The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.
There is almost universal consensus among scholars today that the sacred Tetragrammaton (YHWH) is to be vocalized and pronounced Yahweh. Probably the name means literally “He is.” Some argue, somewhat philosophically or metaphysically, that it presents God as the eternal self-existent One — the absolute, unchanging God (the eternal I AM — Exodus 3:13-15; cf. John 8:58). To them the name connotes the underived and independent existence of God.
God’s Name And Character
If there is a God, it is reasonable to think that He will have devised some means of telling us about Himself. We believe that the Bible is God’s revelation to man, and that in it we see the character of God revealed. This is why the word of God is described as His “seed,” 1 Peter 1:23) because if it reacts with our mind, a new creature is formed within us which has the characteristics of God (James 1:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Therefore the more we apply ourselves to God’s word and take the lessons to ourselves, the more we will become “conformed to the image of His son” (Romans 8:29) who was in character the perfect image of God (Colossians 1:15). In this lies the value of studying the historical parts of the Bible; they are full of case studies of how God has dealt with men and nations, always displaying the same basic characteristics.
The Use of God’s Name
We have seen that God’s Name and that of His Son Jesus has very deep meaning. When we speak of ‘God’ we are touching upon every aspect of His wonderful purpose of love and truth. That God’s Name should be used in vain as a mild expletive or expression of exasperation, is therefore one of the most insulting things a man can do to his Maker. For this reason everyone who wants to please God and honour Him will make every effort not to use God’s Name lightly. In many societies world-wide such blasphemy has become a standard part of modern language; to break out of what may have been the habit of a lifetime will not be easy. A heartfelt prayer for God’s help in this will surely not go unheeded by Him. Those within our sphere of control and influence, e.g. children, could also be reminded of the seriousness of blasphemy: “For the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His Name in vain” (Deuteronomy 5:11).
From Adonai to Yahweh
This alphabetical list includes the most—and least—frequently occurring names found in the Hebrew Bible or in major English translations such as the King James Version (KJV) and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).
The Mental Health of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Summary: The function of religion in human society is complex. The part played by religion in psychiatric disorders is even more obscure. Previous literature and theories are divided into two groups: one school believes that intense religiosity is a symptom-complex indicative of psychiatric disorder, while the opposing view is that religious belief in some way acts as a defense mechanism protecting the individual and his psyche.
Beth-Sarim and the Jehovah’s Witnesses
“Brother Rutherford had a severe case of pneumonia after his release from unjust imprisonment in 1919. Thereafter, he had only one good lung. In the 1920’s, under a doctor’s treatment, he went to San Diego, California, and the doctor urged him to spend as much time as possible there. From 1929 on, Brother Rutherford spent the winters working at a San Diego residence he had named Beth-Sarim. Beth-Sarim was built with funds that were a direct contribution for that purpose. The deed, which was published in full in “The Golden Age” of March 19, 1930, conveyed this property to J. F. Rutherford and thereafter to the Watch Tower Society. — Proclaimersbook, p. 76.
Extol Him by His Name Yah
The Psalms are full of praise to the name of God. They reflect the hearts of the writers in extolling his name and giving glory to the Creator of this universe. It is essential to appreciate the magnificence of an omniscient, omnipresent and intelligent first cause before conceiving the necessity for all flesh to bow before the Lord of all creation. With this reverent approach we attempt to understand the significance of the words forming the title of this article, and which are often quoted in our circles.
What’s in a Name?
“I am that I am” (Exodus 3:14). God’s response when Moses asks for his name is famous for both its simplicity and its mystery. But what exactly does it mean?
The Memorial Name of God
The Memorial Name of God, by which He has been pleased to reveal Himself in Israel is a Hebrew word of four letters, and is spelled—Yod, he, vav, he ( יהוה ). In our English Bibles this word is, in all but a few instances which can be counted on the fingers, represented by the word LORD, in small capital letters; that is, however, without reckoning when it is preceded by the word Adonai, when it is represented by the word GOD, in the same type. In seven cases—and in three of these it forms part of the name of a place—this quadriliteral word is rendered in the Authorised Version, “Jehovah.” As they are pointed in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible, the four letters form a word pronounced Yehovah. Some have wondered how the letter J came to be the initial of the word, as well as of the shorter form Yah—in the common version, Jah. The answer is found in the fact that early translators and commentators wrote in Latina language which has no such letter as Y, and those scholars selected J to do duty for the letter they wanted...
