Jehovah - I Am



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Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower - Summary Chart
Name of the LORD - Why Study It?
Our Stronghold - sermon by C H Spurgeon on Proverbs18:10
The name of God is Jehovah - The name of God is Yahweh
The name of God is Elohim - My Creator   
The name of God is Abba - "Dear Father"
Abba, Father - Shorter Summary Page
Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower - Summary Chart
Name of the LORD - Why Study It?
Our Stronghold - sermon by C H Spurgeon on Proverbs18:10
The name of God is Jehovah - The name of God is Yahweh
The name of God is Elohim - My Creator   
The name of God is Abba - "Dear Father"
Abba, Father - Shorter Summary Page
Christ Our Rock
Christ The Breaker
Christ The Rock of Ages

Christ The Rock of Our Salvation
Christ The Smitten Rock
Christ Our Rock of Refuge-Pt 1
Christ Our Rock of Refuge-Pt 2

Christ our Sanctuary

Christ the Stone
Christ Mighty God - El Gibbor
Jesus Name Above All Names
Mighty to Save

God (Christ) Our Hiding Place

The Lamb of God
Jesus Christ the Breaker

The name of God is El Elyon - Most High God (Sovereign Over All)
The name of God is Adonai - My Lord, My Master
The name of God is El Roi - God Who Sees
The name of God is El Shaddai - God Almighty
The name of God is Jehovah Ezer -  The LORD our Helper
The name of God is Jehovah Jireh - The LORD Will Provide
The name of God is Jehovah Rapha - The LORD our Healer

The name of God is Jehovah Roi - The Lord is My Shepherd Pt 1
The name of God is Jehovah Roi - The Lord is My Shepherd Pt 2

The name of God is Jehovah Sabaoth - LORD of hosts (of armies) Pt 1

The name of God is Jehovah Sabaoth - LORD of hosts (of armies) Pt 2
The name of God is Jehovah Mekeddeshem - LORD Who Sanctifies
The name of God is Jehovah Nissi -The LORD Our Banner
The name of God is Jehovah Rapha - LORD Who Heals

The name of God is Jehovah Shalom - The LORD our Peace Pt 1
The name of God is Jehovah Shalom - The LORD our Peace Pt 2
The name of God is Jehovah Shammah - The LORD is There

Our Stronghold - Mp3 [with British accent] of sermon by Spurgeon on Pr 18:10

Song of the Names of God - Highly Recommended




Play and make it your prayer...
Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah


Does God have a proper name?

Psalm 68:4 Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, Whose name is Jehovah, and exult before Him. (See note)

The prophet Isaiah records this declaration by God Himself...

I am Jehovah, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images." (Isa 42:8)

Hemphill concludes: Most Bible scholars would agree that the name Yahweh, or Jehovah, as it is sometimes translated, would be the proper name of God. The other names, including the compound names, provide further revelation of His character and His activity. (Names of God)

(Most Common name for God in OT = 6823x)

Note that the 4 letters (tetra = 4) of YHWH are often referred to as the Tetragrammaton

Vowels were added to the "Tetragrammaton" (literally "four lettered name")
(Prior to 6th century Hebrew has no vowels - added to text AD 600-700)
yielding the Name...


... which is most commonly transliterated
(transcribed from one alphabet into corresponding letters of another alphabet)


Note that when a Bible translation has LORD in all caps (actually capital L and small capital letters) it signifies...

LORD is used in the NASB, ESV, GWT, KJV, NKJV, NAB, NIV, NLT, NRSV. Some versions retain Yahweh (NJB). A few versions transliterate YHWH as Jehovah (ASV, Darby, YLT). As wonderful as the Name "LORD" is, there is something especially beautiful when one speaks forth the Name "Jehovah".

Play the song He Is Jehovah -performed with a beautiful Jewish flavor

Note: Lord
in lower case signifies...


Jehovah is the most sacred, holy Name of God for the Jews who had a great fear that they might pollute His holy Name and thus they refused to pronounce it (substituting Adonai) (they feared violating Ex 20:7). There was one exception on the great Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) when the high priest (and no one else) could speak "YHWH" as he entered the Holy of holies (cf Leviticus 16:1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 21, 32, 33, 34). When the Jews copied the letters Jehovah, they would stop transcribing when they came to YHWH and would remove their clothes, take a bath, put on clean garments and use a new unused pen to write this most venerated Name. How tragic to see God's Name taken in vain with such impunity on television and movies!

To the Jews Jehovah became a Name that kept God at a distance. But as the study of Jehovah reveals, to begin (and that is all finite men can do in regard to such an awesome Name used  6823 times) to understand the significance of YHWH is to learn to "run into" this great Name (Pr 18:10-see notes Pr 18:10) where you will discover truths about God's character that when applied will succor you in trials and strengthen you to walk worthy of the Lord. May we learn like the Jews of old to adore and revere this awesome Name of our glorious God.

As an aside the name of Israel’s God was so sacred that the Jews would not speak it; therefore the original pronunciation was eventually forgotten. So we are not 100% certain how to pronounce YHWH, but YAHWEH is the best attempt.


First occurrence of
Genesis 2:4

A full revelation of the meaning and character of the Name Jehovah is not given by God
until Exodus 3



In Exodus 3

God said to Moses "I AM WHO I AM" and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" (Ex 3:14)

Literally it reads...

I AM [hayah] that I AM [hayah]

The Greek translation (Septuagint - LXX) of the Hebrew I AM is Ego eimi (Verb eimi is in present tense
= continuous action ~ God's eternality - see Eternal)

God goes on to say to Moses...
Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is My Name forever, and this is My memorial-Name to all generations.
 (Ex 3:15)

What truths do you see in the fact that Jehovah is the God of the patriarchs?

1) Speaks of God's eternality (Eternal) and life beyond the grave (not "I was" but "I am" implying they still exist) (cp Col 1:17-note)

2) Alludes to God's eternal covenant and the inherent promises  (See Ex 2:24) (See also Abrahamic covenant)

Jehovah is God's Memorial Name -
The Name to use when calling on Him

What is the context
for the revelation of God as "I AM"?

Moses tells us

Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God. So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them." (Read Exodus 2).


Personal plea hearing God


Covenant Keeping God


Omniscient God

took notice

Compassionate God


God's name of Revelation

Repeatedly (854x) the KJV Scriptures declare  saith the LORD and only twice saith God

The name Jehovah affirms that God not only exists but that He communicates with us and desires to reveal Himself in such a way that we can come to know Him, ultimately only through "The Way", Who is Jesus,  Who in turn (discussed below) is Jehovah.




Ge 15:18 On that day Jehovah made (cut) a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.


"I am the LORD (Jehovah) and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty (El Shaddai), but by My Name, LORD (Jehovah), I did not make Myself known to them. (Exodus 6:2-3 see explanatory note)


Who is "I Am"?
Is "Jehovah" mentioned in the New Testament?

John 12:41 These things Isaiah said, because he saw His (Jesus') glory (Isaiah 6)  and he spoke of Him (Jesus).


Jesus = Jehovah

(See explanatory notes below - See esp the caveats)

What did Jesus teach in John 8:24 (see note) and Jn 8:58 (note)?

Jesus declared to the Jews...


(v24) I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I Am (Ego eimi) He, you shall die in your sins... (v58)Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I Am (Ego eimi = present tense).


Jesus = I AM


Revelation 1:8 (note)

Again Jesus clearly declares...

I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty. (cp
Re 22:13-note; Re 21:6-note)

Hebrews 13:8 (note)


Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever. (Immutable Christ)


(See also
self-existent, eternal, infinite)

I AM = Hayah = to be, exist  (See Maclaren's eloquent explanation)

Jesus amplified the "I Am" with seven great I AM revelations - the Bread of Life, the Light of the Word, the Door, the Good Shepherd, the Way, the Truth, the Life, Resurrection & the Life, the Vine (John 6:35; 8:12; 10:9, 11; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1, 5)

Hemphill writes that...

He is the One Who in Himself possesses life and permanent existence. He Alone!...God is the uncaused cause. He is the first cause and before Him there was no other and after Him there will be no other. Life is found in Him. He is the first cause that you may have been searching for all of your life. (Hemphill, K. Names of God)

Nathan Stone comments that I am that I am

could be rendered, "I will be that I will be," and often the word is used in that sense, "I will be with thee." Its origin is exactly the same as that of Jehovah - being, existence - and certainly denotes the One who will always be: personal, continuous, absolute existence. (Names of God)

Swanson writes that

"I AM WHO I AM, i.e., a title of God with a focus on presence, care, concern, and relationship" (Dict of Biblical Languages w Semantic Domains Hebrew)

God within His own being possesses the

The "IS-ness" of God is expressive both of His presence and His existence.  He is in a sense in which no other being is. He is, and the cause of His being is in Himself. He is because He is.



Self Existence of God
All created entities have a beginning, including time itself (Ge 1:1, cp Jn 1:1). As creatures, we must reckon in terms of the past and future, but to the Creator of time, all is present.  He is transcendent or beyond our comprehension. 





I am Jehovah your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy for I am holy (Lev 11:44, 10:3, 19:2, 20:7,26)
Spurgeon's note)


Jehovah may be transcendent but He is also personal as well as holy (set apart from the profane)




Jehovah is righteous; He loves righteousness The upright will behold His face. (Psalm 11:7-note, cp Isa 45:7, Ps 99:4-note, Ps 146:8-note)


Jehovah possesses righteousness as a personal attribute, loves it in the abstract, and blesses those who practise it.



I, Jehovah do not change (Malachi 3:6)

In regard to time and space. The centuries that have passed since the covenant promises were been made to "the fathers" have not caused God to forget them, for to Him they are as new as ever. (Immutable)

When you need assurance that God is there, keeping His promises, never changing even though you have wavered in your promises to Him, run to your Jehovah. Trust in His name. His name Jehovah cannot change because He cannot change. Jesus is Jehovah, the same yesterday, today, and forever.


When life takes unexpected turns or suffering sets in, be comforted knowing that Jehovah was not created, nor does His character change. His name refers to what He is and does from all eternity. Cast your burdens on the changeless, steadfast, everlasting I AM Who simply and yet profoundly "IS" and so is the unmoving center point around which all time and space revolves.


The respected Jewish commentator of the Middle Ages, Moses Maimonides, had these comments on Jehovah...


All the names of God which occur in Scripture are derived from His works except one, and that is Jehovah; and this is called the plain name, because it teaches plainly and unequivocally of the substance of God.  In the name Jehovah the personality of the Supreme is distinctly expressed. It is everywhere a proper name denoting the person of God and Him only.”


Dr. Charles Ryrie writes Jehovah...

occurs 6,823 times in the OT and is especially associated with God's holiness (Lev 11:44, 45), His hatred of sin (Ge 6:3, 4, 5, 6,7), and His gracious provision of redemption (Isa 53:1, 5, 6, 10).


Smith and Cornwall summarize Jehovah writing that...

