El-Shaddai

“I Am Who I Am” was God’s answer to Moses when he asked about what to call Him. In the footnotes in my NIV it says that, “Lord (Yahweh) sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for I Am (Exodus 3:14). Then in verse 15 He says that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (why not Israel) and then says that is how He wants to be remembered. “God” here is Elohim.  Now I do want to say that it depends on your concordance as to exactly how some of these names are listed; my Strong’s is slightly different than my NIV Concordance.

A generic name for god is “el.” So if you are reading and a name has “el” in it like Israel or Bethel you know it has something to do with a god or God. According to the Vine’s Dictionary in the ancient world it was thought that if you knew a deity’s name that would give you a special “in” with that deity. Nice to know that humanity has not changed much some people still think that they can manipulate God.

The verse that actually started this study was Exodus 6: 2+3. Moses is “pointing out” all of the trouble that the Children are having but God sees it as the opportunity He needs for their deliverance. In the verse He says that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knew Me as God Almighty (El-Shaddai) but they did not know Me as Lord (Yahweh). Vine’s talks about how scholars relate this phrase (El-Shaddai) to the power of mountains. In Psalm 80 they also had a “God Almighty” but there it is Elohim Saba. So you may need to look for exactly which phrase it is that is being used and I can tell you that the translation you read may handle these phrases just a little different.

In researching I found this website which maybe helpful to you: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Names_of_G-d/El/el.html

So what name do you know God as or what name has He made Himself known to you? 

LORD vs. Lord

Ancient Hebrew is a very descriptive language but the problem is translating it to English, sometimes our words cross meanings with it and we have one word for two meanings. An example is our word Lord; Hebrew has two completely different words for what we call Lord – Adonai and Yahweh. The NIV translation will use the word Lord but with two different cases to represent the two Hebrew words – LORD and Lord. The preface in the NIV Bible has a great explanation of why the translators did this.

From the Zondervan NIV Exhaustive Concordance we get the meaning of Adonai as the one true God who has majesty and authority and Yahweh as the one true God that makes personnel and covenant relationships, the name also gives the picture of a God who exists or causes existence.  Psalms 68:17-20 uses both of the words so replace the word Lord with a form of its meaning and see how it changes the idea of the passage.

The James Moffatt Translation uses the word Eternal instead of Yahweh (Lord) and I always felt that it was very powerful in the way it changes the passage.  So try replacing the word Eternal when you see the word Lord especially if you read the NIV translation.

(see The Lord my/your God)