Theodoret) may naturally have sprung (י =t, ו =o as a "mater lectionis," and ה being silent; thus leaving a as the representative of the first vowel). From this, too, the apocapated forms יָהוּ and יָהּ may most readily be derived; and it is further corroborated by the etymology. Ewald was the first who used in all his writings, especially in his translations from the O.T. Scriptures, the form Jahve, although in his youth he had taken ground in favor of Jehovah (comp. his Ueber d. Composition der Genesis, Brunswick, 1823). Another defender of Jahveh was Hengstenberg (Beiträ ge zur Einleit. ins A. T. Berlin, 1831-39, vol. 2). Strongest in defense of Jehovah is, among prominent German theologians, Hö lemann, Bibelstudien (Leipzig, 1859-60), vol. 1.
III. Proper Signification of the Term. — A clue to the real import of this name appears to be designedly furnished in the passage where it is most distinctively ascribed to the God of the Hebrews, Exodus 3:14 : "And God said to Moses, I shall be what I shall be (אֲשֶׁר אְֵהיֶה אְֵּהיֶה ); and he said, Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel, The I SHALL BE has sent me to you" (where the Sept. and later versions attempt to render the spirit of the Hebrew אְֵהיְה by ὁ ὤν,, the Venetian Greek barbarously ἡ ὀντώτης, Vulg. qui sum, A. Vers. "I am"). Here the Almighty makes known his unchangeable character, implied in his eternal self-existence, as the ground of confidence for the oppressed Israelites to trust in his promises of deliverance and care respecting them. The same idea is elsewhere alluded to in the Old Test., e.g. Malachi 3:6, "I am Jehovah; change not;" Hosea 12:6, "Jehovah is his memento." The same attribute is referred to in the description of the divine Redeemer in the Apocalypse (Revelation 1:4; Revelation 1:8, ὁ ὣν καὶ ἠν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος, a phrase used indeclinably, with designed identification with Jehovah, see Stuart, Commentary, ad loc.), with which has been aptly compared the famous inscription on the Saitic temple of Isis (Ε᾿γώ εἰμι τὸ γεγονὸς καὶ ὃν καὶ ἐσόμενον, Plutarch, De Isid. et Osir. 9), and various parallel titles of heathen mythology, especially among Eastern nations. Those, however, who compare the Greek and Roman deities, Jupiter, Jove, Διός, etc., or who seek an Egyptian origin for the name, are entirely in error (see Tholuck's treatise transl. in the Bib. Repos. 1834. p. 89 sq.; Hengstenberg, Genuineness of the Pentateuch, 1, 213; for other Shemitic etymologies, see Fü rst, s.v.). Nor are those (as A. M'Whorter, in the Bibliotheca Sacra, Jan. 1857, who appears to have borrowed his idea from the Journ. of Sac. Lit. Jan. 1854, p. 393 sq.; see Tyler, Jehovah the Redeemer, Lond. 1861) entirely correct (see Fü rst's Heb. Wö rterb. s.v.) who regard יִהְוֶה as= יִהֲוֶה, and this as the actual fut. Kal of the verb הָוָה = הָיָה, and so render it directly he shall be, i.e. He that shall be; since this form, if a verb at all, would be in the Hiphil (see Koppe ad Exod. loc., in Pottii Syll. 4, p. 59; Bohlen, ad Gen. p. 103; Vatke, Theolog. Bibl. p. 671) and would signify he that shall cause to be, i.e. the Creator; for the real fut. Kal is יַהְיֶה, Yihyeh', as frequently occurs. It is rather a denominative, i.e. noun or adj., formed by the prepositive י prefixed to the verb root, and pointed like יִבְנֶה and other nouns of similar formation (Nordheimer's Hebr. Gram. § 512; Lee's Hebr. Gram. § 159). The word will thus signify the Existent, and designate one of the most important attributes of Deity, one that appears to include all other essential ideas.