This name reveals God as the One Who is absolutely self-existent, and Who, in Himself, possesses essential life and permanent existence. A name of covenant relationship; God’s signature when He entered into a covenant with man. The name is first used as Jehovah-Elohim in Genesis 2:4, denoting that Elohim, the God of relationship, now requires order and obedience.  Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew verb “havah” = to be; to exist; being; to breathe. The name Jehovah brings before us the idea of being or existence and life. Jehovah is the Being who is absolutely self-existent, the One who in Himself possesses essential life, the One who has permanent existence, He who is without beginning or end (Isaiah 43:10, 11; Psalm 102:27). Jehovah is the ever existent One; the Eternal; the Everlasting One - that is; the One continually revealing Himself and His ways and purposes. (The Exhaustive Dictionary of Bible Names)


Spurgeon adds that

Elohim, as the Creator and Preserver, takes care of living things to preserve them; but the Lord, even Jehovah, the covenanting God, interposes in great mercy to protect his chosen servant. It was Jehovah Who entered into solemn league and covenant with His servant Noah that he would preserve him in the ark, and float him into the new world in it; and as Jehovah the covenanting One He shut him in. There is no security like that which is given us by the covenant of grace. The hand which was lifted to swear our safety has also been outstretched to effect it. The everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure guarantees salvation to all who are represented by the great Head and Surety of that covenant, even our Lord Jesus. Love and power cooperate with faithfulness and truth to keep the chosen from all danger. Dwell much upon the Covenant, and note the immutable pledges by which it is secured and the immortal principles upon which it is founded. Try to suck out the delicious sweetness which is to be found in the hive of the Covenant; for if you are an advanced child of God no form of truth can be more nourishing or refreshing to your mind. The doctrines which spring out of the covenant are peculiarly comforting to believing minds (e.g., see Exchange of Robes, Exchange of Armor and Belts, Oneness of Covenant, etc). The promises of God are yea and amen in Christ Jesus, and can never fail nor change, since the covenant standeth fast for ever and ever. Its tenure is free and sovereign grace, and it cannot be disannulled. Here is a line of it, “I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.” With such a promise doth Jehovah shut us in with Christ Jesus in matchless kindness and unspeakable love (See full sermon Shut in or Shut Out)














Listen to Chris Tomlin's - Indescribable; Indescribable #2 ; How Great Is Our God.

Or watch (and listen prayerfully to the words) of In The Presence Of Jehovah by Chonda Pierce - this will surely soften your heart and moisten your eyes. Here are the lyrics to allow you to follow along...

In and out of situations,

That tug-of-war at me

All day long I struggle

For answers that I need

But then  I come into His presence,
(cp Ps 73:12,13, 14, 15, 16, 17 18 - esp v17-Until)

All my questions become clear

And for a sacred moment,

No doubt can interfere



In the presence of Jehovah,

God Almighty, Prince of Peace

Troubles vanish, hearts are mended,

In the presence of The King.


Jehovah most clearly revealed Himself in a time of great need (read Exodus 3) for Israel was in bondage in Egypt and without hope from a human perspective. In response to their cry Jehovah revealed Himself as the I AM...

I AM...the answer to your affliction.

He still reveals Himself as Jehovah in our times of affliction and adversity. 

Will you humble yourself and cry out to I AM?

"I AM... your Guide"


"will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail." (Isaiah 58:11)(See Spurgeon)

Although originally given to Israel this promise is applicable to all of God's children for all are in covenant with I AM (cf Gal 3:29 Jn 1:12) --

Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah
(Click to play)


Jehovah Jesus (note) is the same even when the world is spinning seemingly  out of control (He is in control) and many times our lives seem to be out of control. We can take those "out of control" thoughts captive and can rest in the absolute Truth that I AM never changes. He is the same regardless of the times, circumstances, etc.


Jesus is the 'I AM' Who by His Spirit is active  in empowering us for daily living and difficult circumstances. In the Greek "ego eimi" is present tense, signifying continuous activity. Whatever your present tense NEED, Jesus is the "I AM" provision for that need.


Do you know God as active in your life to overcome doubt or depression? Do you know Him as the present tense answer to the healing of broken relationships? Do you know Him as the God who can deal with your anger and resentment, as the God who can change your life?


He is the "I AM" who is active to transform and empower daily living. Whatever your present tense need, Jesus is the "I AM" of God.

He always was. He always is. He always will be. We all need Someone in this life Who will never change. We need someone Who is always there because we live in a day of broken relationships, when those we had trusted have betrayed us or forsaken us. Jehovah is the same, yesterday, today, yes and forever.


Why do we look elsewhere?

Why not rest in Jehovah's unchangeableness?

"I Am" has never failed.
Would He begin with me or you?
He cannot. He is Jehovah, the self-existent, covenant keeping, omniscient, compassionate God.

And so Isaiah can confidently declare...

"Trust in Jehovah forever, for in GOD the I AM, we have an everlasting Rock."
Isaiah 26:4)
(Spurgeon's note)

Jesus is Jehovah (note) I AM anything & everything you will ever need. If this is true then I must make the daily choice to come into His presence, to cry out to Him, to listen to Him and then to trust His guidance.



Jeremiah knew His God as "I Am" and even when all "hope" appeared lost, because He knew His Name and His character, he could confidently declare...

Jehovah is my portion (Hebrew = inheritance) says my soul. Therefore I have hope in Him
(Lamentations 3:24)
(Spurgeon's devotional)



(Click study)

The writer of Hebrews writes to saints who are in need of stabilizing truth which he draws from the OT declaration by Jehovah:


Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself (Jehovah in Deut 31:6) has said, "I WILL NEVER (ever) DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I  (never) EVER FORSAKE YOU," so that we confidently say, "THE LORD (Jehovah in Deut 31:6) IS MY HELPER*, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT SHALL MAN DO TO ME?" (He 13:5, 6-see notes Heb 13:5; 13:6). (Spurgeon's note)


*HELPER is Greek boethos (click boethos from boe = cry out for help + théo = run to) which gives us the incredible word picture of the great "I AM" Who is willing and able to run to our side when we cry out for help!

Now what must we do?


See related studies:
Psalm 121: Devotional Commentary
Word Studies on Help



"This poor man cried and Jehovah heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.... The righteous cry and Jehovah hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles."
(Ps 34:6, 34:17)
(Spurgeon's notes)



"O JEHOVAH I remember Thy Name in the night and keep Thy law." (Ps 119:55)
(Spurgeon's note)


Psalm 9:10 And those who know Thy name will put their trust in Thee, for Thou, O Jehovah, hast not forsaken those who seek Thee. (See note)

The revelation and experiential (not just intellectual) knowledge of Jehovah and His character (which is inherent in His name) inspires trust.

Spurgeon encourages us to

meditate upon the Lord’s holy Name, that we may trust Him the better and rejoice the more readily. He is in character holy, just, true, gracious, faithful, and unchanging. Is not such a God to be trusted? He is all wise, almighty, and everywhere present; can we not cheerfully rely upon Him? Yes, we will do so at once, and do so without reserve. Jehovah Jireh will provide; Jehovah Shalom will send peace; Jehovah Tsidkenu will justify; Jehovah Shammah will be forever near; and in Jehovah Nissi, we will conquer every foe. They that know thy Name will trust thee; and they that trust thee will rejoice in thee, O Lord. (Faith's Checkbook)

As Guzik says...

inherent in the idea behind the name I Am is the sense that God is "the becoming one"; God becomes whatever is lacking in our time of need. The name I Am invites us to fill in the blank to meet our need - when we are in darkness, Jesus says I am the light; when we are hungry, He says I am the bread of life, when we are defenseless, He says I am the Good Shepherd. God is the becoming one, becoming what we need. (Guzik - Enduring Word Commentary) (Note: "I Am" is not a carte blanche for our greeds but our needs!)



by Annie Johnson Flint


“When Thou passest through the waters,”
Deep the waves may be & cold,
But JEHOVAH is our Refuge
And His promise is our hold;

For the LORD Himself hath said it,
He the faithful God & true;
“When thou comest to the waters,
Thou shalt not go down, but through.

Seas of sorrow, seas of trial,
Bitterest anguish, fiercest pain,
Rolling surges of temptation,
Sweeping over heart & brain,

They shall never overflow us,
For we know His word is true;
All His waves & all His billows
He will lead us safely through.

Threatening breakers of destruction,
Doubt’s insidious undertow,
Shall not sink us, shall not drag us
Out to ocean depths of woe;

For His promise shall sustain us,
Praise the LORD, Whose word is true!
We shall not go down or under,
He hath said, “Thou passest through.”


Ray Stedman makes an interesting observation that...


it has been pointed out often that here (Ge 2:4,5, 7, 8, 9) the name of God appears in a different form than in Genesis 1. We have for the first time the great name of God that appears in so much of the rest of the Bible, Jehovah (or in the Hebrew, Yahweh) Elohim, translated in our version, LORD God. There is a special reason for this change. In Chapter 1 we are dealing with the making of things, and God is presented to us under the name of Elohim, i.e., the Creator. But when man appears on the scene God appears also in a different character. He now appears under the title of Jehovah, which means essentially the covenant-making God, the God Who keeps a promise. It is particularly significant that when God first reveals Himself to this race of ours, it is as a God who intends to keep His promises. (The Making of Man - Genesis 2:4-17)



I was regretting the past
And fearing the future...
Suddenly my Lord was speaking:
“MY NAME IS I AM.” He paused.

I waited. He continued,
“When you live in the past,
With its mistakes and regrets,
It is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I was.

“When you live in the future,
with its problems and fears,
it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I will be.

“When you live in this moment,
It is not hard.
I am here.
My name is I am.”
                 --Helen Mallicoat

Spurgeon has the following exposition of the Name Jehovah...

Jehovah: “the God of the whole earth shall He be called.” His kingdom ruleth over all: there is universality. But He calls Himself “Thy God”: there is specialty. The goodness of God surrounds all the creatures He has made; but there is a love which is peculiar to His own. To all the nations of the earth He was the one only Lord and God; but yet he said of Israel, “You only have I known, of all the families of the earth.” Limit not the benevolence of God; but, at the same time, do not deny the specialty of His love to His people.

Wide is the circumference of mercy, but the chosen dwell in the innermost center of His love. Thus, the one ever glorious Jehovah, while He is God unto the ends of the earth, is Israel’s God in a sense in which He is not the God of Assyria, or Persia, or Egypt, or Ethiopia; He has made Himself over to His own chosen people, saying, “I will be their God.”

Jehovah, the glorious I AM, signifies self-existence. He borrows nothing from others; indeed, in a sense, there are no others apart from Him, since all live by His permit and power. He is as complete without His creatures as with them. When there were no heavens, no earth, no twinkling star, nor flying seraph, He was as truly God, and as complete within Himself, as He is now that He has made creatures innumerable. Yet, though He be thus all-sufficient, self-sufficient, and self-existent, still He deigns to link Himself with our nothingness, and call Himself “Jehovah, thy God.”

The Self-existent gives His people existence, and then exists that He may bless them, and magnify the glory of His own existence in them.

The Lord liveth, and we live in Him, and by Him.

In Jesus we hear God saying to us, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” Oh, blessed union to God in Christ Jesus, by which we are supplied with every good from the self-existent fountain of life and being.

Jehovah, again, is a Name which means immutability.

“I Am That I Am” was his name to Moses. God always is in the present. To Him there is no past or future.

“He fills his own eternal NOW,
And sees our ages pass.”

