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True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Theology  > A Paradox

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  #1  
Old 10-26-2014, 09:17 PM
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Default A Paradox

Can you explain these verses?

Genesis 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.

Exodus 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them.


I believe I have found an explanation, but what do people here think?
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2014, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: A Paradox

While it could be a paradox, there is another possibility: that the generations had forgotten the name of God since the time of Seth&Enosh.

Genesis 32

28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”

29 Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.”

And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”


The question "why is it that you ask about My name?" is revealing of itself. It is just as revealing as Moses stating the people will want to know God's name. This seems to indicate that there was a tradition that the name was known at one time, but was forgotten generationally (otherwise, they would just assume that "God" was His only name, as it was the one revealed to them).

In other words:
"And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them" (Ex 6.3) indicates that "God" and "Almighty" were God's names, but not his only names. Only some awareness that He had "another name" that was forgotten would have prompted Jacob's query and Moses' request (Yaweh/Jehovah).

Last edited by Linsinbigler : 10-27-2014 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 10-27-2014, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: A Paradox

^ The passage says however that God was not known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by the name Jehovah.

Noah had the the name Jehovah:

Genesis 9:26 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Abraham knew it:

Genesis 12:8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, H3068 and called upon the name of the LORD.

Isaac knew it:

Genesis 26:24 And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake.
25 And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well.


Jacob knew it:

28:13 And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;

One Jewish interpretation is that "name" means "power" or "authority" in Exodus 6:3. Hebrew is like English. In English people say, "Open in the name of the king" or "open in the name of the law." While God had made promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacobs, He had not yet delivered on those promises. The children of Israel were about to see God make true on His promises what the Patriarchs had accepted on faith.

There is an interesting take also on Genesis 4:26. When I first read that, I thought calling on the name of the LORD had to be a good thing; but I discovered the Hebrew is ambiguous. It could mean that people began to give pagan gods names and ascribing the Holy Name to them. That verse could be telling us that that was when idolatry commenced. This could account for some of the similarities of the names of pagan gods, Io, Jove, etc.

Some scholars say:

Early worship of Yahweh likely originated in southern Canaan during the Late Bronze Age.[18]:7487 It is probable that Yahu or Yahweh was worshipped in southern Canaan (Edom, Moab, Midian) from the 14th century BC, and that this cult was transmitted northwards due to the Kenites. This "Kenite hypothesis" was originally suggested by Cornelius Tiele in 1872 and remains the standard view among modern scholars.[19]

I can see how they reach their conclusion; but this theory may be missing a critical point. If Genesis means that men began to use the Holy Name for naming pagan gods even before the Flood, this similarity of names should not surprise us. It should be expected.
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Old 10-27-2014, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: A Paradox

^Its definitely one of the possibilities. The point that I was getting at was that God expressly say that He is Yaweh in chapter 28, then Jacob asks His name in 32, and God asks him why. "Yaweh" was simply Hebrew for "he that is," and was maybe seen as a phrase of description but forgotten as a name of God Himself. Gen. 28.13 could easily be translated "I am He that is the God of Abraham..." Since Gen. 6.3 reveals that "God Almighty" was the name by which they are known to them, and since it lists it as one of the names of Yaweh (He that is), then it is not a problem. I see it as the author of Genesis and Exodus trying to convey that when they called upon the name of God Almighty, they were in fact calling upon one and the same Yaweh ("He that is," even though it was forgotten as a name) as opposed to some other "god." If one were to recount in a biography of Lincoln "they called out Lincoln's name," and then we later read that "they called out 'Abraham,'" we need not see this as problematic.
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Old 10-27-2014, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: A Paradox

^ As you doubtlessly know, Jacob is not given a name in chapter 32. . . . He asks for it but doesn't get an answer. Was it Jehovah? That too is a matter for interpretation.
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: A Paradox

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giuliano View Post
^ As you doubtlessly know, Jacob is not given a name in chapter 32. . . . He asks for it but doesn't get an answer. Was it Jehovah? That too is a matter for interpretation.
Right, that is my point! Yaweh is mentioned in 28, but as 32 indicates, Jacob did not understand it to be a name of God, but simply a description. Otherwise, he would not have asked the question as to what His name was.

