Jehovah`s Witness/Your Clarification- A question


Hello Mr. Hepburn: I was reading through your response on the word 'Lord', and have a question about something you stated:

"You are almost correct in the meaning of Jehovah. The Jewish Encyclopedia says it means "I will be that I will be," . This signifies that Jehovah will be what ever is necessary to protect his peoples. Their God, their Father, Savior, Protector, Discipliner, Helper, Teacher "

I would like to know which Jewish Encyclopedia you got this from.

Jehovah = Existing One
Yahweh (YHWH)= ""He Causes to be; He Creates"

'Hayah Hayah" or "ehyeh aser ehyeh" = I AM THAT I AM" or "I will be that I will be"

Rev. Darryl Murphy

Hello Mr Murphy,

Thank you for your question

The only direct quotation from the Encyclopedia was  "I will be that I will be ," i used my own words for the rest :Their God, their Father, Savior, Protector, Discipliner, Helper, Teacher: both from hypothesis given in the Encyclopedia article and from my knowledge and understanding of Jehovah's dealings with the Nation of Israel

The web site is

The article in full under the heading "Meaning and Etymology". (Bold and underline mine)

It thus becomes possible to determine with a fair degree of certainty the historical pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton, the  results agreeing with the statement of Ex. iii. 14, in which Yhwh terms Himself  "I will be ," a phrase which is immediately preceded by the fuller term "I will be that I will be ," or, as in the English versions, "I am" and "I am that I am." The name  is accordingly derived from the root  (= ), and is regarded as an imperfect. This passage is decisive for the pronunciation "Yahweh"; for the etymology was undoubtedly based on the known word. The oldest exegetes, such as Onḳelos, and the Targumim of Jerusalem and pseudo-Jonathan regard "Ehyeh" and "Ehyeh asher Ehyeh" as the name of the Divinity, and accept the etymology of "hayah" = "to be" (comp. Samuel b. Meďr, commentary on Ex. iii. 14). Modern critics, some of whom, after the lapse of centuries, correct the Hebrew texts without regard to the entire change of point of view and mode of thought, are dissatisfied with this etymology; and their various hypotheses have resulted in offering the following definitions:(1) he who calls into being, or he who gives promises; (2) the creator of life; (3) he who makes events, or history; (4) the falling one, the feller, i.e., the stormgod who hurls the lightning; (5) he who sends down the rain  (W. R. Smith, "The Old Testament," p. 123);  (6) the hurler; (7) the destroyer; (8) the breather, the weather-god (Wellhausen). All these meanings are obtained by doing violence to the Hebrew text (Herzog-Hauck, "Real-Encyc." viii. 536 et seq.).

end quote

The article suggest at the end that the "meanings are obtained by doing violence to the Hebrew text", To me that is saying the author does not agree with those meanings.

However,I see them on the right track in that God becomes different things to different situations.  They appeared to be looking at those meanings in a negative way, possibly from the point of view so many people have, and that is the Jehovah was a vengeful God. I see him as a loving God that was wanting to protect his people. When we study the relationship that Jehovah had with (namely) the Hebrews as well as some of the other nations, I see that he   would be what ever he needed to be (I will be that I will be ) in order see that he will accomplished. - the bringing forth  a seed (Jesus) that would eventual crush Satan. It perfectly describes the way Jehovah maneuvered things so that the promise to Abraham would be fulfilled against the all odds of rebellion by his own people and attacks by nations around.  So Jehovah was their God, and life giver. His laws taught them things that were way beyond their time, that only in recent years man has come to appreciate like his laws on hygiene and quarantine. He disciplined and at times protected them.  All those sorts of works can be summed up in I will be that I will be  

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Brenton Hepburn


I AM one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I am always learning. I am NOT an expert in the full sense of the word but I can answer questions on the reliability of the NWT - the so called mind control problems-so called prophecies - how being a JW affects the individual and relatives and general practices and history of Jehovah’s Witnesses. >>WARNING<< Please be aware that there are people here who ARE NOT practicing JWs. By all means ask these ones questions. Depending on the question you will get an honest answer, but, generally the answer you get, will mislead you as to what we believe, often because, they do not give ALL the relevant details. These ones will, have an agenda against JWs., and will at times give answers that are not correct in regard to JW teachings and practices. If you are after a answer from one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, please read some of the answers that the various experts have published before choosing someone. If you want to ask one of the NON JWs a question, that is fine, BUT if you want a balancing view after asking one of the NON JWs, ask a JW the same question. PLEASE ALSO NOTE: There(have been)and are, some "experts" here who are NOT always the most courteous and polite, at times are actually quite rude, that applies to both JW's and non JW's and their answers may offend, especially when they get personal and attack the character of the person and not the message. Unfortunately some here that have done that. So it IS IMPORTANT to chose an "expert" that YOU feel will best suit YOU by reading some of their past answers . . . . .


I have been a publisher since 1964. When I first went on the internet I found a lot of negative information dealing with Jehovah’s Witnesses covering prophecy, mind control and what many said was a very bad translation of the Bible known as the NWT. It shook my faith. After may hours researching these topics I could see why some felt that way, but, I was also able to explain why there were these misleading views. I can now set matters straight for anyone that has negative information about Jehovah’s Witness to show them that such information is at best misleading and at worst dangerous lies.

I have been a student of the Bible for many years, am trying to teach myself Biblical Greek. Was a public tax accountant for many years untill SEP 2009 when I gave it up due to health problems.

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