of the Name of the
HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL
as Revealed in His Word, the Bible
by A.B. Traina
The MYSTERY of God's Name
by Abraham Silverstein
Below you will find pagan names and titles repeatedly used as Elder Traina refutes Mr. Silverstein's use of such names and titles. It is the belief of Yahweh's Assembly in Messiah that this document has tremendous value in understanding reasons people use the pagan names/titles and why they are unjustified in doing so. It is our prayer that no one shall be offended by the inclusion of this work.
The Question Answered
by A. B. Traina
This article is written as an answer to the one published in the "Redeemed Hebrew" of May 1944 entitled, "The Mystery of God's Name," that the people who are sincerely seeking the light may have an opportunity to investigate for themselves, if, indeed, this treatise arouses sufficient personal interest. It is with this hope that the following material is presented, so that their search for Truth may be made easier by thus supplying sources of unquestioned facts, hence quoting authoritative references, which they can readily verify for themselves.
THE NAME QUESTION
The Name question is nothing new. The problem of keeping the Name of the Holy One of Israel separate and apart (sanctified) from all other names of so-called deities is as old as the Bible itself. Moses and Joshua had their troubles in keeping Israel from committing the sacrilege of calling Him names of the deities of the nations around them. For this reason Moses issued the edict, found in Exodus 23:13, that the names of these deities should not come into their mouths, or be mentioned in any way. Joshua repeated the same, in Joshua 23:7. David recognized the same truth and pledged himself fro this sacrilege, as stated in Psalm 16:4. Let us all check these references by turning to the Bible. Paul, in the New Testament, reiterated the same truth, when he said, "For though there be that which are called gods, whether in heaven or earth (as there be gods many, and lords many), but to us there is but one Eloah (Mighty One) the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Savior, Yahshua the Messiah, by whom are all things, and we by Him," 1 Corinthians 8:5,6.
Now, if it be true that there are "gods many and lords many," it is true that each of these gods and lords is designated by a name, or title. Therefore, the name by which one calls the object of one's worship is in itself the proof as to whether one is worshiping the one Eloha (Mighty One) the Father, whose name is Yahweh, and His Son, Yahshua, the Messiah--or perhaps it may be the worship of any of the other hundreds of deities from the pantheons of the heathen religions.
To the earnest student, who is intent on the research of the truth in this matter of the one Name, perhaps now would be the right moment to acquire a comparative background and perspective to this whole picture of "Who's who." Among the many excellent references on the subject, there is suggested, as a preview, a volume entitled, "A Standard Bible Dictionary," edited by M.W. Jacobus, E.E. Nourse, and A.C. Zenos, and published by Funk and Wagnalls, in 1909,. All necessary material may be found on pages 571 to 572 and 780 to 791, inclusive. (There is a new edition, published in 1926.)
The reason for all this confusion as to the Name is not entirely due to the members, but chiefly to the leaders of the church. In Elijah's day, this great prophet did not put the blame on the people, but on the 400 priests, or ministers, of Baal, who were eating from Jezebel's table. In Jeremiah's time, Yahweh did not blame the people, but the leaders, who because of disuse and substitution of the true Name, had caused the people to worship Baal. See Jeremiah 23:27. While in verse 13, with the help of the marginal reading, in your own Bible, you may paraphrase the verse, as follows: "And I have seen an absurd thing and unsavory one in the prophets of Samaria (Israel); they preach in the name of Baal (the Lord) and cause my people to err."
It can be traced through all the prophets that the organized priesthood deliberately took liberties in substituting the names of pagan deities for the Name of Yahweh, for the sake of prestige and the rise in so-called perquisites, because the pagan feasts were more lucrative, and more attractive to the sensual minds.
Smith's Bible Dictionary states: "The substitution of the word LORD (in the Scriptures) is most unhappy; for, while it in no way represents the meaning of the Sacred Name, the mind has constantly to guard against a confusion with its (Lord) lower uses; and, above all, the direct personal bearing of the Name on the revelation God (Elohim) through the whole course of Jewish history is kept injuriously out of sight." In other words, the true Creator of heaven and earth is not really known except through the use of His own Name, by which He revealed Himself to all of His chosen from Adam down to Apostolic times. For this reason, let us keep in mind that when I quote from the Scriptures, I am quoting from the original Hebrew text, and not from a false translation, such as the King James version; while Mr. Silverstein is endeavoring to uphold the admittedly erroneously translated King James version, in order to maintain his Jewish fables and traditions, in opposition to the commandments of the Most High, to sanctify and hallow His Holy Name.
THE ARGUMENT CONSIDERED
Now, let us review the statements of Mr. Silverstein, the editor of the "Redeemed Hebrew," in conjunction with a running account of the subject, as set forth in The Bible.
