Original URL | Wednesday, June 22, 2022


so i wanted to share a study tonight uh linking um the hebrew word that we have on the screen here uh with god's name and his purpose and that word is yeah um

and it means i am or i will be um and it was read three times in the passage uh that we actually um four times sorry in the passage that we uh just read in in exodus chapter three um so it's an important word um

that is you know when when you see a reward repeated a number of times i think that's uh uh an important kind of clue that hey we got to pay attention to this word to um

get the message of the story um so we'll get into that um let's see

gotta move and get a little technical difficulty hold on let's see if this works no

i'm gonna try


picture well i know i know i can do that



when um first of all let me start with with uh the a basic important thought that sometimes is lost sometimes we we kind of forget this as we um

as we read our english bibles and as we talk in our everyday language um

we can we can describe a person with a title with a job description we can describe a person with a name um so from for example for myself um my job title is uh chemistry physics teacher uh and today was my uh last day uh before summer break so i'm uh kind of reached a point of you know very very very busy and now i'm about to enjoy the um one of the benefits of being a teacher is that i get i get some time to

rejuvenate and and uh

power up for the the coming year um with a little bit of rest and chance to well a chance to do a lot of work that that got put on the on the back burner around the house uh among other things but um anyway that's that's me now we often think of of of god

as a name um when when we when we talk about god but we need to remember that's it's a title uh for a divine being a divine being is a god we um worship the true god

and the hebrew word for that is elohim

but god has a name his name is yahweh

so remember that yahweh is is his name so we are

we're going to

interact with um

a personal god who has revealed to us his name and he's shared that with us now

we we need to remember you know who it is that we're we're dealing with we're dealing with the the creator of the universe um so when we come to his name um i think it's important to show uh respect and honor that's due um

and if if you you think about the people uh god's people they definitely

have a great respect

for the name

yahweh they um will not typically speak the name um and will replace it with with adonai which which means uh lord and and that's that tradition is is carried over into um the new testament for example where the the greek word curios is used in uh passages quoting the old testament where yahweh would be there curios lord is used instead jewish people today read uh the bible when they come across that name um in fact the vowel pointings are even set up to kind of remind them uh to say adonai rather than than yahweh

um to give you another appreciation of just how much respect uh and honor is given to the name um there's a short story written by an israeli noble laureate in literature named shmuel yosef agnon um who describes a scribe named raphael and the diligent care with which he undertook his work

and and the scribe would customarily rise early at night while the sun was still still not risen uh he would take two ritual baths before he began his work of of copying uh the text of the bible

according from the story he sat secluded and isolated and no one was with him except his name may be blessed and he studied a portion of the talmud in order to tie together the oral teachings with the written ones and concentrated and all the sacred meanings hinted at in scripture

was careful never to write the holy name

without first having purified his body

for this reason he often wrote an entire sheet of parchment but left blank the spaces for the holy name and later he wrote the name in the blank spaces only after having immersed himself again in the purifying ritual bath

he may be thus likened to a craftsman making a crown for a king

does he not first make the crown and that said and then set into it the diamonds and other precious jewels

so here agnon captures the the immense respect and honor that the jewish scribes would give the name uh it was common practice for the scribes to wipe the pen um and wash their entire bodies before writing the most holy name of god each time they wrote it


note also below and on the screen now i've got

god's name written twice um the one on the left um well they're written in two different scripts the one on the left is using a block script that that comes from the aramaic alphabet

and it came into use around 300 bc

the scribes who copied the dead sea scrolls they used that script a script like that [Music]


every time they came to god's name they ended up using a much older

middle hebrew script that's shown on the right so here's like here's a copy of the dead sea scrolls and actually above the arrow um god's name is there uh where the arrow's pointing to is another instance and the line below that there's another instance um and there's a line kind of cut off on the bottom um

and and you might be able to pick out i mean i guess i read in hebrew i i wouldn't recognize those letters when i when i first saw this i'm like what's going on here and and and then read read into it a little bit and saw that that's that they were using a very very old script that with letters that that are not familiar uh to somebody reading modern hebrew or even reading the masoretic text from the middle ages um