This unchanging One here declares himself to be the God of beings who are but of yesterday, and full of change. Yes, great Lord, Thou wast my God when first my pulse began to beat; Thou didst care for me when I lay upon my mother’s lap. Thou hast watched over me when, in youthful days, I foolishly wandered; Thou hast called me back, and taught me to lay my finger in the print of my Savior’s wounds, and say, “My Lord, and my God.” Yes, Jehovah has been our God — “The same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.” (note Hebrews 13:8)  He never changes nor ceases as to His love to us. He cannot love us more; He will not love us less. Without “variableness or shadow of turning” is Jehovah in His relation to those whom He has called into His favor.

Furthermore, Jehovah means sovereignty.

“Jehovah reigneth, let the people tremble.” His is a name of lofty royalty; for “Jehovah is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” He exercises the absolute prerogative, and “doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth.” He giveth no account of His matters. As the potter He disposeth of the clay at His own pleasure.

Yet, stooping from His boundless sovereignty and freedom, our Lord binds Himself to His own people by bonds of covenant pledge and promise, and says, “I am Jehovah, thy God.” He is our God, ready to hear our prayers, prompt to help our needs, held by His own oath and promise to be the Guardian and Helper of His people. I do not know how to admire enough these words of title, so glorious and so gracious; so high above us, and yet so near to us — “Jehovah, thy God!” Here is matter of thought, and motive for love. (See Spurgeon's full sermon "Jehovah's Valuation of His People" - Pdf)


In another sermon Spurgeon writes...

The name of Jehovah reminds us that He has within Himself sufficiency for all His will; He hath adequate power of performance for all His purposes and decrees; Jehovah wills, and it is done. He has created legions of angels, but He borrows nothing from them. He can truly say, “I am, and there is none beside Me.” Those mysterious living creatures which are nearest to His throne are His creatures, and not His helpers. The best instructed and the most willing of His servants, derive their all from Him, but supply Him with nothing. (Read Spurgeon's full sermon - Jeremiah 32:26,27 Is Anything too Hard for the LORD? - Pdf)

Warren Wiersbe has a very interesting analysis of Psalm 23 which begins with the name Jehovah...

"The Lord" is Jehovah God, the covenant making God of Israel. The compound names of Jehovah in the Old Testament reflect the contents of this psalm.

"I shall not want"—Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will provide" (Gen. 22:14)

"still waters"—Jehovah-Shalom, "the Lord our peace" (Jdg. 6:24)

"restores my soul"—Jehovah-Rophe, "the Lord who heals" (Ex. 15:26)

"paths of righteousness"—Jehovah-Tsidkenu, "the Lord our righteousness" (Jer. 33:16)

"you are with me"—Jehovah-Shammah, "the Lord is there" (Ezek. 48:35)

"presence of my enemies"—"Jehovah-Nissi, "the Lord our banner" (Ex. 17:15)

"anoint my head"—Jehovah-M'Kaddesh, "the Lord who sanctifies" (Lev. 20:8) (Bible Exposition Commentary, OT)

See in depth article "On the Divine Name (Jahveh, Jehovah)" in volume 1 of the 8 volume work entitled "The History of Israel" by Heinrich Ewald (1843-1859)



Genesis 2:4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD (Yahweh/Jehovah) God (Elohim) made earth and heaven.


LORD...God - Two names of God should not confuse us.  We do not have a pantheon of gods. We worship one God, Elohim, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, Who reveals Himself in such a manner (Jehovah) that we can know Him in a personal way.


Criswell has an excellent summary of Jehovah/Yahweh noting that...


Up to this point only elohim (Heb.), translated "God," indicating the transcendent God of Creation, has been used (1:1); but here the personal name occurs, introducing God in His redemptive capacity. The divine name Yahweh is identified as God's covenant name (Ex. 3:13, 14, 15, 16; 6:1, 2, 3), showing His personal relationship to those who believe. This is the appropriate time for the appearance of God as Redeemer -- at the very moment that man appears in history. Yahweh is man's tutor (Ge 1:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17); He is man's benefactor, providing him with the garden in which to work out his stewardship; and He is man's provider, supplying man with a counterpart, i.e., a wife, equal to him in all things and indispensable to the continuity of the race (Ge 1:18-25). The precise pronunciation and spelling of the name Yahweh has been lost. Judaism in the postexilic period (fifth century B.C. and later) prohibited the pronunciation of the name, reasoning that the most certain way not to take God's name in vain was never to pronounce it at all (Ex. 20:7). The Jews substituted for this name in their reading tradition the title "Lord" (Adonai, Heb.), reminding the reader to say Adonai instead of Yahweh by writing the vowels of Adonai with the consonants of Yahweh. The result appears to be the hybrid form YeHoWaH, which many unfamiliar with the Jewish tradition came to pronounce "Jehovah." Today, Jews and Christians alike refer to Yahweh as Lord. The precise etymology of Yahweh is uncertain, but it evidently derives from the verb "to be" (hayah, Heb.). The explanation for the divine name is given in Ex. 3:14, 15, where God identifies Himself as "I AM WHO I AM" (see Ex. 3:14). This expression means that God is the self-existent One who is independent and autonomous. Another view interprets the name as causative, meaning "He causes to be." Thus, in addition to being an appropriate personal name for God as the covenant-making and covenant-keeping God of the Hebrews, it is a fitting name for the God of salvation, the Deliverer, the Friend of His people. Thus, the title Yahweh Elohim, "Lord God," together with implications throughout the creation narrative, pictures God as both transcendent and immanent. Though He is self-sufficient, He has chosen to bind Himself in covenant to His creation. (Criswell, W A. Believer's Study Bible: New King James Version. 1991. Thomas Nelson)




The Context Exodus 3:1-13:


Exodus 3:1 Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro (See note - Moses' father in law also called Reuel) his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.


Comment: Remember that the background for this chapter is the fact that the children of Israel were slaves in Egypt and had been crying out to God for deliverance.


Horeb (description) - most interpret Horeb as synonymous with Mount Sinai (ISBE article on Sinai - discusses Horeb) (cf. Deut 5:2) which could be the 7,363 ft peak in the SW Sinai Peninsula, although the exact peak is open to question.

Now Moses - You never know what a day may bring, so keep your eyes and ears open to the leading of the Lord. Childlike curiosity completely changed Moses’ life. God calls busy people to serve Him, and He reveals Himself to them. God is faithful. He called Abraham, cared for Isaac, guided and protected Jacob, and He would be with Moses. He is the God of the individual as well as the nation, and He does not change from generation to generation. God is concerned and compassionate. He saw the affliction of His people, and He heard their cries. Then why didn’t He act sooner? Because He was following a perfect timetable Ge 15:16 ("Then in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete."). You must learn to wait on the Lord. See Ps 37 (Spurgeon's notes). God is long-suffering. The Lord answered all of Moses’ objections and gave one assurance after another to encourage him. Moses said, “I am not!” and God replied, “I AM!”  Faith lays hold of what God is and obeys what God says. Faith sees the opportunities while unbelief sees the obstacles. Are you arguing with God about something He wants you to do?


Exodus 3:2 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.


Comment: The idea of appeared is clearly that God allowed something of Himself to be seen in the Theophany (Christophany), the Angel of the LORD. It is notable that God only appeared this way to individuals and never to large groups of people, to whom it was His glory that was revealed (although Judges 2:1ff may be an exception).


He looked - The NET Bible note says "The text again uses (a construction) traditionally rendered “and behold.” The particle goes with the intense gaze, the outstretched arm, the raised eyebrow – excitement and intense interest: “look, over there.” It draws the reader into the immediate experience of the subject." (Note)

Fire - Fire frequently accompanied the revelation of Jehovah (Yahweh) in Exodus in various contexts - delivering, guiding or purifying her (His "wife", Israel). Some like Philo (a Jewish writer in the first century AD) interpreted the burning bush allegorically  (for more discussion of allegory and related topics see [i.] Art and Science of Interpretation; [ii.] The Rise of Allegorical Interpretation; [iii.] Understanding Symbols and Figures and [iv.] Understanding Numbers). Allegorical interpretation assigns so-called "deeper meanings" to biblical persons, events, things or institutions, thus minimizing and even destroying the literal and historical meaning. The allegorical method of interpretation is to be assiduously avoided! Moses saw a bush actually burning, but not consumed. Explanations such as Philo's allegorical interpretation or others that it was like a bush with brilliant berries or leaves do not do justice to a literal interpretation of the text. God said it. That settles it, whether I believe it or not!

Exodus 3:3 So Moses said, "I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up."


I must turn aside now - As Matthew Henry reminds us "Things revealed belong to us, and we ought diligently to enquire into them." Are you taking advantage of the things revealed to you by God in His holy Word? As someone has well said sin will keep you from the Bible or the Bible will keep you from sin. Bibles that are "falling apart" usually belong to people who are not. God has chosen to reveal Himself to us in ways just as miraculous and supernatural as He did to Moses. May God grant that each of us have the same reaction of "I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight." Amen.

Exodus 3:4 When the LORD (Jehovah, Yahweh) saw that he turned aside to look, God (Elohim) called to him from the midst of the bush (remember this is still in the context of the Angel of the LORD), and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."


Moses, Moses - The repetition of the name of the person addressed always seems to indicate a message of special importance - here the repetition of Moses' name adds emphasis and makes the appeal direct and immediate. Other examples of repetition of one's name include: Abraham (Ge 22:11); Samuel (1Sa 3:10); Jerusalem (Mt 23:37) Martha (Lu 10:41) Simon (Lu 22:31), Saul (Acts 9:4, 22:7, 26:14). Furthermore, this same response (Here I am) was given to God by several other OT saints - Abraham (Ge 22:11), Jacob (Ge 46:2), and Samuel (1 Sa 3:4).


Exodus 3:5 Then He said, "Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."


Remove your sandals - Removing one’s sandals was a sign of respect toward a superior, or toward a person’s dwelling. Sandals were often removed before entering someone’s home, or before entering a sacred place like a temple. The removal of sandals in the East is still a sign of humility and reverence. It pictures one removing the dust and dirt of this world, so as not to profane that which was set apart from the world (i.e., Holy). The ground God says is "holy" or "set apart, distinct, unique" ground, because of the presence of the Holy One of Israel. Have you ever set aside a time and/or a place as "holy" (under grace and in the spirit not under law or in ritual) that you might have a reverent time of communing with the precious Holy One of Israel? Or are you too busy to "give Him the time of day" (and in so doing miss the very best portion of that entire day!)?

Exodus 3:6 He said also, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look (gaze) at God.


I am the God of your father... - It is significant that God first identified Himself in terms of His historic relationship to Israel's patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the recipients of the eternal covenant. This designation (the naming of the three patriarchs) obviously brings to mind His covenant and His immutable covenant promises. He is a covenant keeping God, unlike the so-called fickle, vain "gods" of this world. Moses' response of hiding his face reflects a combination of fear, reverence and humility.


Exodus 3:7 And the LORD said, "I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.


I have surely seen - Hebrew verb structure intensifies this statement so that there is no doubt that God has seen and no doubt that He will respond! Would it be that we all grow to trust that He sees our plight and in His timing He will deliver us either out of or through the fire!

