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The Meshikhi Faith
Meshikhi – Hebrew משיחי
Transliteration: mshychy (transliterate.com)
Translation: adj. Christian, Messianic
Meshikhi meaning: “of the Messiah” or “A Follower of the Messiah”.
In Aramaic we are known as Kristyane (Christians), in Hebrew we are known as Meshikhi (Followers of The Messiah).
יָהוֶּה Yahweh (YHWH)
Meaning: He who causes to be, He who brings into being, the Creator
Dr. Michael S. Heiser
YHWH by Dr. Michael S. Heiser
The God of Israel goes by a variety of names in the Hebrew Bible. Most are “el” derivatives (El-Shaddai; El-Olam; El-Roi, etc.). At other times Israel’s God is referred to with Hebrew ha-shem (“the Name”; e.g., Isa 30:27 [cp. vv. 29, 30). Questions about the “true” name of Israel’s God, however, have the special covenant name in view – the name revealed to Moses at the burning bush event preparatory to the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. Consequently, that’s my focus here. I’ll try to keep the discussion from becoming too technical. For those who want a more technical explanation, see the link in the footnote.1
We read in Exod 3:12, 14, in response to Moses’ question to God about his name, that God responds אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֶֽהְיֶ֑ה (‘ehyeh ‘asher ‘ehyeh = usually rendered, “I am who/that I am” or “I will be who/what I will be”). However, over 6800 times the name of God is written YHWH (יהוה) — conventionally vocalized as yahweh, not אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה (‘ehyeh). This naturally gives rise to two questions: (1) Why the difference in spelling? and (2) How is the name pronounced? I’ll address both of these questions in tandem since they are related
The difference in spellings is a matter of Hebrew morphology – word formation. God is the speaker in Exod 3:14 and is speaking of himself. As a result, what God says in answer is in the first person.2 God’s answer (‘ehyeh ‘asher ‘ehyeh) employs the “to be” verb in biblical Hebrew two times. That verb is Hebrew hyh. The middle consonant (y) was frequently interchanged in ancient Semitic languages with the consonant “w” in “to be” formations. The Semitic root hwy (“to be, become”) and Aramaic hwh (“to be, become”) are also considered part of the explanation. I bring this up because it is necessary to account for the “w” in yhwh (as opposed to yhyh) in the divine name form.
So, to this point, what do we have?
1. God, speaking in the first person, gives his name as ‘ehyeh, the grammatical first person form of hyh/hwh.
2. The first person form thus has four consonants: ‘-h-y-h (the first consonant is one we don’t have in English; it is the letter aleph which is a stop in the back of the throat and not pronounced).
Moving on ….
The above name is based on a verbal root (hyh/hwh), and therefore has a parsing. In Hebrew grammar/morphology this would be: Qal stem, first person, singular, imperfect conjugation, from hyh/hwh.
The *expected* third person form of the same stem and conjugation would be yihyeh (or, yihweh). It’s translation would be “he is” or “he will be.”
So why do scholars say that the first vowel in the divine name is an “a” vowel – yahweh instead of yihyeh (or yihweh)?
The “a” vowel in the first syllable is quite secure. We know this because an abbreviated form of the divine name (“Yah” – always vocalized with “a”) appears in the Hebrew Bible nearly 50 times, mostly in Psalms (e.g., Exod 15:2; Exod 17:16 – note, this is the same book as the longer form; Isa 12:2; Isa 26:4 – along with the longer form; Psa 68:5; Psa 68:19). The most familiar form to readers is no doubt the phrase halelû-Yah (“praise Yah!”; e.g., Psa 146:10; Psa 147: 1).
The real controversial part of all this for scholars comes with the second syllable (scholars lead exciting lives). Here’s what must be accounted for:
1. The form itself must be the imperfect conjugation, since the “y” of the first syllable is prefixed to the verb root (hyh/hwh).
2. The first syllable must have an a-class vowel (“yah”) to account for the abbreviated form of the name noted above.
3. The second syllable must be an i-class vowel because of the verb root (lemma). The ancient Semitic root hwy also requires an i-class vowel in the second syllable.
