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For his Name's sake the Lord chose the people of Israel (1 Sam. xii. 22): to Moses he revealed that Name which shall be his memorial throughout all generations (Exod. ii. 15): of Pharaoh he says, “ For this cause have I raised thee up, that my Name may be declared throughout all the earth” (Exod. ix. 16): of the angel that went before the Israelites they are charged, “ Provoke him not for my Name is in him” (Exod. xxiii. 21): Joshua pleads with the Lord, “ What wilt thou do unto thy great Name?” (Josh. vii. 9): on the mountain of the Lord he chose a place “ to cause his Name to dwell there (Deut. xii. 11): to the temple strangers “ come out of a far country for thy Name's sake” (1 Kings viii. 41): “ that all people of the earth may know thy name” (ibid.43): and a day is coming in which “ the Lord shall be King over all the earth : in that day shall there be one Lord, and his Name one” (Zech. xiv. 9). But under these manifestations of the Name of the Lord a progressive manifestation of his character and attributes is included : “ God spake unto Moses, and said, I am the Lord : 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 unto them” (Exod. vi. 3). The import of the name Jehovah is further revealed to Moses in the mount: “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth" (Exod. xxxiv. 6). This is the end and purpose of all God's dispensations, to make known his Name, that every creature may rejoice therein : “I will make thy Name to be remembered in all generations; therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever” (Psa. xlv. 17): “ According to thy Name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth” (Psa. xlviii. 10): “They that know thy Name will trust in thee” (Psa. ix 10): “How excellent is thy Name in all the earth” (Psa. viii. 1,9): “Let them also that love thy Name be joyful in thee” (Psa. v. 11). And in order to this manifestation of the name of God, the Son came forth from the bosom of the Father; as the creating Word, by whom all things were made (John i. 3, 10; Heb. i. 2); as the Spirit of prophecy, and himself the Sender (Rev. xix. 10; Isa. vi. 8; John xii. 41); as himself the living Witness (“I will declare thy name unto my brethren," Heb. ii. 12, Psa. xxii. 22): and who shall come again, having "on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords” (Rev. xix. Î6). Which successive manifestations are contained in the name by which he is called, Isa. ix. 6,
Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of peace.'
One more observation will bring us to the point in hand, and at the same time demonstrate the importance of this inquiry. Before the expulsion from Eden, " The Lord God” is the name of the Supreme Being; but after the Fall these two names no more occur thus combined, except in prophetic anticipations of the time of the restitution of all things : the unity of the Divine manifestation is broken by the sin of man. “ The Lord” is named; and “God” is named, but we no where find "the Lord God," in the Hebrew, except in addresses to God anticipating his final manifestation, of which a complete list will be subjoined: This remarkable fact we may be sure has an important meaning; and those who will follow out this inquiry with diligence shall find that instruction no less important and remarkable, though not so obvious, is contained under every one of the many names of God. A reflecting person would expect it to be so : for in Hebrew, the primitive language, names are not arbitrary conven tional sounds, given to things from some slight accidental cause, and to be changed as lightly as they were first given; but names in Hebrew express the permanent qualities of that to which they are attached, and pre-suppose an intimate acquaintance with these qualities in the person who gives the name. When the Lord God brought unto Adam every beast of the field and every fowl of the air, to see what he would call them, the perfection of reason, with which God had endowed this man made in his own image, would enable Adam to perceive at once the peculiar and distinguishing characteristic of each animal; "and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof." Philologists have been able to perceive the aptness of many of the Hebrew names of animals, as they now subsist; but the inquiry is attended with great difficulty, from the changes which must have taken place in the animal creation by the changes of climate acting upon their bodies, and the ferocity acting upon their dispositions—both of them the direful consequences of the fall of man. The names given to Eve, Cain, Abel, Seth, &c. demonstrate the two points we assume and maintain : first, that the Hebrew names are descriptive of character, and not merely appellatives for distinction; as every one of these names has its meaning declared, and assigned as the reason why it was imposed : secondly, that the Hebrew is the primitive language, as these names retain these their original meanings in that language, and do not convey any such meaning in other languages. And we shall now proceed to shew that the names of God are in like manner significant of qualities in Him, intended to be revealed by these names to us, for our comfort and adoration now, and for the fulness of joy in the ages to come.
No person, unacquainted with the original languages of inspiration, can form an adequate idea of the loss which the holy Scriptures sustain by translation into modern tongues. This loss affects in some degree the whole sacred volume, and should serve as a powerful inducement for learning the sacred lan: guages, to all those who have the means placed within their reach of acquiring a knowledge of Hebrew or Greek ; but the loss is most peculiarly felt in the Hebrew proper names. The mere perusalof the English Bible will have suggested, to every thoughtful person, how very significant all Scripture names must be in the original, when so many of them retain a large portion of this beauty in our translation. Bethel, Eben-ezer, Immanuel, Solomon, &c. convey to a mere English reader distinction of character and quality, as well as distinctness of name. But in the Hebrew, all names, without exception, originally expressed some quality of the things to which they were given; and the names of men expressed some peculiarity in the birth, character
, or future destination of the individual: and when further called to perform some particular action, a new name was frequently given to the person, binding him over to that specific act; as the baptized person is, by his Christian name, bound over to the service of Christ. Every student must have noticed this descriptive as well as distinctive character in the names of Isaac, Jacob, his twelve sons, &c.; and the fact is set in a still clearer light by the many remarkable changes of name recorded in Scripture. When Abram and Sarai took a new standing in the purpose
of God, a letter was added to their names; when Jacob had prevailed with the angel of God, he obtained the name of Israel : and Moses, and Joshua, and Gideon, and Jedidiah, all denote peculiar offices to which these individuals were destined. This results from a principle which pervades the whole Hebrew language, in which some meaning is attached to every articulate sound, nothing in it being superfluous; and it is the source of those numerous instances of paranomasia which even the English reader must have remarked. It is not our present purpose to expatiate at large on this ample field, but we shall confine ourselves to one particular class of names : these, however, are incomparably the most important of all, and they have also suffered more than any of the others by being obscured in modern translations: we mean, The Names of God.