Exodus 3:8 "So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land (both good in quality and large in size), to a land flowing with milk and honey (hyperbole describing a land with an abundance of these products and so a very desirable land), to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.


I have come down - an idiom describing divine intervention and a frequent anthropomorphism in Genesis and Exodus which speaks of God's direct involvement, often in carrying out judgment but in the present context of bringing about deliverance


To deliver - (Hebrew = natsal) means to rescue, snatch out of danger, to save, to deliver from enemies or troubles or death. Deliverance often indicated the power of one entity overcoming the power of another and was frequently expressed as deliverance from the hand or power of another. The idea can be to deliver so that one is safe from danger and thus in a more favorable circumstance. The Septuagint (LXX) translates the Hebrew verb natsal with the Greek verb exaireo which means to pluck out, tear out, draw out or remove (Jesus used it to describe what we should do with our right eye if it makes us stumble "tear [exaireo] it out!"


Bring a good and spacious land - God was reminding Moses He would fulfill His covenant promises to Abraham. An deep understanding of God's covenants, especially the Abrahamic, Mosaic and New, will greatly strengthen your trust in God and His Word, especially His covenant promises of provision, protection and prospects (future). I am not just referring to being able to list off the details of each covenant, but of truly understanding the foundational aspects of each covenant. God has chosen to reveal Himself in two testaments (virtually synonymous with the word covenant [Concise Oxford English Dictionary - testament = a covenant or dispensation]) (If you have never studied covenant in this way, you are strongly encouraged to study the notes beginning with Covenant: Why Study It? - even better order Precept's course on Covenant - download lesson 1 free. Kay Arthur also has an excellent book on Covenant [Our Covenant God: Learning to Trust Him and the also get the accompanying guide Our Covenant God Study Guide: Learning to Trust Him]. Whichever you choose to do, be sure to carefully read the Scriptures that relate to the specific aspects of covenant which you are studying. The word and the truth of covenant will take on an entirely new meaning and significance in your life. Guaranteed!)


Exodus 3:9 "And now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.


Cry - The Hebrew word is a technical term describing the outcry that one might make for example to a judge. Jacobs writes that "God had seen the oppression and so knew that the complaints were accurate, and so he initiated the proceedings against the oppressors" (Jacobs, B. Exodus: The Second Book of the Law)


Oppressing - (Hebrew = lachats) means to oppress, to crush and conveys the idea of pressure with the oppression and thus a squeezing or pressuring. This word was used later for torturing or tormenting. The Greek Septuagint (LXX) translates the Hebrew verb lachats with thlibo (see word study) (see also picturesque related noun thlipsis = affliction) which literally conveys the idea of pressing or rubbing together and hence compressing or making narrow. Figuratively, thlibo means to oppress or afflict.

Exodus 3:10 "Therefore, come now (or "Go" - a command), and I will send (Septuagint  = apostello - English "apostle") you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt."


I will send... bring My people...out - The NET Bible Note comments that...


These instructions for Moses are based on the preceding revelation made to him. The deliverance of Israel was to be God’s work – hence, “I will send you.” When God commissioned people, often using the verb “to send,” it indicated that they went with his backing, his power, and his authority. Moses could not have brought Israel out without this. To name this incident a commissioning, then, means that the authority came from God to do the work (compare John 3:2).

Exodus 3:11 But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?"


Who am I - Some commentators consider Moses' question, "Who am I?" as irrelevant as well as irreverent, because the covenant God had just promised that He Himself would deliver Israel. They reason that Moses' question was irreverent because it called into question God's judgment in His choice of such a lowly servant. To be sure later on Moses gave God excuses about his inability to speak or to stand before the Pharaoh. But who could imagine the created one arguing against the Creator? And yet don't we find ourselves reacting in a similar way when God asks us to do something like "Husbands, love your wives" or "Wives, respect your husbands" or "Children obey your parents"? We're just like Moses and we say "Who am I?" We each have our excuses why God's commands don't seem reasonable in our particular situation! Fallen human nature hasn't changed much since the days of Moses! We make excuses about our inability to love, to respect, or to obey and we question God's right or wisdom in calling us to do so.


Hemphill adds that...


We, like Moses, suffer from the mistaken idea that we can do God's work in our own strength. When God calls us to a task, we can rest assured that He has created us for this very purpose and will empower us to accomplish it. He is active in the present. I believe that Moses asked such an irrelevant and irreverent question because he suffered from a problem that affects men and women today. Until God approached Moses at the burning bush, He was only a God of history to Moses, not a God of the present. Perhaps Moses had absolute confidence that God had worked miraculously in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He probably never would have considered calling these histori­cal accounts into question. Yet, at the moment of truth, he strug­gled to believe that the God of history could work through his life to deliver Israel.

Tragically, many of us are at the same point in our Christian pilgrimages. We have no problem affirming the historical accu­racy of the Bible. We don't question that God opened the Red Sea. We may not be sure how He accomplished this feat or how wide the opening was, but we're sure it was big enough to get the children of Israel through on dry land. We believe that God fed the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes. We believe that all the miracles are historically true!

What if you were asked: "Do you believe that God can work in your life today? Do you believe He can use you to change your nation? Do you believe that God can work in your church today to transform your city and the world? Do you believe that God can change your marriage and restore broken relationships? Do you believe that God can forgive your sin? Do you believe that God can work in your life, enabling you to teach that Sunday school class? Do you believe that God can work in your life to reach that unsaved friend that you've been thinking is beyond His reach?" Is your God merely a God of history, and not necessarily a God of the present?  (Names of God)


Warren Wiersbe interprets Moses' interaction with God in a totally different light writing...


We admire Moses for his humility, for forty years before he would have told God who he was! He was “learned...and mighty in words and in deeds” (Acts 7:22). But years of communion and discipline in the desert had humbled Moses. A person acting in the flesh is impulsive and sees no obstacles, but a person humbly walking in the Spirit knows the battles that lie ahead. God’s reply was to assure him: “I will be with you!” This promise sustained him for forty years, as it later did Joshua (Josh. 1:5). Who we are is not important; that God is with us is important, for without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). (Wiersbe, W. W. Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books)


Exodus 3:12 And He said, "Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain."


Certainly I will be with you - God responds to Moses’ first concern about his own inadequacies. Jehovah's promised presence is enough! And Jesus says the same thing to believers today who feel inadequate for the task to "Go therefore and make disciples" promising them "lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Mt 28:19-20, cf Heb 13:5-notes)


Worship - John Hannah writes that...


The purpose of the deliverance was that Israel might “worship God.” This purpose is stated frequently in Exodus (Ex 4:23; 7:16; 8:1, 20; 9:1, 13; 10:3, 7, 8, 11, 24, 26; 12:31). The Hebrew word for “worship” is the same word for “to be a slave” ('abad). Israel had been slaves ('abodim) of Egypt (Ex 6:6), and was in slavery ('abodah, Ex 2:23) in Egypt (“the land of slavery,” lit., “the house of slaves, ”bet abadim Ex 1:3, 14; 20:2). Having served as slaves to the Egyptians, Israel was now to serve the LORD, worshiping Him as His subjects.  (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor or Logos)


Exodus 3:13 Then Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?"


What is His name? - Moses second question/concern (the first was "Who am I?" which shifts to "Who are You?") is both both relevant and reverent and is really the only question that has any relevance in his life or in ours.


What is His Name? This should be our objective for the remainder of our life on earth, to grow in our knowledge of His Name which ultimately reflects His character and His attributes. Intimately, experientially knowing His personal name Jehovah should be the warp and woof of our lives, beloved. And in this task we shall never reach the end for the more we know, the more we know we don’t know!


Jesus said...


And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent. (John 17:3)


Paul declared the warp and woof of his life was...


that I may know Him (Jehovah Jesus), and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (See notes Philippians 3:10; 11)


Wiersbe adds that...


This was no evasive question, for the Jews would want assurance that the Lord had sent Moses on his mission. God revealed His name, Jehovah—“I AM WHO I AM” or “I was, I am, I always will be!” Our Lord Jesus added to this name in the Gospel of John where we find the seven great I AM statements (John 6:35; 8:12; 10:9, 11; 11:25; 14:6;15:1, 2, 3, 4, 5). If God is “I AM,” then He is always the same, and His purposes will be fulfilled. God promised Moses that He would see to it that the work was done, in spite of the opposition of Pharaoh. (Ibid) (Bolding added)


Fretheim explains Moses' question of God this way reasoning that...


God’s commission is that Moses go to Pharaoh. Moses understands that this entails being sent to Israel. But Israel has not acknowledged his leadership; he in fact may be a stranger to most. Hence the importance of going to the elders first (Ex 3:16). Moses’ question is natural: Will the people listen to him? The name of the God for whom he speaks will establish his credentials. For this purpose the divine self-identification given in verse 6 is insufficient. The assumption seems to be that, if Moses has been commissioned to bring the people out of Egypt, Moses should have a divine name commensurate with this new development in God’s relationship with Israel. God’s double command (Ex 3:15, 16) that the new identification be repeated to the people shows its importance. (Fretheim, T. E. Exodus. Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Louisville: John Knox Press)

Exodus 3:14 And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"


Is God-?' 'Does God-?'
Man's 'Why?' and 'How?'
In ceaseless iteration storm the sky.

'I am'; I will'; 'I do'—sure Word of God,
Yea and Amen, Christ answers each cry;
To all our anguished questionings and doubts
Eternal affirmation and reply.

I Am - The Hebrew verb for I AM is hayah means to exist or to be or become. The Septuagint (LXX) translates the Hebrew phrase with the Greek phrase "Ego eimi" where the verb eimi is in the present tense. This Greek phrase is exactly what Jesus used in His claims in John 8:24 and John 8:58 (see discussion below).


The most common translation is "I AM WHO I AM” (NASB ,ESV, GWT, ICB, NKJV, NRSV, TEV)


Other renderings include:






I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE (Marginal Readings of NIV, NRSV)


I Am He Who is (NJB)




I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE (NLT Marginal reading)


I AM THAT WHICH I AM (Young's Literal)


“I will cause to be what I will cause to be”


“I will be who I am / I am who I will be”


Gianotti reasons that...

If Moses indeed had a revelation from God, then the Israelites would want to have that verified with Moses relating something hitherto unknown about their God. Exodus 3:14 is God’s response to Moses’ concern about validating his mission to the Israelites with newly revealed information about God’s character. (The Meaning of the Divine Name YHWH: Bibliotheca Sacra: Volume 142, 1985).


Wiersbe explains God's answer to Moses this way...


What Moses asked was, “What does Your name mean? What kind of a God are You?” God explained that the name Jehovah is a dynamic name, based on the Hebrew verb “to be” or “to become.” He is the self-existent One who always was, always is, and always will be, the faithful and dependable God who calls Himself “I AM.” Centuries later, Jesus would take the name “I AM” and complete it: “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), “I am the true vine” (John 15:1), and so on. (Wiersbe, W. W.. Be Delivered. Page18. Colorado Springs, CO: Chariot Victor Pub. 1998)


Guzik writes that...


Rightfully, Moses sensed he needed credentials before the people of Israel. Before, he thought he had the credentials because he was a prince of Egypt. 40 years of tending sheep took away his sense of self-reliance.

