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De Moor IV:7: The Significance of the Name יְהוָֹה/Jehovah

But our AUTHOR, having dismissed the Kabbalistic significations of the Letters and Syllables of this Name, which he wishes to be seen in the work of GALATINUS, and which, reviewed out of Galatinus, are able to be read in LEUSDEN’S Philologo Hebræo, Dissertation XXVII, pages 289, 290, and in BUXTORF’S Dissertatione de Nominibus Dei Hebraicis, § 28, E. indicates the signification of this Name. Namely, this word, derived from הָוָה, to be, denotes Him, who is most absolutely of Himself, who also to such an extent enjoys, 1. a Most Simple and Independent Essence, τὸ Α καὶ τὸ Ω, the Alpha and the Omega, Revelation 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13. 2. To whom agrees absolute Eternity, ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος, which is, and which was, and which is to come, Revelation 1:8, where ὁ ἐρχόμενος, which is to come, means the same thing as ὁ ἐσόμενος, which is going to be; see BUXTORF’S Dissertatione de Nominibus Dei Hebraicis, § 8, 9. 3. To whom with Immutability of Essence ought also to be attributed Immutable Constancy in the fulfillment of His words, so that He also gives τὸ εἶναι, being, to His word, whither the particle י/Yod, marker of the future/imperfect tense, is also able to lead us, and to which regard is chiefly had in Exodus 6:2.[1] Yet, not from this passage, or similar ones in Exodus 7:5;[2] 8:22,[3] is it gathered that the Name יְהוָֹה/ Jehovah denotes, not the very Essence of God, but rather His Power and Constancy demonstrated in the fulfillment of His word, as Crellius,[4] Episcopius,[5] and Le Clerc maintain; see BUDDEUS’ Theologiæ dogmaticæ, book II, chapter I, § 3, tome I, pages 404-406 (where at the same time he restrains the stupidity of Toland,[6] who maintains that the name יְהוָֹה/ Jehovah in its signification fosters Pantheism or Spinosism); and his BUDDEUS’ Historiam ecclesiasticam Veteris Testamenti, period II, section I, § 3, tome I, pages 402b, 403. α. Indeed, Independent, Eternal, and Immutable Essence also involves Constancy and Power, which He demonstrates in fulfilling that which He said. β. Neither does an application of the Name יְהוָֹה/Jehovah to this sort of demonstration of the altogether perfect mode of Being, which belongs to God, remove the primary notion of this Name, having regard to that most absolute Being of God from eternity, from the very origin of the word, which we do not hold it necessary to forsake. So much the less, γ. since God is distinguished as much as possible from all Creatures by His Independent, Eternal, and most Perfect Essence, and so to signify these things is most agreeable to the Name, which God claims for Himself as proper.

[1] Exodus 6:2-4: “And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord (יְהוָה): And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH (יְהוָה) was I not known to them. And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.”

[2] Exodus 7:5: “And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord (יְהוָה), when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.”

[3] Exodus 8:22: “And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the Lord (יְהוָה) in the midst of the earth.”

[4] Johannes Crellius (1590-1633) was a one of the Polish Brethren and an influential Socinian theologian. His son and grandson were also proponents of Socinian views.

[5] Simon Episcopius (1583-1643) was a Dutch theologian. He studied at the University of Leiden under Jacobus Arminius, and embraced his teacher’s distinctive doctrines. He became a leader among the Remonstrants, playing a significant role at the Synod of Dort (1618).

[6] John Toland (1670-1722) was an Enlightment philosopher and freethinker.

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