Tanak Foundations-Concepts on the Name of God-Part 4

We don’t need to go to Gnostic, Christian, Pagan or Latin sources because the Jews had rabbis who knew the name.
There is another source that confirms this, written in 1450 AD. It was written by a rabbi named Joseph Ibn Tsayach. He wrote a book that was never printed or copied. There is only one book, the one written by Ibn Tsayach. In this book he is answering a series of questions through letters. Question 43 says, “A certain sage has been uttering the name according to its letters and a certain rabbi rebuked him for this. But the sage was stubborn in his actions.” That tells us that someone knew how to say the name openly, and others recognized it as being correct, in the 15th century.

But scholars say, “The Jews didn’t know the name” but that is not true. There are 16 rabbis who have said the name is Yehovah. These 16 rabbis are from all over the Jewish world, from Spain to Israel, Poland to Egypt. Some go back to 1300 and some to the 20th century. One is Ovadia Yosef, the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel from 1973 to 1983. In one of his books he states that the name of God is Yehovah.

When you search the same data bases of Jewish writings, you will not find the name Yehovah (100,000 books from Bar Elon University). Now, if 16 rabbis say the name is Yehovah, and the tens of thousands of other rabbis don’t, that means the name was intended to be a secret and never meant to know this. If you read 100,000 books we would probably never know this, but thanks to computers and certain programs, these can be searched.

One of these 16 rabbis is Menachem Tziyon in the 14th century and he said in a commentary on Gen 3.15, “This is my name forever” (Exo 3.15). There is also a secret here received by tradition in the words of ‘This is my name forever (L’Olam), for they are the vowels of the Great Name.'” Is this a hint? Did God mean that when he spoke this to Moses? Probably not, but this rabbi in the 14th century is saying he knew the secret and it was passed on to him as a way to remember the name. The vowels of “forever” in Exo 3.15 (“Le Olam”) were the vowels for the Name of God. Then Rabbi Tziyon goes on to say, “It’s mnemonic ‘Who in the sky (shachak) can measure up to you'” (Psa 89.6). A mnemonic is an acronym that helps us remember something. The mnemonic is the word “shachak” for sky. Shachak is an acronym for the vowels Sheva, Cholam and Kamatz, the vowels in YHVH (Yehovah). In other words, if you take the first letters of the vowels markings (SH,CH,K) it forms the acronym Shachak (sky).

So, this rabbi has told us that it is the vowels of “Le’Olam” (forever) and its the vowels represented by the word SHaCHaK (Sheva, CHolam, Kamatz). Rabbi Tziyon says later that these are the words of the man who revealed the secret to him. Now, we don’t know if he stood ankle deep in the water as in the ceremony we discussed earlier, but he participated in the trail of transmission of the name. The “devices” that were taught to him will help remember how to say YHVH (Yehovah). There is no way to get it wrong when you have the same vowels in Le’Olam that are in God’s name (Le’Olam/Yehovah). This is just one rabbi out of at least 16 that say the name is Yehovah.

Another rabbi is Rabbi Sofer, and he is considered the greatest grammarian of the 17th century. Rabbi Tziyon was a “mystic” but Sofer is a grammarian. He wrote a letter to Meir Maharam of Lublin saying that when YHVH is read in the World to Come its vowels will be “Shachak.” Remember what we said previously on Psa 89.6 and the word for sky. This tells us YHVH is pronounced “Yehovah” and not Yahweh, Yahveh, Yehuah or anything else. Those names have not been found. This is saying that YHVH is pronounced with the Sheva (e), the Cholam (o) and the Kamatz (a) vowel markings, pronounced Yehovah.

In a response to Rabbi Sofer in a letter, Meir Maharam of Lublin said, “Know, my beloved, how extremely difficult it is to put things like this in writing and even more so a letter sent about from place to place….concerning the vowels of the Tetragrammaton, which are Sheva, Cholam, Kamatz” (Meir Maharam of Lublin, 1608). He openly states it and he isn’t even disputing this fact. He doesn’t know who will read this letter, so it is hard to say this, but you say the name of God as Yehovah. That’s what he is saying.

He goes on to say, “I found in the words of my grandfather…our teacher Rabbi Asher (Lemel), head of the Beit Din of Krakow…he wrote a holy book called “Emek Ha Brachah” but because of its immense holiness it was never printed…that it not be used by those who are not worthy.” This is what it says in Chapter 34, “Concerning the Tetragrammaton…its vowels received from Sinai are Sheva, Cholam Kamatz.” There is no room for Yahweh, Yahveh or anything else according to these men.

The book, “Emek Ha Brachah” was never printed and we only have the quotes from the authors grandson. Meir Maharam of Lublin ends his letter by saying, “I have one request, that you hide this letter in a pure and holy place and not allow it to be passed around here and there.” When he died in 1616, his talmidim printed the letter and that is how we have it today. We were never meant to see this letter, it was to remain a secret.

There is a rabbi named Rabbi Jacob Bachrach in 1896 who wrote, “If the vowels in the Tetragrammaton were indeed the vowels of Adonai, precision would have required putting a chataf-patach under the yod for the aleph of Adonai.” The vowels of YHVH are not the vowels of Adonai, and this rabbi says that teaching is nonsense. He continues, “According to the rulings that have come down to us, there is no prohibition from the Torah to speak the name the way it is written. However, the custom not to pronounce the name the way it is written is very old…thus…it is not right to pronounce the name, but there is no prohibition from the Torah. There was a time, and there shall again be a time (a time when all peoples, all of them, will call on the name of Y”Y, and Y”Y will be one and his name one)…for this tradition of reading what is not written (1.e. Adonai) will be completely abolished and then we will all read it the way it is written (Yehovah).”

In Part 5 we will pick up here.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

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