Mr. Silverstein states: "The unknown Name of God is holy. No one in all history of the world has ever known the name of God. The Lord God, the Creator of the universe, never intended men to know His Name. There is an unexplained mystery which surrounds this in all Hebrew writings, both Biblical and traditional. Just as the Bible emphasizes that no man could see the face of God and live, so has it always been believed that no man could know the Name of God and remain alive." (End of Quote)
In Genesis 4:26, the Bible states that "Then men began to call on the Name of Yahweh." Now, how could they call on Him whose Name they did not know? The Bible states, "I am Yahweh, the Elohim (Mighty One) of Abraham thy father," Genesis 28:13. In quoting from Exodus 15:3, we have, "Yahweh is a man of war. Yahweh is His Name." "They that know Thy Name will put their trust in Thee," (Psalms 9:10). "I will set him on high, because he hath known My Name," (Psalms 91:14). There is practically no end of evidence and revelation of the Name of the Most High. In fact, it is quoted in its purest form of Yahweh a total of 5410 instances. In connection with the title of Elohim, Yahweh appears as a grand total of at least 5,989 times. See among other Biblical sources of accepted authority "The Jewish Encyclopedia," Vol. 12, p. 118. But first let us turn to the next statement of the editor of the "Redeemed Hebrew."
Mr. Silverstein states: "To show that indeed it has always been not only a Biblical fact, but a customary and traditional belief that God's face, voice and Name are secrets, we will cite a few instances. Jacob meets on angel of the Lord. From reading the story in Genesis 32, we gather that it is God Himself who is with Jacob. Jacob wrestles all night with God, 'til the breaking of day. God asks Jacob his name, and changes it (to Israel). Jacob then asks God His Name, and is promptly refused, 'Wherefore is it that thou does ask after My Name?' Jacob then calls the place 'Peni-El' (face of God), because he had seen God and his life was preserved (Genesis 32:30). But because he had been in personal touch with the holy person of God, Jacob came out of the encounter a limping man, because the 'hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew shrank' (Genesis 32:32). As a result, 'The children of Israel eat not of the sinew that shrank unto this day' (Genesis 32:32." (End of Quote)
Now Yahweh did not promptly refuse to answer Jacob on the question of the Name, but rather shows surprise that Jacob should have asked for the Name, when already Yahweh had revealed His Name to him, as it is written, "And behold Yahweh stood above it, and said, 'I am Yahweh, the Elohim (Mighty One) of Abraham thy father, and the Elohim of Isaac: the land where thou standest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed,'" (Genesis 28:13). In the 15th verse, Yahweh promised, saying, "And behold I AM with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of" (Genesis 28:15).
Yahweh had been with Jacob from this revelation to his destination and back to the starting point, fulfilling every one of His promises; and yet Jacob had forgotten the fact that all these blessings had come from Yahweh; and had the effrontery to ask who it was that was wrestling with him, and what was His Name! This is paralleled only by Phillip, when he said to the Savior, "Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us." Yahshua said unto him, "Have I been so long a time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Phillip?" (John 14:9).
Let us turn to another statement made by Mr. Silverstein: "Then we have that extraordinary annunciation of Samson's, akin to that of the birth of Jesus and John, when the angel of the Lard appeared to Manoah's barren wife. After speaking to the Angel of the Lord, both he and his wife feared that they would die because they had looked on the face of the Lord. But the more remarkable thing about this meeting between a human and the divine is that when Manoah asked him for his Name, His answer was, 'And the Angel of the Lord said unto him, Why asketh thou after my Name, seeing it is Secret?' (Judges 13:18)." (End of Quote)
To those who are familiar with the Hebrew, the following will come as no great surprise. Sixty-one times, the word "Secret" appears in the Old Testament, and it is translated from fifteen different Hebrew words, meaning to "hide" and to "conceal;" but the word erroneously translated "secret" in Judges 13:18, is the Hebrew word "Pele," which is never translated other than "Wonderful," "Wonderous," or "Wonderfully," except in this one instance. It is the same word translated "Wonderful" in Isaiah 9:6. In Judges 13, the word "Pele" appears twice, once as "Peli," in verse 18, and again as "Pela," in verse 19, where it is translated "Wonderously." Under no circumstance is the Hebrew word "Pele" translated as "secret," except in this one instance in Judges 13:18.