Also, another thing to add to this point: When Moses asks what God's name is, the Lord responds אהיה אשר אהיה but later, as a different conjugation of the same term: יהוה (Yaweh), the point being, that any conjugation of hayah is one of the names of God, which explains the use of O On in the Septuagint of Ex. 3.16 and also the use in Revelation of "who was and is and is to come."

Also of note is the usage of "the name" (השם HaShem) as synonymous with God Himself (for example, in common conversation, in pre-recorded messages or shows, instead of even "Adonai," HaShem will be used).

St. Maximus the Confessor would see, in the Lord's prayer, "hallowed be Thy Name" as referring to the Son, and "Thy Kingdom come" as referring to the Spirit.

Also, here is another irony: Jesus reveals one more name of God far more intimate than the others that only He used up until He gave it to us: Father. Here is the ironic part: in the Old Testament, He is known as the God of "our fathers" (plural). Eloyihm and Adonai are both plural, and a singular is used for a human being of stature (el or adon). But the reverse is true of "father" (moving in the Old Testament from the God of our fathers to God the Father in the new dispensation).

Having said all that, I agree with you that many may have been using YHWH (Yaweh, Jehovah) for pagan gods.
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Old 10-27-2014, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: A Paradox

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linsinbigler View Post
Right, that is my point! Yaweh is mentioned in 28, but as 32 indicates, Jacob did not understand it to be a name of God, but simply a description. Otherwise, he would not have asked the question as to what His name was.
I think Jacob knew without needing it clarified when he saw the LORD in Genesis 28 -- this was the same God his father and grandfather had believed in and talked about. I don't think it was necessarily the LORD in chapter 32 -- not in the same sort of manifestation since we are told it was a man.

What about Abraham calling on the name of the LORD? Are you saying he knew God by a different name? While that's possible of course, it seems unlikely to me.
Quote:
Also, here is another irony: Jesus reveals one more name of God far more intimate than the others that only He used up until He gave it to us: Father. Here is the ironic part: in the Old Testament, He is known as the God of "our fathers" (plural). Eloyihm and Adonai are both plural, and a singular is used for a human being of stature (el or adon). But the reverse is true of "father" (moving in the Old Testament from the God of our fathers to God the Father in the new dispensation).
Didn't David or Solomon call God Father?

Quote:
Having said all that, I agree with you that many may have been using YHWH (Yaweh, Jehovah) for pagan gods.
Similarly we could say many come in the "name of Jesus" but come falsely, using only the word itself.
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Old 10-27-2014, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: A Paradox

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giuliano View Post
I think Jacob knew without needing it clarified when he saw the LORD in Genesis 28 -- this was the same God his father and grandfather had believed in and talked about. I don't think it was necessarily the LORD in chapter 32 -- not in the same sort of manifestation since we are told it was a man.
It was a theophany, so I don't think there is any trouble there

Quote:
What about Abraham calling on the name of the LORD? Are you saying he knew God by a different name?
I already explained that. Actually, one of the verses quoted in the op already explains that, they knew him by the name God Almighty. Again, President Lincoln/Abraham--which was his name? Was Abraham Lincoln's name, or was Lincoln Abraham's name? Both are true

Quote:
While that's possible of course, it seems unlikely to me.
It may seem unlikely, but it is right there in black and white in the op:
Exodus 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of El Shaddai, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them."

But let me give the more direct Hebrew:
וארא אל־אברהם אל־יצחק ואל־יעקב באל שדי ושמי יהוה לא נודעתי להם׃
which translates literally as:
"by my name Almighty, as God, to Jacob and to Isaac and to Abraham I revealed myself, but to them not as YHWH"

In this sentence, only the name Almighty is revealed as a name of God, and YHWH is a name only by context of the rest of the sentence.

Quote:
Didn't David or Solomon call God Father?
Messianic forbearers in messianic prophecy!

Quote:
Similarly we could say many come in the "name of Jesus" but come falsely, using only the word itself.
Quite true
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