These names are, in the Hebrew, more numerous than the English reader supposes, and are all of them sublimely descriptive. They take up the highest ideas of which the mind of man is capable, exalting them still more by combining them, and then embody and impersonate them in the true God. These various and sublime appellatives are necessarily obscured by any transla. tion, but in almost all the modern versions have been, by a combination of circumstances, lost sight of more than was necessary, and in the English translation have been nearly all merged in the two words of God and LORD. In a few instances the translators have preserved the names Jah, and Jehovah; and in some other instances endeavoured to retain the sense, as “ Lord of hosts," “God Almighty," and a few more: but these, standing unsupported, lose their proper dignity; becoming in the first instances mere names, which indicate no attribute; in the second instances mere attributes, indicating no distinct personality : while many of the most instructive of the names have lost even their distinctive character in our translations-a loss which obscures many passages of Scripture, and which every commentator ought to make it an imperative part of his duty to supply. The circumstances which led to the confusion of these names sufficiently account for it in the early translations, but by no means justify its continuance : it began in the Septuagint, which, being designed for heathen idolaters, might, if the names were preserved, have led them to imagine that the Hebrews acknowledged more than one God. The same reason operated in a less degree when the early Latin translations were made : but the blind reverence for antiquity which would now prolong it, after these reasons have ceased, is surely deserving of blame, not of commendation.
The names of God have from the first attracted the attention of such of the Christian Fathers as were acquainted with Hebrew. Jerome enumerates ten ; and they have been repeatedly commented on by De Lyra, Paul of Bruges, Amama, Fagius, Buxtorf, and Leusden. In England a prejudice has been raised against these studies by that strange mixture of cabalistic polytheism and spiritualizing alchemy which Hutchinson and his immediate followers introduced; while the piety of Parkhurst and the vigour of Horsley, which rescued Hutchinsonianism from utter contempt, lave but strengthened and protracted amongst ourselves the prejudice against Hebrew etymology.
It shall be our endeavour, in treating this difficult subject, first to get the clearest understanding we can of the names of God from the Scriptures alone; to correct and improve our own ideas by all the means within our reach, whether Rabbinical or Chris, tian; and to give the results so concisely that, if we do not inform, we shall not greatly weary:
In the creation, as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis, God, d97b8, is the name of the Divine Being. When man is introduced into the creation his Creator is called The LORD God, onbx m'; and continues to be so designated, except by the woman and serpent, till man was expelled from Paradise. (iii. 23). From this time forth we no more find these two names so combined, till we come to those portions of prophetic Scripture which anticipate the recovery of a better paradise than Adam lost by the Fall; when man shall not merely hear the voice of the Lord God in the garden, as Adam did, but when “the tabernacle of God shall be with men, and he will dwell in the midst of them for ever.” These two names are thus disjoined, as it were, by the sin of man, and reunited in man's restoration ;-a fact which is indirectly illustrated by the signification attached to these names by the Rabbis, who give to Elohim the attribute of judgment, righteousness, and truth ; but to Jehovah the attribute of mercy, reconciliation, and peace ; making the union of these attributes the distinction of the times of the Messiah, when“ mercy and truth shall' meet together, when righteousness and peace shall kiss each other.” These two names are the most important of all, and of the most frequent occurrence; Elohim expressing the official character of God, as Maker and Governor of all things; Jehovah expressing his essential character as the Self-existent One; the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, The Almighty (Rev. i. 8).
Jehovah, 1717, was called the Tetragrammaton, or name of four letters: it was also called the Unutterable Name, not from its being impossible to pronounce it, but from its being unlawful to utter'it “ in vain,” or on common occasions; and the “ Israelitish woman's son was put to death for this offence (Lev. xxiv. 11). The Jews in the time of our Lord superstitiously avoided naming it; and many suppose that our Lord pronounced it in the garden, when the soldiers went backward and fell to the ground (John xviii. 6). The Cabalists since have carried the superstition still further, supposing a charm to be contained in every letter, and that miracles might be wrought by any one who could rightly pronounce it. To secure this Sacred Name from profanation, the scribes never affixed to its letters their own vowel points, but placed under it commonly the points proper to Adonai, reading this name in its stead : but when these two names, of Adonai and Jehovah, occur in conjunction, as is often the case, Adonai then retains its own points, and the Sacred Name takes the points of Elohim, and Elohim is read in its place, both when it precedes and when it follows Adonai. The confounding together of these three names began with the translation of the LXX., who used the word Kupoc almost indiscriminately for the Sacred Name, for Adonai, and for Adoni, all of which are translated alike in Psalm cx. But where the Sacred Name is combined with Adonai, they often retain this last as a proper name, joining it to the former, Adwval Kuplos, as through_the greater part of Ezekiel ; sometimes Kuptos Kuptos, as
Ezek. ii. 11; and sometimes Kupte po Kupie, as through the whole of that memorable chapter 2 Sam. vii., where they retain the same form of words even in ver. 25, though the second word is there Elohim, and though they have generally rendered these two words Kupios o Deos in Gen. iii. and elsewhere. Jerome continued in the Vulgate the confusion begun by the LXX., retaining Adonai in still fewer instances, and only where he thought a proper name indispensable, as Ex. vi. 3. In other cases he translates the Sacred Name Dominus; and when combined with Adonai, Dominus Deus, as it is now pointed in the Hebrew. Thus it