To return to Mr. Silverstein's article. He writes: "Even the prophets, who were supposed to be in almost constant and uninterrupted communication with God, despaired when they thought they had looked upon the real face of the Lord. In the wonderful description of his vision, Isaiah, the prophet, believed for a moment that he had observed the Holy person of God, and he cried out, 'Woe is me, for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts.' It was then necessary for one of the angels to come nigh and burn his lips with a 'live coal' which he had taken with tongs 'from off the altar,' and by doing so, Isaiah's 'SIN' was purged. In other words, the holy word of God considers gazing upon the person of God, or speaking the holy and secret name of of God a sin which needs purging with fire, at least in Isaiah's case." (End of Quote)
Now please consider well the above quotation from Mr. Silverstein's article, in the "Redeemed Hebrew." The truth is that in Isaiah 6:5, the prophet is confessing his unworthiness to look upon the Person of the Holy One of Israel--because he considers that he is a man of unclean lips, and is contaminated by the fact that he is living among a people of unclean lips, which thus constitutes sin; and hence, unworthy to behold the glory of Yahweh; for it is written, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see Yahweh" (Matthew 5:8). See also the entire 15th Psalm, together with Psalms 24:3, 4. But Yahweh knew what was in Isaiah, and revealed Himself to him.
Another statement of Mr. Silverstein is this: "And now we come to the book of Revelation. John has his vision of the innermost secrets of heaven. When he beheld the presence of the Lord in person, such a fear overcame him that he 'fell at His feet as dead,' and only came to when the Lord laid his hands upon him and assured him not to be afraid for it was Jesus, 'the first and the last.' This shows clearly that all Jews, whether in the Old or New Testament, maintained a superhuman respect for the divine presence, the divine voice, and the divine and Unknown Name. It has been believed, and is the faith of the Jews now, that any physical contact with the Person, Name, or Voice of God would result in some physical disability. Take the case of Paul, the apostle, for instance; he was a strict pharisaical Jew, who was honestly opposing Christianity, which then began to take powerful root in Judaism. On his way to Damascus, the voice of Jesus arrested him, and we can see how instantly Paul surrendered to Jesus. But having heard the actual and secret voice, he was stricken blind and remained so until the Messenger of the Lord came to restore his eyesight." (End of Quote)
But, is not the following conception more nearly in true keeping with the all-loving and merciful consistency of the Scriptures in proclaiming that "Whom Yahweh loveth He chasteneth" (Hebrews 12:6)? And again, "My son, despise not the chastening of Yahweh neither be weary of His correction; for whom Yahweh loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth," (Proverbs 3:11, 12). Therefore, it is not amiss to conclude that neither John nor Paul were struck down because it was sinful to behold the presence of the Holy One, or because the latter heard the voice. Indeed, it was the potent effulgence of the glory of the Presence which proved too much for mortal man to behold, so that Paul necessarily weakened before such manifestations of power. The same thing happened to Daniel, as recorded in Daniel 10:5-19. In fact, there is no record stating that any of Yahweh's chosen have ever died because they saw the Presence, or heard the Voice, or spoken the Name.
Going back now to the article in the "Redeemed Hebrew," Mr. Silverstein states: "And as to the Name of God, the preceding instances from the Bible are given for the purpose of establishing a Biblical basis for the contention that God is not only holy, but altogether unapproachable except through the advocacy of the Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, and that no one, under any circumstances may either know or pronounce His holy Name. The word 'Holy' means something more than is generally understood. The Jews know what it means; the Mohammedans know what it means, and so do the heathen, who do not even know of our God; but, alas, millions of Protestants do not know the meaning of the word 'Holy.' To them it is simply a designation of something that is in heaven, a something that is descriptive of the Divine, a vague idea of the Truth itself. Few think of it as being something above the mortal, supernatural, unapproachable by a common human being. And that is what 'Holy' means. It means that we mortals cannot even dare to think of coming into the presence of God, nor to pronounce the holy and unattainable Name of God. No man ever lived, outside of Christ, who was worthy to know the name of god." (End of Quote)
Here Mr. Silverstein speaks of prohibition against the pronunciation of the Name of Yahweh, but let me call to the attention of the reader that the only prohibition in the Bible against pronouncing any names, is found in Exodus 23:13: "And in all things that I said unto you, be circumspect: and make no mention of the names of other Gods,--neither let it be heard out of thy mouth." And again, in Joshua 23:7, "That ye come out among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the Name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourself unto them." This prohibition is directed against the use of the names of the gods of the nations surrounding Israel, and NOT against the Name of the Holy One is Israel. Concerning His Name, it is written, "Because I will PUBLISH the NAME of YAHWEH: ascribe ye greatness unto our Elohim," (Deuteronomy 23:3). "I will declare Thy Name unto my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee," (Psalms 22:22). This was to be done by the Messiah, and that He did so is evidenced by His words, "I have manifested Thy Name unto the men Thou gavest me," (John 17:6).
And again, "I have declared unto them Thy Name, and will declare it," (John 17:26). In his dissertation, Mr. Silverstein states that no one but the Messiah is worthy to know the Name of the Elohim. That, indeed, may be granted, but the Messiah's work was to reveal it unto men, even though they were unworthy. We are His congregation: He is our Shepherd.