Fear of the Name
The Jews have had a strange fear of speaking or writing the sacred name. We may well call it strange, for it has led to a perverse alteration of the text of Scripture and even to a deliberate mispronunciation of the name itself. In their rendering of the prophets, a more ordinary word has been used instead of the name by which God made Himself known to Moses. Surely this may well be called a strange fear. Among men the deliberate mispronunciation of a name is regarded as offensive. No man would ever be offended by the correct use of the name he had proclaimed asi properly belonging to him. It is surprising that the Jews should fear to utter the name God had chosen for Himself and still more surprising that they should dare to mutilate it.
By My Name JEHOVAH Was I Not Known To Them
Question: C. H. Fry (Dartford) writes:
By My Name Jehovah
A. L. C. of Rhyl raises a very interesting point when he remarks that although God, in speaking to Moses, says “I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them”,¹ yet in connection with the offering up of the famous ram caught in a thicket, in place of his only son Isaac, we read “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh,”² that is, “the Lord will see or provide”.
From Adonai to Yahweh: A Glossary of God’s Names
This alphabetical list includes the most—and least—frequently occurring names found in the Hebrew Bible or in major English translations such as the King James Version (KJV) and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).
"Elohim” Is Not a Name
In Genesis 2, God opened up a new period in His dealings with man, there being revealed not only as Elohim (God), but as “JEHOVAH-Elohim”—“the LORD God,” revealing personal interest by the use of a personal name.
"Lord” and “LORD” in the Old Testament
The words “lord,” “Lord,” and “LORD” in our English Bibles are translated from some twelve different words. (See Young’s Analytical Concordance.) Those of most interest to the reader are: Adon, Adonai, JEHOVAH, and JAH.
Names and Characteristics of God
Jehovah is the first personal name of God recorded in the Scriptures, and there are several points of interest from the commencement of its use.
John Milton: the Unrecognized Hebrew Language Student
Because of the love of the English for the Bible, the Jews and their language have been objects of interest and study in England more perhaps than in any other country. This is noted in Sokolow’s History of Zionism, and a few years ago was more thoroughly treated in one of the pamphlets issued by the Zionist organisation, British Projects for the Restoration of the Jews. In this, popular interest in the Jews and the Hebrew Language is traced from the 16th century down to our time.
The Tetragrammaton: Some Observations
The articles which appeared inthe issues for April and May under the heading “The Tetragrammaton” involve some very important and controversial matters. Indeed so little is dealt with about so much. Mention is made on p. 124 that “the Hebrew verb is comparatively timeless compared with ours,” reference being given to Driver’s Hebrew Tenses as a basis for the statement. We feel, however, that the statement is quite inadequate and demands some elaboration. The Hebrew verb has no tenses, and this is the burden of Driver throughout his work.¹ Samuel Green has written, “The Hebrew verb has no tenses, the time of action, past, present or future, must in every instance be gathered from the context…. The Hebrew tense disregards time, and only looks to completed action.”² The most informative book ever written upon the matter is The Romance of the Hebrew Language by W. H. Saulez who declared, “To one who has been accustomed to read the Bible in English, it comes as a surprise, which he can hardly take in at first, that the Hebrew verb is devoid of tenses, and that ‘perfect,’ ‘present,’ ‘imperfect’ or ‘future’ are only borrowed terms from our Western Grammars and applied to the Jewish” (p. 107). “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, and utterance finds vent in a manner of speech which is absolutely distinct from rules of Western Grammar” (p. 108). Of the borrowed terms “perfect” and “imperfect,” Driver says these “are employed in their etymological meaning, as signifying ‘complete’ or ‘incomplete’; they must not be limited to the special senses they have acquired in Greek or Latin grammars.”³ Therefore the basic thought in the Hebrew verb is not time, but state. It is either complete or incomplete, done or doing. If we pay attention to this mode of narration, strange as it may be to us, many difficulties will solve themselves. The desire to bring Hebrew into some sort of line with Western modes, however, has also brought its difficulties.
