What does the Bible say about Yahweh? In the Old Testaments, Yahweh is the most well-known term for God. God’s covenant rule over Israel is symbolized by the name Yahweh. In the process of summoning Moses to be His instrument for releasing the Israelites from Egyptian servitude, the Lord revealed this name to him at the burning bush, as recorded in today’s chapter. Our compilation of Bible scriptures about Yahweh might help you learn more.
Yahweh in the bible verse
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created when the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”
God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘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, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.
I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD, I did not make myself fully known to them.
He said, “If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”
Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD—with the first of them and with the last—I am he.”
“I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.
In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Savior.
In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
I and the Father are one.”
So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The LORD Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
to fulfil what was said through the prophet Isaiah:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.
“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
“The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. “And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE.”
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the LORD.
Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD— that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. 6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. 9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day. 14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day. 20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day. 24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” 4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. 7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” 13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘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, the name you shall call me from generation to generation. 16 “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’ 18 “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go. 21 “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”
7 Meanings of Yahweh and Why It’s Such an Important Name for God
God has many names in the Bible, with around 1000 different ones. However, one of these names stands out above the rest: Yahweh.
Yahweh (yah-WEH) is mentioned over 6,800 times in the Old Testament. Except for Esther, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs, it appears in every book. It was eventually spoken aloud only by priests worshipping in the Jerusalem temple as Israel’s God’s hallowed, personal name.
After the temple’s destruction in A.D. 70, the name was not pronounced. Adonay was substituted for Yahweh whenever it appeared in the biblical text. Because of this, the correct pronunciation of this name was eventually lost. English editions of the Bible usually translate Adonay as “Lord” and Yahweh as “LORD.” Yahweh is the name most closely linked to God’s redeeming acts in the history of his chosen people. We know God because of what he has done. When you pray to Yahweh, remember that he is the same God who draws near to save you from the tyranny of sin just as he saved his people from oppressive slavery in Egypt.
Before we get into what the name “Yahweh” means, let’s go back to its origin story in Exodus 3. In this story, God is speaking to Moses through the burning bush and giving him the mission to end all missions: freeing the Israelite people from Egyptian captivity.
Understandably, Moses has some concerns, the main one being how he will convince his fellow Israelites that this is a mission from (and blessed by) God.
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.'” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people 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 thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” – Exodus 3:13-15
What Does Yahweh Mean?
The word “Yahweh” appears for the first time in the Bible in Exodus 3:13-15, and we can see at the end of the verse it is the name God has chosen to be remembered by throughout all generations.
Because the English language lacks a perfect translation of the term “Yahweh,” it is printed in all capital letters in our Old Testament.
In Jewish tradition, “Yahweh” is too sacred a name to utter out loud. Over time Jews started to substitute in “Adonai,” or “My Lord,” especially when speaking. Another common replacement is the name “Elohim,” which simply means “God.” Interestingly, these two replacement names are both used for other things as well, not just God, whereas Yahweh is reserved exclusively as a name for God.
We see in Exodus 3:14 that God uses “I AM” and “Yahweh” interchangeably, which tells us that “I am” is one way for us to translate the name “Yahweh.”
But why is it so significant that God’s name is “I AM”?
Why it Matters that God Is I AM
In the Old Testament, a person’s name often reflected his character.
Abraham means “Father of a great multitude.”
Eve means “Living,” which is fitting because she was the mother of all living people.
Jesus means “Savior.”
Names were very, very important at that time. It could point to a person’s disposition, mission in life, and more. And Moses knew that.
When he asks God in Exodus 3:13 what he should tell the Israelites when they ask who sent him, he’s essentially asking God to provide some credibility to the fantastic story he’s about to tell his people. He’s asking God about his character and nature.
If we ask God, “Who are you?” and he replies, “I AM WHO I AM,” that is significant, and we need to take time to dwell on his chosen name if we want to know him.
1. Yahweh Is the Self-Existent, Eternal God
God does not need us.
That simple fact can be a little offensive to our human nature – that part of us that wants to be significant, to be needed.
But it’s true – God does not need us. He doesn’t need anyone. He is completely whole within himself, and he is eternal – he has always existed, and he always will. He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega.
And he is the only one in existence who can be described this way. The rest of us need quite a lot to go right to keep existing! The most powerful human on earth is still at the mercy of his health and fortune.