Mr. Silverstein continues: "It has been generally believed that 'JHVH' (Jehovah), or Yahweh, was the Name of God. In the first place, the original Hebrew contains no vowels, only consonants; and, in the second place, the four letters which represent this expression [Yahweh] express not a name but a sentence; and, in the third place, no man ever lived who could pronounce these four consonants correctly; for no one ever claimed to know how. It would therefore be folly for any one to wish to change the Name of God, or Lord, into a Hebrew combination of consonants, which no man ever could pronounce correctly." (End of Quote)
In the preceding, Mr. Silverstein states that the four consonants "JHVH" (Jehovah, or Yahweh) are not the Name of the Holy One of Israel. Now in Isaiah 42:8, it is written "I am YHWH [Yahweh]. That is My Name." Mr. Silverstein also states that in the original Hebrew there are no vowels, only consonants. This is positively NOT TRUE. This fallacy has been exploded by the discovery in 1947 of the most ancient manuscript of the book of Isaiah. Of this book, Dr. Millar Burrows of Yale University says, "From this point of view, the most significant fact about the Isaiah manuscript is the degree to which it agrees with our traditional text. The agreement is by no means exact in every detail. In the spelling of words there are a great many difference. Our manuscript was written long before the system of indicating vowels by points had been developed, and it makes very free use of W,Y,H and Aleph [A] to indicate vowels." (End of Quote)
In the "Wars of the Jews," by Josephus, the Jewish Historian, Book 5, Chapter 5, Section 7, he tells us what the High Priest wore, a mitre also of fine linen encompassed his head, which was tied by a blue ribbon, about which there was another golden crown, in which was engraven the Sacred Name, "It consists of FOUR VOWELS." Here we have ancient historic testimony that the Sacred Name is made up of Four Vowels, and they are pronounceable, for it is made up of Latin alphabet equivalent I E U E, which in English would be pronounced "Yahweh."
-four times (44), the contracted form "Yah" appears in the original Hebrew, and it is the writer's belief that originally the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel contained this short form of the Name thousands of times, before these books were re-edited by Ezra, the Scribe, after the Babylonian captivity. Many of the prophets had the contracted form of the name "Yah" attached to their names as, for instance, Eli-Yah, Isa-Yah, Jerem-Yah, O-bad-Yah, Zephan-Yah, Zachar-Yah and ALL can and do pronounce them.
Mr. Silverstein has stated that: "As it happens, these four consonants do not constitute a name, but an entire sentence. The actual and true translation of this combination is: 'He that was, He that is, He that is to come.'" (End of Quote)
Admitted that the Name of Yahweh has the meaning as outlined above, but what name is there that does not have some meaning? "Eli-Yah" means "El-is-Yah." "Moses" means "He that is drawn out." "Dani-El" means "My El is Judge." Even the name of the editor of the "Redeemed Hebrew" means "Silver-Stone." Would he have us believe that these are not names because they constitute sentences? But let us return to the article in question.
Mr. Silverstein states further: "As late as three hundred years before Christ's birth, the Jews were actually forbidden to try to pronounce the combination of these four consonants, and to this day when the Jews read either the Bible, or their prayers, and come upon these four consonants, generally read as 'Jehovah,' they substitute the title, 'Adonay,' or 'God,' or 'Lord.'" (End of Quote)
Surely this is a great admission on the part of Mr. Silverstein, for here he admits that the prohibition of pronouncing the Tetragrammaton, or the four letters that form the Name of Yah-Weh, came after the Babylonian Captivity. It is readily admitted by all scholars that the Babylonian Culture had such a corruptive influence over the new generation of Jews, that while they were desirous of returning to the land of their Fathers, their Leaders were so taken up with Babylonian Philosophy that they brought it back with them, and forced it upon the people as a whole. The moving spirit of this movement was Ezra, the Scribe, who not only introduced the prohibition against pronouncing the Name, but in re-editing a portion of the Sacred Scriptures, he substituted the title "Adonay" in place of the sacred Name of Yahweh. But surely this is not the will of the Holy One of Israel, but the traditions of the Jews with which, as the Savior said, "They made void the Commandments of Yahweh" by their traditions.
Further, Mr. Silverstein states: "It is the height of absurdity for anyone to claim we should discontinue to designate our Creator by the names of 'God,' 'Lord,' 'Father,' or any designation we may love, or choose, but to call Him by the Name 'Jehovah,' when it is definitely established both historically and Biblically that 'Jehovah' is neither a name nor did such a pronunciation even exist, since no one ever claimed to know how to pronounce it." (End of Quote)
In this statement, Mr. Silverstein apparently misses the emphasis of "Hallowing" the Father's Name, as we are instructed to do, by the Savior Himself in Matthew 6:9. In fact, the Bible abounds with references which forbid the designation of the Creator by any name we may love or choose, if that name is the name of a heathen deity, such as "God," the Assyrian Deity of Fortune. In Hebrew this is spelled "G-D," and pronounced "Gawd," "God," or "Gaad." As for "Lord," this is the contraction of "Hlaf Weard," the English Deity of Death which is the equivalent of the Babylonian "Baal," and the Phoenician "Adonay." The use of these or any other pagan designation, is prohibited not by tradition, but by the Bible itself. See Exodus 23:13; Joshua 23:7. Is it possible that Mr. Silverstein and Jewish traditions would apparently prohibit the True Name of our Creator?