The Tetragrammaton: A Special Name for the God of the Jewish People
In the Old Testament is found a special name for the God of the Jewish people, which from earliest times was spelled with four letters, and hence has been called the tetragrammaton. The pronunciation of the original name is not now known, since Hebrew writing contained only the consonants until many centuries after it had ceased to be a living language. This name, transcribed into the nearest English equivalent letters is YHWH, and a shortened form of it, which is contained in many compounds used as personal names, is also used alone, mainly in poetry, as YH.
Why God Has So Many Names
When the prophet Jonah, on a ship in the Mediterranean, was asked by his fellow travelers who he was, he answered: “I am a Hebrew. I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land” (Jonah 1:9). From this passage, it is clear that the Hebrews referred to their God as both “God” (Hebrew, Elohim) and “the Lord” (Yahweh). Elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible, God is called Adonai (also translated as “Lord”);¹ El and Eloah (also rendered as “God”); Shaddai, traditionally translated as “the Almighty”; El Elyon, the “Upper God” or “Most High”; and Yahweh Elohim, the “Lord God”—to name just a few of God’s names (see Glossary, p. 51).
Word Study: YHWH—"LORD"
For thousands of years Jewish people have daily prayed these words which summarize the Bible’s call for faithfulness and devotion to God. We will explore all of the key words in this prayer and what they meant in their original language and historical context.
The Spelling of the Tetragrammaton
The spelling of the Tetragrammaton and connected forms in the Masoretic Hebrew text (vowel points in red):
The tetragrammaton (from Greek Τετραγράμματον, meaning “[consisting of] four letters,”) is the Hebrew theonym יהוה, commonly transliterated into Latin letters as YHWH. It is one of the names of God used in the Hebrew Bible. The name may be derived from a verb that means “to be,” “to exist,” “to cause to become,” or “to come to pass”.
Wrested Scriptures: The 144,000
“And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” (Revelation 7:4)
Leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses
Ray Faircloth was a Jehovah’s Witness (JW) for 36 years and served as both a ministerial servant and as an elder. Over his lengthy sojourn among the JWs, he sometimes came across doctrinal issues which he quietly logged in the back of his mind. He also noticed that the Watchtower Society (the organization name of the JWs) was increasing its control over the people. He observed that more and more in meetings loyalty to God’s organization was being emphasized whereas loyalty to Jesus was not really talked about.
The special and significant name (not merely an appellative title such as Lord [adonai]) by which God revealed himself to the ancient Hebrews (Exodus 6:2, 3). This name, the Tetragrammaton of the Greeks, was held by the later Jews to be so sacred that it was never pronounced except by the high priest on the great Day of Atonement, when he entered into the most holy place. Whenever this name occurred in the sacred books they pronounced it, as they still do, “Adonai” (i.e., Lord), thus using another word in its stead. The Massorets gave to it the vowel-points appropriate to this word. This Jewish practice was founded on a false interpretation of Leviticus 24:16. The meaning of the word appears from Exodus 3:14 to be “the unchanging, eternal, self-existent God,” the “I am that I am,” a convenant-keeping God. (Comp. Malachi 3:6; Hosea 12:5; Revelation 1:4, 8.)
a-dō ́nī, ad-ō-nā ́ī (אדני, ‘ădhōnāy): A Divine name, translated “Lord,” and signifying, from its derivation, “sovereignty.” Its vowels are found in the Massoretic Text with the unpronounceable tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH; and when the Hebrew reader came to these letters, he always substituted in pronunciation the word “‘ădhōnāy̌.” Its vowels combined with the tetragrammaton form the word “Yahweh (Jehovah).” See GOD, NAMES OF.
God, Names of
To an extent beyond the appreciation of modern and western minds the people of Biblical times and lands valued the name of the person. They always gave to it symbolical or character meaning.