God stands alone in needing nothing, in being wholly self-sufficient.
2. Yahweh Is the Unchanging God
Heraclitus said it best: “There is nothing permanent except change.” Our world is constantly shifting; everything is subjective, and many things seem to change day today.
But our God does not conform to any of this. He remains constant through it all. He doesn’t change his nature based on what is new and popular at the moment. Yahweh has always been who he is, from the beginning of time; he has always been the standard for absolute perfection and holiness.
We have the binary choice to either choose Him and conform to him – or not. There is no third option where we can have a slightly different version of him.
New and popular philosophies and theologies don’t change God, but we can sometimes be. We need to keep a white-knuckled grip on the truth of the unchanging God.
3. Yahweh Is with Us
God is there, existing, right now.
If you are reading this article, there’s a pretty good chance that you don’t have a problem with this. It is probably a core part of your belief system.
But those of us who have the least qualms with a God who exists can start to forget the beauty and significance of the fact that God is here.
Yahweh is here, interacting with our world, among us. And he does that out of love. God is under no obligation to remain close to us, working in our lives and writing a love story between himself and the world. And yet, he chooses to do so. He chooses to build his very kingdom among believers:
“One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, ‘When will the Kingdom of God come?’ Jesus replied, ‘The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you'” (Luke 17:20-21).
4. Yahweh Is a Relational God
Yahweh is only used in the Bible when the author is talking about God’s personal relationship with his people. A great example of this is Psalm 19. In the first 6 verses, the author talks about Elohim (another name for God) and his relationship with the material world. Then, in verse 7, he shifts and writes about Yahweh and his relationship with those who know him and are in covenant with him.
The fact that God introduces himself to us as “Yahweh” tells us that his first priority in relating to us is making sure we know that he is the intensely personal God, seeking to have a relationship with his people.
We talked earlier about how God doesn’t need us…but that makes it all the more wondrous that he wants us. This God was so love-motivated to know us and be in a relationship with us that he came to earth as a human and took the punishment we deserved.
5. Yahweh Is Wholly Other than Us
When was the last time we took a step back and acknowledged the holiness of God?
The most common theologies are ones that make God into our own personal servant – the ones that will get us our best life now; perfect peace and no problems.
God is not a servant. He is infinitely and entirely other than you and me.
“These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you” (Psalm 50:21).
“You thought I was one like yourself.” He isn’t like us. He relates to us more deeply than we can ever imagine, but he is not like us. His ways are higher than our own, and he is set apart from everything and everyone else in existence in holiness, strength, and power.
6. Yahweh Is Full of Mystery, but Worth Seeking!
Only a mysterious God would ask us to know him as the God who is who he is. We weren’t meant to understand everything about him, as evidenced by the fact that we simply can’t!
We worship a God of mystery, yet a God who is closer than our very breath. Yahweh is a paradox, one we will never reach the end of when it comes to our understanding of him. There is simply too much of him to know fully in one lifetime!
But we can always seek more.
Our daily goal is to move one step closer to knowing the God who is. The richness and fullness of perfect love await anyone seeking to know the one who would do anything to have us.
And that is worth the pursuit.
7. Yahweh Keeps His Covenant with Us
We talked earlier about how God only uses the term “Yahweh” with his friends – the people who know him and who are in covenant with him. Yahweh is the covenant-keeping name.
God calls himself “Yahweh” when he first enters into the covenant with Abraham, a subtle promise that he will forever be faithful in keeping his word. When he reveals himself again as “Yahweh” to Moses, it is our reminder that he is unchanging, and we can trust him not to back out or change his mind.
God will never stop wanting us, and he will never cease in his pursuit of us. He is the ultimate covenant-keeper who keeps his promises and does what he said he will do.
We can trust God as much as we want, and it will never be too much. He will always measure up.
Philosophy of Yahweh
The name “Yahweh” appears in the Bible over 6,000 times. The biblical text is not clear about the origins of Yahweh. Some scholars believe that Yahweh was originally a storm god from the Canaanite pantheon. This is based on an Egyptian inscription that mentions a storm god called “Yahu” who was worshipped in Syria and Canaan.
Other scholars believe that Yahweh originated from a divine council of gods, including El and Baal. They think that Yahweh became the head god of this council after defeating Baal in battle during the period when Israel was united under King David and Solomon (1 Kings 18:19-38).