In his preceding paragraph, Mr. Silverstein stated: "It is definitely established both historically and Biblically that 'Jehovah' is neither a name nor does such a pronunciation even exist, since no one ever claimed to know how to pronounce it." (End of Quote)
Where does Mr. Silverstein find his Biblical and historical evidence that "Yahweh" is not a Name? Surely not in the Bible or in history. The Bible states, "I am Yahweh: That is My Name" (Isaiah 42:8). As for history, let me quote from the Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 12, p. 118: "The Tetragrammaton is the quadrilateral Name of God YHWH." And again: "The Tetragrammaton (YHWH) is the ancient Israelitish Name of God. The disuse of the word 'Yahweh' and the substitution of 'Adonai' is assigned to the later decades of the Babylonian exile." On page 119, under the same caption, we read: "The true Name of God [Yahweh] was uttered only during worship in the temple in which the people were alone, and in course of the services. On the Day of Atonement, the high priests pronounced the Sacred Name ten times. This was done as late as the last years of the Temple (A.D. 70). The Rabbis forbade the utterance of the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) to guard against desecration of the Sacred Name by the heathen. If such was the purpose, the means were ineffectual, since the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) was known not only in the Jewish but also non-Jewish circles centuries after the destruction of the Temple. Members of the Babylonian academy probably knew the pronunciation as late as 1000 A.D."
In the same encyclopedia, Vol. 9, page 160, we read: "The devout Israelite will not take the name of a false god upon his lips (Exodus 23:13; Joshua 23:7; Hosea 2:16, 17; Psalms 16:4). To make mention of Yahweh's Name is to assert confidence in His strength, and present and efficient aid. The Name excites emotion of Love, Joy and Praise. See Psalms 5:11; 7:17; 9:2 and 20:1,7. That Name is, therefore, especially connected with the Altar, or Sanctuary, the place where Elohim [God] records His Name (Exodus 20:24; Deuteronomy 12:5; 1 King 8:16, 29; Jeremiah 7:12). Of the Names of Elohim [God], (Elohim that which is most frequently found, 6823 times) is the so-called Tetragrammaton Yahweh (YHWH), the distinctive personal Name of Elohim [God] of Israel."
In the same volume, page 162, under the caption, of the Rabbinical literature, it states: "The Name of Yahweh is considered as the Name Proper." In fact, there is so much evidence to the effect of these and other likewise authoritative references to the above, that to continue at this point would necessitate the expansion of this subject beyond what was originally. But let us turn to the next paragraph, in which Mr. Silverstein writes:
"Nowhere in the New Testament do we find that Jesus Himself referred to God as 'Jehovah;' nowhere do the Apostles call God, 'Jehovah.' Both Jesus and the Apostles were Jews to the very marrow of their bone, and they adhered to the Jewish laws and traditions, and they knew that to pronounce the title 'Jehovah' was forbidden." (End of Quote)
Now, actually, in the New Testament, and also throughout all of the Gospels, we find that the Messiah did not adhere to, but did oppose all Jewish traditions, and designate them as being contrary to the Laws of Yahweh. And as for not referring to the Name of the Father, let us turn to Matthew 4:7, where the Savior, in answer to Satan's temptation, quoted Deuteronomy 6:16: "Thou shalt not tempt Yahweh thy Elohim." Even the Schofield Bible, in using the King James version, has the Name "Jehovah" in the margin, as an indication of the more correct rendition when reading the English word "Lord" as found in the text. The same is true of Matthew 4:10: "Thou shalt worship Yahweh thy Elohim, and Him only shalt thou serve." This is quoted from Deuteronomy 6:13, and the marginal reference for this is again "Jehovah" in the Schofield Bible.
As for the apostles pronouncing the Name "Yahweh," in the second chapter of Acts, verse 25, Peter in his Pentecostal address, quoted from the Old Testament, used the Name "Yahweh," which the Schofield Bible in the margin gives as the common English rendering of "Jehovah." The apostles not only knew the Name, they pronounced it, and taught it to all the early converts of the faith of Yahshua, the Messiah.