 When God revealed Himself to man in the days of the patriarchs it was often associated with a newly revealed name or title for God.


Abraham, in the encounter with Melchizedek called on God Most High (Genesis 14:22) - El Elyon

Abraham later encountered Almighty God (Genesis 17:1) - El Shaddai

Abraham came to know the Lord as Everlasting God (Genesis 21:33), and The-Lord-Will-Provide (Genesis 22:14) - Jehovah Jireh

Hagar encountered You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees (Genesis 16:13) -
El Roi

Jacob met El Elohe Israel (Genesis 33:20) and El Bethel (Genesis 35:7).


Now, when Moses comes to the elders of Israel with a "new message" from God, it is logical to think they would ask, "What name did He reveal Himself to you under? What new revelation from God do you have?"


The name I Am has within it the idea of aseity - that God is completely independent; that He relies on nothing for life or existence (Isaiah 40:28, 29; John 5:26). God doesn't need anybody or anything - life is in Himself. 


Also inherent in the idea behind the name I Am is the sense that God is "the becoming one"; God becomes whatever is lacking in our time of need. The name I Am invites us to fill in the blank to meet our need - when we are in darkness, Jesus says I am the light; when we are hungry, He says I am the bread of life, when we are defenseless, He says I am the Good Shepherd. God is the becoming one, becoming what we need. (Guzik - Enduring Word Commentary)


Hemphill commenting on I Am notes that...


Various scholars have suggested different translations of the name of God used in this passage. The name is from the imperfect stem of the Hebrew verb "to be." The imperfect tense denotes an action that started in the past, continues in the present, but is not yet complete. Many Bible scholars follow the simple translation that we have in our text, "I am who I am." One of our Old Testament scholars at Southwestern translates it this way: "I AM who I have always been." I like this translation because it affirms that the God who spoke from the burning bush is the same God who worked through the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It also implies His ability and desire to work through Moses in the present and the future. However we translate this name, we can be assured that it affirms God's self-existence and His eternality (Hemphill, K. Names of God)


Keil  and Delitzsch suggest that...


The repetition of the same word [I am] suggests the idea of uninterrupted continuance and boundless duration.


Thomas Constable quotes several sources writing that...


“To the Hebrew ‘to be’ does not just mean to exist as all other beings and things do as well—but to be active, to express oneself in active being, ‘The God Who acts.’ ‘I am what in creative activity and everywhere I turn out to be,’ or ‘I am (the God) that really acts.’ (Sigmund Mowinckel, “The Name of the God of Moses,)

“I am that I am” means “God will reveal Himself in His actions through history.” (Charles Gianotti, “The Meaning of the Divine Name YHWH" Bib Sac)


Another writer paraphrased God’s answer, “It is I Who am with you.” In other words, the One Who had promised to be with the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had sent Moses to them.


“The answer Moses receives is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a name. It is an assertion of authority, a confession of an essential reality, and thus an entirely appropriate response to the question Moses poses. (Durham) (Expository Notes)


Swanson writes that


I AM WHO I AM, i.e., a title of God with a focus on presence, care, concern, and relationship (Swanson, J. Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament)


I Am sent you - In His giving the name "I Am" to Moses to declare to the people, God was expressing the unchanging, eternal, self-existence of His being. He is ever able to act at will, to keep promises, to redeem Israel.


Related Resource:


Barry Beitzel- Ex 3:14- The Divine Name: A Case of Biblical Paronomasia - Trinity Journal, 1980


In his Expositions of Holy Scripture, Alexander Maclaren beautifully connects God's self revelation with the burning bush writing

That is to say, the fire that burns and does not burn out, which has no tendency to destruction in its very energy, and is not consumed by its own activity, is surely a symbol of the One Being, whose being derives its law and its source from itself, who only can say—“I AM THAT I AM”—the law of his nature, the foundation of His being, the only conditions of His existence being, as it were, enclosed within the limits of His own nature.




He says, “I AM THAT I AM.” All other creatures are links; this is the staple from which they all hang. All other being is derived, and therefore limited and changeful; this being is underived, absolute, self-dependent, and therefore unalterable forevermore. Because we live, we die. In living, the process is going on of which death is the end. But God lives forevermore, a flame that does not burn out; therefore His resources are inexhaustible, His power unwearied. He needs no rest for recuperation of wasted energy. His gifts diminish not the store which He has to bestow. He gives and is none the poorer. He works and is never weary. He operates unspent; He loves and He loves forever. And through the ages, the fire burns on, unconsumed and undecayed. (Ed note: And all God's people said "Hallelujah!")


Exodus 3:15 And God, furthermore, said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.

God not only declares His absolute existence as in verse 14, but here He declares His relationship to His people. He is the God Who made an eternal covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jehovah is His name forever and is His memorial name, a name that causes Him not to be forgotten.




God spoke further to Moses and said to him, "I am the LORD (Jehovah) and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty (El Shaddai), but by My Name, LORD (Jehovah), I did not make Myself known to them. And I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they sojourned." (Ex 6:2, 3, 4)

Septuagint of Exodus 6:3 reads...

And I appeared to Abram and Isaac and Jacob, being their God, but I did not manifest (deloo [word study] - make clear or plain, of something divinely communicated) to them my name Lord.

Related Resources:


Davis, John J. "The Patriarchs' Knowledge of Jehovah," Grace Theological J 1963 - discussion specifically of Exodus 6:3


J. A. Motyer emphasizes the association of God's Name with His character rendering Exodus 6:3...

And I showed myself to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob in the character of El Shaddai, but in the character expressed by my name Yahweh I did not make myself known to them. (Bolding added)

Motyer concludes that

it was the character expressed by the name that was withheld from the patriarchs and not the name itself. To know by name means to have come into intimate and personal acquaintance with a person.

Gianotti Pastor, Hillside Bible Chapel, Orillia, Ontario, Canada agrees noting that...

Without doubt, the Tetragrammaton, YHWH,1 is the most significant name in the Old Testament. As one writer observed, “no single word in Hebrew has ever evoked such a torrent of discussion as…YHWH, the personal name of the Hebrew god [sic].”2 In distilling the vast amount of literature on the subject, five popular views rise to the surface. But before discussing these, certain observations should be made.3

For the Biblicist, the divine name YHWH was known as early as the time of Enosh (Ge 4:26) and was used not infrequently during the patriarchal period (cf. Gen 12:1, 4; 13:4 , etc.). Yet Exodus 6:2–3 seems to indicate that the name was not known until the time of Moses hundreds of years later: “God spoke further to Moses and said to him, I am the Lord and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty (Shaddai, but by My name, Lord - YHWH], I did not make Myself known to them.”

But this tension is resolved by a correct understanding of the passage. Motyer offers an excellent exegesis translating it as follows: “And God spoke to Moses, and said to him: I am Yahweh. And I showed myself to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob in the character of El Shaddai, but in the character expressed by my name Yahweh I did not make myself known to them….”4 He concludes that “it was the character expressed by the name that was withheld from the patriarchs and not the name itself….to know by name means to have come into intimate and personal acquaintance with a person.”5 Mowinckel concurs in reference to the burning bush incident that:

Exodus 3 does not support the theory that the name of Yahweh was not known to the Israelites before Moses…. A name may have deeper meaning than the one discernible at first glance and recognizable to everybody…a man who knows the “real” deeper meaning of the name of a god, really “knows the god” in question.6

Thus though the name YHWH existed well before the time of Moses, the meaning of that name was not revealed until the time of Moses. To understand the meaning of the divine name is to understand the character of God revealed by that name. Clearly Exodus 3:14 provides the beginning point for this discussion.  (
The Meaning of the Divine Name YHWH: Bibliotheca Sacra: Volume 142, 1985).

The comments of the liberals and "higher" critics who say this verse is indicative of an error in Scripture should be totally discounted as errant comments! Admittedly, some texts may be difficult to resolve with other texts, but this reflects man's partial, finite understanding of the infinite God's inerrant Word!  (See also related note on Exodus 6:3)


Guzik writes that...

Yahweh was not a new name, nor an unknown name - it appears more than 160 times in the book of Genesis. Moses' mother's name was Jochabed meaning, Yahweh is my glory. Moses and Israel knew the name Yahweh. God did not give Moses a "new and improved" name of God, but the name they had known before. (Ibid)

Hemphill writes that...

We first encountered the name Yahweh in Genesis 2:4, but with no explanation of its meaning. Here in Exodus, Moses, the author of the first five books of the Bible, shows us the significance of God's name by connecting it to the covenant and a promise to the people. He affirms that the God of creation is the God of the patriarchs who has now manifested Himself as a personal, living God who will fulfill to the people of Israel the promise that He made to their fathers. The name Jehovah declares that God is personal, self-existent, and unchanging in His desire to reveal Himself in the personal redemption of those He has created (cf. Exod. 6:3-6). (Ibid)

Scofield comments that...

On the basis of this verse (Exodus 6:3) many critics have claimed that two of the sources of the books of Moses are a document using Elohim for the name of God, and one employing Jehovah; and that this passage reveals that the writer was ignorant of the many sections of Genesis in which Jehovah (usually written LORD) is used. It is further assumed that the writer of Exodus 6:3 believed that the name Jehovah was first made known in Moses' time. The answer to these assumptions is as follows: (1) The statement, "by my name the LORD [JEHOVAH] I did not make myself known to them" can also be translated as a rhetorical question, "By my name the LORD [JEHOVAH] was I not known to them?" (2) In the O.T. the verb "to know" generally means far more than to have an intellectual knowledge. There are many instances of this, such as Hosea 6:3: "Let us acknowledge the LORD." (3) The patriarchs were familiar with the name Jehovah, but their experience of God was largely that of Him as El-Shaddai (cp. Ge 17:1), the One who provided for all their needs. Here in Exodus 6:3 God tells Moses that He is now about to be revealed in that aspect of His character signified by Jehovah - i.e. His covenant-relation to Israel as the One who redeems her from sin and delivers her from Egypt (cp. Ex 6:6-8). (4) Actually there is no contrast in Ex 6:3 between Elohim and Jehovah, the names in this text being El-Shaddai and Jehovah. And (5) the Genesis record over and over reveals knowledge of the name Jehovah; for an outstanding example, cp. Ge 49:18. (Scofield Study Bible notes)

Although Jehovah was identified with the establishment of the Abrahamic covenant in Genesis 15:18, it was not until the time of the Exodus some 400 years later that the experiential knowledge of the name Jehovah was revealed to Israel. In other words, although Abraham and the other patriarchs Isaac and Jacob were clearly familiar with the name Jehovah as God's name associated with His covenant (Genesis 15:18) and had received specific covenant promises (Abraham received the son of promise, Isaac), they still did not possess a full knowledge of the meaning of Jehovah. In the redemptive events of the exodus from Egyptian bondage, Jehovah demonstrated not only His immutable (note) (unchangeable) character but also His faithfulness (note) to keep His covenant In other words, in the Exodus which Jehovah supernaturally brought about,  Israel received a revelation and experiential knowledge of Jehovah. Previously, as shepherds in Palestine, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had known God experientially, primarily as El Shaddai (note) (God Almighty) the Name which revealed His power and sufficiency but they had not known Him experientially as the God Who would bring about  redemption in order to keep His covenant promises.  (See additional note)


Recall that the name Yahweh (Jehovah, LORD) was known to Abraham even before the Name El Shaddai, as we note in such passages as Genesis 12:8, 13:4, 15:7 (and to Jacob in Ge 38:13). Clearly in Exodus 6 Jehovah does not introduce a new Name but a new revelation of that Name. Remember that the OT Names of God were a revelation of some aspect of His character and/or attributes. And so in Exodus 6 we see Jehovah reveals His character as the Covenant keeping God, faithful to keep His promises and faithful to redeem Israel from bondage. In other words, God would make Himself known to Israel in actions by which He had not revealed Himself to the patriarchs and which they knew only as promises of the covenant.


