Listen:  143.1

I’m glad to see this question, for there has been much confusion about the word Yahweh. Yahweh, which in English is translated Jehovah,is indeed one of the names of God and it is found no less than 6,823 times in the Old Testament! One of the reasons there is confusion is that at some point in time, pious Jews thought it was irreverent to use this name and they exchanged the word Yahweh with the Hebrew word adonay, which in English is translated Lord. The majority of English translations use the words THE LORD instead of the proper word Jehovah. I know of only two translations that use the word Jehovah, the “New Translation” by John Nelson Darby and the “American Standard Version.”

The word Yahweh means “the ever-existing One.” The significance of this name is brought out beautifully in Exodus 3:13-15 which says, “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, “What is His name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses,  I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is My name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations” (ASV). Here is the first time that God actually revealed Himself to His people as Jehovah, the great I AM. Again, Yahweh, or Jehovah, means “the ever-existing One,” so in those sublime words, I AM, God was proclaiming Himself as self-existent, self-sufficient, and eternal!

It should be mentioned that the first name for God recorded in the Bible is the Hebrew word Elohim, which is translated God in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The word Elohim means “the Supreme.” But more often than not, when that word is used it is preceded by the word Yahweh, so we read, in most scripture references, the words Yahweh Elohim, which in English would be Jehovah God or the LORD GOD. God is indeed the “ever-existing One” who is also “the Supreme!”

There are other interesting “facts” about the word Yahweh, but I would like to end this question by referring to the indisputable fact that the Yahweh of the Old Testament is none other than Jesus Christ in the New Testament.  In John 8:56-58 we have this remarkable dialogue between Jesus and some religious Jews, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto Him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” Notice, Jesus didn’t say, “Before Abraham was, I was.” He said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” He used the very same name that God used in Exodus 3:13-14 in talking to Moses, thus He was stating, in no uncertain terms, that He is the great ‘I AM’!

In comparing Isaiah 40:3 with Mark 1:1-3, we see the same sublime truth. Isaiah 40:3 declares, “The voice of one that crieth, Prepare ye in the wilderness the way of Jehovah; make level in the desert a highway for our God” (ASV). In Mark 1:1-3 we read, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Even as it is written in Isaiah the prophet, Behold I send my messenger before thy face, Who shall prepare thy way. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ye ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight.” This wonderful prophecy was fulfilled by John the Baptist and Jesus Christ! John prepared the way of Jehovah and thus JESUS IS JEHOVAH! He is “God,” the great “I AM,” the “ever-existent One!”  What a revelation this is for faith to lay hold of! We that are saved can say of Jesus, as Thomas did in John 20:28, “My Lord and my God.”  (143.1)  (DO)