so they they recognize they wanted to give

out of reverence um and even thought that they may have been taking a conservative approach because they thought it might have been a sin to actually write god's

name using these modern letters um

and so they used this uh older script so

that's that's one way that people showed uh reverence to god's name um

so with reverence honor and respect i want us to go to in our minds to the burning bush

to the holy ground where we learn of the name hebrew jewish people will often speak of rather than saying the name will do actually simply say hashem which means the name so let us go to


of the name from the story of moses

when moses was here in exodus 2 at the burning bush


you know he asked god you know what should i what should i uh tell the people your you know your your name is when when you send me um and and god explains his name and and gives us some insight into the meaning of his name uh in

verses 13 through 15 of of exodus 3 that butch read for us um

it says

uh moses said to god

um if i come to the people of israel and say to them the god of your fathers has sent me to you and they asked me what is his name

what shall i say to them

and god said to moses i am who i am

or in the hebrew ey

and he said say to this people of israel i am or el has sent me to you

god also said to moses say this to the people of israel the lord yahweh the god of your fathers the god of abraham the god of isaac and the god of jacob has sent me to you this is my name forever and thus i am to be remembered throughout all generations


god introduces this name uh in verse 14. and we have different translations and i can take care of that

we have things like i am that i am or i am who i am or those are the most popular uh translations um and you might have a side note in your margin that might say i will be who i will be

so why is there this um

kind of unclearness about the uh about the the tense

is it i am or is it i will be um

part of part of understanding why there's that ambiguity is is we need to understand that in english we have we have tenses we have past present and future

so we could say you know i was i for the past i am for the present or i will be in the future

but in hebrew in biblical hebrew there are simply two what they're what are called aspects rather than tenses um the perfect which we would kind of translate the maps somewhat into our past

like i was

and imperfect which could be translated i am or i will be depending on the context um and and it takes some judgment on the translator's part to try to figure out which one would be the best translation and we call this imperfect it's um think about you know when we actually you know and would come across the word perfect in in the king james bible for example we often know that that that typically means complete um so imperfect would be incompleted actions or not completed actions uh perfect would be ones that are completed so past is something that's been completed but something that's currently happening or something that will happen in the future both fit into that imperfect category they have not yet been completed

so yeah

is in that imperfect uh aspect and as a result we don't really know clearly um whether it's you know i am or i will be um we have to use context to try to try to decide

well going back to the passage again uh

i want you to notice that you know in verse 14 and the beginning of 15 you know god said to moses i am who i am and he said say this to the people of israel i am a sent me to you

then it says god said to moses say to the people of israel the lord the god of your fathers the god of abraham the god of isaac and the god of jacob has sent me to you

notice that there's

repetition there [Music]

why is it why is the same essentially the same message repeated twice

and really with two different names um in the top section he says say this to the people of israel i am i sent me to you um and then the bottom section he says say this to the people israel the lord the god of the fathers has sent me to you

why that switch



the part of the the reason is so homing in on on that that uh

block of of conjugations of of um

english well and actually switching it a little bit to the show the hebrew um the taking just a section of the of the verb table that for for the word which is to be

so think of karate if it helps to help you remember it um haya is is is to be and it can be conjugated in different ways if we want to say um i in the future then we say

basically put an aleph letter in front of hayah and change the vowel pointing and it becomes

i am or i will be in in imperfect tense

in but if we're talking that so that's if it's if it's me okay but if it's if we're going to talk about somebody else in the third person like he

then you would put instead of an olive in the front you put a ud in the front so a yeah becomes yeah

um so a different letter in the front and again different vowels will change it to uh he is or he will be

and so going back to well okay so hey

um i have here

the um it's kind of a mapping the english letters to the hebrews to help so this is actually going backwards aleph uh backwards in english but actually

english came thousands of years later so i would say this is actually the right way and english is backwards but anyway um so aleph uh corresponds with the a sound um the k is the is the h the uh is the y and the the ending uh hey is is like the h here and then the vowel comes in as well so eh is that i will be word so as i said if we're talking about third person when we're talking about he then we we change that that letter in the front so here you can see what i was talking about earlier on the last slide that we just changed that letter in the front and it becomes

which is

he will be okay so just that's that's one of the ways that you can recognize like who the subject in uh in a hebrew sentence uh is um sometimes that there's no separate word for the for the subject of a sentence it's just embedded in the verb other times you will have the subject um and the subject will match that letter in front

and sometimes there's a letter at the end but that helps you see who the subject is now tie that in with yahweh god's name now you can see

the similarity here we got basically the same letters except for that third letter instead of being a yud as a fob the same shape just a little bit lengthened um and that's jave