If we remember that God is infinite, it is not at all surprising that the generation of the patriarchs might not "know" God experientially in the same way that  a later generation would come to know Him.


John MacArthur agrees reasoning that...

Since the name Yahweh was spoken before the Flood (Ge. 4:26) and later by the patriarchs (Gen. 9:26; 12:8; 22:14; 24:12), the special significance of Yahweh, unknown to them, but to be known by their descendants, must arise from what God would reveal of Himself in keeping the covenant and in redeeming Israel. (MacArthur, J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word or Logos)

The Jewish rabbi Rashi explains that this the text means

“I did not make Myself known, I did not allow My real character to be recognized.“ (prior to the time of the events of Exodus)

Some feel that the last clause in Exodus 6:3 might represent a rhetorical question which is permissible in the Hebrew and which would read "by my name JEHOVAH was I not also known to them?" Given the fact that God's Names are a revelation of His character, I think this is a less likely explanation. 


Richards agrees writing that...

While the four–letter name YHWH appears in Genesis, its true significance was only revealed in the acts of power by which God intervened in Egypt to free Israel. From this time on, God’s people will know not only what God’s name is, but what that name means! (The Bible Readers Companion)

KJV Bible Commentary explains that...

They had not known the riches of God as Jehovah, the name now to be associated with God’s activity in keeping His covenant with Abraham. This is not to say that they did not know the name of Yahweh (thought by many to be the original pronunciation of the name, Jehovah); but they would now come to know the benefits of that name as Israel’s covenant-keeping God... God’s gracious loving-kindness would be manifested to them through a powerful deliverance. (Dobson, E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV Bible Commentary: Nelson or Logos)

Keil and Delitzsch add  that

When the establishment of the covenant commenced, as described in Genesis 15, with the institution of the covenant sign of circumcision and the promise of the birth of Isaac, Jehovah said to Abram, “I am El Shaddai, God Almighty,” and from that time forward manifested Himself to Abram and his wife as the Almighty, in the birth of Isaac, which took place apart altogether from the powers of nature, and also in the preservation, guidance, and multiplication of his seed.

It was in His attribute as El Shaddai that God had revealed His nature to the patriarchs; but now He was about to reveal Himself to Israel as Jehovah, as the absolute Being working with unbounded freedom in the performance of His promises. For not only had He established His covenant with the fathers (Ex 6:4), but He had also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, and remembered His covenant (Ex 6:5; not only—but also). The divine promise not only commences in Ex 6:2, but concludes at Ex 6:8, with the emphatic expression, “I Jehovah,” to show that the work of Israel’s redemption resided in the power of the Name Jehovah. In Ex 6:4 the covenant promises of Ge 17:7, 8; 26:3; 35:11, 12, are all brought together and in Ex 6:5 we have a repetition of Ex 2:24, with the emphatically repeated "I". On the ground of the erection of His covenant on the one hand, and, what was irreconcilable with that covenant, the bondage of Israel on the other, Jehovah was not about to redeem Israel from its sufferings and make it His own nation.

This assurance, which God would carry out by the manifestation of His nature as expressed in the name Jehovah, contained three distinct elements:

(a) the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt, which, because so utterly different from all outward appearances, is described in three parallel clauses: bringing them out from under the burdens of the Egyptians; saving them from their bondage; and redeeming them with a stretched-out arm and with great judgments;

(b) the adoption of Israel as the nation of God;

(c) the guidance of Israel into the land promised to the fathers (Ex 6:6-8). a stretched-out arm, is most appropriately connected with great judgments; for God raises, stretches out His arm, when He proceeds in judgment to smite the rebellious. These expressions repeat with greater emphasis the “strong hand” of Ex 6:1, and are frequently connected with it in the rhetorical language of Deuteronomy (e.g., Deut. 4:34; 5:15; 7:19). The “great judgments” were the plagues, the judgments of God, by which Pharaoh was to be compelled to let Israel go. (Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F.. Commentary on the Old Testament 1:303-304).





John 8:24 (Jesus in the Temple declared to the Jewish audience including scribes and Pharisees when they asked "Who are You?") "I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am (Ego eimi = present tense - "I am continually" is what Jesus is saying) He (note that "He" is in italics in NAS indicating that it is not in the original Greek text), you shall die in your sins."  (Compare  the paraphrase TEV [The English Version], noting how interpretative it is "you will know that 'I Am Who I Am'". Although the TEV is accurate in this interpretation, paraphrases [or the NIV = dynamic equivalence = not word for word] are not recommended for in depth Bible study.)


Commenting on John 8:24 MacArthur explains that...

The Lord’s use of the absolute, unqualified phrase I am (the pronoun He does not appear in the Greek text) is nothing less than a direct claim to full deity. When Moses asked God His name He replied, “I AM WHO I AM” (Ex 3:14). In the Septuagint - LXX (the Greek translation of the Old Testament), that is the same phrase (ego eimi) Jesus used here (the Septuagint similarly uses ego eimi of God in Deut 32:39; Isaiah 41:4; 43:10, 25; 45:18; 46:4). Jesus was applying to Himself the Tetragrammaton (YHWH, often transliterated as Yahweh)—the name of God that was so sacred that the Jews refused to pronounce it. Unlike many modern cult groups (such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses - see notes), the Jews of Jesus’ day understood perfectly that He was claiming to be God. In fact, they were so shocked by His use of that name, in reference to Himself (cf. vv. 28, 58), that they attempted to stone Him for blasphemy (v. 59). (MacArthur, J. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : John 1-11. Page 348. Chicago: Moody Press)

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, (Amen, Amen - this should get their attention) I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am (Ego eimi = present tense - "I am continually" is what Jesus is saying)." 59 Therefore (term of conclusion) they picked up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple. (See discussion of John 8:58 and Jehovah's Witnesses) (See  related discussion of JW's and John 8:58 and John 10:30-33 and "I AM")

Comment: Why did they attempt to stone Jesus? Obviously they understood that He had just claimed to be God and to their ears was blaspheming. Remember who it is that sought to stone Him. From the context we see that these are the same group that John described earlier as "those Jews who had believed in Him" (John 8:31) They are the same audience to whom Jesus declared "you are of (the Greek preposition ek which here emphasizes the idea of source or origin. Jesus was saying in essence that they were the devil’s very offspring) your father the devil" (John 8:44) What is your conclusion? They had believed in Jesus but were they genuinely saved? Did they bring fruit in keeping with repentance? Who was their father - God or the devil? Clearly they were unregenerate. They believed He was Messiah but they did not really know Him for their believe was intellectual assent without a genuine heart response (see related notes Matthew 7:23)

MacArthur comments that...

Jesus’ climactic reply, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am,” was nothing less than a claim to full deity. The Lord once again took for Himself the sacred Name of God. Obviously, as the eternal God (John 1:1-2), He existed before Abraham’s time.

Homer Kent explains, “By using the timeless ‘I am’ rather than ‘I was,’ Jesus conveyed not only the idea of existence prior to Abraham, but timelessness—the very nature of God Himself (Ex 3:14)” (Light in the Darkness [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1974], 128-29). (Ibid)

The NET Bible agrees writing that...

I am is an explicit claim to deity. Although each occurrence of the phrase “I am” in the Fourth Gospel needs to be examined individually in context to see if an association with Exodus 3:14 is present, it seems clear that this is the case here (as the response of the Jewish authorities in the following verse shows).





John in explaining the judicial hardening of Israel records

that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, "LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT? AND TO WHOM HAS THE ARM OF THE LORD BEEN REVEALED? (quoting Isaiah 53:1 - note that in the NAS, NT verses in all caps are indicative of direct OT quotes - and most of the OT quotes are actually from the Septuagint rather than the Hebrew text)"
39 For this cause they could not believe, for Isaiah said again,
41 These things Isaiah said, because he saw His (Whose? Jesus') glory (When? Isaiah 6:3 "Jehovah of hosts"), and he spoke of Him (of Jesus). (John 12:38-41)

Here is Isaiah's record of this event...

6:1 In the year of King Uzziah's death, I saw the Lord (Adonai) sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.
2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
3 And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD (Jehovah) of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory."

Numerous commentators in this century and prior centuries have concluded from this passage that Jesus is Jehovah or Yahweh.


One note of caution - Please be aware that the fact that Jesus appeared as Jehovah in the OT in no way impugns the integrity of the Trinity of the Godhead. God is Triune. Jesus is NOT the Father. There are two cultic teachings to be aware of...


1) Beware of the very subtle, dangerous (because it is so subtle) false teaching of Oneness Pentecostal theology (Jesus only theology).


2) Beware of one other danger when speaking of Jesus as Jehovah in the OT. Reed and Farkas explain the false teaching of the Mormon Church in the area of Jesus and Jehovah...

Unlike many pseudo-Christian cults that deny the deity of Christ, the Mormon Church teaches that Jesus Christ is Jehovah (the Lord) of the Old Testament. Mormons may even properly associate Old Testament verses with New Testament verses to show that Jesus is Jehovah: Deuteronomy 1:32, 33 with 1 Corinthians 10:1–4; Isaiah 43:3, 11 with Luke 2:11; and Isaiah 48:17 with Romans 3:24. If the discussion goes only this far, a Christian may assume that his Mormon acquaintance agrees with him theologically. But that is not actually the case. While the Christian understands Jehovah to be one of the Hebrew names of the triune deity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—the Mormon believes quite differently. His church’s Bible Dictionary (Salt Lake City, 1990 printing, p. 681) explains it this way:

When one speaks of God, it is generally the Father who is referred to; that is, Elohim. All mankind are his children. The personage known as Jehovah in Old Testament times, and who is usually identified in the Old Testament as Lord (in capital letters), is the Son, known as Jesus Christ, and who is also a God … he being the eldest of the spirit children of Elohim.… The Holy Ghost is also a God.

The Mormon sees the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three Gods who are merely “unified in purpose.” While Christians understand Elohim and Jehovah to be names belonging to the one true God of the Bible, Mormons believe that each of these names designates a different God.

This view, however, that Elohim and Jehovah are distinct individuals can be maintained only when reading a Bible that substitutes the less specific words God and Lord. Examination of the Hebrew text immediately shows that Elohim and Jehovah are one and the same. For example, throughout Genesis chapter 2 wherever “the Lord God” is spoken of, this is “Jehovah Elohim” in Hebrew. When Jacob says to Isaac, “Because the Lord thy God brought it to me,” the literal reading is, “Because Jehovah thy Elohim brought it to me” (Gen. 27:20). When the Lord (Jehovah) speaks to Moses at the burning bush, he introduces himself by saying, “I am the God [Elohim in Hebrew] of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.… And the Lord [Jehovah in Hebrew] said … ” (Ex. 3:6, 7). (Reed, D. A., & Farkas, J., R. Mormons: Answered Verse by Verse. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.) (Bolding added)

MacArthur concludes that...


