19 November, 2018

1. I Am Who I Am


1. I Am Who I Am


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From Exodus 3:14, often translated as God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”

(Ha! You thought we were going to start in Genesis, didn't you?)

The transliteration is ’ehyeh ’ăšer ’ehyeh, and it's where we get the "name" of God as YHWY, Yahweh, or Jehovah. In this study, I use Jehovah. (In The Chronicles of Time, I use a fictional variant: Jehuva).

There are 3 main schools of thought on the correct translation:
  1. I am who am
  2. I will be what I will be.
  3. I am the Being One, as in the Uncreated Self-existent One.
I personally believe #3 is the most accurate interpretation. However, I must admit, I find the following alternative by professor Christine Hayes quite intriguing:

"Some have argued that the name Yahweh expresses the quality of being, an active, dynamic being...who brings things into being, whether it’s a cosmos from chaos, or now a new nation from a band of runaway slaves. But it could well be that this is simply God’s way of not answering Moses’ question...I’ve often wondered if we’re to read this differently: Who am I? I am who I am, and never you mind."  Descriptions of God in the Bible

After all, when Jacob asks with whom he is wrestling, the reply is "What is that to you?" (Genesis 32:29)

When Moses informs the figure in the pillar of light that they've reached a dead end, blocked by the Red/Reed Sea with an enemy army approaching, the answer is, "Why do you come crying to me?" (Exodus 14:15)

And when Joshua asks, Are you on our side or the enemies side? the reply is, "Neither." (Joshua 5:14)

I am reminded of this scene from The Last Jedi:


Whatever I expected Luke's response to be at seeing his old light saber again, it was certainly not tossing it off a cliff. And I'm sure Jacob, Moses, and Joshua were not expecting the answers God gave them in the above examples.

So as you join me on this journey through His Story, expect the unexpected.

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