Continuing now with Mr. Silverstein, we find that he states: "According to Professor Graetz's history of the Jews, Josephus, Flavius, and the Talmud state this prohibition dated since forty years before the destruction of the Temple. That is when even the priests ceased to try to pronounce the Name of Jehovah because of the uncertainty of its real, true and correct pronunciation. Before that time the priests alone were permitted to use the Name 'Jehovah,' and that only when blessing the people of Israel. See Numbers 6:22-27. The same blessing is being used today among the Jews by the priests or Levites, only instead of using the four consonants, they substituted 'Adonay'--'Lord.'" (End of Quote)
Mr. Silverstein has quoted Professor Graetz, Josephus, Flavius, and the Talmud. Now, for general information, both Professor Graetz and Josephus were writing of the history and customs of the Jews, and mostly of their captivity, wars and persecutions, which the Jews suffered as a punishment from Yahweh because of their apostasy from the "true faith." As for the Talmud, let me quote from the Jewish Encyclopedia on the definition of the word "Talmud": "The word Talmud generally denotes Talmud Bablii (Babylonian Talmud) but it frequently serves as a generic designation for an entire body of literature since the Talmud marks the culmination of the writings of Jewish Traditions, of which it is, from a historical point of view, the most important production."
Traditions that were contrary to the word of Yahweh were taboo to the Messiah and the apostles, and should also be taboo for every believer of the "Faith of Yahshua." It is the duty of every believer not only to learn and use the Name, but to "Hallow" it (Matthew 6:9) since the Bible states, "The man of wisdom shall see the Name," (Micah 6:9).
Now, as concerning Mr. Silverstein's statement that "even the priests ceased to try and pronounce the Name of Jehovah because of the uncertainty of its real, true and correct pronunciation," let me answer by again quoting from the Jewish Encyclopedia: "The true Name of God [Elohim] was uttered only during worship in the temple in which the people were alone; and in the course of the services on the Day of Atonement the High Priest pronounced the Name ten times. This was done as late as the last years of the Temple (A.D. 70)." "If the purpose was to keep the Name concealed from the people, the means were ineffectual since the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton (the four letter Name--YHWH) was known not only in Jewish, but also in non-Jewish circles, centuries after the destruction of the Temple, as it is clear from the interdiction against uttering it. And 'Raba, a Babylonian Amora, who flourished about 350 A.D., wished to make the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton (Yahweh) known publicly (Kid. 71-B); and a contemporary Palestian scholar states that the Samaritans uttered it in taking oaths (Yer. Sanh. 28-b). The members of the Babylonian Academy probably knew the pronunciation as late as 1000 Christian Era." These lines are taken from the Jewish Encyclopedia which in turn is quoting from the Jewish Talmud.
Next, Mr. Silverstein writes: "It is very strange that anyone, seeking truth, should select the one Name for God, the use of which was forbidden, and which of all cognomens is not even a name, but a title." (End of Quote)
Again Mr. Silverstein insists that the Name is forbidden, but where is his evidence? Surely not in the Bible, which states, "Therefore My people shall know My Name," (Isaiah 52:6). And again, "So will I make My holy Name known in the midst of My people," (Ezekiel 39:7).
Then Mr. Silverstein stated, "It is not even a name, but a title." Here not even the Jewish Traditions make such a statement, and as for the Bible, it states that "Yahweh" is not only THE Name, but it is the ONLY Name (see Psalms 83:18). Now, Yahweh has many titles, but only ONE Name. For instance, Abraham called the name of the place "Yahweh-Jireh." Yahweh is the Name and "Jireh" (or, "Provider), the title (Genesis 22:14). "Yahweh-Nissi" of Exodus 17:15 is Yahweh (the Name) and "Nissi," the title. "Yahweh-Shalom" of Judges 6:24 is Yahweh (the Name) and "Shalom" (or "Peace"), the title. "Yahweh-Rapheka" of Exodus 15:26 is Yahweh (the Name) and "Rapheka" (or "Healer"), the title. "Yahweh-Zeboat" of 1 Samuel 1:3 is Yahweh (the Name) and "Zeboat" (or "Hosts"), the title. Thus, regardless of the appendages used in describing the Holy One's many characteristics, the Name to which these appendages are affixed is always the One Holy Name "Yahweh."