This is a reference to Isaiah 6:1. John unambiguously ties Jesus to God or Yahweh of the OT (see John 8:58). Therefore, since John 12:41 refers to Jesus, it makes Him the Author of the judicial hardening of Israel. That fits His role as Judge (see John 5:22, 23, 27, 30; 9:39). (MacArthur, J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word or Logos) (Bolding added)


James Montgomery Boice commenting on John 12:41 writes that


The Gospel of John is a book filled with many extraordinary verses. But none is more extraordinary than (and few are equal to) the verse to which we come now. It is a verse in which John refers to one of the most glorious visions of God ever given to a human being—the vision received by Isaiah at the beginning of his ministry as a prophet, in which he saw Jehovah sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, with his train filling the temple—saying quite naturally, it would seem, that this applies to Jesus. John says, “Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him” (v. 41). (The Gospel of John : An Expositional Commentary. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books) (Bolding added)


MacDonald explains that...


In Isaiah 6 the prophet was described as seeing the glory of God. John now added the explanation that it was Christ’s glory which Isaiah saw, and it was of Christ that he spoke. Thus, this verse is another important link in the chain of evidence that proves Jesus Christ to be God. (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or Logos) (Bolding added)


Edwin Blum in the respected Bible Knowledge Commentary agrees writing...


John wrote that this glory Isaiah saw was Jesus’ glory. The implication is startling: Jesus is Yahweh! (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor or Logos) (Bolding added)


Adam Clarke adds that...


It appears evident, from this passage, that the glory which the prophet saw was the glory of Jehovah: John, therefore, saying here that it was the glory of Jesus, shows that he considered Jesus to be Jehovah. (Bolding added)


Jamieson et al write that John 12:41 is...


a key of immense importance to the opening of Isaiah’s vision (Isaiah 6:1-13), and all similar Old Testament representations. “The Son is the King Jehovah Who rules in the Old Testament and appears to the elect, as in the New Testament the Spirit, the invisible Minister of the Son, is the Director of the Church and the Revealer in the sanctuary of the heart”  [Olshausen]. (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments) (Bolding added)


Life Application commentary writes that...


 Isaiah had seen the Lord of glory, Who is none other than Jesus Himself—Jesus is God, yet He is also a distinct part of the mysterious Trinity, and He is also Jesus the Son. (Bolding added)


Matthew Poole writes that...


Isaiah’s sight of God’s glory is described, Isaiah 6:1, “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, etc.” The evangelist expounds this of Christ, which is an evident proof of the Deity of Christ, that He is Jehovah; for it was Jehovah Whom the prophet there saw (Matthew Poole's Commentary on the New Testament) (Bolding added)


Believer's Study Bible (Criswell) writes that...


The passage undoubtedly refers to the magnificent vision of Isaiah (cf. Isaiah 6), but also to the great Suffering Servant prophecy of Isaiah 53 (v. 38). Again the theme is sounded: the Messiah’s glory is revealed in His suffering. Since John declares that Isaiah saw the glory of Jesus, it is certain that this vision was a Christophany, i.e., a preincarnate appearance of the living Lord. (Bolding added)




The glory of God that Isaiah saw in his vision (Isa 6:1-4) is identified with the glory of the Logos-Son, in accordance with John 1:18 and 17:5. (John 8:56 is a little different; Abraham had a vision of the day of Jesus in the future, i.e., in the time of the coming kingdom of God, see Comment adloc). (Beasley-Murray, G. R. (2002). Vol. 36: Word Biblical Commentary : John. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas: Word, Incorporated)


John Calvin commenting on John 12:41 writes...


Lest readers should think that this prediction was inappropriately quoted, John expressly states, that the prophet was not sent as a teacher to a single age, but, on the contrary, that the glory of Christ was exhibited to him, that he might be a witness of those things which should take place under his reign. Now the Evangelist takes for granted, that Isaiah saw the glory of Christ. (Bolding added)

Jameison comments that...

JEHOVAH, (is) a name implying His immutable constancy to His promises. From the Hebrew root, meaning "existence." "He that is, was, and is to be," always the same (see notes Hebrews 13:8 ; Revelation 1:4; Revelation 1:8; compare Ex 3:14, 15; 6:3). As He was unchangeable in His favor to Jacob, so will He be to His believing posterity. (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments) (Bolding added)

Spurgeon comments...

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him” (Revelation 1:7). This judgment by Christ is by our apostle proved from an Old Testament prophecy which certainly refers to Jehovah himself. Read Isaiah 45:23, and learn from it that our Lord Jesus is Jehovah, and let us joyfully adore Him as our Savior and God, to Whom be glory for ever and ever.

Spurgeon in his comments on Psalm 47:5 writes...

The Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Jesus is Jehovah. The joyful strain of the trumpet betokens the splendor of his triumph, leading captivity captive, and well might the clarions ring out the tidings of Emmanuel’s victorious return.

Harry Bultema in Bibliotheca Sacra writes that Jesus...

is the Jehovah of the Old Testament as appears from the quotation of Isa 40:3: “Prepare ye the way of Jehovah.” John the Baptist prepared the way of Jehovah-Jesus, Jehovah is Jesus manifested in the flesh as a real man. (Dallas Theological Seminary. Volume 96:325. 1939)


Spurgeon on Psalm 68:4...

Sing unto God, sing praises to His name. To time and tune, with order and care, celebrate the character and deeds of God, the God of His people. Do it again and again; and let the praise, with resolution of heart, be all directed to Him. Sing not for ostentation, but devotion; not to be heard of men, but of the Lord Himself. Sing not to the congregation, but "unto God,"

Extol him that rideth upon the heavens by His name JAH. Remember his most great, incomprehensible, and awful name; reflect upon His self existence and absolute dominion, rise to the highest pitch of joyful reverence in adoring Him. Heaven beholds Him riding on the clouds in storm, and earth has seen Him marching over its plains with majesty. The Hebrew seems to be: "Cast up a highway for Him who marches through the wilderness," in allusion to the wanderings of the tribes in the desert. The marches of God were in the waste howling wilderness. His eternal power and Godhead were there displayed in His feeding, ruling, and protecting the vast hosts which He had brought out of Egypt. The ark brought all this to remembrance, and suggested it as a theme for song. The name JAH (or "YAH") is an abbreviation of the name Jehovah; it is not a diminution of that name, but an intensified word, containing in it the essence of the longer, august title. It only occurs here in our version of Scripture, except in connection with other words such as Hallelujah.

And rejoice before Him. In the presence of Him Who marched so gloriously at the head of the elect nation, it is most fitting that all his people should display a holy delight. We ought to avoid dulness in our worship. Our songs should be weighty with solemnity, but not heavy with sadness. Angels are nearer the throne than we, but their deepest awe is consonant with the purest bliss; our sense of divine greatness must not minister terror but gladness to our souls; we should rejoice before him. It should be our wish and prayer, that in this wilderness world, a highway may be prepared for the God of grace. "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God," is the cry of gospel heralds, and we must all zealously aim at obedience thereto; for where the God of the mercy seat comes, blessings innumerable are given to the sons of men.



Psalms 11:6 Upon the wicked He will rain snares; Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup (Why?). 11:7 For (because) Jehovah is righteous.  He loves righteousness. The upright will behold His face. (See Righteous = Attribute of God)

Spurgeon commenting on Psalm 11:7 writes that...

The delightful contrast of the Ps 11:6 is well worthy of our observation, and it affords another overwhelming reason why we should be steadfast, unmoveable, not carried away with fear, or led to adopt carnal expedients in order to avoid trial.

For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness. It is not only his office to defend it, but his nature to love it. He would deny himself if he did not defend the just. It is essential to the very being of God that he should be just; fear not, then, the end of all your trials, but "be just, and fear not." God approves, and, if men oppose, what matters it?

His countenance doth behold the upright. We need never be out of countenance, for God countenances us. He observes, he approves, he delights in the upright. He sees his own image in them, an image of his own fashioning, and therefore with complacency he regards them. Shall we dare to put forth our hand unto iniquity in order to escape affliction? Let us have done with byways and short turnings, and let us keep to that fair path of right along which Jehovah's smile shall light us. Are we tempted to put our light under a bushel, to conceal our religion from our neighbours? Is it suggested to us that there are ways of avoiding the cross, and shunning the reproach of Christ? Let us not hearken to the voice of the charmer, but seek an increase of faith, that we may wrestle with principalities and powers, and follow the Lord, fully going without the camp, bearing his reproach. Mammon, the flesh, the devil, will all whisper in our ear, "Flee as a bird to your mountain;" but let us come forth and defy them all. "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." There is no room or reason for retreat. Advance! Let the vanguard push on! To the front! all ye powers and passions of our soul. On! on! in God's name, on! for "the Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."

Stephen Charnock writes that...

The righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright; he looks upon him with a smiling eye, and therefore he cannot favorably look upon an unrighteous person; so that this necessity is not founded only in the command of God that we should be renewed, but in the very nature of the thing, because God, in regard to his holiness, cannot converse with an impure creature. God must change his nature, or the sinner's nature must be changed. There can be no friendly communion between two of different natures without the change of one of them into the likeness of the other. Wolves and sheep, darkness and light, can never agree. God cannot love a sinner as a sinner, because he hates impurity by a necessity of nature as well as a choice of will. It is as impossible for him to love it as to cease to be holy. Stephen Charnock.


Spurgeon on Psalm 9:10 writes that...

Ignorance is worst when it amounts to ignorance of God, and knowledge is best when it exercises itself upon the Name of God. This most excellent knowledge leads to the most excellent grace of faith. O, to learn more of the attributes and character of God. Unbelief, that hooting night bird, cannot live in the light of divine knowledge, it flies before the sun of God's great and gracious name. If we read this verse literally, there is, no doubt, a glorious fulness of assurance in the names of God. We have recounted them in the "Hints for Preachers," and would direct the reader's attention to them. By knowing his name is also meant an experimental acquaintance with the attributes of God, which are every one of them anchors to hold the soul from drifting in seasons of peril. The Lord may hide his face for a season from his people, but he never has utterly, finally, really, or angrily forsaken them that seek him. Let the poor seekers draw comfort from this fact, and let the finders rejoice yet more exceedingly, for what must be the Lord's faithfulness to those who find if he is so gracious to those who seek.

"O hope of every contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek,
To those who fall how kind thou art,
How good to those who seek.

"But what to those who find, ah, this
Nor tongue nor pen can show
The love of Jesus what it is,
None but his loved ones know."



