Today we begin Genesis Chapter 18.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James Bible, click here.
And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre
We are going to come head to head with a most controversial issue right from verse one.
Verse one says “the Lord appeared to Abraham“.
Now in most Jewish bibles, you will see the word Adonai there.
Adonai is Hebrew and yes if we were to translate it into English, the word Lord or Master would be appropriate.
However, there is one problem.
If you were to take a look at the original Hebrew manuscripts, you would notice a different word other than Adonai there.
That word would be YEHOVEH spelled with the Hebrew letters Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh.
English speakers tend to say Yahweh or Jehovah.
So the interesting question that confronts us is why is it translated as Adonai even in Jewish bibles, when the original word is Yud-heh-van-heh?
The answer is because it is a Jewish tradition to not say the name of God.
Super religious Jews will not even use the word “God” or spell it out.
In spite of this position, there is not one commandment in all of Scripture that says you cannot say God’s name out loud.
The only exception is that you are not to take God’s name in vain.
However, religious Jews claim that even the mere utterance of God’s name is taking it in vain.
I have trouble accepting this argument.
We have been given God’s name.
If he didn’t want us to say it, why give His name to us?
If it is such a terrible sin to say it out, why is there no direct prohibition against it in Scripture?
We are actually commanded to “call” upon the name of the Lord.
When I get down on my knees in prayer, I verbally say “YEHOVEH” out loud in my prayers, not some generic God word.
Having said that, I would recommend being sensitive to those things that offend others.
When in the company of religious Jews, I urge you to use the term “HASHEM”.