Mr. Silverstein, in his next paragraph, says: "If we are not satisfied with the names now in use, and wish to have something surer, something which we believe is nearer the real Name of God, why not take the Name which God Himself called His Name? Why not adopt the Name which He, God Himself, declared to be His Name for ALL GENERATIONS? There is such a Name and it is in the Bible, and I can safely challenge any power on earth or in heaven to dispute the Name which God, Himself declared. Here it is: God says, 'This is My Name forever, and this is My memorial for all generations.' There can be no mistake; there can be no false teaching, for here the Lord God Almighty Himself speaks, and it should forever settle the question as to His Name; 'And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord 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 for all generations,' (Exodus 3:15). Here the Lord God did not mention the four consonants 'JHVH' (Jehovah) as being His Name forever. It is, however, one of His Names by which He was known, Jesus [Yahshua], Himself, is known by 366 different Names, and titles, and no one yet has been able to compile the many hundreds of Names and titles by which God, the Father, is known in both the Old and New Testaments, and it is not essentially important for us to know." (End of Quote)
As I am writing this answer, I am looking at a Hebrew Bible, and right at the verse which Mr. Silverstein quoted, namely, Exodus 3:15. Here is the Hebrew text, as it is written in the Hebrew Bible, with the translation in parenthesis following each Hebrew word:
"VI (And) AMOR (spake) EOD (moreover) ELOHIM (Elohim) AL-MOSHEH (unto Moses)KOH (Thus) TO-AMOR (speak) ALBENEI (unto the children of) ISRAEL (Israel) YHWH (Yahweh), ELOHE (the mighty one of) AVOSICUM (your fathers), ELOHE (mighty one of) AVRAHAM (Abraham), ELOHE (mighty one of) YACOB (Jacob), SHALO-CHINI (hath sent me) ALAICHIM (unto you) ZEHI-SHEMOI (this is my name) LOOILOAM (for the ages) VIZEHI (and this is) ZIK-ROI (my memorial) LO-DOR (from generation) DOR (to generation)."
The above is held to be self-evident in the original text of Exodus 3:15.
As our blessed Savior Yahshua, the Messiah, having 366 names, that appears to be a gross exaggeration. The Bible says, "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved," (Acts 4:12).
And as for the Father having more names in the Old Testament, Psalms 83:18 states, "Whose name alone is Yahweh."
Mr. Silverstein's next statement is, and I quote: "We will now take Exodus 6:2. 'And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am He that was, He that is, and He that is to be.' The English translation has it 'Lord.' Here the four consonants appear in the original Hebrew and would be read 'Jehovah.' And then the Lord continues to speak unto Moses, thus, 'And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob by the name God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them.' See Exodus 6:3." (End of Quote)
Mr. Silverstein has admitted that Exodus 6:2 has the four letters, YHWH, and these letters are not consonants but vowels--and as he says, would be read "Jehovah." But why does he try to define the meaning of the Name instead of saying the Name itself? And why does he dispute the fact that the same "YHWH" appears over 7,000 times in the Bible as THE Name of the Holy One of Israel? Mr. Silverstein's quotation of Exodus 6:3 is not an accurate translation of the original Hebrew. I will quote the Hebrew text as it is written in the Hebrew Bible, and leave the decision with you, the readers of this article:
"VEIDABAR (And spake) ELOHIM (Elohim) AL-MOSHEH (unto Moses) VI-AMOR (and said) ALIO (I) ANI (am) YHWH (Yahweh) VO-ARA (And I appeared) AL-AVRAHAM (unto Abraham), AL-IZAAK (unto Isaac) AL-YACOB (and unto Jacob, BE-EL-SHADDI (as El-Sheddai), VI-HEM-OI (but by my Name) YHWH (Yahweh) LO (not) NO-DEISI (was known I) LOCHUM (to them)?"
The words "The Name of" before "El-Shaddai" are not in the Hebrew text, and have been added by the translators, contrary to the commandments which say, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it, that ye may keep the commandments of Yahweh, your Elohim, which I command you," (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Proverbs 30:6). Never in the Hebrew text are the words "El Shaddai," or the word "Shaddai," alone, said to be a Name, and in this I lay the case before all Hebrew scholars.
Now as to the truth in the meaning of the text of Exodus 6:3, If Abraham had not known the Name "YHWH," how could he have dedicated an altar to Yahweh-Yireh? (See Genesis 22:14.) If the name "YHWH" had not been revealed to Isaac, as such, how could Isaac entreat Yahweh, as it is written in the Hebrew of Genesis 25:21, "And Isaac entreated Yahweh, in behalf of his wife, because she was barren, and Yahweh was entreated of him, and Rebekah, his wife, conceived."
If, as Mr. Silverstein claims Exodus 6:3 reads, Jacob did not know the name "YHWH" before he left his father's house, surely, in his dream he saw the ladder set up on earth, while the top reached to heaven, and as he looked up he saw the Almighty, Who stood above, and said, "I am Yahweh, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac. The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed," (Genesis 28:13). And then he made a vow, and said, "If Elohim will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then shall Yahweh be my Elohim; and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be Beth-El: and of all that Thou shalt give me, I will surely give the tenth unto Thee," (Genesis 28:20-22).
The Scriptures are not contradictory, but man is. Why not be honest, and place a question mark in Exodus 6:3, where it belongs, and thus get harmony from the text, instead of confusion?