Jeho’vah, (יהוָֹה, Yehovah’, Sept. usually ὁ Κω῏/ριος, Auth. Vers. usually “the LORD”), the name by which God was pleased to make himself known, under the covenant, to the ancient Hebrews (Exodus 6:2-3), although it was doubtless in use among the patriarchs, as it occurs even in the history of the creation (Genesis 2:4). The theory of Schwind (Semitische Denkm. 1792), that the record is of later origin than the Mosaic age, is based upon the false assumption that the Hebrews had previously been polytheistic. SEE GENESIS; SEE GOD.
Tetragrammaton, (τέτταρα, four, and γράμμα, letter), a term to designate the sacred name of the Deity, Jehovah, in four letters, יהוה. By the possession of this name the early Jewish opponents of Christianity declared that the miracles of Christ were performed. Tile mystical word Om of the Buddhists of India and Thibet is supposed to possess similar virtues to the present day.
I Am Who I Am
LORD: The Divine Name
Awake! is an illustrated religious magazine published every second month by Jehovah’s Witnesses via the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. It is considered to be a companion magazine of The Watchtower, and is distributed by Jehovah’s Witnesses in their door-to-door ministry.
Beth Sarim (Hebrew בית שרים “House of the Princes”) is a ten-bedroom mansion in San Diego, California, constructed in 1929 in anticipation of various resurrected Old Testament biblical patriarchs or prophets such as Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah and Samuel. It was maintained by the Watch Tower Society, the parent organization used by Jehovah’s Witnesses, and was also used as a winter home and executive office for Watch Tower president Joseph Franklin Rutherford. The house was sold to a private owner in 1948.
Bible Student movement
The Bible Student movement is the name adopted by a Millennialist Restorationist Christian movement that emerged from the teachings and ministry of Charles Taze Russell, also known as Pastor Russell. Members of the movement have variously referred to themselves as Bible Students, International Bible Students, Associated Bible Students, or Independent Bible Students. The origins of the movement are associated with the formation of Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society in 1881.
Charles Taze Russell
Charles Taze Russell (February 16, 1852 – October 31, 1916), or Pastor Russell, was an American early 20th century Christian restorationist minister from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and founder of what is now known as the Bible Student movement. After his death, Jehovah’s Witnesses and numerous independent Bible Student groups developed from this base.
Development of Jehovah’s Witnesses doctrine
The doctrines of Jehovah’s Witnesses have developed since publication of The Watchtower magazine began in 1879. Early doctrines were based on interpretations of the Bible by Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society founder Charles Taze Russell, then added to, altered or discarded by his successors, Joseph Rutherford and Nathan Knorr. Since 1976, doctrinal changes have been made at closed meetings of the religion’s Governing Body, whose decisions are described as “God’s progressive revelations” to the faithful and discreet slave. These teachings are disseminated through The Watchtower, and at conventions and congregation meetings. Most members of the religion outside the Governing Body play no role in the development of doctrines and are expected to adhere to all those decided at the Brooklyn headquarters. Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught to welcome changes to their religion’s doctrine, regarding such “adjustments” as “new light” or “new understanding” from God and proving that they are on the “path of the righteous”.
Eschatology of Jehovah’s Witnesses
The eschatology of Jehovah’s Witnesses is central to their religious beliefs. They believe that Jesus Christ has been ruling in heaven as king since 1914 (a date they believe was prophesied in Scripture), and that after that time a period of cleansing occurred, resulting in God’s selection of the Bible Students associated with Charles Taze Russell to be his people in 1919. They also believe the destruction of those who reject their message and thus willfully refuse to obey God will shortly take place at Armageddon, ensuring that the beginning of the new earthly society will be composed of willing subjects of that kingdom.
Faithful and discreet slave
The faithful and discreet slave is the term used by Jehovah’s Witnesses to describe the religion’s Governing Body in its role of directing doctrines and teachings. The group is described as a “class” of “anointed” Christians that operates under the direct control of Jesus Christ to exercise teaching authority in all matters pertaining to doctrine and articles of faith.
Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses
The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the ruling council of Jehovah’s Witnesses based in Brooklyn, New York. The body formulates doctrines, oversees the production of written material for publications and conventions, and administers the group’s worldwide operations. Official publications refer to members of the Governing Body as followers of Christ rather than religious leaders.
History of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Jehovah’s Witnesses had its origins in the Bible Student movement, which developed in the United States in the 1870s among followers of Christian Restorationist minister Charles Taze Russell. Bible Student missionaries were sent to England in 1881 and the first overseas branch was opened in London in 1900. The group took on the name International Bible Students Association and by 1914 it was also active in Canada, Germany, Australia and other countries. The movement split into several rival organizations after Russell’s death in 1916, with one—led by Russell’s successor, Joseph “Judge” Rutherford—retaining control of both his magazine, The Watch Tower, and his legal and publishing corporation, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.
I Am that I Am
I Am that I Am (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה, ehyeh ašer ehyeh [ehˈje aˈʃer ehˈje]) is the common English translation (JPS among others) of the response God used in the Hebrew Bible when Moses asked for his name (Exodus 3:14). It is one of the most famous verses in the Torah. Hayah means “existed” in Hebrew; ehyeh is the first person singular imperfect form and is usually translated in English Bibles as “I am” or “I will be” (or “I shall be”), for example, at Exodus 3:14. Ehyeh asher ehyeh literally translates as “I Am Who I Am.” The ancient Hebrew of Exodus 3:14 lacks a future tense as modern English does, yet a few translations render this name as “I Will Be What I Will Be,” given the context of Yahweh promising to be with his people through their future troubles. Both the literal present tense “I Am” and the future tense “I will be” have given rise to many attendant theological and mystical implications in Jewish tradition. However, in most English Bibles, in particular the King James Version, the phrase is rendered as I am that I am.
Jah or Yah (Hebrew: יהּ Yahu) is a short form of Yahweh (in consonantal spelling YHWH Hebrew: יהוה, called the Tetragrammaton), the proper name of God in the Hebrew Bible. This short form of the name occurs 50 times in the text of the Hebrew Bible, of which 24 form part of the phrase “Hallelujah”.
Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood transfusions
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Bible prohibits ingesting blood and that Christians should not accept blood transfusions or donate or store their own blood for transfusion. The belief is based on an interpretation of scripture that differs from that of other Christian denominations. It is one of the doctrines for which Jehovah’s Witnesses are most well known.
Jehovah’s Witnesses and salvation
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe salvation is a gift from God attained by being part of “God’s organization” and putting faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. They do not believe in predestination or eternal security. They believe in different forms of resurrection for two groups of Christians. One group, the anointed, go to heaven while the other group, “the other sheep” or “the great crowd” will live forever on earth.
Jehovah’s Witnesses splinter groups
A number of splinter groups have separated from Jehovah’s Witnesses since 1931 after members broke affiliation with the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. Earlier group defections from the Watch Tower Society, most of them between 1917 and 1931, had resulted in a number of religious movements forming under the umbrella term of the Bible Student movement.
Jehovah’s Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The group claims a worldwide membership of more than 8.2 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance figures of more than 15 million, and an annual Memorial attendance of more than 19.9 million. Jehovah’s Witnesses are directed by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, a group of elders in Brooklyn, New York, which establishes all doctrines based on its interpretations of the Bible. They prefer to use their own translation, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, although their literature occasionally quotes and cites other translations. They believe that the destruction of the present world system at Armageddon is imminent, and that the establishment of God’s kingdom over the earth is the only solution for all problems faced by humanity.
Jehovah (/dʒᵻˈhoʊvə/ jə-HOH-və) is a Latinization of the Hebrew יְהֹוָה, one vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יהוה (YHWH), the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible.
Joseph Franklin Rutherford
Joseph Franklin Rutherford (November 8, 1869 – January 8, 1942), also known as “Judge” Rutherford, was the second president of the incorporated Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. He played a primary role in the organization and doctrinal development of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which emerged from the Bible Student movement established by Charles Taze Russell.