[Music] which also means he will be

and we'll get into


that changing that letter doesn't actually um change it the meaning that it still is still actually means he will be so but kind of coming back to our passage so you can see that i am

um is god speaking he's kind of saying to moses like okay moses is asking who who are you what's your name and god's saying

and then shortened version just a yeah that sent me to you so he's saying i will be is is his name but then when moses is going to the people it would be kind of confusing

for moses to use that first person form i am because god is someone else and moses is not god so

instead i think god is is

converting it to third person for others speaking about him to that he will be formed

so that that is i think the reason why you had that repetition that parallel structure there uh in those two um sections as i laid out uh for there at the top of the slide so this uh is perhaps we've heard this before um

but it's just good good review even if not and if it's

not review i hope it's making sense let me know if it's confusing if anything is unclear

so back to that like why is it um jave instead of


let me just see if i can explain that as well so here is that he will be this is a very common word uh in hebrew um he will be that comes from this word um which is kind of like the dictionary form um actually it's also the past form like he was would be written this way um but this is the word the way you would look it up in a strong's dictionary for example

you wouldn't find this kind of like you wouldn't typically look up the word ran um in your in your english dictionary look up the word run


there's different forms of a word and there's this is like the dictionary form so anyway yeah he will be now


um or yahweh

comes from this

dictionary form

and it's it's a an older word it's not used in the bible very much at all it's only a handful of times but it also means to be

and it's used in in this passage here that we quoted here in genesis 27 29 be lord over your brothers

so here this is this is the word for be um so normally in 99 percent of the time when you when you would say you see um something related to b or was or were um or will be or anything like that it's going to be based on that on the the word with the the you'd hear the little shorter letter but there is this rare word that um that's again older um

that that is in this form here but they're synonymous they mean the same they mean similar things i mean

so that's where what god's name is not kind of the most common version but but there's that play in this conversation with moses and moses would have understood that okay so he's his name is carries that same meaning

so god is the one who will be um the one who is and will be in fact i mean we could we can think about you know how it says in in revelation the one who who was and is and is to be i mean god is eternal he is beyond time um and he is the one who will be into eternity unlike um

people who are mortal unless we are

given uh the gift of immortality from from god who who possesses it

so there's lots we could talk about um you know in terms of

the different perspectives on on what the saying of of god saying you know i am that i am or i will be who i will be different interpretations that have been made over the years um but i want to share with you something that that popped out at me when we um looked at this passage a couple months ago in a wednesday night class

and when i was following along in my hebrew bible

something jumped out at me that i hadn't noticed before and

it was in a couple verses before the the core verses we were looking at in verses 14 and 15 back in 11 and 12. um which reads but moses said to god who am i that i should go to pharaoh and bring the children of israel out to egypt and he said but i will be with you and this shall be the sign for you that i have sent you when you've brought the people out of egypt you shall serve god on this mountain

now the thing that jumped out at me

was this that here um in verse 12 god is using that same word yeah just two verses before he uses it as his name

and it's part of a a message part of a some important words of comfort to moses i will be with you

he's con he's he's giving uh moses confidence

that that he is

going to be with him in this task that he has for him

and that he's going to come back to this very place this place called the mountain of god um which is another interesting study just you know tracing the mountain of god or the mountain of the lord um

and and and seeing that but

but anyway what struck me is that here god is is you know just two verses before he uses this as his name he's using this word as part of his comfort to moses i will be with you

now you might be thinking brian you're making a lot out of a common word it can't be that significant i mean think about am is a pretty common word right if you search in in um

