Jehovah, Yahweh

Jehovah, Yahweh

For the Korean version, see this. (Reposted in 2022; originally posted bilingually in Korean and English in 2019)

In Christianity, the God of Israel in the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) is known as Jehovah. As the title of the article suggests, however, Yahweh is also the name of Israel’s God. Assuming that most Christians are unaware of how these two names became in use interchangeably, I will explain the names Jehovah and Yahweh.

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Exodus 3:14-15 I AM WHO I AM, YHWH (Jehovah)

After running away from Egypt, Moses arrived in Midian. There, he met Zipporah a daughter of a Midian priest and married her. He seemed to have settled in Midian permanently. But one day, he encounters a life-changing event once again. He saw a bush, burning but strangely not consumed by the fire. So he wanted to see it closer. Then the voice of God called him and commanded him to go back to Egypt to save his people. Moses, who already settled in Midian for a long time, was afraid of going back. So he expressed some excuses why he should not go. One of his reasons was that he doesn’t even know to whom he was talking to. So Moses said, the people would ask him, “What is the name of the god who sent you to save us?”

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출 3:14-15 스스로 있는 자, 야웨(여호와)

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애굽에서 도망쳐 미디안에 도착한 모세는 미디안의 제사장의 딸 십보라와 결혼하고 그곳에서 새 인생을 살던 중 어느 날 떨기나무 하나가 불에 타는 것을 발견하게 된다. 그런데 그 나무는 불에 타 없어지지 않고 있었기 때문에 모세는 이를 가까이 가서 구경하려고 했다. 그때 하나님의 음성이 들려왔다. 하나님은 모세에게 애굽으로 돌아가 이스라엘 백성들을 구하여 나오라고 명령하셨다. 그는 이미 애굽에서 도망친 사람이었고 너무 오래 동안 미디안에 살고 있었기 때문에 하나님의 명령를 따르기 버거워 했다. 그래서 그는 가지 못할 변명을 늘어놓게 되는데, 그중 하나가 자기 동포들이 어떤 신이 모세를 보내어 그런 엄청난 일을 벌이려 하는지 모르니 자기는 갈 수 없다는 것이었다.

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