Our Father. . . Hallowed be Thy Name!


Our Father...
Hallowed be THY NAME!
 
 
Therefore pray after this manner:
'Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.'
Matthew 6:9
 

In the Master's model prayer He teaches us to pray that the Heavenly Father's name be 'hallowed'.

What does that mean? Beyond this line in our prayers is there anything else we ought to know about holding the Father's name in reverence? For those who wish to do everything our Heavenly Father wants them to do, these are important questions.
 
 

Besides this reference while He taught us to pray, our Savior made several other statements about the Father's name:

"I have come IN MY FATHER'S NAME, and you do not receive me: if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him."John 5:43.

"O righteous Father, the world has not known you: but I have known you, and these (disciples) have known that you have sent me. And I HAVE DECLARED YOUR NAME to them, and I will declare it so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I may be in them. John 17:25-26

Why did He need to say these things?

Because, for a few hundred years before the time He lived, there had been a growing movement among the priests and teachers of the Jews to stop using the name of the Father. Instead of speaking the Father's actual name 'Yahweh,' the priests spoke the Hebrew word 'Adoni' which means 'my master' or 'my lord'.

The Hebrew language does not use vowels as the English language does. Some words can be pronounced different ways depending on the vowel sound associated with them. In writing in Hebrew or in copying the Hebrew Scriptures the scribes added tiny marks near the letters. These 'vowel points' were added to the text to help readers to pronounce words properly. In the last few centuries before the Messiah came, the scribes had been writing the four Hebrew letters for 'Yahweh' but added the vowel points to pronounce 'Adoni'. They told readers to say 'Adoni' when the word was really the heavenly Father's name.

Why did they do that? They thought it was the right thing to do, that's why.

What made them think so? A mis-interpretation of some of the Scriptures.

In the commandments given in Exodus 20:7 Yahweh says "You shall not take the name of Yahweh your mighty one in vain. For Yahweh will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain." The priests reasoned that there was so much danger in pronouncing the name of Yahweh that it was safer not to pronounce it at all than to risk using it 'in vain'.

How do we know that this was a misinterpretation? Because there are SO MANY scriptures which command us to use Yahweh's name. Some examples of these are given below (the name Yahweh has been used in these quotations as it was in the original writings. More about that later):

Exodus 9:16 "And truly, indeed, this is the reason I have raised you up: to show my power in you; and that MY NAME MAY BE DECLARED throughout all the earth."

Deuteronomy 6:13 You shall fear Yahweh your Elohim*, and serve him, and SHALL SWEAR BY HIS NAME. (Deuteronomy 10:20 is similar.)

* the Hebrew word Elohim means 'supernatural being' or 'mighty one'. It has been translated 'god' in many bibles. Because 'god' was the name of a pagan deity we just use the Hebrew word 'Elohim' itself.

Deuteronomy 10:8 At that time Yahweh separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, to stand before Yahweh to minister to him, and to BLESS PEOPLE IN HIS NAME, until this day. Look at Numbers 6:24 for this familiar blessing. Notice that each line begins with the name 'Yahweh'.

Deuteronomy 18:5 For Yahweh your Elohim has chosen him [Levi] out of all your tribes to stand to MINISTER IN THE NAME OF YAHWEH, him and his sons for ever.

Deuteronomy 32:2-4 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: because I will PUBLISH THE NAME OF YAHWEH. Ascribe greatness to our Elohim. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: an Elohim of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

1 Samuel 17:45 Then David said to (Goliath) the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I COME TO YOU IN THE NAME OF YAHWEH of hosts, the Elohim of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied."

Psalms 22:22 I WILL DECLARE YOUR NAME to my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise you.

Psalms 34:3 Oh magnify Yahweh with me, and LET US EXALT HIS NAME together.

Psalms 45:17 I will MAKE YOUR NAME TO BE REMEMBERED in all generations: therefore shall the people praise you for ever and ever.

Psalms 68:4 Sing to Elohim, SING PRAISES TO HIS NAME: extol him that rides upon the heavens BY HIS NAME YAH, and rejoice before him. (This is a place where the short form of the name 'Yah' is used in the King James Version)

Psalms 113:3 From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, YAHWEH'S NAME IS TO BE PRAISED.

Isaiah 12:4 And in that day shall you say, 'PRAISE YAHWEH, CALL UPON HIS NAME, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.'

Isaiah 42:8 "I AM YAHWEH: THAT IS MY NAME: and I will not give my glory to another, neither my praise to graven images."

These are only a few of the many scriptures showing that Yahweh's name is intended to be USED by His people. When Yahshua the Messiah spoke about declaring the Father's name he was in accord with the commands of the ancient scriptures, wasn't he?

The point is also made by example. The name 'Yahweh' is used almost seven thousand times throughout the original scriptures! It is like a scriptural 'cloud of witnesses' proclaiming that Yahweh wants His name to be known and used. Don't we want to do whatever the Heavenly Father wants? Please refer to any concordance of the Bible to find where those 6,935 places are where Yahweh's name is used. You will find them listed under 'LORD'.

Solomon's temple, built about 1000 BCE, was another witness:

1 Kings 8:16 ". . . 'Since the day that I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build a house, that MY NAME might be in it; but I chose David to be over my people Israel.'

17 And it was in the heart of David my father to build a house FOR THE NAME OF YAHWEH Elohim of Israel. 18 And Yahweh said to David my father, 'Whereas it was in your heart to build an house TO MY NAME, you did well that it was in your heart. 19 Nevertheless you shall not build the house; but your son that shall come forth out of your loins, he shall build the house TO MY NAME.'

20 "And Yahweh has performed his word that he spoke, and I am risen up in the place of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as Yahweh promised, and have built a house FOR THE NAME OF YAHWEH Elohim of Israel. 21 And I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of Yahweh, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt."