using a bible program the word am

you're going to see 704 times am shows up in the old testament so it's all over the bible right so this shouldn't really be that big of a deal to see that it's that it's here

but consider um the following

hayah or its different forms um

is a lot more rare than you would think um in this same chapter um and when the verse we just looked at when moses said to god who am i that i should go to unto pharaoh

in that

passage um actually in another another another place just a few chapters later um it says wherefore sand are the children of israel i am the lord and i will bring you out from um from egypt basically


i'm actually doing something unusual for me i'm in a

presentation i'm quoting here from the king james version i don't usually do that because i think it's it's harder to understand and when you're dealing with 400 year old english there's a lot of chances to misunderstand things um that's a whole other subject but



here there's there's something unique to the king james version that shows up in in these two passages and many many other passages anybody know what's kind of unique to the king james here

as opposed to other versions

the italics they highlight what's not in the original text yeah thanks jake so um yeah so that italics notice the word am our kind of one of our key words here in this study is in italics so when moses is speaking to god um you know he could have you know he could have said um

ani like who am i using the a yeah word um but in hebrew it's not usually said that way it's usually it's actually just who i if you were to try to translate it literally who i

um that doesn't make good english the am is kind of understood uh in hebrew when it's absent it's not really necessary in hebrew but uh a good english translation puts it in there because we're trying to bring it from one language bring the meaning over to another language and it needs to be understandable so the nice thing about the king james and i i wish that the modern versions um

would have copied the the pattern of the king james of doing this and putting it in italics

because it helps you see sometimes when words are there that are kind of filling in the meaning to help make it smoother english um so and and when god said i am the lord he says literally yahweh or i yahweh um the am is not there but it's understood um but it's perfectly correct for the king james to put the word am there and and for every other version to put the word m in there as well because that's that's how we speak in english

so when you consider that if if you kind of thumb through and look at places where am shows up um most of the cases are in italics and i can show you you know page after page but um

you just take my word for it or take it as a homework assignment do a quick bible search and a bible program in the king james and look for the word am and notice how much or how often it's in italics most of the time by far and away it's in italics um

the bottom one here um

sarah speaking um the word hayah is actually a form of is there but actually the way the wording is in hebrew it's it's kind of like saying worn out is to me in hebrew so the the subject of that verb is uh

is different than um

than sarah speaking the one who's speaking so it's not uh yeah it's not conjugated that way um so even though we bring it into english as i am it's not so

point is it's it's kind of it's not as the word am in hebrew is not as often uh not as common as you'd think so if we search for all the different forms of to be in english in the bible i did a search there's about 18 000 times where in our english translation the old testament we're going to see is was where am are will be

but if you look for the hebrew word in all of its forms you see that there's only 3 500 or so time so basically only one and six times that you see an english to be word verb um version of to be there's actually a hebrew to be behind it

um and then when you uh search for this particular form

the number drops down to just about just over 50 times

so it's actually in this particular form in the imperfect form um in the incompleted action form it's only 50 times that's only about you know just a little over one time on average per book of the old testament

but you know here in exodus 3 in just a couple verses we have it four times


a fairly uncommon

form of a word um is is concentrated in this passage in exodus 3. so i think it really is supposed to be linked i think when god reveals his name i think that

that we're supposed to take the message

and when we hear his name yahweh i think that that we should be remembering that

those words of comfort that god gave to moses that i will be with you

that is in the context of of god revealing himself i will be who i will be and you know who he will be is somebody who delivers his people he heard their cry he knew he understood the pain and the suffering they were going through and he was going to be with moses so that moses could deliver his people from the bondage that they were in

now so

maybe you know okay it's right there in the context but is there any more evidence that that you have uh brian for this idea well

that that night during the bible class i did a quick search

of this you know specific form eh yeah and i saw something remarkable if we look at

the torah and in the books of moses it's there eight times um so we just four of them are right there and in

in exodus three

but if we look at the other passages um god speaks to oh first of all only god

speaks and uses that word in all the first five books actually the first six and a half books of the bible it's only god speaking and in the majority of the passages and out of those 50 passages 30 plus of them are god speaking so the majority of the time we see this