A Kingdom Hall is a place of worship used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. The term was first suggested in 1935 by Joseph Franklin Rutherford, then president of the Watch Tower Society, for a building in Hawaii. Rutherford’s reasoning was that these buildings would be used for preaching the “good news of the Kingdom.” Jehovah’s Witnesses use Kingdom Halls for the majority of their worship and Bible instruction. Witnesses prefer the term “Kingdom Hall” over “church,” noting that the term often translated “church” in the Bible refers to the congregation of people rather than a structure.
Names of God in Judaism
The name of God used most often in the Hebrew Bible is the Tetragrammaton (Hebrew: יהוה). It is frequently anglicized as Jehovah and Yahweh and written in most English editions of the Bible as “the Lord” owing to the Jewish tradition of reading it as (“My Lords”) out of respect.
The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom is an illustrated religious magazine, published monthly in 294 languages by Jehovah’s Witnesses via the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. Along with its companion magazine, Awake!, Jehovah’s Witnesses distribute The Watchtower—Public Edition in their door-to-door ministry.
Unfulfilled Christian religious predictions
This article lists predictions of notable religious figures that failed to come about in the specified time frame. They are listed according to the religious groups of which they were members.
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania
The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania is a non-stock, not-for-profit organization headquartered in the New York City, New York borough of Brooklyn. It is the main legal entity used worldwide by Jehovah’s Witnesses to direct, administer and develop doctrines for the religion and is often referred to by members of the religion simply as “the Society”. It is the parent organization of a number of Watch Tower subsidiaries, including the Watchtower Society of New York and International Bible Students Association. The number of voting shareholders of the corporation is limited to between 300 and 500 “mature, active and faithful” male Jehovah’s Witnesses. About 5800 Jehovah’s Witnesses provide voluntary unpaid labour, as members of a religious order, in three large Watch Tower Society facilities in New York; nearly 15,000 other members of the order work at the Watch Tower Society’s other facilities worldwide.
Watch Tower Society presidency dispute (1917)
A dispute developed in 1917 within the leadership of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society following the death of society president Charles Taze Russell and election of legal counsel Joseph Franklin Rutherford as his successor. An acrimonious battle ensued between Rutherford and four of the society’s seven directors, who accused him of autocratic behavior and sought to reduce his powers. Rutherford claimed the dissident directors had formed a conspiracy to seize control of the society and overcame the challenge by gaining a legal opinion that his four opposers had not been legally appointed. He subsequently replaced them with four new sympathetic directors. The four ousted directors later gained 12 legal opinions that Rutherford’s actions were unlawful. The leadership crisis divided the Bible Student community and helped contribute to the loss of one-seventh of the Watch Tower adherents by 1919.
Watch Tower Society unfulfilled predictions
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society publications have made a series of predictions about Christ’s Second Coming and the advent of God’s Kingdom, each of which has gone unfulfilled. Almost all the predictions for 1878, 1881, 1914, 1918 and 1925 were later reinterpreted as a confirmation of the eschatological framework of the Bible Student movement and Jehovah’s Witnesses, with many of the predicted events viewed as having taken place invisibly. Further expectations were held for the arrival of Armageddon in 1975, but resulted in a later apology to members from the society’s leadership.
Yahweh (/ˈjɑːhweɪ/, or often /ˈjɑːweɪ/ in English; Hebrew: יהוה) is the national god of the Iron Age kingdoms of Israel (Samaria) and Judah. His origins are mysterious, although they reach back to the early Iron Age and even the Late Bronze: his name may have begun as an epithet of El, head of the Bronze Age Canaanite pantheon, but the earliest plausible mentions are in Egyptian texts that place him among the nomads of the southern Transjordan. In the oldest biblical literature he is a typical ancient Near Eastern “divine warrior” who leads the heavenly army against Israel’s enemies; he later became the main god of the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) and of Judah, and over time the royal court and temple promoted Yahweh as the god of the entire cosmos, possessing all the positive qualities previously attributed to the other gods and goddesses. By the end of the Babylonian exile (6th century BCE), the very existence of foreign gods was denied, and Yahweh was proclaimed as the creator of the cosmos and the true god of all the world.