Stephen is giving the traditional teaching here and he speaks of the birth of Moses in Acts 7.20. In verse 22 it says that Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and was a man of power in words and deeds. This concept will play a role in interpreting Exo 4.10, which we will touch on later. Then it says something very interesting in verses 23-25. It says he was about 40 and he visited his people. He saw one of them being mistreated unjustly, and defended him by taking vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian.
Then it says “He supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him, but they did not understand.” The principle is this. Moses was called to deliver Israel and he knew that at 40 years old. However, nobody else did because he had not been sent. He acted 40 years too early. He will not be sent until he stands on Mount Sinai 40 years later, when he was 80 years old.
Many people fell they are called to do something, but they have not been sent. Like Moses, they act and it ends in disaster. But, even that was part of God’s plan. So, even if we fail, that doesn’t mean God has not called us, but we must be patient and wait till we are sent.
We learn from Exo 2.24-25 that God “heard”, remembered and saw.” He has good hearing, a good memory and good eyes. When there is a delay of something we need from God, that doesn’t mean he didn’t hear, remember or saw us. The end of verse 25 says “God took notice” so he respected them and was going to act.
Exo 3.10-12 begins to deal with Moses being sent now. Moses, by this time, has probably given up his desire to deliver Israel from Egypt. He may have just thought he heard wrong about what he thought his calling was, and went on with his life. He asks, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” God is going to be with Moses, and says there is a sign he will give him to show it was God who sent him. The sign is “When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship at this mountain.” The sign to Moses is: the people will come with you out of Egypt to Sinai. That would be impossible unless the Lord had sent Moses and was with him. There are different levels of signs in this narrative. There are signs to Pharaoh and signs for the people, but this was a sign to Moses.
Exo 3.13 it says that Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now, they may say to me ‘What is his name?’ What shall I say to them?” Exo 3.14 says that God told Moses to tell them “ehyeh asher ehyeh” has sent you to them. That basically means “I’ll be what I’ll be” or in other words, you have never seen anyone like me before, and I will do whatever it takes.
The four letters in Hebrew of “ehyeh” is aleph, hey, yod and hey, and it comes from the same root for “I’ll be.” Remember forty years earlier (Acts 7.25)? The Lord will be whatever Moses needs him to be to get the job done. It is the same with us. It will be by God’s hand that anything in our lives gets accomplished. Moses gets the message this time, unlike forty years earlier when he thought that God was granting them deliverance “through him.”
In Exo 3.15 God tells Moses to tell the people “The Lord (YHVH = “Yehovah”), the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob has sent me to you.” This was God’s name “forever.” It was his “memorial name” to all generations. The name Yehovah conveys the message of verse 14 above. Some say the name is pronounced “Yahweh” but that is “based on a second hand Samaritan tradition reported by a 5th century Christian author named Theodoret of Cyrus who didn’t know Hebrew and was writing in Greek” (“Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence” by Nehemiah Gordon, p. 69). Yehovah has now been found written out in Hebrew with full vowel markings in over 1000 Hebrew manuscripts, and some are the most accurate manuscripts in the world (The Aleppo and the Leningrad Codex to name a couple).
There are several combinations of Yehovah. HYH (hayah) means “He was” and speaks of the past. HVH (hoveh) means “He is” and speaks of the present. YHYH (yihyeh) means “He will be” and speaks of the future. When we call him by his name and say Yehovah, we are saying he was, he is and will be. These different combinations reveal a “one totality” and the past, present and future are seen as one “in Yehovah” with no time barriers. Heb 13.8 says, “Yeshua Ha Mashiach is the same yesterday, today and forever.” The writer of Hebrews is telling us that Yeshua is Yehovah, and the name is defined right there. Now read Rev 1.8 where it says, “I am the Alpha (Hebrew “Aleph”) and the Omega (Hebrew “Tav”)” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” God is telling Moses “I am everything you understand God to be.” People will say, “Are you saying that Yeshua is claiming to be the God of the Old Testament?” What we are saying is Yeshua said it about as clear as he could say it, and the writers of the Gospels and Epistles knew it.
Anciently, Hebrew was written with symbols. Gods name is “YHVH” (yod, hey, vav, hey). A “yod” was written in the shape of a hand, and a vav was written like a staff. What was the lesson God was trying to convey to Moses? It will not be by “your hand” or by “your staff” that the people will be delivered. But, it will be by my hand and staff, that I will deliver the people. That was one reason he tells Moses to cast his staff down and to put his hand into his bosom (Exo 4.1-8). The letter “hey” means “what comes from.” What comes from the hand and staff? Salvation, which is “Yeshua” in Hebrew.
The name of God (Yehovah) alone tells the story of the Exodus, not only the Egyptian Redemption (first), but the Messianic (second) Redemption. That is why he said that Yehovah will be the name that is delivering the people. Yeshua came like a good shepherd because he was what the picture was all about. He came as the “shaliach” (sent one) like Moses. He came (hey) with the hand (yod) of God, doing the work of a shepherd with a staff (vav).
In Exo 3.15 is a very important verse, and he says, “this is my name forever. This is my name of remembrance (memorial name).” The Hebrew word for “forever” is “L’Olam” and we have four letters again in Hebrew. Forever means the duration of the universe. The vowel markings for “L’Olam” is the same vowel markings for YHVH, pronounced Yehovah (the vowel markings are: sheva =”e”; cholam = “oh”; kamatz =”ah”). God gave us how to pronounce his name, with the same vowels markings, and how to remember it in a verse on his “memorial (memory/to remember) name.” If the pronunciation was ever lost, the vowel markings are right there. Moses is trying to get the essence of all this because he wants to go back to the people and know how to say the name of God. So should we, and we should want to sanctify or “hallow” his name, but if we don’t know how to say it, how can we do that? Yeshua said we should sanctify God’s name. Anyone who has been trying to know and understand the name of God is doing what Moses is doing here in verse 13. There isn’t anything wrong with wanting to know how to say the name of God, it is a good desire. In these days, God has been revealing his name and how it has been hidden from most people by rabbinic decrees and authority (For more information on how the true pronunciation came about, go to “YouTube” and type in “name of God Nehemiah Gordon” and watch all the videos).
In Part 66, we will pick up with Exo 3.16 and the phrase “concerned about you.”