Abram was the first in scripture to be called 'Hebrew'. Why? What does it mean? Is it only referring to the lineage that Abram descended from? Or, is there an understanding of this discriptive term that also applies to us, as Believers In Christ? This writing explores this concept.
The Coarse Course of YHWH
With the first three portions of this ‘course’ we have tried to reveal the understanding of the precise order and importance of the opening chapter of Genesis. And included in that precise order is the understanding of how Hebrew words are formed, and then how to find the root verb that is the basis for each individual Hebrew word of the Old Testament. We hope we have given the reader enough information and insight to at least establish a small level of credibility for this writing. You, the reader, will decide for yourself how well we have communicated what we are trying to show.
We left off part 3 with declaring that YHVH is a four-letter word that has a three-letter word as its root foundation. The first letter of YHVH is the letter ‘yode’, and the ‘yode’ is prefixed to a three-letter verb. That three-letter verb is ‘hvh’ in English, and ‘hey’ ‘vahv’ ‘hey’ in Hebrew. We can now begin to investigate this Hebrew word ‘hvh’, and find out some of the many and varied ways the writers of the Old Testament prophecies used this word, and then how the translators into western languages have translated these words. The hope is that if we can understand what the verb ‘hvh’ is illustrating, we may be able to get a clearer picture of YHVH Elohim, or LORD God.
The three-letter Hebrew verb of ‘hvh’ gets morphed into several different forms throughout the Old Testament, and the vast majority of those morphed forms changes the last letter of the word for the purpose of expressing different ideas, or understandings. However, the verb of ‘hvh’, which corresponds to the spelling of ‘hvhy’, does show up in scripture a few times; at least enough to begin to get a feel for the overall idea this verb is communicating. And for those of you Bereans that will research this further, I am listing the numbers that Strong’s Concordance has assigned to these verb expressions.
The first example I choose to use is in Isaiah 47:11. This is not the first use of this verb ‘hvh’ in the scriptures, but it is one of the easier examples to recognize. Judaism ascribes great authority to the writings of Isaiah, so when trying to illustrate a concept or idea to a practicing jew, quoting from Isaiah or using Isaiah as an example carries much influence. A reading of the first 10 verses of Is. 47 will give a good backdrop on how this word, ‘hvh’, is being used, and why. The King James Version of Is. 47:11 translated this word ‘hvh’ as ‘mischief’, and Strong’s Concordance assigns it #H1943.
In Ezekiel 7:26 this word is used twice, and both times translated as ‘mischief’. Strong’s Concordance also lists this verse as using the verb form he designates as #1943.
Another example of how ‘hvh’ is used also adds confusion, or ‘mischief’, by the way the KJV translated this word. In Eccl. 2:22 we read, “For what hath man of all his labour…” A much clearer understanding of the use of ‘hvh’ here can be had when translating as follows: “For what does exist (or, ‘what existence is there) to man of all his labour…” In this verse, Strong’s indicates this usage is from the verb form that is designated as #H1933. When considering how Isaiah and Ezekiel used this verb that the translators described as ‘mischief’, can we extrapolate that Eccl. 2:22 is indicating that the resulting existence of man, as corresponding from his reliance on “…all his labour”, is little more than ‘mischief’?
Let us look at a few more examples of how ‘hvh’ is used in scripture.
KJV Job 6:30 Is there iniquity in my tongue? Cannot my taste discern perverse things (hvh)? Strong’s designates this use of ‘hvh’ as #1942. KJV Job 30:13 They mar my path, they set forward my calamity (hvh), they have no helper. Again, Strong’s designates this word as #1942. KJV Psalm 5:9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness (hvh); their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue. Strong’s #1942. KJV Psalm 55:11 Wickedness (hvh) is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets. Strong’s #1942. KJV Proverbs 17:4 A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty (hvh) tongue. Strong’s #1942. KJV Micah 7:3 That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous (hvh) desire: so they wrap it up. Again, this is Strong’s #1942. And the word translated as ‘desire’ in this verse is the Hebrew ‘nephesh’, which is none other than the ‘soul’, as first highlighted in Gen. 2:7. Young’s Literal translates this portion this way: “…and the great -- he is speaking the mischief of his soul,…”
Hopefully these few references we have listed will illustrate the idea we are trying to highlight. Can there be any more graphic description of ‘adam’, devoid of the Spirit of God as his identity, than “…he speaketh the mischief of his soul”?
At this point in this writing it may be appropriate to further discuss the ‘name’ HVHY (when read from right to left). There is more mystery and confusion surrounding this word than any Hebrew word I have ever researched. And the final conclusion comes not from any historical authority that can add more clout and influence than the others, but from hearing the voice of the Spirit. For God is Spirit, and so must be heard and understood in Spirit and Truth. And ‘hearing in Spirit and Truth’ is not an easy assignment in the midst of all of the religious voices that have built sand castles of truth on their own religious convictions.
The Strong’s number for YHVH is H3068. And Strong’s simple definition of this word is as follows: “from #1961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: -Jehovah, the Lord.” End of definition. However, Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament gives a more complex and expansive discussion of this Hebrew word YHVH, and includes much information about the centuries’ old debate amongst theologians and etymologists about whose opinion on this word is more definitive. All of this is just religious debate, and very little more. However, none of the resources I have discovered give a logical and understandable reason for why the word YHVH is spelled the way that it is. Strong’s Concordance lists #3068, YHVH, as coming from the three-letter root verb #1961. The problem with that reasoning is that #1961, which many may recognize as ‘hah-yah’, is spelled in Hebrew as ‘hey’ ‘yode’ ‘hey’, or in English, ‘hyh’. If YHVH is derived from the verb ‘hyh’, as Professor Strong has suggested, where is the rationale from changing the middle letter of ‘yode’, in ‘hyh’, into the ‘vav’, so that we may have ‘YHVH’? The value of ‘vav’ is six. ‘Adam’ is introduced into this parable on the sixth day, and as such is a manifestation of ‘six’. The value of ‘yode’ is ten. There is very much revelation in the mystery of the values of these two letters, and what they may represent. And this mystery is one of the most important I AM aware of. YHVH has a six in the very center of the word. And six is the number that most accurately represents man; or ‘adam’. This is no accident, nor coincidence.