What Happened to the Name Jehovah?

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold guiltless anyone who takes his name in vain” (Exod. 20:7 NET).

The Word “LORD” in the scripture above is a translation of the Hebrew word for God’s Name, “Jehovah,” or “Yahweh,” or even “Yehovah.” Scholars and Hebrew rabbis are not 100% sure what the exact rendering of this name should be. What happened? Why this confusion?

This is a great example of the dangers of a religious spirit. God gave the commandment above to the Jews that “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.” The Israelites took this commandment and made another commandment out of it, somewhat out of “reverence for God.” They interpreted this commandment as meaning they should not even call the name of God; that is, verbally mention Jehovah. This might seem wonderful because it appears to show much reverence for God, but it was a terrible error, a dangerous trap of the religious spirit. God’s command was clear; nothing needed to be added or removed from it. You will be surprised that the same Israelites had more respect for their own commandments, created out of God’s commandments, than God’s direct commandments. Jesus called it their “traditions” (Matt. 15:6). If we are not careful, we will create a religion out of God’s commandments, which I typically call “Christian religion,” for ourselves. Watch out for manmade commandments and doctrines in Christianity!


What is the meaning of taking God’s name in vain? See a few examples in Lev. 19:12, 24:11.


Your best protection against Christian religion is to know the truth. Learn to study the Word of God yourself and take it as it is without the coloring of different denominations and ministries. Until you are established in the truth, you will remain a victim of human additions to God’s Word (Eph. 4:14).


Ask the Lord to help you escape the commandments of men that may appear as commandments of God.

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