IV. Application of the Title. — The supreme Deity and national God of the Hebrews is called in the O.T. by his own name Jehovah, and by the appellative ELOHIM, i.e. God, either promiscuously, or so that one or the other predominates according to the nature of the context or the custom of the writer. Jehovah Elohim, commonly rendered the "Lord God," is used by apposition, and not, as some would have it, Jehovah of gods, i.e. chief or prince of gods. This is the customary appellation of Jehovah in Genesis 2, 3; Exodus 9:30, etc. Far more frequent is the compounded form when followed by a genitive, as "Jehovah God of Israel" (Joshua 7:13; Joshua 8:30); "Jehovah God of thy fathers" (Deuteronomy 1:21; Deuteronomy 6:3); "Jehovah God, thy God" (Deuteronomy 1:31; Deuteronomy 2:7); "Jehovah of hosts," i.e. of the celestial armies. (See HOST).
It will be evident to the attentive reader that the term Lord, so frequently applied to Christ in the N.T., is generally synonymous with Jehovah in the Old Test. As Christ is called "The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty;" and also, of him it is said, Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever; he must be Jehovah, the eternally existing and supreme God (Psalms 102:25-27; Hebrews 1:10-12; Hebrews 13:8; Revelation 1:4; Revelation 1:8). See LOGOS. JAH (יָהּ, Yah, Sept. Κύριος, Auth. Vers. "Lord," except in Psalms 68:4) is a poetic form abbreviated from Jehovah, or perhaps from the more ancient pronunciation Jahveh. It is chiefly employed in certain customary formulas or refrains (as a proper title in Psalms 89:9; Psalms 94:7; Psalms 94:12; Isaiah 38:11; Exodus 15:2; Psalms 118:4; Isaiah 12:2; Psalms 68:5; Isaiah 26:4). This, as well as a modification of JEHOVAH, frequently occurs in proper names. (See HALLELUJAH).
It should be remembered that the Hebrew name Jehovah is generally rendered, in the English version, by the word LORD (sometimes GOD), and printed in small capitals, to distinguish it from the rendering of אֲדֹנָי and Κύριος by the same word; it is rendered "Jehovah" only in Exodus 6:3; Psalms 83:18; Isaiah 12:2; Isaiah 26:4, and in the compound proper names following.
VI. Literature. — For a full discussion of the questions connected with this sacred name, see, in addition to the above-cited works, Gataker, De noms. Dei tetragram, in his Opp. Crit. (Traj. ad Rhen. 1698); Meier, Lectio nom. tetragram exam. (Viterbo, 1725); Capellus, Or. de nom. Jehova, in his Critica Sac. p. 690; Crusius, Comment. de nominis tetragran. signif. (Lips. 1758); Malani, De Dei nom. juxta Heb. comment. crit. (Luccae, 1767); Koppe, Interpretat. formuloe, etc. (Gö ttingen, 1783), and in Pott's Sylloge, 4, 50-66; Eichhorn, Biblioth. 5, 556-560; Wahl, D. Namen Gottes Jehova, excurs. 1 to his Habbakuk; J. D. Michaelis, De Jehova ab AEgyptü s culto, etc. in his Zerst. kl. Schrift. (Jena, 1795); Brendel, War Jehova bei den Heb. bloss ein Nationalgott? (Landsb. 1821) [see Theol. Annal. for 1822, p. 384]; R. Abr. ben-Ezra, Sepher Hasshem, mit Comm. by Lippmann (Fulda, 1834); Landauer, Jehova u. Elohim (Stuttg. 1836); Gambier, Titles of Jehovah (London, 1853); De Burgos, De nomine tetragrammato (Frankf. 1604; Amsterd. 1634); Fischer, id. (Tub. 1717); Jahn, De יהוה (Wittenb. 1755); Rafael ben-David, תִּעֲלוּמוֹת (Venice, 1662); Reineccius, De יהוה (Leipz. 1695- 6); Snoilshik, id. (Wittenb. 1621); Stephani, id. (Leips. 1677); Sylburg, De Jehova (Strasburg, 1643); Volkmar, De nominibus divinis (Wittenb. 1679); Kochler, De pronunciatione et vi יהוה (Erlangen, 1867); Kurtz, Hist. of the Old Covenant, 1, 18 sq.; 2, 98, 215. (See ELOHIM).
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Jehovah'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/j/jehovah.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.