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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Self-Harmony of the Bible - 1 (Part Eighteen)

When Did Jehovah Reveal His Name? 
Despite what most people think the True God has name, Jehovah. It is repeated about 7,000 times in the Bible beginning at Genesis 2:4. The Divine Name was known by the patriarchs. Yet Jehovah tells Moses: "I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as God Almighty; but by my name Jehovah I was not known to them."b (Exodus 6:3 ASV) This seemingly contradictory statement has caused a stir for centuries. 
How might this statement be understood? First by understanding what knowing God's name means. Every time Jehovah says his name the hearer knows it, but just knowing the actual sound is not enough. Pharaoh knew that Jehovah was the "God of Israel" when he said, "Who is Jehovah, so that I should obey his voice to send Israel away? I do not know Jehovah at all and, what is more, I am not going to send Israel away." (Exodus 5:1,2 NWT) Jehovah's reputation was treated with disrespect. In this regard two scriptures shed great light on this contradiction. 
Isaiah 52:4-6 (NWT) states: "For this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: "At first my people went down to Egypt to live there as foreigners; Then Assyria oppressed them without cause. . . . And constantly, all day long, my name is treated with disrespect. For that reason my people will know my name; For that reason they will know in that day that I am the One speaking." And Exodus 9:16 (NIV) which states about Pharaoh: "But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 
Israel knew God’s name in Isaiah’s day and some in Canaan already knew God’s name in Moses’ day, yet Jehovah wanted more than the actual name to be known. He wanted to live up to it and to have everyone know that he did. Yes his name meant more than the letters that spell it or the sound that pronounces it, but also reputation and meaning behind it.1 There is no contradiction. 

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