word in in in modern hebrew you know you could be using it all the time but in the biblical writings they they kind of gave priority um to using it reserving it more often for god than for other for other um other speakers you know other people did use it job uses it david uses it um other speakers use this word so it's not you um

only used by god but but priority is definitely there and in the books of moses it's only god um and and notice what he says he says to isaac sojourn in this land and i will be with you and will bless you for to you and your offspring oh give all these lands and i will establish the oath that i swore to abraham your father

he says it to jacob

then the lord said to jacob return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred and i will be with you so the context of these two uh you know isaac's in going into exile in gerar um and

jacob is now going to kind of face uh his father-in-law and and bring his wives away from his father-in-law who's been trying to keep him there for as long as possible and he's going to go return to the promised land and so he's got a little bit of a um

you know a challenge up ahead of him ahead of him and god is giving him this these words of comfort i will be with you

and then we came to to moses god says this to moses in the passage we read but i will be with you

um and he says it to moses again in uh chapter well chapter four now go therefore go there for a go and i will be with your mouth and will teach you what you shall speak

um so specifically not just with moses but actually with moses mouth god promises to be so that

moses was worried about you know what's he going to be saying how you know he's going to stumble over his words when he's talking to pharaoh but now god's saying i will be with your mouth

and he says it again and uh three verses later you shall speak to him and put the words in his uh and put the words in his mouth and i will be with your mouth i'm sorry and this is in aaron's mouth and i will be with your mouth moses mouth and with his mouth aaron's mouth and we'll teach you both what to do

so god is saying you know you're unsure i get it moses we're going to bring aaron you can bring aaron along as well he can speak for you but i'm going to be with both of your mouths so you guys can can speak my words to pharaoh i'm going to be with you

so we continue on um at the end of

the the torah in deuteronomy we see uh god speaking to joshua who's about to pick up the baton and and lead god's people the lord commissioned joshua the son of noon and said be strong and courageous for you shall bring the people of israel into the land that i swore to give them i will be with you

and he says it to joshua a number of times again in the book of joshua

no man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life just as i was with moses so i will be with you i will not leave you or forsake you

in a joshua 3 verse 7 the lord said to joshua today i will begin to exalt you in the sight of all israel that they may know that as i was with moses so i will be with you

this is a yeah again and again and again and it's the same theme

and judges

going on out of the uh

first six you know beginning judges the beginning

of judges also uses in this way and the lord said to him but i will be with you and you shall strike the midianites as one man so god's promising to be with with gideon as well

so that repeating theme just keeps coming again and again and again to all these israelite fathers and leaders god is promising to be with them as they face difficult trials

as joshua goes into exile as jacob flees his father-in-law to go back to the land as moses faces the powerful pharaoh as joshua and gideon go into battle god is promising to be with them

so elia is reserved

in in these beginning books of the bible to be only used by god and it's it's again all over and over and over again used to reassure his people that he's with them

and he introduces his name

so when you think about that it's surrounded on both sides this

you know

his revealing of his name to moses by these messages of god being with them

i think that

as moses you know reflected on the name as he was writing on that word as he was writing down the books of the bible i think i think that would have popped out that as he was inspired to write

that god's giving this message again and again and again and it's there for us to to see um as well

um so think about the lessons now it's there the lessons are there in the imagery as well the burning bush


think about the lesson the burning bush it was it was consumed it was in fire

but not consumed

god is telling moses that yeah you're going to go through a fiery trial right now

this is going to be a challenge but you're not gonna be consumed i'm with you

try you're gonna come through this trial unburned

does anybody know

where the last time before the burning bush

fire is mentioned in the bible

not the cherubim or between the two of them it's with abraham and isaac yeah

yes so

when abraham was called to take isaac his beloved son

to mount moriah

it mentions this little detail that that moses or that what the the wood was placed on isaac's back but the fire

was in the father's hand abraham was carrying the fire so you imagine like a little fire pan um that kept some embers going because you know diamond the diamond match company wasn't set up for business in in

the holy land at this time so you had to kind of make do and and keep fire going in other ways um so he had a little fire pan with some embers to be able to start a fire

that fire was in the hand of the father and if you think about the symbolism of abraham and isaac the father and the son walking together towards the sacrifice