Again Mr. Silverstein states: "That no one can tell God's holy Name is very clearly brought out in Proverbs. One needs only to read this one verse, namely Proverbs 30:4, to be convinced: 'Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, and what is His Son's Name, if thou canst tell?' And no answer to that question is found in the whole Bible. No one indeed can tell the name for it is so holy and unspeakable that no mortal tongue can utter it" (End of Quote)
Now as to the truth of the quotation from Proverbs 30:4. The writer of this portion of the Proverbs is Augar, the son of Jakeh, who is addressing his two friends, Ithiel and Ucal, was trying to convince them of the Name of the real Creator, as against the name that was being commonly used by the people of Israel in their apostasy. First he humbles himself, as evidenced in verses 2 and 3. Then he puts forth the great proposition in verse 4, with a warning of the dire consequences for the corruption of the Sacred Text, in verses 5 and 6; and in verses 7, 8 and 9, praying that he will never be brought to the place where he will deny the Name of Yahweh (verse 9) as apostate Israel had done. A little more prayerful meditation in the reading of the Scriptures will enlighten our souls into righteousness.
As for Mr. Silverstein's last portion of his statement, namely, "And no answer to that question is found in the whole Bible. No one indeed can tell the name, for it is so holy and unspeakable that no mortal tongue can utter it." I will counter it with just a few of the Bible answers which I hope, and pray, that you, the readers of this article, will carefully verify in your own Bibles, remembering that every time you read "Lord" in the text of the King James Version the original Hebrew has Yahweh, and you will find that in some of the margins it is changed to "Jehovah." In the Revised Version Bible, you will find it is "Jehovah," and in the original text it is Yahweh (YHWH). See Psalms 83:18; Isaiah 42:8; 47:8; 48:2; 60:9; 62:6; Jeremiah 10:16; 16:21; 23:6; 32:18; 33:2; 48:1; 0:34; 51:19, 7; Hosea 12:5; Exodus 3:15; Amos 4:13; 5:8; 9:6; and Micah 4:5.
In the above give references and many more verses, the Bible answers Mr. Silverstein; and in Jeremiah 15:16, the prophet states that the name of Yah is named upon him, viz, "Yerem-Yah." Therefore, if we can, and do, pronounce "Jerem-Yah," what hinders us from pronouncing "Yah-weh"? Nothing but Jewish superstitious false traditions, and general Israelitish apostasy, from which my prayer is, Yahweh save us!
Mr. Silverstein states, "However, the question is not whether it (the change of the name) pleases us or not, but does it please Jesus? Would Jesus really care how His Name is called as long as He is called? 'Whosoever calleth on the Name of the Lord shall be save' the Word says." (End of Quote)
As for Mr. Silverstein's quotation of Romans 10:13, or Joel 2:34, in the original it reads, "Yasher Korah Bashem Yahweh, Malat."--"Whosoever calls upon the Name of Yahweh, shall be delivered."
Now as to whether Yahweh likes it or not, we cannot take Mr. Silverstein as the authority, when he disagrees with the Word of Yahweh, but we can go to the Bible, and so we turn to Exodus 34:14, where the original Hebrew reads, "For thou shalt worship no other Elohim, for Yahweh, Who is jealous of His Name, is a jealous Elohim." Again, "And shall call me no more Baali [Lord] for I will take the names of Baalim [Lords] out of her mouth, and they [the Baalim, or Lords] shall no more be remembered by their name," (Hosea 2:16, 17).
Then, too, in Jeremiah 23:27, speaking to the prophets (or preachers) of Israel and Judah, He accuses them of a terrible crime, namely, "Which think to cause my people to forget My Name by their dreams, which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their gathers have forgotten My Name for (the name of) Baal [Lord]." No wonder it was prophesied of the suffering Messiah, in the 22nd Psalm, that He would declare the Name among His brethren, the children of Yahweh, and so, in John 17:6 and 26, the Savior said, "I have manifested Thy Name unto the men Thou gavest me." "I have declared unto them thy Name." What proof can be plainer? I leave it with the reader to judge.
I think I had better end this letter, for there is no end to the Biblical evidence against the substitution of the Sacred Name, and the necessity of returning to the holy task of restoring the Sacred Name, and ascribing unto it all the glory, honor, praise, and majesty due unto the only Name given unto men whereby we MUST be saved. In the days of ignorance, Yahweh has winked at this mishandling of His Name; but, now, in the last days, He is revealing it, and calling upon all men everywhere to repent. And Micah says, "For all people will walk every one in the name of his elohim, but we (the redeemed) will walk in the Name of Yahweh, our Elohim, for ever and ever," (Micah 4:5).
In love and in the hope of enlightening the redeemed of Yahshua the Messiah is this message sent forth. Yahweh speed the day of awakening.