The Legal Context of the Name

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Have you ever wondered why the “name” is so important in Scriptures? Why are we told to call on the Name of YHVH? Why does YHVH have other names/titles like El Shaddai, Adonai, Elohim, etc. Why does Exodus 6:2-3 state that the patriarchs didn’t know God by the name YHVH, only by El Shaddai? In this short teaching, we will NOT be discussing pronunciation. Such discussions lead to fruitless arguments. Instead, we are going to focus on the legal aspect of what a “name” meant in ancient Israel.

God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am YHWH I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty (El Shaddai) but by my name YHWH I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners.

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