22 And Solomon stood before the altar of Yahweh in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven: 23 And he said, "Yahweh Elohim of Israel, there is no Elohim like you, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keeps covenant and mercy with your servants that walk before you with all their heart. 24 Who has kept with your servant David my father that which you promised him. You also spoke with your mouth, and have fulfilled it with your hand, as it is this day. 25 Therefore now, Yahweh, Elohim of Israel, keep with your servant David my father that which you promised him, saying, 'There shall not fail for you a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; so that your children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as you have walked before me.'

26 And now, O Elohim of Israel, let your word, I pray you, be verified, which you spoke to your servant David my father. 27 But will Elohim indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built? 28 Yet, have respect to the prayer of your servant, and to his supplication, O Yahweh, my Elohim, to hearken to the cry and to the prayer, which your servant prays before you today: 29 That your eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which you have said, 'MY NAME SHALL BE THERE': that you may hearken to the prayer which your servant shall make toward this place. Did you notice that the great temple was not built for Yahweh Himself to dwell in (v 27), but for HIS NAME to be in (vs 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 & 29)? Yahweh's name is important!
 

THE PEOPLE OF YAHWEH

We have seen that the name of Yahweh is intended to be used by His people, that it is intended to have a great part in our scripture reading, that His name can and should be with His people and that His people are to call upon His name. Now look at these verses for an additional commanded use of Yahweh's name.

Deuteronomy 28:10 And all people of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of Yahweh; and they shall be afraid of you.

King David says it very well:
Psalms 72:17-19 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.

Blessed be Yahweh Elohim, the Elohim of Israel, who only does wondrous things.

And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.
 

TWO QUESTIONS

There are two questions brought up by those who are not yet ready to follow the Messiah in this way.

Question 1. Isn't 'God' the Creator's name in English?

Question 2. Won't the Creator hear our prayers and accept our worship to another name if we sincerely love him?

These are valid questions and often they are sincere questions.

We have been raised to do certain things. We have been told for many years by people we love and respect that these things are right and true.

That does not make them right.
That does not make them true.
We certainly need to love these people but we do not need to accept what they have told us unless it actually is right and true.

However, unless they receive very clear and convincing information about an error in these things we have been taught many people will not change those long-held beliefs. In addition, some people are simply not concerned about pleasing the Creator. They only wish to do what is comfortable and what is accepted by those people they want to like them. Each of us needs to decide whether we want to obey our creator or to do what we and our friends think is right in our own mind. Once we decide to obey, then we simply say, 'What does the Creator want me to do? I'll do it.'

The first question concerns the topic of translation from Hebrew into English and usage of the English language. Isn't 'God' the Creator's name in English?

As we have noted above the word 'god' is a common translation for the Hebrew word 'elohim'. 'God' is actually another Semitic (Hebrew-related) word which can be found in the Old Testament text as 'gad' (pronounced 'gawd'). That Hebrew word is never used in scripture when speaking of Yahweh. The translation of the Father's actual name used in most English translations is 'the LORD'. That is a good translation of the Hebrew word 'Adoni'; but it is not a good translation of the creator's name. Many Hebrew names do have a meaning but Yahweh's name does not. It is related to the word eyeh which means 'I am' but it is not that word.

Normally names are not translated. A German person named 'Ault' does not become an American named 'Old'. He gets the name 'Alt', his name is just re-spelled for pronounciation in the new language. This is called transliteration. That means taking the sounds from one language to another. The name is supposed to sound the same.

The Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi is never called Joseph Green even though that is the translation of his name in English.

When you meet someone from a foreign nation it is polite to pronounce their name as they do. Only a rude person would say to someone with a difficult foreign name, "I'll just call you Joe!" The person would be offended. If it happened to you in a foreign country you might be offended.

The normal practice of transliteration has been followed with virtually all the names in the scriptures except Yahweh's. Moshe becomes Moses, Daweed becomes David and Shlomo becomes Solomon. Even Satan gets that normal treatment. People know him by his Hebrew name.

'God' is not the English word for Yahweh.

The second question is not as clear. Won't the Creator hear our prayers and accept our worship to another name if we sincerely love him?

Although Yahweh wants to be called by his correct name and expects His people to do so, it seems that He often listens to sincere, heartfelt prayer from those who do not know the right name or the importance of using it. Particularly when a child or an older widow are in need of help Yahweh seems to answer the need out of his love. This seems to be a case where Yahweh chooses to wink at our ignorance in order to do something which is, strictly speaking, against His law. But make no mistake - Yahweh wants to be called by His own name.

Malachi 2:2 "If you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart, to GIVE GLORY TO MY NAME," says Yahweh of hosts, "I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yes, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay it to heart."

1 Kings 18:24 "And you call on the name of your elohim, and I WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF YAHWEH: and the elohim that answers by fire, let him be Elohim." And all the people answered and said, "It is well spoken."

Psalms 91:14-16 "Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he has known MY NAME.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation."

Zechariah 13:9 "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, 'It is my people': and they shall say, 'Yahweh is my Elohim.'"

Malachi 1:6a A son honors his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is my honor? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith Yahweh of hosts to you, O priests, that despise my name.
 

SUMMARY AND BLESSING

Come, let us reason together.

Consider the reasons for using the actual Hebrew name of the Creator.

 
 

As you use Yahweh's name to call upon and praise Him,

Yahweh bless you, and keep you:
Yahweh make his face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you:
Yahweh lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
"And they shall put MY NAME upon the children of Israel; and I WILL bless them."
Numbers 6:24-27
 
 
 
 

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Br Tom Schattke - Scriptural Helps
 
 

Rev 3-25-2006