The Lord shall guide thee Isaiah 58:11

Not an angel, but Jehovah shall guide thee. He said he would not go through the wilderness before his people, an angel should go before them to lead them in the way; but Moses said, “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” Christian, God has not left you in your earthly pilgrimage to an angel’s guidance: He Himself leads the van (Ed note: "I Am anything and everything you will need for your pilgrimage). You may not see the cloudy, fiery pillar, but Jehovah will never forsake you. Notice the word shall —“The Lord shall guide thee.” How certain this makes it! How sure it is that God will not forsake us! His precious “shalls” and “wills” are better than men’s oaths. “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Then observe the adverb continually. We are not merely to be guided sometimes, but we are to have a perpetual monitor; not occasionally to be left to our own understanding, and so to wander, but we are continually to hear the guiding voice of the Great Shepherd; and if we follow close at his heels, we shall not err, but be led by a right way to a city to dwell in. If you have to change your position in life; if you have to emigrate to distant shores; if it should happen that you are cast into poverty, or uplifted suddenly into a more responsible position than the one you now occupy; if you are thrown among strangers, or cast among foes, yet tremble not, for “the Lord shall guide thee continually.” There are no dilemmas out of which you shall not be delivered if you live near to God, and your heart be kept warm with holy love. He goes not amiss who goes in the company of God. Like Enoch, walk with God, and you cannot mistake your road. You have infallible wisdom to direct you, immutable love to comfort you, and eternal power to defend you. “Jehovah”—mark the word—“Jehovah shall guide thee continually.”  (Bolding added for emphasis -- from Spurgeon: Morning and evening : Daily readings -December 27 PM)


Spurgeon's devotional on Lamentations 3:24 :

"It is not “The LORD  ("I AM") is partly my portion,” nor “The Lord is in my portion”; but He Himself makes up the sum total of my soul’s inheritance. Within the circumference of that circle lies all that we possess or desire. The LORD  ("I AM") is my portion. Not His grace merely, nor His love, nor His covenant, but Jehovah Himself. He has chosen us for Hs portion, and we have chosen Him for ours. It is true that the LORD  ("I AM") must first choose our inheritance for us, or else we shall never choose it for ourselves; but if we are really called according to the purpose of electing love, we can sing— The LORD  ("I AM") is our all-sufficient portion. God fills Himself; and if God is all-sufficient in Himself, he must be all- sufficient for us. It is not easy to satisfy man’s desires. When he dreams that he is satisfied, anon he wakes to the perception that there is somewhat yet beyond, and straightway the horse-leech in his heart cries, “Give, give.” But all that we can wish for is to be found in our divine portion, so that we ask, “Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.” Well may we “delight ourselves in the LORD ” who makes us to drink of the river of His pleasures. Our faith stretches her wings and mounts like an eagle into the heaven of divine love as to her proper dwelling-place. “The lines have fallen to us in pleasant places; yea, we have a goodly heritage.” Let us rejoice in the Lord always; let us show to the world that we are a happy and a blessed people, and thus induce them to exclaim, “We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” (Note: comments in parentheses added to emphasize God's Name, Jehovah, I AM from Spurgeon - Morning & evening - Nov 16 AM)


Spurgeon's devotional on Isaiah 26:4

"Seeing that we have such a God ("I AM") to trust to, let us rest upon him with all our weight; let us resolutely drive out all unbelief, and endeavour to get rid of doubts and fears, which so much mar our comfort; since there is no excuse for fear where God ("I AM") is the foundation of our trust. A loving parent would be sorely grieved if his child could not trust him; and how ungenerous, how unkind is our conduct when we put so little confidence in our heavenly Father who has never failed us, and who never will. It were well if doubting were banished from the household of God; but it is to be feared that old Unbelief is as nimble nowadays as when the psalmist asked, “Is his mercy clean gone for ever? Will he be favourable no more?” David had not made any very lengthy trial of the mighty sword of the giant Goliath, and yet he said, “There is none like it.” He had tried it once in the hour of his youthful victory, and it had proved itself to be of the right metal, and therefore he praised it ever afterwards; even so should we speak well of our God ("I AM") , there is none like unto Him in the heaven above or the earth beneath; “To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.” There is no rock like unto the rock of Jacob, our enemies themselves being judges. So far from suffering doubts to live in our hearts, we will take the whole detestable crew, as Elijah did the prophets of Baal, and slay them over the brook; and for a stream to kill them at, we will select the sacred torrent which wells forth from our Saviour’s wounded side.

We have been in many trials, but we have never yet been cast where we could not find in our God ("
I AM") all that we needed. Let us then be encouraged to trust in the LORD ("I AM") for ever, assured that his ever lasting strength will be, as it has been, our succor and stay." (Note: comments in parentheses added to emphasize God's Name, Jehovah, I AM from Spurgeon's Morning and evening : Daily readings -December 27 PM)


Spurgeon's devotional on Isaiah 26:4

"Seeing that we have such a God ("I AM") to trust to, let us rest upon him with all our weight; let us resolutely drive out all unbelief, and endeavour to get rid of doubts and fears, which so much mar our comfort; since there is no excuse for fear where God ("I AM") is the foundation of our trust. A loving parent would be sorely grieved if his child could not trust him; and how ungenerous, how unkind is our conduct when we put so little confidence in our heavenly Father who has never failed us, and who never will. It were well if doubting were banished from the household of God; but it is to be feared that old Unbelief is as nimble nowadays as when the psalmist asked, “Is his mercy clean gone for ever? Will he be favourable no more?” David had not made any very lengthy trial of the mighty sword of the giant Goliath, and yet he said, “There is none like it.” He had tried it once in the hour of his youthful victory, and it had proved itself to be of the right metal, and therefore he praised it ever afterwards; even so should we speak well of our God ("I AM") , there is none like unto Him in the heaven above or the earth beneath; “To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.” There is no rock like unto the rock of Jacob, our enemies themselves being judges. So far from suffering doubts to live in our hearts, we will take the whole detestable crew, as Elijah did the prophets of Baal, and slay them over the brook; and for a stream to kill them at, we will select the sacred torrent which wells forth from our Saviour’s wounded side.

We have been in many trials, but we have never yet been cast where we could not find in our God ("
I AM") all that we needed. Let us then be encouraged to trust in the LORD ("I AM") for ever, assured that his ever lasting strength will be, as it has been, our succor and stay." (Note: comments in parentheses added to emphasize God's Name, Jehovah, I AM from Spurgeon's Morning and evening: Daily readings -December 27 PM)


Spurgeon writes on:  Absolute Assurance: “He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”— He 13:5-note

SEVERAL times in the Scriptures the LORD ("I AM") hath said this. He has often repeated it to make our assurance doubly sure. Let us never harbor a doubt of it. In itself the promise is specially emphatic. In the Greek it has five negatives, each one definitely shutting out the possibility of the LORD’s ever leaving one of His people so that he can justly feel forsaken of his God. This priceless Scripture does not promise us exemption from trouble, but it does secure us against desertion. We may be called to traverse strange ways, but we shall always have our LORD’s ("I AM's") company, assistance, and provision. We need not covet money, for we shall always have our God ("I AM"), and God ("I AM") is better than gold. His ("I AM's") favor is better than fortune. We ought surely to be content with such things as we have, for he who has God ("I AM") has more than all the world besides. What can we have beyond the Infinite? What more can we desire than Almighty Goodness. Come, my heart; if God ("I AM") says He will never leave thee nor forsake thee, be thou much in prayer for grace, that thou mayest never leave thy LORD ("I AM"), nor even for a moment forsake His ("I AM's") ways." (Note: comments in parentheses added to emphasize God's Name, Jehovah, I AM from Faith's Checkbook)




Spurgeon on JEHOVAH YOUR GOD (Leviticus 11:44)

In the worst of times our great consolation is God. The very name of our covenant God, “The LORD your God,” is full of good cheer. “The Lord your God” is Jehovah, the Self-existent One, the unchangeable One, the ever-living God, who cannot change or be moved from His everlasting purpose (Heb 7:24).Child of God, whatever you do not have, you have a God in whom you may greatly glory. Having God, you have more than all things, for all things come from Him. If everything was blotted out, He could restore it by His will. He speaks and it is done. He commands and it does not move. Blessed are you if the God of Jacob is your help and hope (Ps 146:5). The Lord Jehovah is our righteousness and everlasting strength (Isa 26:4). Trust Him forever. Let the times roll on; they cannot affect our God. Let troubles run like a storm; they will not come close because He is our defense. Jehovah is as much your God as if no other person in the universe could use that covenant expression. All His wisdom, all His foresight, all His power, all His immutability—all of Him is yours. Let us rejoice in our possession. Poor as we are, we are infinitely rich in having God. Weak as we are, there is no limit to our strength since the Almighty Jehovah is ours. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Ro 8:31). Sorrowful one, rejoice! If God is yours, what more do you need? He is our God by our own choice of Him, by our union with Christ Jesus, and by our experience of His goodness. By the spirit of adoption, we cry, “Abba, Father” (Ro 8:15)."  (Note: bolding added to emphasize God's Name, Jehovah, I AM from Spurgeon, C., & Clarke, R. H. - Beside still waters : Words of comfort for the soul)



Spurgeon's devotional on Psalm 34:6 The Lord Heard Him

The poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him” (Ps 34:6). The man was alone, and the only one who heard him was the LORD . Yes, the LORD , Jehovah of Hosts, the All-glorious, heard his prayer. God stooped from His eternal glory and gave attention to this cry. Never think that a praying heart pleads to a deaf God. Never imagine that God is so far removed that He fails to notice our needs. God hears prayer and grants His children’s desires and requests. We can never pray earnestly until we believe that God hears prayer. I have been told, “Prayer is an excellent exercise, highly satisfying and useful, but nothing more. Prayer cannot move the Infinite Mind.” Do not believe so gross a lie or you will soon stop praying. No one prays for the mere love of the act. Amid all the innumerable actions of divine power, the LORD never ceases to listen to the cries of those who seek His face. This verse is always true, “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles” (Ps 34:17). What a glorious fact! Truly marvelous! This is still Jehovah’s special title: the God who hears prayer. We often come from the throne of grace as certain that God heard us as we were sure that we had prayed. The abounding answers to our supplications are proof positive that prayer climbs above the regions of earth and time and touches God and His infinity. Yes, it is still true, the LORD will hear your prayer." (Note: bolding added to emphasize God's Name, Jehovah, I AM from Spurgeon, C., & Clarke, R. H. - Beside still waters : Words of comfort for the soul)




Spurgeon's devotional on Psalm 119:55

When we hear the night songs of revelers, we have evidence that they do not keep God’s Law. But the quiet thoughts of the gracious are proof positive that the LORD’s Name is precious to them. We may judge both people and nations by their songs. The singing and thinking of the righteous show their love for God, and whether they lift their voices or sit in silence, they are the LORD’s. Blessed are those whose night thoughts are memories of the eternal light. They will be remembered by their Lord when the night of death comes. Are your night thoughts full of light because they are full of God? Is His Name the natural subject of your evening reflections? If so, it will give tone to your morning and noonday hours. Or do you give your mind to the fleeting cares and pleasures of this world? If so, it is little wonder that you do not live as you should. No one is holy by chance. If we have no memory for Jehovah’s Name, then we are not likely to remember His commandments. If we do no think of Him secretly, we will not obey Him openly." (Note: bolding added to emphasize God's Name, Jehovah, I AM from Spurgeon, C., & Clarke, R. H. - Beside still waters: Words of comfort for the soul)

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Last Updated February 21, 2015