Tuesday, January 17, 2017

God's Name

Adapted from a post by Farrell Till on the Errancy Discussion list 5-8-97:

...Ex.6:2-3 has Yahweh saying very clearly to Moses that he was not 
known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by his name Yahweh, yet there are
numerous examples in Genesis that dispute this:

Genesis 22:14 states that Abraham named the place where he was 
going to offer up Isaac Yahweh-jirah, which meant "Yahweh will provide." 
How did Abraham know to call the place this if he did not know that the 
name of his god was Yahweh? 

Genesis 24:25-52 certainly shows that Abraham's servant, who was sent 
to find a wife for Isaac knew Yahweh's name. When he encountered 
Rebekah, he "knelt bowing to Yahweh"(v:26). He said, "Praise Yahweh, 
the Elohim[God] of my master Abraham. Yahweh has led me on this 
trip to the home of my master's relatives."(v:27). Several more times 
in this passage, Abraham's god was called Yahweh. It is certainly 
strange that Abraham's  servant knew the name Yahweh, but Abraham, 
despite evidence to the contrary, presumably didn't. 

Genesis 26:22 says that Isaac dug a well and called the name of it 
Rehoboth and said, "Now Yahweh has made room for us, and we will 
prosper in this land." How could Isaac have said this if he did not know 
that his god's name was Yahweh?

Genesis 26:23-25 says that Isaac went to Beersheba and "That night 
"Yahweh appeared to Isaac, and said 'I am the Elohim of your father 
Abraham.' Isaac then built an altar and "worshiped Yahweh." I guess 
we are supposed to believe that Isaac worshiped a God that he didn't 
even know.

Genesis 28:10-13 says that Jacob saw Yahweh on the way to Haran, 
and Yahweh said to him, "I am Yahweh, the Elohim of your grandfather
Abraham and the Elohim of Isaac." I guess Jacob was hard of hearing 
and didn't catch the name Yahweh.

Genesis 28:20-21 Says that Jacob made a vow that if Yahweh would take
care of him on his way back to his father that he would make Yahweh his
Elohim [God]. How could Jacob have made Yahweh his God if he didn't 
even know the name Yahweh? 

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