There is only one morphological verb formation (parsing) that makes sense of these elements: Hiphil stem, third person, singular, imperfect conjugation, from hyh/hwh. This form is vocalized yahyeh / yahweh and would mean “he who causes to be” (the Hiphil is a causative stem in Hebrew). This is controversial because the verb hyh/hwh does not appear in the Hiphil causative stem elsewhere. Hence scholars are uneasy about taking the divine name this way. Personally, the logic here doesn’t feel compelling to me. I;m not sure why it’s necessary to have a verb form appear elsewhere for it to be considered coherent where it does / might occur. I understand the desire for another example, but it is not a logical necessity if it makes sense. And in the context of Israel’s God in effect creating a nation out of the slave population of Israel, it makes good theological / conceptual sense. But I’m in the minority here, probably because of the (in my view, overly cautious and logically unnecessary) desire for an external example of this lemma in this stem.
There are other, much more technical, reasons why a Hiphil cannot be deemed certain. For example, one concerns its meaning: “he causes to be.” Scholars expect some sort of direct object (what is caused to be) and so some suspect that yahweh is actually part of a fuller divine title. The obvious biblical example here is yahweh tseba’ot (translated, “Yahweh/Lord of hosts/armies”) which would mean “he who creates the (heavenly) hosts/armies”). I like this suggestion, as it would be a theological claim to the supremacy of Yahweh above all other divine entities as their creator, but this approach is still only speculative.
So, to sum up, the above is why most scholars feel fine with yahweh as a conventional vocalization of the Tetragrammaton, even though they aren’t sure or comfortable as to how to explain its etymology.
About Dr. Michael S. Heiser
Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (M.A., Ancient History) and the University of Wisconsin- Madison (M.A., Ph.D., Hebrew Bible and Semitic Studies), currently a Scholar-in-Residence at Logos Bible Software, a company that produces ancient text databases and other digital resources for study of the ancient world and biblical studies.
The Masoretic Text and Vowel Pointing
The vowels for Adonai and Elohim were meticulously placed on the Tetragrammaton YHWH in the Masoretic texts. For a thorough examination of the subject visit https://HebrewGospels.com and watch the YHWH video series, particularly videos 5,6 and 7. They are very exhaustive and accurate.
See also, “Why God’s Name is not Yehovah” at the following link
Theophoric references, that is, names derived from God’s Name are now more understood. See the following link under subheading Yahweh.
Waw vs Vav
Q. About when did the Hebrew ‘waw’ begin to be taken as ‘vav’?
A. The historic pronunciation of this letter (a voiced bilabial) is /waw/, a pronunciation attested in various Semitic languages (ancient and modern). Moreover, even the Masoretes (600 C.E.–1000 C.E.) arguably pronounced this letter as /waw/ (not /vav/). The common pronunciation of this letter today as /vav/ (rather than /waw/) is a reflection of conventions in the modern period, primarily those hailing from Germanic language practices (notice, for example, that the German letter /w/ is pronounced as an English /v/, not as an English /w/; thus, the German word “Wasser” [water] is pronounced /vasser/ in German). In sum, the tradition of pronouncing this letter as /waw/ is historically more accurate (and so it is found in many grammars of biblical Hebrew, including Thomas Lambdin’s). The convention of pronouncing it as /vav/ is also acceptable, but this pronunciation does hail from the modern period.
Associate Professor, George Washington University
Christopher Rollston is an associate professor in the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at George Washington University. He is a philologist and epigrapher of ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean languages and works in more than a dozen ancient and modern languages, including Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, as well as Ugaritic, Phoenician, Akkadian, Ammonite, and Moabite. He is the author of several books, including Writing and Literacy in the World of Ancient Israel (SBL, 2010).
What is God Like?
Our Father is warm, funny, loving, and wonderful to know. His dream is to fill the Earth with happy healthy people. And it will happen, His Son shares his vision for people. He believes in it so much He was willing to die to make it happen.
Our Father is infinite in Love, Power, Justice , Wisdom and every other attribute. He a true father in every sense of the word. He does not want you to be afraid of Him. The fear of God is not wanting to do anything to disrespect Him or His great love for us.
God is love (1 John 4:8). Anything in contradiction to that statement is a Satanic lie.
How Does God Exist?
Now the Bible tells us God is a spirit. God doesn’t have a body like yours. If God had a body like yours He would have to be in one place at one time. But God doesn’t have a body like you. God is a spirit and God can be in Africa He can be in Asia He can be in Europe He can be an America all at the same time. He can be on a planet he can be on the moon, at the same time. ~Billy Graham
This is what it means to live in parallel and it is how God is able to communicate with an unlimited number of people at the same time. ~Tiffany