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Moses asks God : "If they should say to me: What is his [ God's ] name? " In reply, God returns three times to the determination of His name. 269-84), Goldziher (Der Mythus bei den Hebräern, 1867, p. It is antecedently improbable that Jahveh, the irreconcilable enemy of the Chanaanites, should be originally a Chanaanite god. Müller (Die Semiten in ihrem Verhältniss zu Chamiten und Japhetiten, 1872, p.
First, He uses the first person imperfect of the Hebrew verb "to be"; here the Vulgate, the Septuagint, Aquila, Theodotion, and the Arabic version suppose that God uses the imperfect qal ; only the Targums of Jonathan and of Jerusalem imply the imperfect hiphil . 327), but has been rejected by Kuenen ("De Godsdienst van Israel", I, Haarlem, 1869, pp. It has been said by Vatke (Die Religion des Alten Test., 1835, p. 163) that the name Jahveh is of Indo-European origin. 38) that the Indo-Europeans furnished at least the idea contained in the name Jahveh, even if they did not originate the name itself, is without any value.
Finite beings are defined by their essence : God can be defined only by being, pure and simple, nothing less and nothing more; not be abstract being common to everything, and characteristic of nothing in particular, but by concrete being, absolute being, the ocean of all substantial being, independent of any cause, incapable of change, exceeding all duration, because He is infinite : "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, . The view that Jahveh is of Hebrew origin is the most satisfactory.
Arguing from Exodus 6:2-8 , such commentators as Nicholas of Lyra, Tostatus, Cajetan, Bonfrère, etc., maintain that the name was revealed for the first time to Moses on Mount Horeb. by the name of God Almighty ; and my name Adonai [Jahveh] I did not shew them".
According to a Rabbinic tradition the real pronunciation of Jehovah ceased to be used at the time of Simeon the Just, who was, according to Maimonides, a contemporary of Alexander the Great. Marg., i, 580); "Vita Mos.", iii, 25 (ii, 166)] seems to maintain that even on these occasions the priests had to speak in a low voice.
At any rate, it appears that the name was no longer pronounced after the destruction of the Temple. Thus far we have followed the post-Christian Jewish tradition concerning the attitude of the Jews before Simeon the Just.
The Mishna refers to our question more than once: Berachoth, ix, 5, allows the use of the Divine name by way of salutation; in Sanhedrin, x, 1, Abba Shaul refuses any share in the future world to those who pronounce it as it is written; according to Thamid, vii, 2, the priests in the Temple (or perhaps in Jerusalem ) might employ the true Divine name, while the priests in the country (outside Jerusalem ) had to be contented with the name Adonai ; according to Maimonides ("More Neb.", i, 61, and "Yad chasaka", xiv, 10) the true Divine name was used only by the priests in the sanctuary who imparted the blessing, and by the high-priest on the Day of Atonement. As to the earlier tradition, Josephus (Antiq., II, xii, 4) declares that he is not allowed to treat of the Divine name; in another place (Antiq., XII, v, 5) he says that the Samaritans erected on Mt. This extreme veneration for the Divine name must have generally prevailed at the time when the Septuagint version was made, for the translators always substitute Kyrios (Lord) for Jehovah.
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