and we know that of course it points forward to jesus the fire of jesus trial was in god's hands and and and similarly all of our trials are in the father's hands he's in control uh as we go through trials

and you could that that message is carried forward as well um so it's there in the burning bush it's there and and hinted at in the in the in the fire pan that that abraham's carrying but think forward to another fiery trial the fiery furnace the three friends of daniel

they went into that fire but god was with them and not a hair of them was singed there was no smell of smoke on them so

god is with us in the fiery trials of our life god is working for good

as paul says in romans for those who love god all things work together for good and for those who are called according to his purpose

you know you think of you know the less as as uh

brother rich when went through the story of joseph and his trials and his suffering in sunday school um a couple weeks ago you know i was thinking about how that resonated with this theme that you know

that in the suffering and the trials that that that joseph was going through um and you know the years of waiting um the hebrew is actually agonizing to me when i when i read that that time when he's in prison he he has this hope he like has these two people that know him they're going to pharaoh uh well one of them's not going to be around very long to be much help for him but but the other you know he's saying remember me remember me and then the next thing in this in the storyline says

for two years of days

he waited i mean here he remember the exact phrasing but but for waiting but basically he he waited um

and there was a long time before that dream came to pharaoh so moses or so so joseph was still in prison for two years of days day after day after day waiting um hoping maybe losing hope um not sure is is you know god i thought this was this was the way that you're going to kind of get me out of here and yet it didn't seem he seems like he's forgotten me um god was working in all of those trials um and in the end in hindsight joseph said to his brothers you know you meant it for evil but god meant it for good uh to save life so god is working in our trials and and here in the exodus

god knew the suffering of his people he heard their cries he is sending a deliverer

to bring them back


in in closing i want to bring out um

one other place where this lesson continues in a slightly different way um

we've kind of gone over the eh yeah i will be uh part of of um god's

message that keeps coming back again and again and again um and by the way you know it's also another maybe another interesting study that we could do sometime that the majority of the ending times that uh yeah is used in the hebrew bible it's in the prophets and almost exclusively through the prophets it's used of god i think there's one time maybe that it's not um

and again and again there the message is i will be your god um and it's just repeated again and again and again so it is kind of again reserved for a powerful message um but here in the beginning

it's i will be with you now that's five words in english i will be with you but in hebrew very concise language you can do that with two words

now the second word um

is the with you part um

is the beginning of the word that means with and then you can tack on different endings uh depending on who you're with um so i will be with you

so is um

with you

you can put other things on the end of that you can put me with me you can put imo with him you could put ima with her

so there's different just by by putting a different letter on the end you can you can kind of change who is uh with in the in the message there

there's one that i think you've heard of before


so imanu el

so imanu

so is god or sorry imanu is is with us with us so we put that anu ending on and we get with us and that's the message that god is revealing through his son as well so imanu l

like elohim means god so god is with us that's the lesson of his son and that's why jesus was was given that name emmanuel

the biggest lesson of all about god being with us was what he taught us through his son

jesus saves us um through through is with us and walking with us and supporting us through our trials think of think of jesus

looking down

on stephen

as he's being stoned

he was at the right hand of god and he normally is sitting at the right hand of god he stood

to watch

watch steven as

as he

held firm to his faith and was enduring great suffering and pain um as the crowd stoned him he's with us in our trials jesus is there

and he is

representative representing god and god is with us as well so they're they have the same purpose and and uh and mission really in working with god's people


jesus is with us and jesus like moses

was god's instrument to deliver us from bondage moses delivered god's people from the bondage of egypt and jesus delivers god's people from the bondage of sin and death and what greater

way could there be for god to show us that he is with us than to send his only beloved son

and and to use him as an instrument to demonstrate his love for us that he would undergo the suffering that he did to try to draw us in and to

bring about the covering for our sins and the and are reconnecting us to to god whom we were estranged from

um god is showing us in jesus that he is with us


eh yeah imanu um

god will be with us um just like god was with moses god was with the patriarchs god was with joshua um god is with us and i think that's the a really powerful lesson that i was really encouraged to find and