Was the Holy Name Only Given to the Nation of Israel?

The claim has been made that the Holy Name was only given to the nation of Israel; actually, however, we find no scripture that says that the Holy Name was only given to Israel, and so far, we have seen no one who makes this claim provide a scripture to support the claim.

God’s Holy Name simply is; it was not given to anyone as though others would have right to change that Holy Name to “the Lord” or “God”, or whatever else. Although Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, did make the Law Covenant exclusively with Israel, this does not mean that Yahweh only gave His Holy Name to Israel.

Before Israel was born, we find that many knew of and used the Holy Name.

The first time anyone is recorded as speaking the Holy Name in the Bible is at Genesis 4:1:

Genesis 4:1 WEB
The man knew Eve his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Cain, and said, “I have gotten a man with Yahweh’s help.”

In this, Eve acknowledged her God as being Yahweh. This was certainly before the Jews, the children of Israel, had come into existence.

Long before Jacob (Israel) was born, Lamech is shown to know Yahweh’s name, as it is written:

Genesis 5:28 Lamech lived one hundred eighty-two years, and became the father of a son,
Genesis 5:29 and he named him Noah, saying, “This same will comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, because of the ground which Yahweh has cursed.”

In Genesis 9:26, Noah is recorded as saying: “Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Shem.” Although Noah was an ancestor to Israel (Jacob) and the Children of Israel, Jacob had not yet been born, and the nation of the children of Israel, as such, had not yet come into existence.

Genesis 12:8 He left from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to Yahweh, and called on the name of Yahweh.

Genesis 13:4 to the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first. There Abram called on the name of Yahweh.

Genesis 21:33 WEB
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and called there on the name of Yahweh, the Everlasting God.

In the above scriptures, we read that Abraham called on the name of Yahweh; Abraham evidently knew of the Holy Name although Jacob and the children of Israel had not yet come into existence.

Genesis 15:2 Abram said, “Lord Yahweh, what will you give me, seeing I go childless, and he who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?”

Genesis 15:2 Abram said, “Lord Yahweh, what will you give me, seeing I go childless, and he who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?”

Genesis 15:8 He said, “Lord Yahweh, whereby will I know that I will inherit it?”

Genesis 16:2 Sarai said to Abram,” See now, Yahweh has restrained me from bearing. Please go in to my handmaid. It may be that I will obtain children by her.” Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

Genesis 16:5 Sarai said to Abram, “This wrong is your fault. I gave my handmaid into your bosom, and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes. Yahweh judge between me and you.”

Genesis 16:13 She called the name of Yahweh who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees,” for she said, “Have I even stayed alive after seeing him?”

In the above scriptures, we find that Abraham and his wife, as well as Hagar, all knew and used God’s Holy Name,  before Israel had been born, before the nation of Israel had come into existence.
As far as Christians are concerned, we read:

Hebrews 6:10 for God is not unrighteous, so as to forget your work and the labor of love which you shown toward his name, in that you served the saints, and still do serve them.

“God” in this verse is in reference to the “God” of Israel:

Psalm 11:7  For Yahweh is righteous. He loves righteousness. The upright shall see his face.

Thus “his name” refers to the “name” of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel), presented in Psalm 11:7 of the World English as “Yahweh”.

In writing the words of Hebrews 6:10, Paul is speaking of the covenant that Yahweh made with Abraham for a seed; this can be seen from the context:

Hebrews 6:11 We desire that each one of you may show the same diligence to the fullness of hope even to the end,
Hebrews 6:12 that you won’t be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherited the promises.
Hebrews 6:13 For when [Yahweh — Genesis 15:22-28] made a promise to Abraham, since he could swear by none greater, he swore by himself,
Hebrews 6:14 saying, “Most surely I will bless you, and I will surely multiply you.”
Hebrews 6:15 Thus, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
Hebrews 6:16 For men indeed swear by a greater one, and in every dispute of theirs the oath is final for confirmation.
Hebrews 6:17 Wherein [Yahweh — Genesis 22:16-18], being determined to show more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed with an oath;
Hebrews 6:18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for [Yahweh] to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to take hold of the hope set before us,
Hebrews 6:19 which we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and entering into that which is within the veil; 20 where as a forerunner Jesus entered for us, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

It was not for Abraham’s benefit that Yahweh swore by himself, but rather it was for those spoken of as “we” in Hebrews 6:18. Elsewhere Paul writes that those who become sons of God — both Jew and Gentile — are the faith seed of Abraham, as given in the promise. — Galatians 3:27-29.

The point relative to our study is, however, that when Yahweh made this covenant with Abraham, we read:  “Abraham called the name of that place Yahweh-jireh. As it is said to this day, ‘In Yahweh’s mountain it will be provided.'” (Genesis 22:14) This is in connection with Yahweh providing the ram to be sacrificed instead of the Isaac being offered in sacrifice. The place where the offering included the Holy Name.  The covenant for a seed was given in connection with this; it is this covenant that Yahweh made with Abraham, but not only with Abraham, but also with the seed of Abraham, which is Christ, and through Christ, all those who belong to Jesus. The scriptures use God’s Holy Name in reference to this covenant 430 years before the Law Covenant was established. (Galatians 3:16,17) And, if you belong to Christ, you are through Christ a party with Yahweh in that covenant that Yahweh made with Abraham 430 years before the Law Covenant was given.

See also our studies:

Should the Holy Name Be Pronounced?

The Holy Name in the New Testament

The Holy Name in the Original Hebrew/Greek

The Tetragrammaton in Genesis

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